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Why You Must Absolutely Paint your Walls Gray

ExperienceInteriors/ Getty Images

ExperienceInteriors/ Getty Images

Gray is the hot new “in” color. It’s recently taken front and center, upstaging it’s neutral cousins, taupe, beige and ivory. Gray is the little black dress for your home. It’s the new must have essential color that’s modern and edgy yet timeless and classic. It’s the perfect chameleon as it suits just about every room, every mood and every setting.

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Andre Gide once said “the color of truth is grey”

You can hide behind it or you can stand in front of it and let it shine. In color psychology, gray is the color that represents peace and balance. It is calm and safe. It is practical, simple and reliable. It’s the classic. It is the perfect neutral. Why then have we not seen more of this fabulous color, a perfect blend of black and white, that somewhere in the middle color, until very recently?

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Grey is the color of clouds, but even clouds have silver linings

Grey is calm and soothing and, despite being equated with rainy, cloudy days, in the home gray is the opposite of dreary. Gray presents itself as the perfect backdrop to any style from classic to modern to contemporary. All furniture styles look well with grey and all sorts of colors from pinks, blues, purples, and citrus pair delightfully with this new neutral. Christian Dior said that  “tones of grey, pale turquoise and pink will prevail.”

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A room that is gray can be many things to many people

Grays really are the perfect neutral. They range the gamut from casual elegance to utmost sophistication. Lighter, softer shades have a more feminine feel while the darker, heavier shades have a stronger, more masculine effect. Pair several shades of gray together to achieve a more complex, layered effect.

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Gray isn’t merely grey…

Grays themselves are very complex as hues and undertones take on shades of pink, blue, lavenders and greens that all add an extra layer of complexity, sophistication and energy. Some grays are reminiscent of  the beautiful old cathedrals of Europe, evoking a sense of history, longevity and strength. Other grays are more modern in feel and tone with a more modern and industrial flair. Those grays with green and blue undertones may bring us back the sea… those with pink and taupe undertones have a much warmer effect. One cannot refer to this color as simply gray, as it is so much more than that!

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There couldn’t be a more perfect background color

With hues from nearly white to nearly black, there’s a color in the spectrum for everyone, no matter lifestyle, location, or personality. Grey offers a much greater, deeper dimension than her neutral counterparts. Tans, beiges and whites have been overdone over the years. These colors are best left to trench coats today. Homes that are merely beige or varieties of the shade look as though they’ve been copied from the pages of various mail order catalogs. And wouldn’t you know it, most of them have.  Let’s have a little individuality – let’s set ourselves apart from the crowd. And even if “everyone else is doing it” each shade of  grey is so unique on it’s own that your color will be as individual as you are.  Whether you love to be bold or you are more color shy, there’s a shade of gray that’s perfect for you.

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Consider the look you’re trying to achieve

When painting walls grey think of the tone that you’re trying to set, the mood you hope to evoke. A pale grey in eggshell reflects a softer atmosphere – like puffy clouds in the sky which is quite feminine in feel, and would suit a bedroom, family room even a boy’s nursery. Conversely, a pale grey in a gloss is much more contemporary, lending itself to a stainless steel, modern and edgier look. This is a great look for an office or a kitchen. Darker, warmer, flatter grays, like a wool suit, are perfectly suited to a library or master bedroom suite, whereas a charcoal in high gloss, has a much more elegant, sophisticated and dramatic effect and is well suited for a parlor, dining room or living room.

Aleksandra Zlatkovic/ Getty Images

Play up your light sources

Gray has so many natural and wonderful undertones that really come to life in the right lighting. Take advantage of your natural light resources to emphasize and play up the natural tones as they change with the lighting over the course of the day. Be sure to have more than one overhead light in your space, two sources or more will adequately light your space. Enhance your lighting with sconces and well placed and proportionately sized lamps. This shadow colored hue is a color that really benefits from being well lit.

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There’s something for everyone

In conclusion, with all shades from nearly white to nearly black, there’s a shade of grey certain to please everyone’s palate. Whether your style is classic, eclectic, modern, traditional or transitional there’s a shade for you. Whether you’re a collector, a minimalist – whether you’re cautious or edgy, there’s a shade just for you. Whether you’re reserved or outgoing and gregarious, there’s a shade just for you. Whether you prefer softer, calmer neutrals or bigger, bolder colors, there’s a shade of gray just for you.

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