How to Create Warmth and Richness When Decorating With Gray

After about a decade of the brown and beige design trend, gray has officially been ushered in as the go-to neutral these days. Grays are extremely versatile shades that can compliment just about any decorating style and color palette. Grays can add depth and sophistication to a room, but many people avoid using gray for fear it will make a room feel sterile and uninviting. Fear not my friends; below are some tips you can use when working with gray to create warm, rich spaces in your own home.

  • If you are worried about selecting the right gray to coordinate with your existing furnishings, try BM HC-172 Revere Pewter or BM HC-173 Edgecomb Gray. Both are very neutral “putty” shades of gray.
Decorating with Gray | Chicago ReDesignBM HC-172 Revere Pewter | Source
  • Create a balance of cool and warm tones by pairing cool grays with energizing pops of jewel tones and warm natural elements like wood, leather, and copper. Pair warm grays with shiny silver metals and cool colors for a touch of elegance and modernity.
Decorating with Gray | Chicago ReDesignSource
Decorating with Gray | Chicago ReDesignBM HC-87 Ashley Gray | Source
  • Pair a dark gray with a softer pastel shade, white furniture, and earthly elements like wood, wicker, and sisal to create a cheery and informal space.
Decorating with Gray | Chicago ReDesignBM AF-720 Sparrow | Source
  • A dark gray ceiling and dark gray walls create a dramatic and intimate effect.  To keep the dark ceiling from being oppressive, complete the look with lighter, creamy accents and flooring.
Decorating with Gray | Chicago ReDesignSource
  • When working with gray and white opt for a creamier off-white (such as BM OC-17 White Dove). Stark white can provide too much of a contrast and might come off as a bit jarring.
  • This is true for any paint color, but ALWAYS use large scale paint swatches (2′ x 2′) that can be moved around the room before settling on a gray color. Grays can affect the mood of a room, so determine how the color changes with the light and is affected by shadowing. Click here for a great tutorial on creating large size paint color samples.
  • Use a low-sheen paint on the wall – anything shinier can look metallic and unflattering.

How do you feel about gray? Are you on board with the trend or do you still prefer beiges and browns? I’d love to hear what you think!


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8 thoughts on “How to Create Warmth and Richness When Decorating With Gray

    1. Chicago ReDesign Post author

      Thanks Anna! I love taupe too. I just did a client’s bedroom in taupe with dark chocolate brown accents and it worked out beautifully. I kind of want to redo my bedroom now 🙂

  1. Pingback: Decorating with a Neutral Palette | Chicago ReDesign

  2. Birgitte Vosper

    I am currently staging a swedish wooden house with a cool grey on top of white beadboarded walls (is it even called that?). It looks amazing. They have a wooden farmtable and wood ceiling that sets the grey off beautifully. They have the beadboards throughout the house and the grey works so well with a range of different accessories. They had stark white walls before but the grey makes the beadboards pop.
    I am totally on board the grey trend. 🙂

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  4. Pingback: {Guest Post} Beyond Neutral: Bold Color | Chicago ReDesign

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