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Is Gray Still in?

Design QOTD: Is Gray Still In?

Gray will forever be a safe color when you want a neutral design theme, or you just can't commit to a color on the walls. But is gray still a popular design choice? The short answer is.. yes! But it is evolving. 

Popular grays of yesteryear were cool, with blue-based tones reminiscent of metallic finishes or snowy landscapes. Today's grays, however, have warmed up, likely driven by our desire to be surrounded by warmth and comfort in our homes, to give us a sense of peace and security. Paint colors are certainly reflecting that trend, as is demonstrated by the popularity of Sherwin Williams’ Agreeable Gray, a brown-based gray that feels earthy and grounded.

Keeping along with the earthy, cozy preferences of many homeowners, interior designers are pairing stained wood features and accessories with the warmer grays to really create a nest-like atmosphere. The practice of biophilia - bringing the outdoors in - is a hot design trend right now, as it has been proven to boost moods and enhance productivity. Try accessories like a beautiful wooden table or wicker-wrapped light fixture to perfectly complement a warm gray tone.

Gray is, of course, completely neutral, so there's always an opportunity to liven things up with a pop of color. Pantone actually chose two colors for their Color of the Year 2021: Ultimate Gray borrows from beach pebbles and natural elements while Illuminating is a warm yellow shade reminiscent of the sun. Together, Pantone says, the combination is "aspirational and gives us hope." 

Of course, gray has many more applications than just paint on the wall. In the kitchen, a dark gray island with lighter cabinets offers variety and interest, and in the bathroom, warm grey accents can be incorporated into patterned floor tiles. 

If gray is the neutral for you, you have plenty of options to create a warm, comfortable, inviting home — all right on trend.