Grey is a wonderfully neutral and interesting colour, but I'm beginning to think that some shades - or at least grey used in some applications - are too trendy to last the long haul. Grey kitchen cabinets, for example, may look great now, but I have a feeling we may tire of them a few years down the road (I'm a big fan of the classic white or light wood kitchen that will never go out of style). Also, dark grey and very blue-grey rooms could get boring and cold-feeling pretty fast.
That said, a light misty grey or a grey that's slightly on the warm side - aka greige - can be timeless and the perfect neutral backdrop for either colourful accessories or muted soft decor. Greys work really well when designing a calming, soothing space, and they're a wonderful alternative to white walls. A cool or neutral grey will do a great job of neutralizing overly yellow or reddish floors or cabinets. Warm-neutral greiges will liven up a north-facing space or a room with low light.
You absolutely need to test swatch different greys to see what will work in your space, because it can easily end up looking too cement-cold and dull or even dingy and dirty. Depending on where you live and the light that you get in your rooms, grey will look very different in your home compared to another, and in morning vs. evening.
With a bit of testing and the knowledge you'll find here of my go-to favourites that work well in most rooms and will outlast the trend, you'll be able to pull off a beautiful grey space with ease.
I use Sherwin Williams paint for a lot of my projects and Repose Gray is an all-time favourite that works in pretty much any space. It's a neutral with a teeny bit of a warm undertone so if feels good even in low light.
I've used CIL Oyster Bay & Raindrop White many times as good light neutrals instead of white - with great results. I also like Universal Grey for a medium neutral shade for bathrooms or bedrooms.
BM Balboa Mist is a soothing greige that's a true neutral but with a very soft feel. Misty gray is also one of my all-time favourites for a very light, neutral grey. Stonington Gray is a nice greeny-taupy-grey that warms up a space really well but with a modern edge.
One final tip - if you like one of the grey tones but want it a bit lighter, ask for 50% or 75% of the colour and that will lighten it up just a bit.
Here are some great examples of greys and greiges being used in real life. Click on photos for source.
Ready for more colour advice that will help you simplify your whole home?
NOTE: this post was updated from the original.