Cast aside images of murky London fogs â€“ this season, gray is the new black; the softer, laidback and much more versatile cousin.
Gray has long been a favorite of design professionals, and its use as a chameleon neutral has infiltrated the fashion world one couture line at a time. Sonu Mathew, senior interior designer at Benjamin Moore & Co., says that the movement is a cultural one. Researching color trends shows the movement toward gray has continued for some time now, and is finally reaching the forefront of the mass market, she says.
â€œNow, weâ€™ve reached a very unique point in history; we see influences from the 1920s in powder colors like gray, mixed with the influences of the 1950s and vibrant pops of color. Itâ€™s a great balance,â€ Mathew says.
Itâ€™s hot and itâ€™s cold
The amount of warmth or coolness in a shade of gray can completely change its effect on a room. While warm grays are inviting and evoke a sense of comfort, cool grays can look industrial or even stark. Design expert and one half of the creative force behind interior design blog desiretoinspire.net, Ottawa, Canada-based Kim Johnson says that first-timers should err on the side of caution when choosing a gray and opt for one without any undertones.
â€œI find gray is easier [to work with] than white but it, too, can have undertones of green, blue and purple,â€ Johnson says. She suggests using several slightly varied shades of gray in one room to add dimension. Once the perfect hue for a room is found, paint the trim and ceiling at half or quarter strength.
Jackie Jordan, director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams, says to be mindful of lighting when decorating with gray.