50 shades of gray for 2015

Gray might seem drab but maybe "understated" is a better term

We have gone from orange is the new black to .. gray. Gray is the "it" color for home interiors for 2015 for the second year in a row.

“This is the first time any color has headlined our forecast in back-to-back years but gray, a near-perfect neutral color, has really caught on,” says Debbie Zimmer, spokesperson for the Paint Quality Institute, which keeps track of such things 

When you first think about gray, you may think of a drab color with not much hue to it. But not so, says Zimmer: “It’s very easy on the eyes. It’s understated and sophisticated. And most tints and shades of gray are ‘chameleon’ colors that change appearance when the light changes, so they provide enormous visual interest.”

Fifty shades of gray actually applies in the paint department. “Gray” refers not just to one color, but to many – running the gamut from delicate silver tints to powerful shades of gunmetal, charcoal, and slate. In each, black and white is present, but often, traces of other colors, too. According to Zimmer, these “trace colors” provide valuable clues as to what works best with a given gray.

Gray is like the middle child -- it gets along with just about every color. In winter you want that cozy feeling in your family room or den and gray has traces of warm hues like red, yellow or brown so it can partner with warm companion colors. There are some shades of gray that have blue and green or just overall seem cooler so of course they flow better with colors that have cooler tones.

You can't go wrong with a classic, says Zimmer, and gray with all of its differential shades on the color spectrum is a natural for any room you may be redecorating. And because it is a classic if you decide to go from New Age to Southwest decor gray can fit in. You may need new furniture but you won't have to repaint your walls.

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