Ideas + Advice


Grey Color Guide: What Is Grey? (+ How It’s Used in Design)

Grey has taken over the world of interior design, and it's not going anywhere anytime soon. If you are considering painting your walls grey or decorating your home with grey furniture or grey décor, check out these tips on exactly what grey is – and how you can use it to warm up and cool down any space.

Is Grey Warm or Cool?

Whether or not grey is warm or cool depends on the shade of grey, and in particular, its undertones.
If you were to look at a color circle featuring various shades of grey – ranging from deep charcoal to pale dove – it may appear at first glance that the only thing separating one shade of grey from the other is how 'dark' or 'light' it is.
In reality, shades of grey also range in color temperature, and any given shade of grey is either 'warm' or 'cool.' (The one exception to this rule is 'archetype grey,' which is the color you get from mixing black and white – and nothing else.)
Warm grey is a mix of black, white and a 'warm' color such as yellow, and cool grey is a mix of black, white and a 'cool' color such as blue. Because the 'yellows' and 'blues' in grey aren't visibly obvious, grey possesses a neutral, versatile feel and has long been celebrated for its subtle warming and cooling properties.

What Is Grey Associated With?

When it comes to interior decorating, one of the interesting things about grey is that it lacks psychological associations – and it is precisely because of this lack that grey has risen to become one of the most sought-after colors for walls, furniture and décor.

This, though, is not to say that grey is 'boring,' or that it shouldn't be styled on its own without another 'main' color to support it. Grey packs a crisp, clean punch reminiscent of industrial designs and a minimalist mindset.
Soft, neutral, and seemingly 'colorless,' grey possesses a subtle depth that not only pairs well with every other color, but also brings it to life.

Grey vs. Gray: How Is it Spelled?

The debate can get tense, with strong opinions and thought-out arguments on both sides. Of course, we’re referring to the Grey vs. Gray spelling debate.

Here’s the answer, laid out bare:

There is no “correct” answer.

Technically speaking, grey is the British form of the spelling, and gray is the American way. Interestingly enough, the British form of the spelling can be traced back to one Earl Grey – yes, the tea’s namesake!

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.