After Years of Being the ‘It’ Neutral, Gray May Be On Its Way Out

There are a lot of things people are sick of these days: bad news, limited gatherings, Zoom calls, incessant cleaning and disinfecting, and, judging from the comments I see on social media, the color gray. Whether it’s a pale shade or a deep charcoal, gray seems to have overstayed its welcome. I get that many of you are sick of the color, in all of its variations, especially given the gloomy year we’ve had. Gray-haters (or grayters, as I like to call them) complain that the color is ubiquitous, and, to some degree, they’re right. Walk into just about any design store, and you’ll see swaths of gray upholstery, bedding and accessories. Rental properties and spec houses have room upon room of what my educated eye recognizes as Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl on the walls of bedrooms, living rooms, halls and bathrooms. Every HGTV home renovation that you see seems to be saturated with Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter or Sherwin-Williams’s Morning Fog. How do I know my way up and down the gray paint chips so well? I painted almost every room of my house a shade of gray almost 10 years ago, and I wrote about it for this very news organization. Gray has been my go-to neutral because of its versatility; like a pair of gray pants, it goes with everything. But grayters call the color depressing, dull and too safe. Gillian Gillies, a Toronto-based, Scottish-born interior designer who has never embraced gray, says she hopes the pandemic has ended the color’s run as the “in” neutral. “We need hope, joy and the promise of brighter things, and I don’t think gray can offer us that.” She says her clients who at one time were clamoring for gray are suddenly requesting highly pigmented, saturated colors, such as aubergine, saffron yellow and all shades of green. View Article