Grays are becoming ubiquitous in interior design these days but it is easy to see why with these stunning colors. Gray is really just a softer version of a color and so finding the “perfect” gray is not only different for everyone but actually quite challenging. I see a lot of people that decide that they want a gray because it is en vogue but end up not realizing all the nuances involved and so end up with the typical “French Gray.” It can be frustrating to figure out what exactly the derivative color is and how it is going to meet your needs. For example, you may want a cool color if you live somewhere sweltering or you may want to do color instead of white but keep it airy and sophisticated: grays are a great solution to these kinds of situations.
Horizon: Benjamin Moore 1478 (white cast)
This looks very light on the paint chip but it is much better than a white because it has a more luminous feel to it that reflects the other colors in the room while still being interesting on its own. “I always come back to Horizon, a pale gray that doesn’t turn blue or green on you” (Steve Gambrel, House Beautiful).
Stone Harbor: Benjamin Moore 2111-50 (taupe cast)
Stone Harbor is one of my favorite grays because it is so soft and neutral and has a hint of taupe. The name fits so well because it evokes stone pillars a little bleached out by the sun but a little damp from the sea spray. It is a very livable gray that doesn’t feel too cold and silvery.
Magnetic Gray: Sherwin Williams 7058 (light blue-green cast)
I love the ephemeral quality of this color. It is as if you are seeing a secret lake in the moonlight. It is a very cool and refreshing color that will make a room feel bigger while softening the shadows.
Graytint: Benjamin Moore 1611 (charcoal cast)
I like this color as both a wall color and for architectural elements such as concrete beams and metal parts. As a wall color it is a great medium tone gray that doesn’t pull to a specific color and holds the shadows making the space seem more private and secluded. The intensity of the intimacy in the space is drastically altered by the lighting with this color.
Software: Sherwin Williams 7074 (blue cast)
This is my idea of a perfect gray-blue that is on the darker side. I like to use this in sophisticated spaces that are medium to small in size. This color lends itself well to more formal areas and I even have put it in master bedrooms to up the romance level. I adore this color with distressed wood or driftwood finishes.
Attitude Gray: Sherwin Williams 7060 (green cast)
This is an exceptional gray-green that is a little bit darker in tone. Like Software (SW 7074), it is successful in intimate and formal spaces. I enjoy this color so much because it is elusive and original. In some lights it has a green cast, others teal, and sometimes it just looks gray. This color reminds me of the highlights on a black pearl.