Gray and all it's many shades has dominated the homes of Blogland and Magazines for the last 8-10 years or so. I remember when my daughter was decorating her historic St. Louis home that each room was a selection from a wonderful palette of grays, set off with white trim, stairway, and baseboards. At the time I was surprised, but totally hooked. Gray? She was ahead of this huge decorating trend, and suddenly my darker cappuccino rooms looked blah and dirty.
I made an effort to start lightening up my spaces, but the standard Grays wouldn't work, because my two giant twin sofas were a khaki/gold. Believe me, I tried to make it work and it just wasn't going to happen. But when we bought our smaller current house, I had a chance for a complete do-over, and I was determined the walls would be GRAY!
I'm a firm believer that we women often choose a wall color that we "look good in". I'm not a fan of blues unless it is a Navy or a Denim. I like it in other peoples' houses, but it just doesn't work for me. Probably because I don't look particularly good in blue. I tend to lean toward warmer colors in clothes and in furnishings and home decor. So when we started looking at Interior Wall Paint, I was having a problem with finding that perfect shade of gray.
Neutral Paints with Brown Undertones
My new Linen-y Chesterfield Sofas were an odd color neutral. Sort of a gray/brown/beige mix with a slight undertone of green. I know... but they are the perfect neutral for me. At a time when white slipcovered sofas were the must-have, this was as close as I could get. So they played a huge part in choosing a wall color. If you were with me at the time, you will remember I brought home can after can of sample paint. My walls looked like a patchwork quilt. I was stumped with the slight variations of all those individual colors of a little gray paint. I was like Goldilocks; "this one's too green, this one's too blue, this one looks like it's purple at night..."
I finally had to get "Gray" out of my head and go for something with a little more Brown in the mix. Most of the "Taupe" colors had a bit of a purple cast to them, (or a pink undertone) but we finally settled on "Smokey Taupe" by Benjamin Moore. We used it all throughout the house, even in our garage. It changes with the time of day and amount of lighting, but I love it just as much today as I did over 2 years ago, and would definitely do again. It's the kind of neutral that literally goes with everything. It's kind of like a chameleon, it changes and blends with whatever color you use as a compliment.
Now "Mushroom" colors are a little darker than what I chose, but still with the same warm tones with a mix of brown and gray. They will work with most any color decor, and still be a good neutral that will give your room a deep rich warm feel. If you've ever been confused when trying to pick a gray paint, maybe you should try out something with more of a warm brown undertone instead of the blue.
There have been many discussions on the Gray Trend in wall paint and decor and I don't think it will go away anytime soon, because I think people have found that gray is such a soothing and versatile backdrop. It's elegant or casual depending on the setting and function of the room. For those of us that saw "Builder's Beige" in every new home on the market for years, grays and taupes have come a long way in an alternative to the ho-hum, and still a great neutral for any and all rooms in a house.
For Sources of photos see my Pinterest Board, Paint and Wall Colors
So, what do you think...
is gray here to stay?
what about Mushroom?
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