Is Grey only for Happy People? Yay or Nay


Is Grey only for Happy People? Yay or Nay

Some people say that decorating with grey is not for everyone, that if you’re someone who suffers from depression, then you should stay away from it.

The reason for this misconception is because of the tendency that many people have towards decorating with the current trendy neutral.

Just like everyone bought a brown sofa when the espresso brown trend was here, the same thing is happening with grey.

If you gravitate towards grey assuming it’s ‘safe’, and your entire house ends up decorated in varying shades of grey, well that’s a recipe for depression for anyone.

Just today I consulted with a client who said a decorator recently specified a grey blue for her honey-maple kitchen. She stopped painting when she was half-way through because she wasn’t in love with it.

That’s because without a decorating plan for the entire space a grey blue would simply look like “New trend colour, old living room/kitchen”.

My advice was that we start with choosing colours for furniture and accessories in the great room. Only then could she possibly get excited about a new neutral for the walls in addition to being able to choose colours for adjoining rooms to create flow.

Orange, yellow and blue

Image source lamp, chair, sofa, pillows

Grey is the crisp backdrop for colour that beige is too dirty to provide in most cases.

Gray vs. Colour

Both of these rooms (above) would be considered trendy and current at this moment.

Which one is for you?

Related posts:

Danger: How you Know You’ve Fallen for a Trend

Is Colour the Best Neutral? Yay or Nay

Are you Waiting for your Paint Colour to Propose?

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  1. I love both the rooms pictured 🙂 And yes, without a whole plan, just picking a trendy color is only going to give you a “used shoes, new dress” look in your house.

    Make a plan people 🙂 That’s the ticket !

    BTW, my open plan living room/piano salon/dining area/kitchen/hallway is done in white and pale gray. Because we have many windows with east, south and west exposures, the gray never looks depressing. Light’s a very important factor in how any color will look.

  2. Neither! As much as I LOVE gray, that first room is greatly lacking any light and life! The other room is of a confusing decor. I couldn’t relax in such a room.

  3. My point here is not that everyone should LOVE this particular colourful room on the right, it’s that grey all by itself and without the context of colour is what can be depressing and debilitating for some people. But does this mean they should eliminate grey from their house? No, the lesson is, do not default to grey for EVERY decorating decision you make for your house.

  4. Definitely the room on the right. The room on the left seems a little too sterile for me; it needs something besides the just the flowers to bring it to life.

    I haven’t been able to embrace the grey trend. I like more nature inspired colors like green, which I think goes with everything.

  5. I’m suprised that nobody picked up on my mistake earlier. BM CC-60/1030 Brandy Cream has a PINK undertone and not the orange undertone that I specified…it was early AM… what can I say? As long as I get it right for my clients:)
    Recently suggested this colour for a client as she had a lot of pink undertones in her fixed elements. See Maria, I did pay attention:) Still prefer warmer tones here in the NW. It’s all subjective right?

  6. Help. Those are the two colors I am pulled between for painting my house. My new sofa has a light cream, sage green, and pink fabric with small squares. What to do?

  7. Is Revere Pewter and gray or a beige? My choice of the above would be the left room, with the furniture items you sourced above.

  8. I agree completely with your point Maria that grey can be a light, airy backdrop to splashes of colour. Those splashes of colour can be switched up anytime the fancy strikes.

    We painted our master bedroom BM Stonington Grey and love it. It feels fresh, not trendy and works with the colour palette of the rest of our home.

  9. I started out by saying that I would never use gray in my house since I live in Seattle where it’s often gray outside. Well, now that I’m seeing gray everywhere I’m getting used to it and am using it more. My dining room is purple toned down with gray and my entryway is blue toned down with gray. I love them both.
    BTW-where did you find the lamp? The link is missing. Thanks.

  10. Love gray, always have, but I don’t want it everywhere and am less inclined to add more because it is considered trendy now. As for depressing, not to me, but I imagine it can be in some cases, like that room on the left which looks like an old MD off ice in a strip mall. That bland monochrome room is depressing, but it would probably feel the same to me no matter what single color it was, especially brown.
    Don’t care for the right room either, hate each and every piece in that room except the urn of flowers.

  11. Maria, I’m curious, are there go to grey paint colors that builders are using as the standard colors for entire interiors?
    I haven’t been to any new home developments with model homes lately, but I recall the days when the standard wall color for every new tract home was Navajo White, then Botany Beige and Swiss Coffee. Now is there a go to greyish neutral that is widely used?

  12. My condo is Behr Silver Drop throughout. It is beautiful with my white crown moulding, white cabinets, white ceramic tile floors, and tan carpets. So many grays are pinkish or blue and just feel wrong to me. I love the warm undertones in Silver Drop; it looks beautiful on sunny California days as well as on those gray “June gloom” mornings. It gives a light, spacious feel to my small place.

  13. What color gray is in the picture above? I am going crazy trying to find the right gray for our new home – I am not a designer or decorator…and I want just a light gray – not a blue/gray – for our living room/foyer/ kitchen areas…I had chosen Wickham gray but now fear it is too blue…
    I have now been told to look at Agreeable Gray or tinsmith…I am beyond confused!

    • Try Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore. It’s a close cousin to Wickham Gray but less blue. I just changed my living room from Wickham Gray to Gray Owl and it turned out the way I had hoped. (I found Wickham Gray too cool.) Classic Gray or Balboa Mist are nice too.