I have been dying to write this post ever since we decided to create an online resource book this year. Why? Because I wish I could live in a world where every wall was a perfect warm grey. Every time I hear someone say they think grey is a depressing wall color I think to myself, ‘They just haven’t found the right grey’. From the first moment I painted an over-loaded roller full of Benjamin Moore’s Chelsea Gray onto my apartment walls in 2004 to the last coat of Valspar’s Stratus that we used on our windowsills in the kitchen, I’ve been a diehard fan. Greys, much like black and white paint, can be tricky because the base color can read as a bit green, blue, purple or even more tan than grey. I highly recommend painting a test patch to see how it looks in the light. In general, I prefer a darker gray with a green or brown base- I think it feels rich and warm and never ever cold and concrete-y. xo, grace
Click through for our favorite picks after the jump!
*Please note, though the majority of my favorite grey paints ended up being from Benjamin Moore, they had no input or sponsorship of this post. They just seem to have a great selection of greys that both our team and the homeowners we’ve featured here love the most.
Chelsea Grey by Benjamin Moore: This is my favorite grey paint ever, period. I used it in my second apartment in New York and it’s what probably got the most comments of any room I’ve ever lived in. It’s funny because it photographs as quite blue sometimes, but it’s actually a VERY rich green base. I think green bases are my favorite because they’re warm and smooth and so velvety, but they also have that classic historic feel I love, too. If you’re ready for something dark and different that makes any artwork or photograph pop, this is your paint. (Really, this is your paint any time. It’s just perfect.)
Chelsea Gray in Leslie’s Home
Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore: This is the grey I hear most people try or have suggested by a designer. I’ve worked with in in my own home and find it is more of a greige than a true grey, but people love it so much (I liked it too) that I couldn’t leave it out. In some light this feels very neutral and taupe (like a safe pair of khaki pants) but in cooler lights it feels like a pale soft grey. I think this, along with the Martha paint below, is a great place to start if you’re nervous about the grey feeling too dark.
Revere Pewter, via the Nest
Down Pipe by Farrow & Ball: Probably my favorite truly DARK grey in the market. It’s got a blue undertone (which normally I dislike), but it’s a true charcoal color that feels dark and strong in all the right ways. Talk about a classic color and a good pair for something turquoise or coral-colored.
Down Pipe in AB Chao’s Bedroom
Dolphin by Benjamin Moore: Dolphin reminds me of a lighter, browner version of Chelsea Gray. It’s still rich and dark, but it isn’t quite as enveloping of a color as the darker hues here. I love this color against a rich red.
Dolphin in Jennifer Sarkilahti’s home
Kendall Charcoal by Benjamin Moore: Hellooooo, dark grey. I love this color and think it’s fantastic, but it is a darker grey than most people feel comfortable trying. It’s got a warm brown/green base and I think it acts as the best backdrop for art and other wall hangings.
Kendall Charcoal in Jess Lively’s home
Nimbus Cloud by Martha Stewart: Martha knows a good neutral. This soft light grey is a true grey with very little of an underlying color that dominates (not too much green, blue, etc.). If grey scares you, I’d highly suggest starting with this super safe light grey.
Nimbus Cloud via A Place 2 Call Home
Bear Creek by Benjamin Moore: As the name would suggest, this paint has a bit of a brown base to it. I’ve found it’s the one of the warmest greys I’ve ever worked with, and it has such a rich chocolatey feel to it- all while still being a definite grey.
Bear Creek via Gardenista