Saturday, January 21, 2017

Is "Mushroom" the New Gray in Wall Color Trends?

Have you checked out the February Issue of Country Living? They have a feature in their "Field Guide" section on decor trends called "Wild for Mushroom". Here's what they say: "Warmer than Gray but cooler than Taupe, this neutral, earthy shade is popping up everywhere."

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?
Joining in Here:

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  1. Funny that you mention this. Most greys are much much much too cool for this forest-loving, green plant loving natural neutral gal.....and if you see my dining room, kitchen and living room I used mushroom taupe, and in one of the guest rooms upstairs I used khaki. I painted that khaki 15 years old and it is still in favor with trends - though I hardly ever fall a victim into trends for keeping up with them's sake....I change if and when needed, convenient, frugal or if I am ready. : - )

    I re-painted my off white areas with a cottage white that has warm undertones - jury still out on it, b/c it reads purple to me at certain times of the day and that doesn't bode well with me - but the mushroom taupes make my soul sing happy praises of yes yes yes,perfect for me yes!

    I have gorgeous pickled woodwork - not on trend but I absolutely LOVE it - and the taupes, mushroom greys, blacks, browns, greens and whites go so well with it. I'd like a kitchen re-do but don't have the funds atm so we may just do a new island and paint it mushroom or buy it like that - want it a tad bigger and with drawers verses cabs. We'll see! Always something more pressing. (New roof this year, brand new SUV, and last year all new triple pane windows throughout and daughter's wedding!) So need a little recovery time since I no longer work. I had been thinking of going back to work (loved early retirement) will grandbaby came to us - so now no WAY lol unless it's babysitting if my daughter goes back to work. : - )

    Sorry so long, I am babbling. Glad you sayd no comment too big or I would delete this. Hugs.

    1. I LOVE to hear what you all think, so I really enjoy a good long comment on what you are doing with decor! I'm just a "warm" color person, so I agree.

  2. All of our grays are a little warm, too...I think they go with everything. And you are right...they totally change depending on the light and time of day. I always paint them on the wall to test them, too.

    1. I painted patchworks of test paint all over the house. It looked different in every room!

  3. I had the same problem for approx 5 years - searching for the right tone of yellow. My walls also looked like a patchwork quilt - tried yellows, greens, grays - ended up with a beautiful shade of off white - never in my 30 years of adult life have I ever picked a non color color but, it works and now the whole room has come together. Nice to know I wasn't the only crazy one with those colorful patchwork walls! haahahahh! hope you have a great weekend.

  4. I love the mushroom shade you chose, and I think its under the grey umbrella....they all look so good with white trim and off whites too. Nice post!

    1. Amy you are an expert and Queen of blues and lavender... and you look fabulous in your spaces!!! I haven't commented much, but I read each post, and your home is so unique and one-of-a-kind beautiful. I love seeing that you're getting recognition for your talent in magazines and with Matthew Mead and Fifi. Keep up the amazing job you're doing in Blogland. Oh, and your new outdoor spaces are just so wonderful. You inspire all of us. You make me wish I looked good in blue!!! xoxo

  5. I have had a taupe living room for nearly five years and I love it. The dining room and hallway are a very pale gray (almost white) and the bedroom will be a mix of the two, like Rodeo. Love your choice.

  6. I love the fresh look of gray walls and I've been tempted to paint ours, but it's a bit overwhelming because all our rooms and stairwell walls connect, so I'll just enjoy looking at yours. :o) I did paint our formerly beige master bedroom walls gray a few years ago and I love the color.

    * Did you realize that it's Theresa Halvorson's (At Home with T Marie blog) mill home that's featured in that issue of CL? She doesn't blog often, but her home is amazing!

    Have a great weekend!

  7. Oh my, my, timely. Yes, I am paying very close attention to these latest issues in CL, HB, and Trad Home. I learned much from you as you blazed your own trail, and I am about to blaze my own with a master bath reno. I am already finding variances in grays and millions of shades of white, with subtle brown tones in many of them. I don't know where my walls will end up, as I still have many things to pick out, but I'm getting there with vanity, wall and floor selections. It's scary - too many choices, and a husband who admits to having no vision, leaves me agonizing over each and every choice. I may have to pick your brain (or at least come back to these posts of yours) as I get closer to my own.

  8. Excellent post, Debra. Choosing paint colors is so very difficult for me. We just redid our lakehouse and I wanted the rooms to have my my favorite shades...gray, beige and cream. There are so many undertones, I really had to work hard in being sure all of the colors flowed and that the undertones were the same. And the natural light factor!! it is a very difficult thing to do.

    I love that you mentioned that we choose colors we look good in. I love wearing neutrals for day and black for night. And that makes sense in a way...we lower our lights and our rooms take on a whole new nightlife! ;-D

    Jane x

  9. I just noticed that you updated your own picture....I know, slow on the intake.😱. Just w a nt to say, it's beautiful!

  10. Grays are hard. I have two rooms that are gray and the rest are white and blue green. I'm thinking of painting over the gray in my dining room. I was late to the trend. While I like it for others, I don't think it is me. Off white, cream and yellow were totally me. I just got tired of it. You will see if I paint my dining room. Maybe over spring break. I love this article and the inspiration pictures.

  11. I've haven't been successful in incorporating grey into the Charmer, I found it to contemporary? So the mushroom shades appeal to me more because I have an older home. Bright white, etc just don't work here. Also could never find the "right" grey. Antique whites or creams for me. But the mushroom colors are quite pretty...

  12. Just wonderful color collection! I was so happy to read this. I have a house in Property Max I am going to be using our sunroom as about to your work.

  13. I think this trend for gray is quite odd and must be meant for sunnier climates. In mMichigan when our skies are gray 6 months out of the year and snow covers the ground gray is way too cold and somber to live with; at least for me. I once painted my emclosed entryway a gray (taken fom an old red Wing crock) and it was a DISASTER! It looked like battle ship gray...and it was not pretty! Never again!

  14. I am so glad to hear that mushroom is in. My famiy has been mushroom for several years and I still love it. I enjoy your blog so much Debra, thanks for sharing.

  15. I do it everytime, LOL.... that last comeent was from me.

  16. I did the same patchwork samples in my family room…. For 2-years! Visitors began asking me when I thought I might come to a color decision! When I finally settled on a paint color I was so happy I had waited so long. The color I picked was a new one from Behr (in 2020) and I’ve been happy with it ever since! It’s warm, it’s neutral, and it goes with every decor in every season. There’s a lot to be said for patience and waiting.. even if your patchwork makes others a bit uncomfortable!


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