2016 Color Forecast: Gray is Here to Stay

September 8, 2015No comments

gray shaker cabinets in center island

Gray, when used in interior design, refers to any member of a family of neutral colors spanning the spectrum from warm brown to cool blue. A natural sophisticate and a trend that is here to stay, gray is brighter than beige, softer than white and the perfect backdrop for a strong-toned accent.

In the two-tone kitchen above, designer A.J. Johnson created a furniture-look island with medium-gray cabinets (Dayton Harbor) finished with ogee base trim and bookcase shelves. A focal point, a dramatic tile back-splash framed by simple white cabinets, ties the color scheme together, adding interest without overwhelming the space.
raised-panel cabinet fronts in three grays - light earth tone, cool blue and deep red-hued gray
Our CliqStudios Designer Paint Collection includes three grays, pictured above. The light gray on the left, Urban Stone, is rich with soft earth tones. The mid-tone gray in the center is Harbor, a cool blue hue often associated with classic Cape Cod decor. And on the right you see deep-toned, red-hued Studio Gray.

The images on your computer screen are, of course, only approximations of the actual colors. An important early step in planning a new kitchen is to order free samples to try out in your home.

When you have chosen a gray as the base for your kitchen design, stay in that family when selecting cabinet, countertop, back-splash and flooring – and continue the color family through adjacent living and dining areas. It is extremely important to have a full set of material samples in your space over the course of a day (or week), so you can see the colors in various natural lights.

If your design combines gray with another color, use the darker color for base cabinets, grounding the space, or in a center island, creating a transition between kitchen and living spaces. You may want to use a marble or granite counter with tones from both cabinet colors to tie the design together.


Kitchen design by A.J. Johnson

The transitional kitchen above introduces an industrial-chic element in the island pendants, butcher block countertop, bar stools, and sliding reclaimed wood door. Note how the backsplash and stainless range hood connect the Linen perimeter cabinets to the gray island. The industrial effect is softened with a traditional look achieved by glass-door cabinets and deep crown molding on the room’s perimeter.

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