Color Magic: Grey

The color GREY has a difficult reputation to overcome. In fashion, when worn without a pop of bright color it can look too drab and, in design, if you use grey in a room where there is very little natural light, grey can be downright depressing.

So, why have I warmed to a cool color like grey?

Years ago, years….I was reading House & Garden and interior designer Mary McDonald was photographed laughing in a gorgeous bedroom painted Benjamin Moore Gull Wing Gray and suddenly grey seemed so sophisticated, so relaxing, so peaceful. Or maybe it was just Mary’s chic style, but, from that design aha! moment on at least one room in my home has been painted in Benjamin Moore Dior Gray.

Pantone Cool Grey

Shades of grey vary, from light to dark, so I was surprised to learn that Mary and I were not far off with our favorite shade because the most popular grey in the Pantone spectrum is Cool Grey.

Peter Pennoyer

Around the world in countries like Belgium, the color grey is very popular in interior spaces mixed with natural woods and over the years grey has become more mainstream in the U.S. thanks to Restoration Hardware. In fact, a few years ago, a popular derivation of grey + beige referred to as “griege” was all the rage and was profiled ad nauseum in shelter magazines from New York to Paris to Cape Town.

Sean Michael Cowan

At home in classic and modern interiors, silvery grey metals are most often used in kitchens where stainless steel appliances are de rigueur and in bathrooms where chrome and nickel finishes are always popular.

Stephen Sills

Layering shades of grey in bedrooms and living rooms using textures like suedes, shagreen, velvets and mercurial mirrors, lamps and accents can be lush and beautiful. And when combined with black, white, cream, orange, navy or plum, grey can be quite sophisticated as these designers prove.


Dara Caponigro

Colette Van Den Thillart

Elle Decor

Eric Pike

Kishani Perera

Thad Hayes

Raul Martins

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