Grey is a wonderful but tricky colour, and I tend to think that some shades are too trendy to last. Grey kitchen cabinets may look great now, but you don’t want to be stuck with something you tire of a few years down the road (I’m a big fan of the classic white kitchen or light wood). Deep grey or blue-grey rooms could get old and cold-feeling pretty fast.
That said, a light, misty greys or grey’s that are on the warm side – aka greige – can be timeless and the perfect neutral backdrop for either colourful accessories or muted soft decor. Greys are great for creating calming, soothing spaces and work well as an alternative to white walls. A cool or neutral grey will neutralize an overly yellow or reddish floor or cabinets. Use a warmer greige to liven up a north-facing space.
You absolutely need to test swatch different greys to see what will work in your space, because it can easily end up looking too cement-cold and dull or even dingy and dirty. Depending on where you live and the light that you get in your rooms, grey will look very different in your home compared to another, and in morning vs. evening.
With a bit of testing and the knowledge you’ll find here of the go-to favourites that work well in most rooms and will outlast the trend, you’ll be able to pull off a beautiful grey space with ease.
I really like Sherwin Williams paint and use them for most of my projects. Repose Gray is a favourite go-to that works in most any space. It’s a neutral with just a very slight soft warm undertone so if feels good even in low light.
I’ve used CIL Oyster Bay & Raindrop White many times with great results, and also like Universal Grey for a darker grey shade for bathrooms or bedrooms.
BM Balboa Mist is a really soothing greige that’s a true neutral but with a very soft feel. Misty gray is also really nice and I’ve used it with great results in a basement and bedrooms with low light. Stonington Gray is a nice greeny-taupy-grey that warms up a space really well.
Here are some great examples of greys and greiges being used in real life. One final tip – if you like one of the gray tones but want it a bit lighter, ask for 50% or 75% to lighten up just a bit.
Click on photos for sources.
SW Light French Gray
Sherwin Williams Repose Gray
Benjamin Moore Misty Gray
Sherwin Williams Aloof Gray (Aloof Gray is very similar to Repose Gray)
CIl/Dulux Universal Gray
CIL Chiseled Grey
SW Repose Gray
SW Rock Candy
BM Gray Owl
BM Stonington Grey
Ready for more colour advice that will help you simplify colour choice in your whole home?
NOTE: this post was updated from the original.