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.
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.
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.
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.