Designers Reveal Their Top Gray Paint Colors
At once soothing and sophisticated, evocative and elegant, gray and its many varying shades have long been considered by designers to be a perfectly balanced neutral for interiors. It's easy to see why. Gray has a coolness to it, but even the lightest, most crisp shade never comes off stark like white. On the other hand, darker grays have undertones of different colors that lend them warmth. These gray hues have a luxurious feel that you won't find in other warm neutrals, such as beige and ivory tones. All to say, gray tones are incredibly versatile and can instantly enhance the mood and style in any room.
With so many different gray paint options available, it can feel daunting when trying to choose the right one for your home. For a little guidance, we asked a few designers to share their favorite gray paint colors for rooms along with tips for furniture and decor that work best with each shade. Read on to get some inspiration for your own home.
Photo courtesy of Courtney Broaden. Living room design by Courtney Broaden, who opted for a barely-there soft gray that accentuates the furnishings and amplifies the natural light in the space.
To unify different styles of furniture
Courtney is an expert at blending unexpected elements with more traditional pieces in her tailored interiors. For her, this gray makes for a beautiful backdrop that evokes comfort and softness, and it can accentuate various furniture styles within a space.
Courtney's style tip: "It's a soft, calming gray that stays consistent with changes in light. It has enough warmth to make it adaptable in either a more neutral setting with natural fibers, creams, and browns or more dramatically styled spaces with darker gray and black furnishings."
To amplify other colors (and neutrals)
Based in Palm Beach, Baylee is the founder of Baylee Devon Design and fashions rooms that are equal parts fun, fresh, and full of flair. She favors a bold approach with this gray, opting to pair it with either all neutral furnishings or über-bright designs.
Baylee's style tip: "This gray is the perfect balance between a warm and cool tone. It goes with just about anything and pops when accented with white trim. I love white linen curtains for gray walls. They're light and airy and pop against the gray. They make the whole space feel fresh and clean."
To bring in an uplifting mood
If there's one decorating philosophy that holds in Sonja's designs, it's that less is always more. In keeping with that, she recently discovered this soft, crisp gray for a client's kitchen and became smitten by its light, refreshing appeal.
Sonja's style tip: "This color has a cool gray tone, which means there are no beige undertones to it. It makes me feel invigorated, which says a lot since grays are such beautiful neutrals but can often feel gloomy. I also like blush pink with gray tones, pale blues, or greens."
To pair with warm woods and metallics
Jennifer draws lots of inspiration from nature and her coastal New England upbringing for her serene and layered spaces. Her love of textural nuance and contrast is what attracted her to this gray hue with subtle green undertones that give it depth.
Jennifer's style tip: "This soft and serene gray mixed with green is soothing to the eye and is versatile enough to coordinate with many color palettes. I have found success in introducing silver accents to play up the cool tones in this shade, then incorporating warmer wood tones and upholstery to add a bit of contrast."