February 14, 2011

How to Use Warm Grays

Gray or grey, it can be warm or it can be cool. Deciding on the gray you like depends on what feel you want in your home. Today, I'll talk about warm grays and save cool grays - for a rainy day.


This photo by Simplified Bee shows a beautiful bedroom with a gray and white stenciling on the wall. Stenciling is a great alternative to wallpapering if you are looking for a nice arts and crafts project to do. But for today, we're talking paint.

Look at the gray, it's warm (hello yellow undertones) soft, and very cosy as a bedroom should be. She didn't have any pink in the photo but I thought I would add a little splash of color in place of the cream.


When using gray in your home, think of the other accessories that you'll be using there, from artwork to lamps. Pictured here is a brushed nickel lamp that would be the perfect match to just about any gray. Avoid using gold or brass metallics with this scheme. I'm not saying you can use gold accessories with gray but silvers look so much better.

Capel Rugs, Matthews NC

Here are a few samples of what a warm gray may look like. Now they can be light or dark but they all will contain a decent amount of yellow which will give them the “warm undertone” I keep mentioning. 

Maria Killam, a color expert that I refer to often, has a great blog post on gray called simply, What Everyone Should Know About Gray. Here she goes into detail about the different undertones that gray can have. Here's one she uses that I just love - look how the gray drapery can seem a bit green yet the gray wall looks a bit lavender. 

Lighting also plays a HUGE factor when choosing gray, or any color for that matter, for your home.  So always look at the gray you like in the room it will be going in.

Some samples of warm grays

Colors you can use with warm grays

My choice for a warm gray?
It's Coastal Fog, a Benjamin Moore color 
and also my Hue 2 Have for this Valentine's Day week.