Trend Watch: Gray is the New Tan

Gray may be in the cool tones, but right now it’s HOT! HOT! HOT! And some of the most pleasing shades of gray have a warm hue to them. Just take this dining room as an example, paired with a beautiful cream it makes for a very warm and inviting room.

Another trend is pairing gray with a sunny yellow… a play on silver and gold. Think of a sleek sofa upholstered in a gray suiting material with some punchy yellow bold floral pillows and putting a subtle gray on the walls. YUM-MY!

I love this kitchen/dining room. The crisp whites juxtaposed next to the deep gray actually creates a certain brightness to it.

A chic monochromatic example. Of course, I love the animal print (in moderation).

Another example of pairing a hot color, like orange, with gray making a warm friendly feel.

So the next time you think about paint your walls… I urge you to walk past the beiges and tans and go to the gray paint chips in the paint store. Consider a gray sofa… In my opinion gray is the hot, new neutral.


Designed to the Nines

“Making the home you have… the home you want!”

8 thoughts on “Trend Watch: Gray is the New Tan

  1. molly wynn says:

    Ok- so the kitchen in these pics with the white cabinets and gray walls, I that slate or something else? Ansd also the bedroom whtih the black bed white dedding? Is that Grafite…..or is it something totally different????

  2. Andrew Coats says:

    Hey Natalie,

    I was led to your blog by your facebook invite.

    I am building in Boise/Meridian ID. And, am actually in the process of building my own home (I’m at insulation). Your posts on gray being a “hot” trend is interesting to me. I think it is a good look. I like the photos you have – especially the light gray with the dark stained bed set. I have a couple of questions if you have the time:

    1) Would a light gray in the entire house as a neutral body color be advisable? Or, is gray something that is only good in certain rooms?
    2) I’m thinking of doing a green type color to go with the dark brown cabinets in my Kitchen – if a light gray is used in the dining nook (adjacent and open to the kitchen area) would they three colors compliment one another? (light gray, moderate green, with dark stained cabinets)

    Thanks Natalie – if you and or your husband are ever in Boise, feel free to give me a call and I can show you some of our projects – currently we are building 4 homes with one to be featured in the parade of homes.

    Best Regards,


  3. NataLee says:

    I will post more in my NataLee 9-1-1 section (pictures and potential suggested colors), but in general the answer to both questions is yes. If you choose correctly both would go over well.

    I would love to see your projects if we get up that way… and my design firm has actually decorated model homes in the Boise area, so if your company decides to hire a designer for the parade of homes or model homes…. I would be interested. =)

  4. NataLee says:

    I don’t know the exact paint color for these rooms, but am looking into it. But Restoration Hardware’s Graphite and Slate are both excellent gray colors.

  5. Jenn Kay says:

    I’m thinking of going gray in our condo. I love these looks! I’m so insecure when it comes to paint choices. I’m wondering if I should paint my entire condo the same gray and decorate differently in each room or should I paint the bathrooms another color or a different shade of gray? I painted before we moved in and I wanted color but wasn’t very brave. I ended up with accent walls. I’m regretting it all! I went with what I thought I should do, not with what I love. My home feel confusing and scattered. No accent walls for me. I want it to look seamless but not boring. Any suggestions?

  6. NataLee says:

    Jenn, Check out my latest post on gray walls… I think it is okay to do all walls in gray with a few strategically placed accent walls. This can be a darker shade gray or another color. Pull a color out of fabrics, such as a pillow or window treatments, for your accent color. You are an artist… I am sure it will look spectacular!

  7. Megan says:

    Hi Natalie,

    I came upon your blog because I am repainting our entire house. This was exactly what I was looking for, as I’ve been thinking of going gray. Our house was built in the 1800’s and I’m planning on repainting the entire downstairs. Unlike most old houses, ours is very open and you can see each room as you walk in the door. I am afraid of it looking too scattered, and I tend to lean toward bright colors, but I love the photos you included and the idea of pairing grey with bright. Do you think I could do grey for a room and a light beige, like swiss coffee or halo (BenjMoore) side by side. I am afraid that gray might be too trendy or too modern for my old house.

    Thank you,

  8. NataLee says:

    I am sorry for the delay in getting back to you as I was out of town. But yay for you in being brave and painting gray. I would suggest you try Restoration Hardware’s Graphite Gray palette… It has a little warmer hue to the gray tone… so it would compliment a swiss coffee moreso than a gray with cooler tones. Hopefully, this helps and watch my website for more ideas!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *