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Trend Alert: Grey is getting Cooler, Yay or Nay?

By 04/04/2013May 27th, 2019100 Comments

Colour trend fascinate me. But not in a “I’m in love with you” kind of way.

By the way, it’s totally okay if you love charcoal and just want it everywhere. It’s only because I’m in the design industry that I don’t feel the same way about the current trendy neutral.

Maria's Guest room

Interior design by Maria Killam

When the brown trend was here, I had a custom chocolate brown velvet bedskirt with matching shams made for my bed. Then, when we moved to the townhouse and re-decorated the guest room, I had new pillow shams made in the colours that coordinated with the drapery fabric and kept the brown bedskirt because it related to the brown desk (above).

Vanity Vignette

Oh, and I painted a vanity in espresso (above) okay you can only see a corner of it.

Maria's Living Room

Interior design by Maria Killam

Now that the black, white and gray trend is here and everyone is buying a charcoal sofa and installing charcoal tile and countertops. Well, the only home decor item I own in charcoal is a wooden pedestal bowl that sat on my sofa table in the last house (above).

It’s currently sitting in my paint room with a bunch more accessories that I rotate throughout my house whenever I’m moved to create a new tablescape.

Anyway, back to the point of this post.

For the last few years, everyone has wanted some version of greige in their house. But now, we’re used to it, grey is so mainstream everywhere in magazines, stores and on-line that now when we see a room painted in a greige tone, gasp–it looks beige!

BM - Hazy Skies


Lately in my consultations, most of my clients are looking for blue greys. In fact, I made the mistake of specifying a greige two weeks ago because the tile was travertine (which in actual fact is beige) and a week later I got an email, ‘Maria, it seems too beige for us, can you give us something cooler?’.

Gray Owl

Blue grey

So over to you my lovelies, what do you say? Are you craving a cooler, bluer grey in your house or do you still think that a greige is what you need? Or for the designers, have you noticed the same trend towards bluer greys?

Related posts:

How to Marry Classic Wood with the Grey Trend

Trend Alert: Is Navy the New Black?

Trend Alert: How Blue is Your Green?

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Download my eBook, How to Choose Paint Colours – It’s All in the Undertones to get my complete step-by-step system on how to get colour to do what you want.

To make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!

If you would like to learn how to choose colour with confidence, become a True Colour Expert. 

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  • Cindy says:

    Overall he cooler grays seem too cold to me… although I’ve seen cooler grays look pretty when done up right. I pretty much hate the blue green Pantone color of the year.


  • Kevin Birge says:

    I am still seeing homeowners go toward the beiges, however, color consultants and designers that I sell to seem to be going toward blue or slightly lavender grays lately. I run a paint store in the Tampa Bay area in Florida.

    • susan says:

      kevin, i was wondering if you had a “favorite” lavender gray color. my new color scheme is charcoal, lavender, green. most of the walls in this condo we recently bought are a pinky beige… it’s working for me now, but would love to pick a different color and just can’t seem to come up with the right choice. thanks so much – i appreciate your time.

      • RSOXART says:

        I think we’re seeing a come back in colonial colors with a modern twist. Mixing the old with the new is how trends are started. Good ones at least.

        Slate blue
        Navy blue
        Light cappuccino tan
        Dark gray/charcoal (cold undertones)

  • Crystal says:

    I’m more of a manchester tan girl myself (greige is my happy place), but yes, definitely seeing the demand for cooler, bluer grays!

  • Ginger Kay says:

    I’m not a professional, but my mother in law painted her bedroom grey recently, so I think that makes it officially mainstream.

  • StagerLinda says:

    I often suggest (blue) grey as a neutral paint color for staging. Many of my clients have traditional homes with dark wood furniture. I like how it freshens the room and compliments a variety of decors.

  • Coleen says:

    I want more color. I look through the magazines with all gray rooms and all white rooms and they just don’t click with me. I like the fresher look that gray brings, but all these monocolor schemes leave me underwhelmed and thinking, you won’t like this later. If I wanted all white I would have stayed in apartments.
    I will say, however, because of the gray trend it has made me hesitate to buy a brown leather couch, which I sorta want but am worried I won’t end up liking.

  • laura says:

    I love love love blue-grey. It looks amazing with black and white, it looks amazing with browns, it looks amazing with bright colors. Once I finally finish painting, I think most of my house will be blue-grey. Not because it is trendy but because I love it.

