Monday, October 26, 2015

Gray is the New Off-White

Goodby ecru, goodby cream.  The paint color of the moment is gray.  I don't know why -- perhaps it is to honor the aging of the Baby Boom generation.

In any event, gray is a big, big part of the current trend palette for home and business decor.  The new colors are called "neutrals."  They replace the 20-year regime of "earth tones."  (Before that, in the 80s, all I remember is mauve paint, oak furniture and desert southwest themes.)

This most recent changeup actually began around 2011.  I only became aware of it when an architect explained it to me.  Now I see it everywhere.  

One of our doctors opened a new office, and everything in the place is light gray, dark gray or black. Our gym was given a redesign, and it too is gray and black with slate blue accent walls.

Here are some popular neutrals from Benjamin Moore & Co., the well-regarded paint purveyor.

The common theme seems to be to have a bit of gray in just about every paint color or vinyl floor tile. (Vinyl plank floor tiles that look like wood are also a thing now.  See below.) 

High-end interior designers are making gray the interior paint color of the moment. Following are some examples:

This is interesting and certainly different.  

At the moment, paint color discussions are underway chez Idiosyncratist, where the goal is to identify tones that are of the moment but not downright frigid.  Fortunately, in addition to full-on gray, there are subtle tints of beige-to-brown, green and blue.

The lifespan of decor colors is said to be about 20 years, and if this new trend goes the usual distance, we will be seeing it until about 2031.

If I had to guess, though, I'd bet that plain gray walls will enjoy a shorter life cycle.   

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