Styled, Staged & Sold

Bringing you the latest home design and staging trends. From REALTOR® Magazine.

The Hot New Neutral Has Home Owners Feeling a Little Gray

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

So that reddish pink Honeysuckle hue may be stealing all of the glory as far as being the “color of the year,” but more home owners also are seeing gray.

Gray has become the hot new neutral, and a popular choice particularly in kitchens for backsplashes, countertops, flooring, and cabinetry, according to a recent article in Newsday by Kristin Taveira, “The Grays of Our Lives: Moody and Mod, It’s a Hot Color in the Kitchen.”

"The white kitchens never go out of style--you see them everywhere-- but gray is the new white," Jennifer Mabley of Mabley Handler Interior Design told Newsday. "Gray gives you dimension and depth, and helps to tie in the natural colors in the stone countertops. Sometimes, when you have a white kitchen and granite, there's a disconnect. The gray helps tie in a natural color."

Designers in the article note gray can:

  • be easily adaptable and paired with any shade for a pop of color, such as yellow, for more drama, or you can use it to help soften another hue.
  • enhance the look of stainless steel and granite.
  • create a sense of permanence. It can ground a long space, whereas white may make it appear that it goes on forever.

Other color trends for paint in 2011:

So if gray doesn’t seem like the smart choice for your space, there are plenty of other colors catching on this year.

Play the blues. If you’re not feeling gray, maybe a little blue? Blues--from denim dark to blue-gray--are gaining steam as popular choices for walls and even ceilings.

Join the neutral craze. So gray is hardly the only neutral choice. Warm whites, tawny tans, barely-there coral and greens are proving to be popular shades in bedrooms, baths, and kitchens, according to the Paint Quality Institute’s 2011 Color Trends report. More home owners are reaching for a variety of casual neutral and pastel hues to create warm, inviting living spaces.

Give it some shimmer. Higher paint sheens and metallic finishes, such as gold--particularly in dining rooms, master bedrooms, and bathrooms--are also popular this year, according to the Paint Quality Institute. “More gloss means more reflectivity, which means more light,” according to its trend report. “Gloss can subtly create a brighter, more upbeat mood in a home, but at the same time, it adds style and pizzazz.”

So what are your favorite finds recently in paint colors for spicing up a home’s interior?


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