For those of you who have been following the blog or have visited the store, you might by now guess that grey is my favourite colour (I just grey washed our palette wall and ordered grey floors for the showroom). It’s moody, contemporary and goes with anything. It’s also one of the hardest colours to get right. If you’ve ever gotten sample after sample you know what I’m talking about. To make the process a little easier, I’ve put together some tips on helping you pick the perfect shade.
- First take your temperature. Figure out if you’re looking for a cool tone or warm tone gray. Cool tones will be more blue and violet based while warm tones will have hints of either green or brown.
- Don’t trust your computer monitor/phone/magazine picture. Colour usually gets a little distorted from the original when the photo is processed so always make sure to look at the paint swatch in the store before making a decision.
- While I love the creative paint colour names, it’s NEVER a good idea to pick a shade based solely on what someone called it. For example, Benjamin Moore Portland Gray, Winter Gray, and Beacon Gray all have the word “GRAY” in the name but each of them is very different.
- Look at shades of gray IN CONTEXT to the colours around them in the fan deck. Gray has a lot of undertones (purple, blue, green or brown) and you may not notice until you put it next to another shade of gray.
- If you’re trying to match something at home like a pillow, piece of art or favourite accessory, bring it with you to the paint store. Sometimes our memory fails us and they way we think a colour looks and what it actually looks like can be very different.
- Try a sample. When you’ve narrowed down your choices, try a sample of the paint on your walls. Chances are it will look very different in the store than it does in your home. Light plays a tremendous part in how we see colour so make sure to look at your paint swatch in the daytime with natural light and in the evening with artificial light.
Keeping all that in mind, here are some of my favourite grays with matching pictures from Houzz. Just keep in mind these may look a little different on your screen so always check the paint swatch first!
Most people looking for a grey wall colour are looking for a tone like Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray HC-170. It’s very neutral (not too cool and not too warm) without a lot of undertones. It also has great depth and would be a great place to start the colour search.
If you’re looking for a deeper version, try it’s neighbor Coventry Gray HC-169. It’s great for larger spaces or rooms with a good bit of light. Because it’s a bit darker, it won’t look washed out but will still compliment anything from blue to orange or pink.
I cannot say enough great things about Benjamin Moore Gray Owl 2137-60. It’s a bit on the warm side, goes with practically anything and is light enough for any room in the house.
A cool grey verging on blue Benjamin Moore Beacon Gray 2128-60 looks beautiful next to silver metallic, stainless steel or brushed aluminum finishes. Since opposites attract, it also makes a great pair with orange!
With a hint of violet, Benjamin Moore Winter Gray adds a feminine touch to the bedroom. It’s great for both adult spaces and kid friendly ones. In the nursery it will coordinate with almost any bedding, it’s gender neutral enough for both boys and girls and will transition with them as they grow and mature.
My husband hates the word “greige” but it really is a great description of Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray. It’s warmer than most and while it’s still contemporary, has a warm beige undertone. For a darker version, try the very popular (and equally as versatile) Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter HC-172.
If you’re heading to the paint store print out a copy of the Happy Painting Checklist to make sure you have all your supplies!
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