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. Dark grey or blue-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, blue-grey rooms can feel boring and cold-feeling pretty quickly.
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 pure grey will do a great job of neutralizing overly yellow or reddish wood floor, cabinets and trim. Warm-neutral greiges will liven up a north-facing space or a room with low light.
You absolutely need to test different greys on your walls 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.
HOWEVER...as I preach with everything home decor, keep it simple and don't overanalyze your colour choice. Choose a cool neutral gray or a warm greige and get on with it. I've got my tried and true- go-to's below that will work well in most rooms and will outlast the trends. Happy painting.
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 with great results, like this kitchen project in Calgary where the colour was used to neutralize the yellow wood cabinets but still add a touch of softness.
I've also used Benjamin Moore Misty Gray - this time in a basement refresh and it was beautifully soft and light even in a low-light situation. It looks great below in this home with lots of natural light as well.
Sherwin Williams Ice Cube is a slight off-white with a cool blue-grey undertone. It's so subtle and soft that it makes for a very calming space and looks great with both wood and white trim. My own home that I've moved into had this colour (I colour matched it to SW Ice Cube) and it looks silvery or seafoam or almost white depending on the light.
Sherwin Williams Passive is a nice light, warm-neutral grey, as you can see in this beautiful living room.
Sherwin Williams Peppercorn is a classic dark grey choice for small rooms or focal walls.
Ready for more colour advice that will help you simplify your whole home?
NOTE: this post was updated from the original.