Color Palette

Color Palette: Mastering The Mood of Decorating With Gray

Sensuelle face bookDo you like your gray Dramatic? Full of Bling? or Calm? 

Gray decor has the potential to deliver all of that and more.

Gray is a color of many moods.  It signifies authority, knowledge, and wisdom.  There are warm grays and cool grays.  Historically, gray was considered a dull, sad or inconspicuous color.  But today we recognize the beauty, practicality and brilliance of gray and use it in our homes and in fashion a wide varieties of ways.

Gray as a color choice in a room can be a powerful palette because it’s the perfect neutral.  You can change the mood of the room easily by changing the color you pair it with.  Gray has become a popular color interior designers are using.  If you haven’t tried it or want to refresh your look I hope these ideas inspire you.

The Art of Gray: How will you master your mood to incorporate gray in your decor?

When choosing a gray palette think what mood do you want to evoke – a calm and inviting space, one that touches the senses, or are you all about the glamorous lifestyle? Maybe you’re like me – classic with an edge to it.  These are just a few options of the moods you can accomplish beginning with a gray palette.  What will you choose?

Here are some gray color combinations to get your ideas flowing if you want to change a gray room or start a new one.


Gray on Gray – Calming Influences

Tip: Layer gray changing the patterns and textures can delight and be very elegant.

Beautiful silver metallic wallpaper with ceiling stencilling by Segreto Finishes.Mix textures in the same hues as shown here from the wallpaper to the curtains.  Gray on gray creates a refined look in this bathroom.


Silver Metallic seagrass wallpaper Phillip JeffriesThe contrast of textures from sleek to rustic makes a compelling statement in this workspace. Love this Phillip Jeffries silver grasscloth wallpaper set against a reclaimed wood desk.

Gray dark living room by fashion designer Monique-lhuillierShades of grays in dark and light tones create serenity in the home of fashion designer Monique-lhuillier

Marvipol Atelier designsMore tone on tone gray with pattern this time by Marvipol Atelier designs

Gray with White – The Classic

Tip: The simplicity of gray and white –  it’s timeless and you can’t go wrong

Denoit grey on grey2The white architectural trim brings the room to life in this living room design by Jean L Denoit

Silver & white bathroomGray subway tile and the silver gray finish on the tub gives a simple bathroom Wow! Who said gray was boring?

Silver and wht grasscloth pattern wlprThis tribal inspired printed grasscloth wallpaper is elegant with painted gray wood panels and trim

Gray and Blue – Two Moods: Sensual or Authoritative

Tip: When the tones are close together it’s romantic, when further apart it’s authoritative (ex: navy & gray)

Gray and blue libraryBlue and gray layered in a perfect mix of textures from velvet to grasscloth create a room to waken your senses.

Gray & blue monique-lhuillier photo roger daviesA rhapsody in blue and gray by designer Monique lhuillier photographer Roger Davies

kitchen gray open shelving elledecorA kitchen built for a top chef in wonderful blue and gray.  The open shelves are made to showcase a collection.

Sheila-Bridges-harlem-elle-decor-june-2014Romantic but not feminine bedroom by designer Sheila Bridges.

Love the punch of color in the headboard.

Gray and Gold – Can you say Glamorous

Tip: This combination is reminiscent of Old Hollywood and the Art Deco era.

Gold & gray wall  Stencil by Virginia WeathersGray and gold wall stencil gives this bathroom glam all over.  Stenciling by Virginia Weathers.

Gray and gold LRThe gold accents add spark and warm to this space.

Grey-living-room-with-gold-accentsJust a few gold touches in the mirror, lamps, and credenza make a huge difference to set the mood.

Of course it would be complete without a peak of Gray, Black & White

Rchard-keith-langham-mississippi-exercise-roomAn over the top exercise room in Mississippi by designer Rchard Keith Langham. Love the fanciful graphic carpet by Durkan.

The options for pairing with gray are endless.  Other combinations I like are gray and turquoise, gray and pink, gray and orange and of course gray and yellow.  Now, that you’re full of ideas here are some essential gray furnishings from my design bag to consider?

Gray Essentials

1.  Metal table lamp by Global Views

2.  Jefferson sofa by Thrive

3.  Mirror by Horchow

4.  Brownstone Treviso German Silver Chest

5. Rug by Savafieh

6.  Chandelier by Global Views

7.  Table by Bernhart

Are you read to begin your journey into the perfect shade of gray?

How about a paint color.

Gray paint colors

Gray paint color list

Here are more colors to consider:

My personal favorite grays are:

Sherwin Williams Ellie Gray and Dorian Grey (both mid-tone grays) & Benjamin Moore Silver Fox and Sparrow (dark gray)

Here are some grays top designers are using:

Benjamin Moore’s Chelsea Gray (cozy), Benjamin Moore’s Sandy Hook (soft warm), Wolf Gray (blue-gray)

Sherwin-Williams’s Magnetic Gray (silvery gray, Gray Matters,  Svelte Sage (soft green gray) and

Farrow & Ball’s Shaded White, Farrow & Ball’s Down (charcoal)

Now it’s time to begin.  Start with paint!

A final note on gray – Isn’t Chanel Iman stunning in this gray and silver gown?

Chanel-Iman in silver gownChanel Iman at a recent awards show shimmering from head to toe in silver and gray.

 That does it – Go forth and create something Splendid!

Love, Elle