A constant in our exterior and interior worlds, the color gray pops up as concrete and stonework, storm clouds and fog, and silvery metals and driftwood patinas. Happily, you can use this popular neutral to create bedroom designs that will, like their natural counterparts, withstand the test of time. Because of its enduring character and distinctive presence, gray has become the hottest neutral in today's bedroom designs. It is compatible with all decorating styles and most colors, and no matter its tone, gray emits reassuring rhythms ideally suited to sleeping chambers. Though gray is relatively easy to work with, you'll want to consider the following when choosing, mixing, and using grays to decorate your bedroom.
Choosing the Right Gray
True grays are generally considered cool neutrals, but each hue can shift in temperature depending on its undertones. Flushed with red or yellow, gray appears warm. Blue and silver tones give gray a chilly undercurrent. Take time to identify the undertones so you can choose the gray that generates your desired atmosphere; knowing the undertones will also help you select accent colors and accessories.
In general, most gray shades are good choices for bedroom walls. Deep charcoal grays are fitting for traditional bedrooms centered on cocooning. Midtone grays, such as pearl and fog, tiptoe into view as an understated showcase for industrial metals and streamlined silhouettes. Dove grays visually expand a room, amplify light, and complement sophisticated transitional designs. Grays are especially conducive to monochromatic bedrooms: Imagine charcoal lower walls segueing to pewter upper walls, with both hues highlighted by pale dove gray woodwork.
When choosing paints and colors for walls and woodwork, pay attention to sheen. Glossier finishes make grays appear stark and cold; flat or matte finishes cause grays to appear lush and warm. Instead of trimming gray walls with bright-white moldings, which can create an unsettling contrast, paint woodwork cream, off-white, or barely-there gray.
Whether you portray the color gray as a palette's star, as a supporting player, or in a cameo role, you'll find that gray (like its white and black parents) plays nicely with color shades ranging from bright to pastel. Can't-miss color companions for most shades of gray include red, gold, black, white, cream, and silver. Navy blue works with pale blue-shaded grays; silvery blues beautifully team with deep grays. But gray also partners well with vibrant turquoise, citron yellow, bright orange, and hot pink to create personality-plus bedrooms. Like a thoroughly modern look? Use midtone gray walls to spotlight black furniture finishes, deep purple bedding, and khaki and chrome accessories.
As with any color combinations, the higher the contrast, the more energetic the result. If you're looking for peace and quiet, combine hues of a similar intensity to create a calming composition. Blend light and dark grays with vivid and muted colors to fashion a gray bedroom that lives lively.
Light in Gray Bedrooms
Gray can go gloomy if there's not enough light in a room. Banish potential shadows by dressing windows in sheer white curtains or loosely woven linen panels that filter without blocking light. Introduce elements such as mirrors, crystal chandeliers, silver frames, glossy white furniture, clear-glass accessories, and polished-steel tables that intensify natural light. Install layers of lighting, from ceiling fixtures and recessed lights to table and standing lamps, to make a gray bedroom function at its best and brightest.
Elevate a gray bedroom's appeal and welcome by displaying grays in a diverse array of textures. Consider introducing plush textiles, such as chenille, velvet, and corduroy, that really show off the richness of both deep and light grays. Counter a gray's cooling properties by incorporating quilted duvets, woven blinds, colorful area rugs, distressed finishes, and throw pillows done up in vivaciously colored and patterned fabrics.