Home & Garden

The do's and don'ts of decorating with gray

A large gray area rug helps ground this large living room. Gray chairs complete the look. (Design Recipes)
A large gray area rug helps ground this large living room. Gray chairs complete the look. (Design Recipes)
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The color gray is often considered to be drab and gloomy, but the reality is, gray is one of the most versatile colors in home decor. Why? It’s a foundation color that can easily be paired with other colors and can be used for foundation pieces such as sofas, beds and chairs. Use gray to help ground a space, as well as for accents.

Looking for ways to use gray in your home? Here are some Design Recipes do’s and don’ts.

DO:

l Use light gray in spaces that don’t get much light. Light gray can help make a space feel light and bright.

l Use gray for primary pieces in rooms such as sofas, chairs and beds.

l Mix warm and cool grays. Warm grays are creamier, while cool grays are bluer.

Pair gray with strong contrast colors such as indigo, black or brown.

l Use gray in unexpected areas such as dining rooms.

DON’T:

l Be afraid to use dark shades such as charcoal gray. Smoky shades can be luxurious.

l Be afraid to mix different shades in the same space.

l Be afraid to use gray as accents. From artwork to pillows, gray can be a smoothing addition.

l Use dark shades of gray in spaces that don’t get much light, as it will likely make the space feel overly dark.

l Forget that finishes can be used as a way to add gray to a space. Chrome and nickel finishes are great ways to infuse the color into a room.

l Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is a television host and interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C.

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