    • Diane says:

      I so agree…”not because it’s trendy, but because I love it”. I’ve tried other trends that I quickly tired of, but I never feel tired of gray and blue gray. My master is Wedgewood Gray, family room is Sylvan Mist and I just had my two-story great room painted Gray Horse–LOVE! I use warm colors with it to keep it from feeling cold. Goes with anything!

  • Carol Anne says:

    my newest clients have asked for grey, navy blue, beige and white…. I am having problems with the tones, or should I say the undertones of the greys we have at Lazboy and Kincaid… blue, purple…
    my monday clients room is looking very cool, black grey and blaaa, I found a nice pillow fabric with interesting large flowers, it has a bit of yellow so I am pulling out the yellow for other pillows but to my eye it’s not that interesting…
    their kitchen cupboards are gray stained so they want a gray stained table and buffet, I need to find more colour for art to brighting up all the blaaa, I have not time tomorrow to work on it so I will have to pull it together monday for their presentation monday night… just hope it looks inviting to their eyes, I’m not seeing it looking that interesting… that all said, I am not liking this grey trend at all so far…that said I love the kitchen above with the yellow bar stools or maybe my scheme with the yellow accents will work, only time will tell, have a wonderful weekend. x

    • Sylvia says:

      Not everybody likes a lot of color and don’t consider it blaaa, but consider it soothing. I know, I’m hearing *gasp*, no color? Blasphemy! I suppose color is more interesting and fun for designers to play with, but there’s a lot to be said for doing quiet neutrals well, especially in a world that keeps getting louder by the minute.

  • SandyCGC says:

    Like Coleen, brown is still in here in Sun City West, Arizona including the stucco exteriors (which used to be pink or peach). In fact just this evening I was at a get-together at my ex-neighbors’ home when the people who bought my house invited me over to see their new kitchen – everything in the kitchen and the rest of the house is some version of brown or beige – not at all my taste but they’re very happy, and I have to acknowledge they got all the undertones right. As far as gray, I only like those with a green undertone – blue grays absolutely leave me cold.

    • Jenn says:

      My husband and I just picked out the finishes at the design center for our new home in Chandler, AZ. I was nearly in tears because almost everything available was in beige or brown tones! When I inquired about having the builder paint the interior walls a pale grey, I learned that there were only 12 shades available: and they were all in the beige/tan family. So, I guess I’ll be doing the painting.
      When I mentioned that I didn’t want espresso cabinets because the brown trend had been around a while and I didn’t want them to be out of style in a couple years, she told me, “No, they’ve only been around for a couple of years! It’ll be here to stay for a while.” At that point I began to wonder about her qualifications and if she ever read any design blogs.

      • Maria Killam says:

        OMG seriously? Is there no way you could get white cabinets? And how could they not tint the paint with the colour you want? I am absolutely amazed! I hope you work it out and get the house that you want!

        • Sylvia says:

          It’s 2014 and brown is STILL everywhere. Maybe the desert dust just makes everything LOOK brown.

    • Dawn says:

      Sandy, I live near Sedona and couldn’t agree MORE that brown is definitely STILL here in Arizona! My neighbors have a gorgeous 2 story colonial home, and just showed me her newly painted bathroom- DARK BROWN- and living area is pinky beige with wallpaper pine cone trim! Her previous color in her bathroom was sponge painted sagey green… well, at least people here are moving out of the 80-90’s 🙂 Hopefully we’ll catch up with the rest of the world soon!

    • Ann Stueve says:

      Green-gray is warm but the blue-grays are so clean and refreshing, and brown warms them up.

  • Suzan says:

    The stark, clinical blue gray and white trend leaves me shivering. It looks and feels so inhuman, so sterile. Here in Portland, Oregon those colors in our house would make the place an emotional refrigerator.

    We painted the house a few years ago with a flow of creamy, sandy beige, and it still keeps me warm and cozy. I like it. I don’t want cold colors surrounding me. I want warmer colors.

    To hell with trends!

    That said, I have just designed a print piece with an bold orange headline (NOT my favorite color) and turquoise. Trendy.

    • Susie says:

      Suzan, I love your phrase “emotional refrigerator”, because, to me, that says it all. Our house is pretty much surrounded by tall conifer trees and we have long winters; therefore, to decorate my house interior using a cool gray would send me to the emotional deep-freeze year ’round! I need to be surrounded by warmth in color, even if it is a subtle warmth. It has to read warm.

