At a time when neutral colors are a big part of how we design our homes, it likely comes as no surprise that there would be a lot of love for gray. Generally felt to be more colorful than white but not so intense as to overwhelm a space, gray has become a favorite choice for modern spaces with a neutral bent.
In the past few years that preference has become a full-blown trend, and as it has we've started to wonder if maybe we had gray pegged wrong the whole time. Far from being just a slightly trendier white, gray has a range of shades and tones offering levels of depth and possibilities of color far beyond its classification as, "just another neutral."
To illustrate the point we've pulled together some of our favorite spaces that rely heavily on gray to set the tone or accent the finished product.
Gray is one of those rare colors that can fill a space while giving a variety of looks and layers of interest. In this space grays of many colors are blended to create a cool yet comfortable space.
The floors, walls, sofa and dining chairs all offer their own shades of the color which keeps the space from appearing monochrome. Best of all, the combined shades of gray are a perfect complement to the brick and wood elements that give this living room a welcome burst of warmth.
01 of 11
Modern Gray Dining Room
In a space like this dining room, which is blessed by big windows and lots of sun, gray can be the perfect color to spread around.
Shades of light gray on the floors, chairs, and cabinets pick up the light beautifully without the stark effect that too much light can have on a room with white furniture and walls. Instead, the glow is soft and warm, perfect for a Sunday brunch.Continue to 2 of 11 below.
02 of 11
Midcentury and Gray Living Room
Even though it's a neutral, gray doesn't always have to be the backdrop in a room. Gray accents can be the finishing touches that complete a look or bring balance to space. Here, it's not the gray that defines the room from a color perspective but the wood tones of the ceiling beams and floor.
Where woods and metallics such as brass or gold help to warm a mostly neutral space, the gray elements of the sofa, rug and back wall in this room balance the space in the opposite direction. They provide a counterpoint to the wood in terms of texture as well.Continue to 3 of 11 below.
03 of 11
Gray Cabinets and White Subway Tile
In the kitchen, dark gray cabinets can create a moody and sophisticated look that is unusual but striking for a kitchen.
It makes for a perfect middle ground between the white tile and wood floors that rounds the color palette out wonderfully.Continue to 4 of 11 below.
04 of 11
Artistic Gray and Blue Gray Living Room
One of the things that makes gray such a versatile color is how well it plays with others. Not just as different parts of a larger palette but as elements within the same color. Blue, black, purple and even pink all look stunning mixed with just a hint of gray. It's that flexibility that makes it possible to fill a room with grays and never give the same look twice.
This room makes beautiful use of grays many shades. More than in simple terms of light and dark, this space blends light grays with darker blue-grays for a pop of color. The color palette is tied together neatly in the large painting that serves as the focal point of the room.Continue to 5 of 11 below.
05 of 11
Relaxed Gray and Blue Living Room
Even when they're not sharing a color, gray and blue are a classic combination that works in nearly any space. As with any color palette, the biggest part is finding ways to tie the colors together in the space.
Here, as in the previous space, the answer is art. Gray spaces are a wonderful backdrop for art, whether it's for a bright pop of color or as part of the overall palette.Continue to 6 of 11 below.
06 of 11
White and Gray Dining Room
As much fun as it can be to play with different shades of gray in a space it can be just effective to keep it simple and work with just one. In this dining room, the walls and chairs create a layer of color that goes through the space.
Paired again with large windows and warm, wood floors the effect is quaint and relaxing, a compelling choice for any dining room.Continue to 7 of 11 below.
07 of 11
Traditional Gray Powder Room
One of the best ways to give older features a new look is with a fresh coat of paint. When the time to choose a new color comes around, make sure that gray is on the top of your shortlist.
This space beautifully demonstrates how a shade of gray can transform traditional furnishings, including a classic double vanity, for a more contemporary style.Continue to 8 of 11 below.
08 of 11
Gray and White Bathroom
We all know that white is usually the first choice for bathrooms. But where it is intended to read clean and sterile in a bathroom it often turns out too bland and hard to clean.
When your powder room needs a bit of a boost, a dose of gray can go a long way to adding in some personality. Whether on the cabinets or the tile—or both, as in this space—gray adds to a white bathroom to make it really shine.Continue to 9 of 11 below.
09 of 11
Silver and Gray Bedroom
Some might argue that silver is an entirely different color from gray. Others might suggest that it's merely another shade.
Whichever way you decide to go on the issue (we're voting shade), silver is a sophisticated and fun choice for a bedroom. This room uses the color to great effect, playing up its traditional look with a color that sets off its classic Hollywood sense of style.Continue to 10 of 11 below.
10 of 11
Gray Feature Wall
We've already mentioned how gray is an excellent palette for hanging art on, but it creates a perfect backdrop for just about anything.
This gray feature wall takes on a whole new dimension with the addition of an art feature in the shape of an oversized clock. In addition to giving the sofa something to pop off of, the clock highlights the wall while filling the room with personality. It's a very cool design moment—even cooler if the clock works!Continue to 11 of 11 below.
11 of 11
Bright Yellows and Dark Grays
Gray plays a role in a number of classic palettes, and like blue, yellow is one of the colors that it pairs with perfectly and naturally.
This space mixes dark grays with bright pops of yellow for a layered and intriguing look. While the dark gray of the sofa stands out the most, lighter grays on the rug and in the kitchen also help to frame the many moments of yellow that happen on the sofa and gallery wall. Just like mixing lighter grays with brick or wood, these colors balance each other for a space that looks well-conceived and perfectly curated.