Decorating with Gray | Midwest Living

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Decorating with Gray

Gray works as a background for any other color. It can add warmth, sophistication or serenity to your rooms.
  • Subtle gray

    Gray is an excellent neutral supporting player to other colors in a room. In this Missouri home, gray walls (Glidden #637 Fossil Grey) take the pink accents from childish to stylish.

  • Versatile gray

    Designers like grays because there's always a tint, tone or shade that works well with other colors. Gray slips into the background, allowing other colors to take center stage. In this Minnesota living-dining area, the warm gray (Behr #730C-3p Castle Path) walls and rug provide a backdrop for caramel-color furniture and silver accents.

  • Subdue strong colors

    Gray is a great unifier. As a background for the bold patterns and black, white and gold hues in this Chicago under-the-eaves bedroom, gray (Benjamin Moore AF-700 Storm) tones down the drama and unites the room.

  • Replace beige

    In this Iowa house, the homeowner was tired of her beige walls but still wanted a neutral color that would complement her existing furniture. Cool gray paint (Benjamin Moore AF-100 Pashmina) highlights the white architectural features of the room and complements the yellow tones of the upholstered furniture.

  • Soothe with gray

    Gray is quiet and peaceful. A cool, muted blue-tinged gray (Glidden 30BB53/012 Silver Trophy) offers a restful feel in this bedroom and provides a calm backdrop for deeper accent colors. 

  • Warm blends

    When your room has a lot of warm tones, such as stained wood furniture, choose grays on the warm end of the color spectrum. Here, a warm stone gray offers a nature-inspired background for the distressed-wood dining table and winter landscape art. 

  • Add subtle drama

    This smoky gray accent wall strongly delineates the fireplace wall as a focal point. But it’s less attention-grabbing than black or an intense primary color. Complementary gray (Yolo Colorhouse Stone 07) enhances pumpkin-color chairs and accessories.

  • More about decorating with colors

    See a color you like? Most home improvement stores are happy to mix colors if you show them a picture or a fabric sample you're trying to match. They're also usually able to match discontinued colors. Remember that colors can look different depending on factors such as light and the size of your room—plus colors can look different on a computer screen or a printed sample. Always buy a small container first and try the shade out before painting the entire room. Get more color inspiration by browsing any of our slideshows below.

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