      • Maria Killam says:

        What I did not mention in this post but should always be a constant when I talk about grey is that it only feels cool when EVERYTHING in the room is basically grey. Grey is here because bright COLOUR is also a huge trend and it needs grey as a background to come to life and not end up looking clean/dirty which is what varying shades of beige would do.

  • Carol J says:

    If I were going to have grey, it would have to be the blue grey. I don’t care for blah blah beige. I recently redid my kitchen with white cupboards, a white subway tile backsplash, and a volga blue (basically a black) granite counters. I have accessories in blue and white and right now I have some beautiful yellow tropical flowers in a blue vase. I love my kitchen. It was inspired by you, Maria. Thank you.

  • Sharon of Springvale says:

    I understand the gray thing-and can appreciate other people using it, but I will always stay in the Cream to Whtie ranges. It is all about light. Designers can say Gray is in and ok maybe it is, but I don’t really care. I like very light spaces. To me they are bright, warm, comfortable & inviting.

    • Maria Killam says:

      Hi Sharon,
      White is a huge trend for walls as well. If my clients are not asking for cooler greys they are asking for whites for sure! Maria

  • Nichole says:

    I am not a designer or a decorator, just a person that likes to paint and decorate my home. I painted my bathroom in my home up north a blue gray several years ago because it worked with the tile and fixtures. I then put a shower curtain with other colors to add a bit of interest. I had been fighting with that tile for years and once I painted it a color that didn’t fight it I was happy. I don’t want a house of all gray but it doesn’t bother me when mixed with color. That being said, I never had a house of beige either. If gray at beige makes you happy then that’s great but I want more colors.

  • Eleanor says:

    Absolutely the cooler greys here in London, UK! In fact I haven’t seen greige in years… at least not new greige! My most recent client had all the fixed elements in her home replaced shortly before she moved in, and it’s grey-tinged wood, charcoal floor, white kitchen, etc. I like the look, it works quite well with the cool light we have over here.

  • Debbiecz says:

    Does anyone remember when the thing to do was to have your personal color done in a dept. store? People were classified as a season which would dictate their clothes, hair color and make-up. I never had this done but came to the determination that I’m a fall and so is my house. I like just about every color but the blue-grey is too stark for me. But I would also hate a total greige world (Restoration Hardware bores me). Our home doesn’t have great natural light so greys can look dull & dreary because I don’t use pure white.

    • david says:

      I totally live by my personal color,I am a spring. I decorate rooms on seasonal schemes. This all relates to undertones. Using this process let’s you bring every color into a room based on hue and shade.

      • Julie S says:

        Same here, I was born in the 80s so my mom passed on her seasonal color knowledge to me which was big in that era. I’m an autumn and I CANNOT do the blue-grays. They are about my worst color, and I don’t want them in my home. I like the green-grays (though I prefer whites and goldy beige) but since they remind my husband of someone about to be ill, between us we’ve basically decided to skip the gray trend entirely.

    • Mary says:

      This is so funny to me. Way back in that day of the seasons color thing … I was in a beauty school. There was a guest teacher doing a whole class on the concept. “OH,,, HOW COOL!! ” I thought! lol,,
      (but really, it did make great sense! 🙂
      The thing that I remember, and for some reason it comes up in my mind every now and then, is her statement, (and I totally agree 🙂 that
      “everyone, no matter what season you are, looks great in periwinkle”
      SO TRUE!!
      Still love remembering her pronouncing that !!
      Fun stuff, color.
      Thanks for letting me share that funny memory.
      Thanks Maria!

  • monica says:

    With all the technological advances, I am afraid the 10 year trend will soon become much shorter. You used to have to wait for monthly or bimonthly publications to see what was “new” in the decorating world.
    There seems to be more cooler grays in pictures. By the time the products are made available to the mainstream public they already seem “tired”. Professionals in the industry have always been immersed in the latest trends, but this new to us “lay” people.

  • Jennifer Smith says:

    I am not a decorator myself, but I love magazines and design blogs. I love greige, but only have it in my living room. I always use warm colors, because those are what i wear. I’m a redhead. I definitely see more cold grays these days than green grays. Btw, my husband does not care for our greige room. It used to be apple green. I’ve gone full circle!!

