2011 Trend Focus: Gray

by Erika Woelfel

Gray has circulated back into popularity in the past couple of years, replacing brown as the neutral of choice. Gray also provides the sophistication of black, without looking heavy.

The beauty of gray is that it can be used successfully in both traditional or modern decor. Formal styles using light gray with white furnishings and trim can look very elegant and glamorous. Graphite gray walls (a darker tone) look terrific with a splash of bold color as accent: red, orange, or yellow.

Grays that are easiest to live with and to pair other colors to have a warm appearance. This means they have a slightly brown undertone.

High contrast color combos work really well with most tones of gray. Right now, the most popular combo is gray with white and vivid, op art yellow. Another brilliant color to use with gray is bright orange. It is a striking graphic contrast for modern decor styles. Gray paired with turquoise, hot pink, and bright purple is hot as well!

In the evening, warm lighting works well to keep gray rooms feeling tranquil and inviting instead of cool and somber.

If the walls are painted darker gray, pull the room together with light upholstery and wood tones. Accessorize with bright yellow, red, kelly green or orange.  Lighter gray rooms feel interesting with darker wood values, lustrous finishes and interesting patterns and texture.

Colorfully Yours,


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