Paint: Finding The Perfect Gray

Paint: Finding The Perfect Gray

Leah Moss
Aug 7, 2009

Yesterday we lauded the inspiring pairing of yellows and grays in general, but today it's time to get down to color specifics. The perfect gray can be quite elusive, especially when you're standing in a paint store among a sea of samples—every hue starts looking like a dreary storm cloud. Here are some tried and true favorites, from moody to mellow to downright glamorous...

Farrow &Ball's Parma Gray 27
A dusty gray with soothing blue undertones. As pictured in the bedroom designed by Timothy Whealon, it looks excellent pared with a range of greens and chocolate browns.
Restoration Hardware's Pale Silver

This is the creamiest, softest gray with hints of light blue and sage green. We have it in our bedroom— delightful to wake up to every morning!

Farrow &Ball's Mouse's Back 40

We fell in love with this sophisticated, deep hue when Sally Steponkus and Heather Safferstone used it in the DC design house this spring.

Benjamin Moore's Stonington Gray

I discovered this beautiful moody gray at Oliver Dunn in Georgetown. It's perfect when paired with bright white trim and an ample amount of natural light. In a dark space it can look very serious, bordering on gloomy.

Restoration Hardware's Silver Sage

This is Pale Silver's big sister. It has an amazing capacity to transform with the light and room accessories. I've seen several houses (and many Restoration Hardware stores, like the one in Georgetown) where every room is painted silver sage and you'd never guess it. My favorite is when it's paired with crisp white and glossy black, as in Nicole and Colin's house above.

Farrow &Ball's French Gray 18

A majestic, deep hue with a lot of green. We loved it's romantic application in Anne-Marie and Vytas's home.

A few other favorites: Benjamin Moore's Gray Horse 2140-50 (taupe-y gray with warm undertones), Gray Sky 2131-70 (a light, dreamy blue-gray with just a hint of light green), and Boothbay Gray HC-165 (a dusty coastal New England hue).

So there's our short list? What other amazing grays would you add to mix?

(Images: 1: clockwise from top left: Leah Moss, Domino, Jake Curtis, Graham & Greene, 2,6: Farrow & Ball, 3: House Beautiful, 5: Restoration Hardware, 7: Washington Spaces' blog, 8:, 9,10: Leah Moss)

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