  • samantha says:

    I despise any trend — all it does is enforce a uniformity that people clamor for and then despise with the only point being to sell merchandise. Pick your own favorite colors, style, patterns, etc. that you love and stop following what everyone else is doing. It’s the key to contentment.

    • Diane says:

      I agree with Samantha to a point…..I like to keep up with the times, however I DO NOT completely follow trends…. I pick what I like from the current trend and mix it with what I currently have. This keeps my home eclectic without being a mess. The things I like run from modern to antique and everything in between. I’ve read that some designers say ‘buy what you love and it will all come together’. That is what I do and I must say it works for me.

    • Monique says:

      I agree with both Samantha and Diane. People stop following trends and base your home decorating on what You like. There are hundreds of blogs showcasing homes that look alike. It’s gotten to the point where I can’t tell one blog from another because the styles are similar.

      Be different. Be yourselves. Be unique!

      (POV of someone who is not a designer.)

      • Sylvia says:

        It sounds good, until we see the, um, what’s the word, ugly, eye assaulting, frightening, way people express and put on display their lack of decorating ability. So by all means, don’t follow a blue trend if you like pink. But please, if the decorating gene got bypassed in your DNA, recognize and acknowledge that your talents lay elsewhere (there’s no shame in it!) and get some professional help when trying to express your unique self to make sure you haven’t crossed over from eclectic to hideous as so many people do. Have pity on the sensitive among us…what has been seen can’t be unseen.

  • Janice says:

    With the passing of the brown era, and now that gray is mainstream, what do you see ,on the horizon, as the new neutral?

  • Renngrrl says:

    I’ve been painting my rooms either pale blue or green based greys going back to my first apartment in 1992. I don’t think I’ll give them up any time soon. I love how they can minic reflected light from landscaping and “bring it into the house” during the cooler months and how they can tone down the intense warm light of our summers. You have to really watch the undertone or the room will feel totally off. That said, this effect doesn’t really work for me in windowless rooms; I reserve my dark walls for those rooms.

    I’m located in northern California. I also love a dark wood floor that has some character and white trim. Unfortunately, only high end or online sources have embraced the grey trend. Walk into a hardware store here and it’s still a sea of very dull beige.

  • Kim says:

    I don’t like gray, but recently, while I’ve been looking for a soft blue for a BR, I’ve definitely been drawn to grayed- down blues and grayed-down violets. It turns them into soft, near-neutrals, which is perfect for me. I must admit though, I have been drawn to photos of BRs painted charcoal gray with white trim and fabrics!

  • Karhy says:

    I don’t like anything that becomes the “in” thing. People seem to drive the “in”car, SUV, the ” in” dog is in the front seat, the driver is wearing the ” in” boots and pull up to their ” in” home in the suburbs. I don’t mean to sound grouchy, it’s just so boring.

  • Kathy says:

    Wanting to be an individual I even changed the spelling of my ordinary name. Haha no, that’s what I get for being a little negative 🙂

  • Franki says:

    Honestly, if you like color you are born to it…I like color and the blue-gray is right..for me. Browns and beiges are dirt colors and while I enjoy “looking” at designs around that palette it’s not what I’m “feeling.” (I do have a brown leather sofa 🙂 franki

  • Linda says:

    Is it just me or am I seeing a lot of soft white room decors in the magazines. Blue grays is a nice color to wake up to.

  • mrsben says:

    Blue has always been a favourite of mine regardless of its undertones, however surprisingly I prefer the grays with a green or purple undertone rather than blue. To me IMHO the latter is too characteristic of a chameleon. That which can be cold and its environment has a tendency to influence its colour to an unrecognizable degree. What species is it? Is it blue or gray? ☺ -Brenda-

  • Maria,
    Here in the south, I’ve been specifying blue-grays for some time, and I’m actually seeing more of a move to the green-grays. Most of my local clients now don’t want blue-grays in their main living spaces and kitchens because they think it’s too cool, but love it in their bedrooms. However, I just posted this morning about an online consultation where I specified a blue-gray – but the client wasn’t from my area. It’s interesting to hear how trends are taking on in different parts of North America!

  • Carla says:

    I have always HATED beige, tan or any variation of same. I find it a depressing color. The only time I’ve had it in my houses was when I couldn’t choose my colors. I would eradicate it as soon as possible. For me white is preferable to beige. So happy builders boring beige is out of favor.

