With more than 50 shades in the gray palette, this hue is quickly becoming the go-to color for both designers and homeowners. Gray is a true neutral and complements almost any color you can imagine.
Don’t be afraid to take it up a notch from your basic beige. Gray gives rooms a fresh and modern feel without overpowering the space. Use these tricks of the trade to help narrow down which gray complements your home the best.
Warm or Cool
Warmer grays have more brownish and yellow undertones — think mushroom gray, or grays you find in rocks, stones, and wood. Colors that complement these earthy hues include shades of red, orange and coral. Bring in a distressed brown leather armchair to help accentuate the room’s cozy atmosphere.
Cooler grays tend to have blue undertones, and might remind you of a winter sky. Navy, crisp white, and pastel pinks, purples and blues do well with cooler grays. Consider hanging a silver-plated mirror or investing in a metallic end table to help tie the room together.
Make It Pop
Nothing begs for accents of color like a gorgeous gray. And with this nifty neutral, you can really play up the dramatic.
For starters, dare to go dark. Using black on gray gives an elegant touch to any room. The combination of charcoal walls with bright white trim and a black bookshelf, armchair or even black picture frames, exudes a classic sense of design.
Imagine incorporating hot pink into your décor. Whether in a throw pillow or bedspread, hot pink shades work fabulously with gray.
Another warm-toned option: mix a steely-gray painted wall with golden honey-colored drapes. The combination of the warm gray with tinted yellows gives a soothing atmosphere.
Or, if you want a totally neutral scheme, play with the grays. Include tints such as slate, putty, khaki and purple to provide layers of interest in a neutral environment.
Even though they’re both considered neutral, shades of gray tend to be a bit more complex than beige tones. Yet, the two can blend seamlessly.
If your goal is to transform a predominately beige living space into one that is gray, start by adding small accents of gray throughout the room.
Look at the tones of beige in your existing paint colors and furnishings and find grays that complement the elements you already own. Perhaps there’s a fireplace wall or a strong focal point in the room where you can paint an accent wall to keep the room neutral, but add an updated flair.
Bathrooms are also great spaces to test out new colors or be a bit more adventurous than you may be in a main room of a house. Add gray a bit at a time, depending on how much or how little you want to be surrounded by this color.
Staci Giordullo is a senior writer for Angie’s List, covering the List’s home and lifestyle categories. She strives to offer insight and advice on buying or selling a home, including home warranties and what upgrades will increase a home's value. Giordullo graduated with a journalism degree from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. She worked in public relations and as a lifestyle magazine writer/editor before joining Angie’s List in 2007.