Cindy Bailen
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Although you might not have thought of it, gray is a great color to paint a room for warmth and tranquility. Gray makes a soft background for furniture and allows whatever you put beside it to shine. It is cozier than white, which tends to look harsh and shadowy. Gray is versatile?when you place it next to any color, it takes on the appearance of the complement of that color. Try this with a swatch of red. A swatch of gray held next to it will appear greenish. California Paints color expert Aimee Desrosiers says that gray will be one of the most fashionable home decorating neutrals in the coming year.
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My current interest (obsession, really) with gray started when I wrote a story for BostonHomes about a fabulous South Boston condominium in the Court Square Press Building. The condo was part of a designer show house staged by the Boston Design Center. Mark Bombara had created it as a wonderful open urban living space with gray backgrounds. The color he chose was Sherwin-Williams Repose Gray (SW 7015). It worked perfectly with the soft neutrals he used in adjoining rooms, a khaki color called Ramie (SW 6155) and a soft gray-green known as Sea Salt (SW6204).

Think of using gray for a gallery space in a hallway or foyer; art looks beautiful hanging on a gray wall and Benjamin Moore’s Cliffside Gray is tried and true. Benjamin Moore’s #1488, Sage Mountain, is really an intimate charcoal that will look beautiful in a room with shiny white trim. Gray goes perfectly in a media room; it’s the color of technology. In her book Elegant and Easy Rooms, design writer Dylan Landis tells of a soft, dovelike gray (Benjamin Moore's Cumulus Cloud, #1550) she once used on the walls of a modern apartment, with trim and architectural features highlighted in the slightly darker La Paloma Gray, #1551.

Don’t be afraid of going gray. Gray will help you create a space that is serene and relaxing, interesting by day and snug and welcoming by night.
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