  • Kim says:

    Browns are found in abundance in woods (cabinets, furniture), natural accessories we bring into our home, (sisal rugs, baskets), and animal skins (leather seating), and some metals. That’s enough for me. Not to say I haven’t seen beiges, tans, and chocolate browns look beautiful in some homes.

  • Kim says:

    I forgot stones and tiles!

  • Lori says:

    I am totally over the cool gray trend. Here in the northwest we are living in a cloud. Give me a warm white .

  • I just specified Sherwin Williams “swanky gray”. A gray with a purple undertone. The clients call it lavender. Another client asked about grays but then when I pulled out some samples it just did not resonate with them — mostly because, as you aptly say, “it related to nothing in the room.”

    Personally I do not like cold, blue grays or brownish grays.

  • Beth C. says:

    Last June we were in the midst of picking out options for our new construction home in Florida. I selected a soft gray 20″ tile that had a touch of a white and brown. I liked it because it reminded me of driftwood in our coastal-style home, and I didn’t want the predictable beige tiles. This was before I ever discovered blogs, and before i started reading your wonderful blog. Then I started reading about gray being a trend that was already on its way out. Panic ensued! When we finally saw it installed we loved it. It’s a soft gray, and we chose white kitchen cabinets. So we’re ok with it. My next challenge will be matching the white crown molding and paneling we want to add to give it that coastal vibe to the white of the cabinets. Who knew white could be so tricky! But I have to say your blog has been incredibly instructional and helpful so I can’t thank you enough! Best, Beth C.

  • Oranges&lemons says:

    Just this morning, I was looking at blue grays with a client: Beacon and Mt. Ranier had her purring. She is eliminating all traces of RH Silver Sage.

  • Carol S says:

    I have a blue gray in one of my guest bedrooms. That is the color it was painted by the previous owners well before the new trend. I love the color and everyone that has stayed in that room have commented on how much they the love it too. The room has a cozy, calm and happy feeling to it.

  • Q says:

    So, Maria, if you had to make a guess, what do you think the next big color trend will be after grey is out?

  • Kay says:

    I’m with Carla–have never liked tan, beige, or brown, except good wood furniture, the kind that’s too good to ever paint. And I love blue gray–always have. Our kitchen, now under construction, will be white with punches of blue in the range and lights, blue and white Delft ware, and a raised ceiling that will probably be painted some shade of blue gray. (Also other colors in the kitchen–I’m not a fan of the sterile monotone look.) There are wild variations in what is termed blue gray, and the blue gray walls and ceiling in our bedroom are soft and not cold at all.

  • Victoria says:

    I craved a cooler gray years ago and got it, thanks to you! Still loving it. I think I love it because I live in a usually very warm climate for most of the year, along with also being a cool color girl in much of my personal clothing. The brown and tan never really did anything for me but make me crave cool-ness! And I think I’ll be staying here for a long time and not swaying with just popular opinion. Love my cool blue-grays and thanks for your help in getting there!

  • Victoria says:

    Wanted to add…that for me, I believe because I cannot wear beige with my coloring and have it come off well, I have never liked it on my walls. In the house we moved into we painted a color that my husband liked and I agreed to, but I just never really liked it and began feeling smothered by it. The cooler grays make me feel so much more comfortable like I can breathe in the spaces we have. I do like pops of warm color within those cool gray spaces, but I need the openness of the cooler neutral colors for some reason. Listen to Maria. She knows her stuff. Color really does affect you in more ways than you may realize.

  • paula says:

    Grey makes me run the other way. What a sad, empty and stagnant color. I spent years driving thru the white/grey fog from Daly City to San Francisco. What a sad world in the early morning. If you are like Ms. Olsen (whom I admire greatly) who loves the look of a grey “stromy sky” everywhere – have at it. To me, this color is unbearably sad and joyless. I can tolerate a grey suit with a bright pink blouse – but on the walls ??? you might as well live amidst the grey walls of a prison.

  • Emily Clark says:


    This is off topic but I love, love the apple green you painted your townhouse bedroom. Could you share that color?

    On topic, I love the crispness of the cool grays.

  • Karen says:

    Being a “true blue Maria fan” I love happy colour!
    I used to love sophisticated greys and taupe’s but from Maria I’ve learnt that although they look lovely they don’t make me smile everyday.
    So I love the top picture of your happy green bedroom,
    I also dislike this years Pantone colour choice.

