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A while ago, I went to Epcot for an HGTV stage presentation assignment. While on stage, I decided to take a poll from the design-savvy guests on various topics including: color, professional lawn care, slipcovers, sofa pricing and wallpaper. At first, people were hesitant to speak up, especially since the crowds were un-small and my Alpha dog, chop-chop, let’s-get-to-the-point personality can be kinda intimidating. While certain topics such as slipcovers and lawn care warranted less interest from the crowd, color doubled both as a design enthusiast’s punching bag and designer MVP. After six presentations over three days, here are the three hues unanimously agreed on as the most beloved for interiors: gray, blue-gray and languid blues. Take a look through these House Beautiful images to see how these tones work in different rooms of the house. Thank the heavens they didn’t agree on beige. If that were the case, this entire post may never have existed.

HGTV Design Happens - Designer Albert Hadley - House Beautiful

Designer Albert Hadley - House Beautiful

While gray rooms have become the current go-to choice for lovers of all things neutral, the color put up with some serious negative association for quite a while. Ever hear someone dismiss gray as morose, drab and/or garbage-can-ish? Hogwash! Well, sure, if a person chooses the same exact tone as prison walls or gray plastic waste bins, most likely it’s gonna be kinda sad. Instead, go with gray-brown mink tones — such as the paint color pictured above in this bedroom by Albert Hadley — which are rich, warm and gender neutral. These tones look incredibly sophisticated when paired with black wood finishes and gold or bronze accents. To get this color up on your walls successfully, I recommend “Stone” 2112-40 from Benjamin Moore.

HGTV Design Happens - Designer Jeffrey Bilhuber - House Beautiful

Designer Jeffrey Bilhuber - House Beautiful

Homeowners who are often scared of bold color seem to take a liking to blue-gray and slate blue tones. Usually more on the masculine side, both beloved hues can be taken in a more girly direction with the introduction of pinks, corals and/or yellows. In this particular room by Jeffrey Bilhuber, there’s an overall feminine vibe; however, if the mustard and celery tones were swapped with oranges or ochres, it could have gone in a more manly direction. Two paint colors I’ve used successfully to work this color into a room are “Buckland Blue” HC-151 and “Whipple Blue” HC-152, both from Benjamin Moore’s Historic Color collection.

HGTV Design Happens - Designer Tobi Fairley - House Beautiful

Designer Tobi Fairley - House Beautiful

No designer makes languid blues more glamorous than Arkansas’ very own Tobi Fairley, especially with how she layers various intensities of the same tone to add depth. Believe it or not, versions of this tone from blue-green to Mediterranean blue are hugely popular in girl’s rooms. For some great options to introduce watery blues into your own home, consider the following through a local design trade professional: Kravet Grasscloth #W3036-15, Duralee‘s linen/rayon blend Pattern 32100-381 or Kravet Soleil’s Tangible Aqua indoor/outdoor upholstery/drapery weight fabric. Determined to do it all yourself with paint? Try “Blue Lagoon”2054-40 from Benjamin Moore.

13 Responses

  1. Have an accent wall dark sage green, other walls in dining room very light green. Almost close to white, hint of green.

  2. Alsteve says:

    Lovely colors here. The grey/brown tone is so rich looking, and quite beautiful. I happen to have blue/green turquoise living room. I just love it.

  3. Kristin says:

    Glad to hear this … I painted my dining room gray!

  4. buy my car says:

    What a interior designs and furniture .I am so glad to see this amazing room.I love this decoration and bed.Awesome guys.
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  5. CplusE says:

    Still not a fan of grey — adding brown just makes it look muddy, as well as dark and morose! Blue-grey is still not a favorite either, although blues with a touch of green are lovely! I will take beige over grey any day, but that's just me — everyone's tastes are different!

    P.S. As I write this I realize I am wearing grey jeans — another case where a color I would not use for decor is perfectly fine for the wardrobe!

  6. mountain mama says:

    Anybody notice the design trend away from all those spring greens towards the blue and grays? These colors are EVERYWHERE now. Note Sabrina Soto pushing all those blue accessories for Target, for example. Of course, these have always been Candice Olsen's staples, with great results.
    Purples popping up too: Did anyone see the Aubergine living room on yesterday's episode of Secrets of a Stylist? Beautiful!

  7. Kelli says:

    I am in love with all things gray! It is one of my favorite colors right now. I'm using it in my guest bedroom <a href="http://(http://www.ahappyplacecalledhome.com/home/2011/3/13/guest-bedroom-inspiration.html),” target=”_blank”>(http://www.ahappyplacecalledhome.com/home/2011/3/13/guest-bedroom-inspiration.html), and I have a blue-gray in both my dining room and my family room. In fact, I've been using so much gray in my design scheme, I had to tell myself "no gray" when it came to planning my studio <a href="http://(http://www.ahappyplacecalledhome.com/home/2011/4/29/a-studio-that-inspires.html)” target=”_blank”>(http://www.ahappyplacecalledhome.com/home/2011/4/29/a-studio-that-inspires.html)!

  8. Kristi Burns says:

    I like the grey room above, especially with the crisp white against it.

    My master bedroom is sage green, but like the idea of different greens on opposite walls.

    My living room/dining room is a nice shade of sunny/butter yellow. It's warm in the winter and bright, but not harsh in the summer. We have green and taupe accents in the room. Very soothing year-round.

    Kelli, I like your site! Have you checked out the site colourlover.com? Make your own pallets and designs, and get them made into fabric and prints. Very cool. I think you'd like it.

  9. zacbrrownn says:

    Blue color looks so nice it is favorite of almost all peoples.I likes white color for my room.You suggest such a nice interior and furniture.You did admirable job over here.
    learn spanish free

  10. Mark C. says:

    The Bedroom Remodeling Idea is very creative.

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