Shades of Gray

I’m obsessed with gray. I am not trained in design by any means but in my humble opinion, it is the perfect neutral. And I’m using it everywhere. In fact, I tend to go on favorite color kicks and can become so obsessed that I end up wearing and living amongst shades of one color if I’m not careful. Lately, I’ve been so drawn to not only gray interiors but gray clothing, accessories, shoes…the list goes on.

I more or less discovered my obsession with gray when I was planning the wedding. It was apparently the hot new “shade” and I LOVED it (case in point my smokey gray bridesmaids dresses). I’m totally smitten with gray/yellow, gray/aubergine, gray/ANYTHING…It is sorta the perfect compromise for my love of foundational neutrals for my home decor. The tans/beige thing is just too warm looking, and the white/off-white thing is just too, well…white. To my eye, gray has become a great cool neutral that all at once says classic and modern. In researching why gray is just so cool I came across this introduction to gray from the website Sensational Color. It says this:

Gray is the color of intellect, knowledge, and wisdom. It is perceived as long-lasting, classic, and often as sleek or refined. It is a color that is dignified, conservative, and carries authority. Gray is controlled and inconspicuous and is considered a color of compromise, perhaps because it sits between the extremes of black and white. Gray is a perfect neutral, which is why designers often use it as a background color.

That being said, we’ve decided to proceed with choosing a shade of gray to paint the living/dining room and kitchen/den area. At this point, we do have it narrowed down to three shades and we have the samples locked and loaded for application to the wall to make our final choice (hopefully). However, despite our best intentions, we dragged our feet a little the past few days…I’m still addressing that wall texture issue for starters. Anyhow, lemme walk you through how we got to the point of actually narrowing it down.

1. Went to Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Benjamin Moore and chose literally every paint chip that was a shade of gray. (PS…I’m really loving the Martha Stewart paint line. She had a great selection of colors in the shades I’m looking for and there is a coordinated symbol system so you can easily choose coordinating paint shades for your room. This was helpful because we would like to try and choose a complementary shade to paint our kitchen island to help define the space. More on that with pictures another time).

2. At home, we spread them all over the floor and counter and gradually did a quick visual edit dumping all the ones that looked funny. (Be sure to observe the chips at different times of day first. That’s including daylight throughout the day and with different lighting on in the room at night because as we all know that lovely shade can look downright muddy and green in fluorescent kitchen lighting).

3. Finally, narrow your chips down to a manageable handful and start propping them up along surfaces that get an even wash of light. Continue to observe in different lighting situations and ditch as you go.

Benjamin Moore – Moonshine

Benjamin Moore -Gray Owl

Martha Stewart – Heavy Goose

So, at this point, we’d gotten it down to a few that we really liked and left them up for a few days so we could observe them and get used to them. Finally, we decided that we were pretty much sold on 3 colors and got them made into paint samples. As you may have noted above, I’m loving:

1. Martha Stewart – Heavy Goose (afraid this may be too blue though).

2. Benjamin Moore – Moonshine

3. Benjamin Moore – Gray Owl

For Trim:

1. Martha Stewart – Popcorn

2. Martha Stewart – Picket Fence

So we shall see! The next step is to finally repair that wall texture in a few spots and prime a section of wall to apply the testers. Then, we’ll sit with them for a few days and determine if we are all systems go with one of them or if we are back to square one. It’s alotta wall with 10 foot ceilings so I’m only doing this once! Gotta make sure the color is juuuust right so we’re not rushing it.