  • Janet says:

    I live in a very colorful house (purple, periwinkle and granny smith apple green are my neutrals) but love the blue grays. I have been noticing that grayed down purples and blues predominate in my closet and wondering how those shades would look on a wall.

  • Ruth says:

    Without a large house or budget to do a lot of decorating myself, I satisfy my inner interior designer with your lovely blog and pinterest, etc. Photographs of these grey rooms look like those black and white photos that have been photoshopped with color pops. That’s not a world I’d want to live in. I’m interested in predictions of the next trend. Although, who in the midst of the chocolate trend would have predicted grey?

  • Cathy says:

    When I bought my house two years ago, I had little time to paint over all the horrific sponge painting that the previous owners must have loved because it was EVERYWHERE.
    So, I painted in different shades of grey. I wanted to keep it neutral.
    I still really like it. I could add colour with curtains, plants, and art.
    My biggest concern was how to get a good flow of colour throughout a small bungalow.
    P.S. I love your newsletter and all your posts!

  • Angela Taylor says:

    Well I’ve had Devine’s ‘Glass’ up on my main walls for almost five years now (blue green grey) and even though I get lots of compliments, I am ready for a change. I live near Seattle and we have lots of cloudy days so I am thinking a warmer neutral would be a happier choice especially in the winter months. Grey translates as dull to me.

  • GaBi says:

    For some people gray mean coldness. Gray color can have many different combinations how Maria has already explained.
    Latest research shows that crisp soft-blue-grey or soft-violet-grey, soft-green-gray color keep us humans more calm, but at the same time with the vibrant clean energy.
    Every single color makes a different feeling on us and on our personality and we should choose color we feel good about and comfortable and it has nothing to do with the MONKEY FOLLOW TRENDS.
    Definitely soft blue- gray is very strong as a trend this time as I saw also in my clients house and it makes an impression of the clean and airy house at the same time very crisp. Same with the very soft green-gray color.

  • In our former home I would never have used any cool color. The majority of the light was just too cool coming from the north. I always felt better with warmer tones. In our current home because there’s so much light from all directions, I’m finding I could actually live with cooler tones…which really surprised me 🙂 I think when it comes to colors, be they warm or cool, there’s so much more to take into account than trends. Lighting in the room (or lack thereof) is a huge key factor as well as all the other things one factors into the color scheme.

    • Julie S says:

      Agreed, we just moved into a north-facing bedroom (even in southern California it doesn’t get much light) which I first painted greeny-gray… That looked nice but felt too remote and cool for a cozy bedroom feel. I repainted it Toasted Marshmallow from Martha Stewart which is a great gold-beige that helps the room’s atmosphere so much. Lighting IS key. Our old south facing bedroom had a much cooler greige paint and handled it just fine with the southern sunshine.

  • Lisa says:

    I really like more blue/lavender grays. My favorite color combination has always been black/white and the grays in between! But, don’t like a cold looking home. Have to temper the stark black and white and gray with some colors to warm up the place. I am enjoying gray! I live in So Cal where everyone is pretending to live in Tuscany! So sick of beige!!

  • Connie says:

    Grays can be tricky here in MN, since we spend a lot of months when the gray skies and white snow offer so little color. Case in point, I have taken photos outdoors in winter that look like black and white photos—when they are actually in color! I am searching for new wall colors and have to follow Maria’s advice about putting the colors in the rooms to see the effect of the light…..we don’t want to live in a gray, white world.

  • mairi says:

    Gray has always been around- it’s just that some colours seem to take over for years at a time. I’ve always had gray but not always on walls.
    We recently used BM “Moonshine” throughout the house. It was the closest thing to the coastal fog (non-colour) we see almost daily-natures great backdrop to anything… The eclectic mix of furnishings look on purpose next to this colour. As a gray it has a barely there green undertone, and feels neither cool nor warm. Truly chameleon-like next to a plethora of white trim from an ‘all doors and windows’ wallspace, typical of old houses. There is much ‘colour’ just not on the walls, and changeable…

  • katie says:

    Growing up our wall colors were a light cool gray. When I bought my first house I thought I had to have lots of colors on the walls and then a few years ago I ended up painting them a light gray color. I instantly felt at home. I love that color because to me its very calming. I kept the paint color chips because now that we are moving I plan on taking that color with me. It just feels like home. I really love the cooler under toned grays.

