Friday, January 20, 2012

Gray is the New Beige

Gray is the New Beige

and how do trends work their magic on us

In case you haven't noticed, gray is the new brown.

The “brown era” of the last ten years, which featured espresso wood finish, shades of tans and beiges is slowly coming to an end, while grays are clearly making their way into our homes.

You may frown at the thought a “gray era”. But, as can happen with many fashionable styles, you may very well change your mind, possibly without even noticing.  

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Why? How do trends work their magic on us? It’s all a matter of context.

I will explain this through some of my own personal experiences.

I grew up in Israel, where the architectural and interior styles are for the most part contemporary, so I was used to seeing (and liking) clean lines, not much detail and lots of bright colors. 
Moving to Boston was a culture shock in many ways.

In Boston, I immediately noticed how different the houses looked here, from the inside out. I fell in love with the variety of colorful exteriors, but many of the interiors seemed way too detailed and fussy to my taste. I kept asking myself: how could anyone feel comfortable living in houses I had previously that seem so dated, and reminded me of stuffy old European hotels? 

Slowly but surely, though, I warmed to the traditional look, and began to see the beauty and warmth of it. I visited beautiful homes, and met wonderful people within them, and my perception of the local traditional style shifted from “old fashioned and fussy” to rich and warm. 

My point - you can easily fall in love with a fashionable color or style when it comes alive in a delightful home featured in a magazine, or that your friend recently renovated. 
Inspiration can come from beautifully designed store displays that highlight a trendy color attractively.
The right combination of color, pattern, lighting, music and even scent can quickly shift how you feel about a color you used to hate. 

Suddenly you see this color with fresh eyes, and you begin to see the beauty of it.
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Back to Grays.

Neutral rich grays are NOT simply a mix of black and white, but are, in fact a blend of the three primary colors (plus white to adjust the value). This explains the large variety of grays and why some feel warm and others cool. 

Grays work extremely well with many of the bright and cheerful hues that are trendy right now and hopefully will uplift our mood from the depressing economic times we’re experiencing nowadays. 

My two cents about gray - do not over use this color, and mix it with other, brighter colors, because unlike white and other neutrals, gray works only in the company of other colors.  
Gray is not a soloist, but can make other colors "sing". 

If you would like your home to make you smile every time you walk in, contact me

Have a wonderful & colorful day,


related reading:

Gray kitchen by Tobi Fairly


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