Tips For Breaking Up With The Color Gray


I love gray. Being a Seattle-ite, I obviously have intimate relationship with this color. Lately,  I have noticed gray being used as a ‘non-decision’ in home design. It’s become a bit of a default paint and decor color used by real estate agents, stagers and builders because it is simultaneously safe and on trend. However, using strong color that makes your soul happy can profoundly change the way you feel in a space. I’m happily noticing that people are ditching gray and getting bolder with their color choices.  If you are one of those people who are ready to take the leap but need a little hand-holding, here are some concepts you can try to apply bolder color choices.


  • Start with art.  Buy a piece of art or identify a piece that you already own.  Pick out 3-5 colors in the artwork and use those as the accent color palette in your home. I like to go to the paint store and grab paint chips that match the accent colors I’ve picked then throw them in my bag so that when I am shopping I can refer to them.
  • Be brave. Take a leap and be bold when you are painting your home! I like to take color risks in smaller rooms like powder rooms and guest rooms.  Choose the actual color you like on the paint strip. If you go up the wheel to the lightest version you won’t be satisfied with the result. If you are not feeling brave enough yet, go ahead and paint the walls a neutral or warm white and buy your furniture or a blanket in that color you love.
  • Nix the matchy-matchy. One common deflating mistake is trying to match everything to each other. You’ll match yourself into a corner with no other options.  Always pick 5 colors you like together as a base for your decor. Make sure to include 2-3 neutrals and at least 3 color families. If you are not sure where to start, use a site like Design Seeds to browse color palettes that are inspired by nature.


Good luck and be bold!