  • Carmen says:

    The cooler greys have been in the UK for years, following the beige stage. We bought charcoal sofas 14 years ago now and have just replaced them, for grey again, because it’s my favourite neutral. I love it with white and the new bright shades of yellow & orange. We put it with some lime green in our master bedroom a few years ago which works really well, but I’ve noticed bright yellow is more on trend.

    And navy blue seems to be set to replace grey, judging by the magazines …

  • Judy English says:

    I am glad you brought up this subject. I read lots of magazines and blogs and love to learn about design and style. I posted on a recent blog that I was over saturated with blues and greys, and was tired of the trend. The blogger paints with lots of these colors. My comment was erased a little later in the day. I love to wear mid to soft grey clothing, but could not live in a home with greys or cool blues. I love sunshine and have to open the shutters time I get up in the morning. I feel so comfy around soft whites and creams and soft yellows and greens. I want to go the all natural whites, but it would require getting rid of almost all colored things in the home. I believe we should not worry about trends and decorate with what makes us happy and use what is classic to each one of us. One thing I am trying to do more of is edit more with accessories. It is hard to do when the items have special and emotional memories. Very good post.

  • I do think it’s a location thing. The North East is too cold most of the year for cold gray walls. Most of my clients want warm tones. Green grays and purple grays seem to be favored.

  • Agnes P says:

    I tend to like gray colour for some time now (especially purple and blue grays).. I don’t have much of it in my decor though, just few accessories.. certainly the undertone of gray will depend on the other elements of the room, light exposure, etc.

  • Beth L says:

    BM Touch of Gray it’s a nice gray lavender. It is much more lavender than it looks on the little swatch.

    I keep trying to recommended grays, but when all the fixed pieces of brown-based, it’s hard to go that way.

  • Patsy says:

    I have always loved greys,,they are calming to me. Can someone give me a specific of a green-grey and a purple-grey? I can pick out blue-greys, but want to see what is considered the other shades of grey. thanks,,,,,,

  • Momlady says:

    In the early 90’s I moved from sunny south Florida back home to Michigan. We moved into an older home with hideous pinky-mauve carpet. Unfortunately we couldn’t afford to replace it and it was really necessary cuz it’s cold up there and the house was somewhat drafty. The only colour that didn’t fight with the carpet was a lovely soft shade of grey. It actually worked. Until mid to late autumn. It still looked nice…but that was the most depressing winter I’ve ever survived. What was I thinking! It didn’t matter how many lamps I left on…it was like being smothered in a dense depressing blanket of fog (did I mention it was depressing?). The next spring I painted the walls a soft terracotta shade and ignored the carpet. Best choice ever! I live in the mid-south now and only after much careful consideration have I attempted grey on my walls again. This time it’s in a SE facing room that gets plenty of light. I chose BM White Dove for the moulding and trim and a very soft warm grey that so far hasn’t sent me into downward spirals of depression. In fact it looks good and with a few pops of color has turned out to be a happy choice for me but I would hesitate to color focus my entire house on the current grey trend.While I enjoy looking at all of the beautifully styled rooms in the all white and cool grey palette I know that living in those spaces just isn’t for me.

  • nkwawi kalu says:

    Didn’t know I will like it cos I love traditional colours till I saw it in my neighbors house and it was beutiful. The pics u sent were also so beutiful. I will try it in my house

  • Hey Maria!

    Recently I recommended Gray Owl for a dental office which before was covered in dark forest green wallpaper. My client and his staff both love the updated look and patients are frequently asking about the colour – although I am told that women seem to love it more then the men. (but am also advised that these grumpy old men just aren’t crazy about change in general 🙂

    I am also finishing up a dressing room that we painted Grey Cashmere by BM, including the ceilings. This looks lovely with the crown molding painted Snowfall White and all floors are Engineered Hardwood – Walnut. I used Wickham Grey in the same home in the hallways. My clients all love the way these colours look in their space as they go well with either darker furnishings or softened up with white pieces of furniture for a more classic look. In my own house I painted my living room Flint by BM, a very dark blue gray but my goodness, it is rich and we all love it!! We have plenty of light and friends tell me they can’t believe how much they love the dark colour. I just had a photo shoot yesterday , will send you some pics to share once I see them myself! So, yes, grays are getting cooler here with both blues and greens.

    Hope you and the gang are all doing well!!


