The New Neutrals, Greige and Many Shades of Gray
At this past furniture market in High Point, NC, gray was featured as the “new neutral” in home interiors. Many of the major manufacturers showed gray in a fashion forward color scheme, combining it with shots of navy, yellow, lavender, apple green, or fushia. It was also shown with subtle shading of the same color for a sophisticated look. Gray has been on the rise in women’s fashion again as a replacement for black as it softens the harsh edges – the same theory crosses over to home interior decorating.
Accessorize With Metalics
There is a strong trend toward metallic glazes on prints, or a hint of metallic yarns woven into a solid linen texture. The combination of the refined look of gray and a subtle metallic was a strong buying trend for the interior designers and the boutique owners that you will see throughout 2009 in both modern and traditional settings. I can’t stress how important metallics will be in the new home decorating trends.
There are many ways to easily incorporate gray into your existing scheme without breaking the bank. The most obvious is to consider paint – using a soft greige or gray-beige on your walls gives an instant lift. Benjamin Moore’s Abalone, November Rain, or Old Prairie are great choices to check out (www.benjaminmoore.com). Below is a sample of the Greige color
If you have a color you love on the wall already, then consider adding a solid silk or linen drapery side panel to your windows in a soft gray tone. Drapes should be hung as high as you can go, and then cascade to the floor, ending with a gentle break. It will make your ceilings look taller and your room appear larger.
Replace old tarnished fixtures with a brushed nickel or pewter finish to add in the metallic element. Throw in a little crystal to add some sparkle. Visual Comfort Lighting offers chandeliers and sconces in these finishes that will add a modern pop to any room, and I especially love the simplicity shown in the collection by Thomas O’Brien. Mix up the shades on your lighting – light colored shades where you really need the light, but then throw in black or a colored shade to make a statement.
Accessorize with Silver
Using silver in your accessorizing is the other easy way to update with gray. Mercury glass vases, gazing balls, or a collection of finials adds a reflective element to a dark corner.
Mirrored surfaces on trays or accent pieces provide instant light and brightness. Be sure to select silver pieces that lend themselves more gray to avoid creating a harsh look.
I think embracing the new gray shades will be a good thing for many years to come. Call it what you will – mushroom, taupe, dolphin. The color adds an instant update and will enhance soft and bright colors alike.