GRAY-TER APPRECIATION

OK, I admit it. I have a love affair with gray, having kept it a secret for many years. After all, what would my interior design colleagues say about my choice of such a dull, drab color? So for years I was a closet gray.

 For me though, there’s nothing more inspiring than the darkest gray sky illuminated by spectacular bolts of lighting that tear across the sky, sometimes three or four at a time, putting the grandest fireworks display to shame. On the other hand, nothing enriches the color and enhances the delicacy of a flower than when it’s set against a background of a gray sky or textured tree trunk darkened by the rain.

Gray is neutral yet requires a daring hand. It’s far from bland or predictable. A bit too much blue, or yellow, or green; not taking into account the warmth or coolness of a room’s lighting can be disastrous. I can’t tell you the number sample pints of paint I bring to a client for approval before finding the “eureka” combination of tint, tone, and shade.



A benefit of a dark room is that it looks larger. The corners of the room seem to recede so the boundaries disappear. Contrary to logical thinking, dark rooms actually enhance mood. There’s a peaceful quietness that permeates the space.

My first complete gray room was a small bedroom converted into a home office in a 1950’s split level. Repurposed cabinets were painted a dove gray as was the frame of the day bed both in an eggshell finish. The upholstery was a subtle floral print incorporating grays, burgundy, and touches of pink and green. The client insisted on wall to wall carpet, a decision I ultimately caved in on, that matched the wall that was painted flat gray with matching moldings in semi-gloss. What brought the room to life were the silver metallics: mini blinds, parsons table used as a desk, old fashioned desk lamp, and floor lamp. Additional sparkle was
                                                                                        added by an antique convex mirror in a gold frame.


Recently, I finished a 10' high pullman-style kitchen in a condo that opens to a small dining area with floor to ceiling windows and only one full blank wall. Most of the kitchen is light cherry cabinetry, including the refrigerator. The cabinets just about reach the ceiling, measuring a generous 40", with a 12" soffit. The backsplash is smoked mirror, and the granite is a gray/black.

I used Benjamin Moore's Northern Cliffs (two coats) that dries to match the stainless steel appliances and cabinet handles. Baseboards and door surround are Designer White. The highlight of the space is the single coat of Benjamin Moore's Metallic Gray on the wall in the dining area. (a colorful yet subtle Britto painting of a wine glass and bottle framed in silver metallic with a black mat was purchased at the Britto gallery in FL and has a note with a photo of the client and the artist together taped to the back. A great personal touch).



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