  • Katrina says:

    Maria, I’ve lived in the NE and now in Raleigh NC. I think climate influences what color we want inside. In the cold, I wanted yellows, golds, etc. Now in the hot south, I want blue grays and whites. I know you’re in Canada but have you noticed any relation to climate and preferred indoor colors? Just curious.

    • Maria Killam says:

      Because I have never lived anywhere hot, I can’t answer that question from experience. As a designer, I would have to say that it doesn’t matter where my consultations are, in Florida or here, everyone still mostly follows the trends. Maria

  • Dona says:

    Hi Maria,
    I just found your blog, and wished I had known about it sooner. I’m not a decorator – but I love looking at color ideas and have a real emotional response to color in my home. I guess I’m not typical in that I painted all the walls in my house a custom mixed color (that is now known as “greige”) over 30 years ago, and have never changed the color, even when repainting, because I still love it! I’ve always mixed in shades of natural linen, and black and warm whites, and over the years have purchased or inherited different types of wood casegoods which always seem to work in this color scheme. Every once in awhile, I accent with the color that speaks to me – most recently it has been orange – this Spring I’m thinking of green!

    In response to this topic of greys – and browns.
    Have you noticed any trends toward adding cooler greys (wall paints, rugs, accents, etc.) to the browns that are so prevalent in so many homes? In your expertise, can a cooler grey be an accent to brown? It would seem to be a good way for homeowners to refresh their present decorating scheme.

  • I’m definitely in the – not into trendy, think gray is cold like concrete – camp!!! When we moved into this house, my east facing bedroom was painted blue-gray. I HATED IT! As soon as possible I painted it a pale yellow. And now, the entire envelope is a lighter warm shade. When it’s sunny, it’s so cheerful, and at night, it’s soft, cozy, and warm. LOVE IT.

    I’m also a color consultant (in the Kansas City area) and most of my clients still prefer warm, earthy colors. I’ve recently worked with a couple of high end homes that were painted very brown and beige by the builder. A week ago, I re-did all the colors for a home that has very little contrast, and everything is warm brownish. My clients said they wanted more “color”, but when push came to shove, they still wanted warm colors, but with more contrast and variety. So, obviously, color is very personal.

  • Tracy says:

    Love that paint color in the last picture! Do you know what it is?

  • Jeri says:

    I would love to embrace the grey trend in our home, but all of our doors, cabinets and trim are SW Dover White, which is quite yellow. Am I trapped on the warm side of the color wheel?

  • Shermie Schafer says:

    Am remodeling a kitchen. I like my gray carpet, wear a lot of gray and black, and have chosen
    SW Light French Gray for upper cabinets and SW Peppercorn for bottom. Ceiling and what little wall space we’ll have will be SW Eider White.
    The “pop” in the room will be Formica laminate countertops in Amarena, a matte finish raspberry color! Saw it in a Scavolini Design book and loved it with the grey they showed. Eager to see it all come together!

  • Marissa says:

    We just bought our first home and have been testing out paint colors left and right. Initially, I though a wanted a soft, neutral, blue-gray, but in our house they kept turning out as chilly purple-grays. Ouch, not what I was going for. Other “neutrals” like BM’s Revere Pewter turned pinky beige on us. In our lighting, we’ve now had the most success with green-grays, which feel cozy and not cold. Our current faves are BM Silver Song and Gray Cashmere, really beautiful. I have friends who have used the blue-grays with great success, but I’m learning a lot about the differences in lighting. Love the blog. 🙂

    • RSOXART says:

      As far as location there’s a reason why grays aren’t in out west. Most trends surface from two main areas. The Northeast and out on the West Coast. These two trends are completely different because the way of life is different and so is the climate.

      The gray drabby chic color scheme comes from the Northeastern part of America/New England where trends are influenced from England. As far as temperature one can guess what that is. Rainy with a slight chance of you might need a red rain jacket.. lol

      Out west I see the trends leaning slightly 1950 ish but with warm undertones.

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  • Erin M says:

    I wonder about carpet with the gray trend. If walls are gray, does that mean my carpet has to be gray as well? Or would, say, yellow beige work too? Gray paint/gray carpet seems like it may be too much.

  • Diane G. says:

    The gray in my hair is quite enough gray for me! The idea of lavender/blue gray calls to mind the rinses little old ladies, aka ‘blue-hairs,’ once used!

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