Fifty Shades of Grey, or Gray, in Your Home

  |  February 27, 2015
Neutral grey shiplap walls

Neutral grey shiplap walls

Let’s begin with the spelling. Both gray and grey are correct. I find myself in the minority,  using the “e” all the time. After (easily) 5 years, it’s still the “new” hands down favorite for a neutral home. Grey has nudged beige, cream and off-white aside, only lagging behind white as the “go – to” neutral for residential interiors. Depending on who you are; your taste, your sensibility and the style of your decor, you either love it or hate it. Easily judged cold and blah by some, it is considered a very sophisticated choice by others. It will create a calm and neutral palette for your home.

Some things to keep in mind to use it effectively:  If you choose a very neutral grey whose make-up is purely black and white, there is little complexity to the color (not necessarily bad) and this allows you to decorate with either warm or cool tones around it. Most greys however are either warm or cool themselves with visible undertones which lean towards blue, green, violet, red or yellow.

Each lends a VERY different feel to the room. Use the undertones to help decorate the room and tie one room’s color to the next. There are many more than fifty shades of grey out there. Benjamin Moore say they have hundreds, Sherwin Williams has a lovely selection. C2 has some great full spectrum choices and Farrow & Ball excels at grey as they do with each and every other hue.

The biggest mistake is to create a room ALL grey. No matter how beautiful the color, it will bore the heck out of you in short order. The human eye, brain and soul need variety and the inclusion of color to make a room feel visually ergonomic and to keep it from becoming sterile. While it may look cool in a photo, I promise you, living in an all grey room is too dull. Here are some goodies.


Neutral grey dining area


Neutral grey living room


Neutral grey bedroom


Warm grey distressed wall


Warm grey kitchen


Warm grey dining room


Warm grey foyer


Cool grey dining room

Green grey2

Green grey


Light neutral grey living room

Don’t do this!


This grey room is sterile


How NOT to use grey. This room needs more variety in color.

Editor’s note: For more color advice and inspiration, check out Amy’s blog, amykrane color!

About Amy Krane

Amy Krane is an Architectural Color Consultant and founder of Amy Krane Color where she creates customized color plans, advising residential and commercial property owners on paint colors. She is also a Realtor at Anderson Agency Real Estate in Kinderhook, NY. Transplanted from New York City to Columbia County, Amy is trained by the International Association of Color Consultant/Designers. Her expertise goes well beyond design aesthetics to integrate the science and art of applying color to space. Amy Krane Color services clients nationally with virtual consultations and locally in NYC, Dutchess, Ulster, Greene, Columbia, Litchfield, Berkshire, Rensselaer and Albany Counties.

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