There’s been a sea change in the design world over the last few years when it comes to neutrals. Taupes, khakis, and other forms of beige have fallen to the wayside in favor of a new favourite tone: gray. With the calmness of a blue, warmth of a tan, and subtlety of a cream, grey is a versatile colour that works well in both traditional spaces and über-modern ones, and is as useful as the backdrop to an eclectically outfitted home as it is the base for a minimal one. But with infinite shades to choose from, it can be hard to find the right hue. AD asked three designers for their top dos and don’ts when it comes to using grey.
Do: Consider Tone“Not all greys are alike,” says Young Huh, the founder and principal of New York–based Young Huh Interiors. “There are warm greys and there are cool greys, and in general it’s best to keep all colours in one of those two tonal lanes.” Don’t bog down a crisp grey with creamy whites, she warns: “If you’re painting a wall a cool blue grey, it’s best if you paint the trim a cool grey white. Warmer whites will make the room look dingy.”
Do: Work With Light“When you decide to paint a room or decorate with grey, consider the kind of lighting the room gets,” Huh says. “A sunny room may look best with a strong warm grey, while a northern-facing room with blue light may look best with a subtle cool grey.”
Don’t: Veer Pink“It’s important to pick grey paint that doesn’t have any pink or purple undertones,” advises California-based designer Becki Owens. “You’d be surprised at the impact those subtle undertones will have on a space. They don’t work well as neutrals. You want colours that create a classic, soothing palette on which you can then build and layer the rest of your design.”
Do: Choose Blues“When selecting grey paint, I like to pick colours with warm or blue undertones,” Owens says. “A couple of my favourite grey paint colours are Anew Gray by Sherwin Williams at 25 percent strength for a light fresh look or Bunny Gray by Benjamin Moore for cool undertones.”
Do: Test the TemperatureMichigan-based designer Corey Damen Jenkins considers temperature before all else. “There are blue greys, brown greys, cool greys, and warm greys. The wrong temperature can throw off an entire space’s palette ” he says.
Don’t: Steer Away from the BoldFor Jenkins, grey is an ideal neutral to serve as a complement to richer hues. “Don’t be afraid to mix jewel tones with grey, he says. “It can play a variety of supporting roles with many vibrant colours.”
Feature Image: Ilya Shakir/Pexels
This originally appeared on Architectural Digest | Author: Hadley Keller