Thursday, March 1, 2012

March Theme Post: Gray

The March one-day theme on Sophistique Noir is gray.  This is an easy one for me because I am a big fan of gray in both apparel and home decor.  When it comes to my clothing and possessions, if it's not black or purple, it's probably gray (or gray's shiny counterpart, silver). :-)

In home decor, I think gray is sort of the "forgotten neutral."  People wanting a neutral color for their home often think of beige and its many aliases (bisque, ecru, almond, sand, cream, buff, oatmeal, khaki... ).  But gray is a neutral also.  I think a cool gray makes a lovely backdrop for the jewel tones that goths are fond of - ruby red, sapphire blue, emerald green, amethyst purple.  Gray is also a great partner for that most goth of colors, black.  While black and white can be too much of a contrast for large-scale decorating, a black and gray combo provides interest without being too "loud."
black and gray damask wallpaper is a bit easier on the eyes, I think
Black walls can create the ultimate in dark elegance, but let's face it - they're usually not very practical in rooms that you actually use.  Even the gothiest goth needs adequate light to successfully apply complicated makeup.  ;) Gray walls can provide elegance without turning your room into a cave.  An excellent example of this can be found in - of all places - a brochure from Home Depot.  "Boudoir Goth" is from Behr's 2011 Color Trends brochure.

Gray can provide elegance even for rooms that must have light-colored walls.  Damasks are a nice option.

In my own home, I have used gray paint on several pieces of furniture.
chest of drawers


I have also used gray paint on textured wallpaper to revamp a set of canisters.


  1. You home is amazing! I really love how you decorated and styled it. You did a great job with the furnitue, too.

  2. I completely agree with you (see my description of grey paint). I fell in love with the grey room in the picture, that one is lovely. We have a small room only place for a small fire stove the sofa and a tv. I want to paint it in a subtle grey colour with grey and white checkered floor.

  3. I love grey for home decor -- it's both soothing & sophisticated. You're dead on about it being the 'forgotten neutral,' too.

    My hubbi & I painted our living room grey w/glossy black on the crown molding & the fireplace. The grey makes the black pop, plus it serves as the ideal backdrop for our rich wood furniture & things like oriental carpets & velvet upholstery.

  4. You are definitely the master at using gray in elegant and tasteful ways. The black and gray damask really is MUCH more tasteful than black and white. Your home is so gorgeous, and loaded with personality. Some assume that gray is "boring" in home decor, but you prove them wrong!

  5. Wow, what GORGEOUS decor! I love the black flower detailing on your desk and wardrobe, so simple and elegant!

  6. Sal Kaye - Thank you very much! :D

    linnea-maria - It's very true - grey is not a dull color. I think it's great for a relaxing room. I would like to see your grey and white floor.

    Trystan L. Bass - It's odd that grey is so often overlooked as a neutral because it does give a very sophisticated air. I think a cool grey makes oriental carpets and velvets look even more luxurious.

    VictorianKitty - Thank you! I think people confuse "soothing" with "boring" when it comes to grey decor. Soothing is exactly what some rooms need. :)

  7. I love dark gray for walls. Such a good back drop for art.
    Your furniture looks amazing. I need to look back at your posts to see if you settled on a color for the "tin" ceiling.

  8. When you said, "...beige and its many aliases (bisque, ecru, almond, sand, cream, buff, oatmeal, khaki... )", it reminded me of Frasier.

    Niles: What color is the new carpet?
    Frasier: I'm going up a shade, to 'Harvest Wheat'.
    Niles: I thought the next shade up was 'Buff'.
    Frasier: It used to be, but they've discovered a whole new color in between.
    Niles: So now it's 'Tofu, Putty, Oatmeal...'
    Both: '...Almond, Harvest Wheat...'
    Frasier: '...and Buff'.
    Niles: That's going to be hard to get used to.
    (Frasier nods)

    Unlike boring-beige, grey is the ultimate neutral colour because it's achromatic (without colour) in itself. See Wikipedia: Grey.

    And if anyone didn't follow your link to 'Boudoir Goth' on page 2 of the Behr brochure, they really should...

    "A deconstruction of the ethereal conception of beauty has brought about the creation of a style all about dark elegance."

    Hmm... Wish I'd said that!
    And the colour swatches on page 6 reveal that one is named 'Grayve-Yard'.

    You mentioned the black-walls/no-light problem.
    The first time I experienced a full black room, walls, ceiling, everything, it was a small bedroom and it felt cosy. It really did work. The next time was a large loft conversion and it was awful.
    Poor light from the VELUX windows and the absorbent effect of the black walls - it felt like it was sucking my soul out. Ugh! The owner obviously didn't want to paint it all white (which most definitely would have been a good idea to make the most of the little daylight available), but instead of the black, a grey would have been so much better.


  9. I am srsly envious of your house and decorating skills.

  10. How inspiring! I especially love the pappterns you applied on the furniture. Wow!

  11. Jamie - Thank you very much! :D

    TiredMama - Thanks! I ordered some sample ceiling tiles; I'll be posting about them soon.

    Orlando - I wish I'd been able to get a better photo of the Boudoir Goth. It's fantastic.

    Pixel Pixie - Thank you! You might be less envious when I reveal that the house probably needs a new roof. :/ $$$

    Lady C - Thanks! Stencils are a lifesaver for those of us with zero drawing skills. :)

  12. Wow! Your home is beautiful! I completely adore that desk and wardrobe.