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Decorating: Gorgeous Gray Rooms

Elegant rooms dressed in shades of gray

Produced by Lucy Fitzgerald
  • Emily Followill

    Charcoal-gray dominates the palette in this kitchen, showcased in the floor-to-ceiling cabinetry with clean-lined, furniture-style molding and simple metal drawer pulls. The paint’s subtle blue undertones add a richness that contrasts beautifully with the room’s warmer tones, like the walnut-topped island and stone tile floors.

    Design: Amy Bergman

    See more from this gracious home.

  • Eric Roth

    Gray and Gold Showhouse Living Room

    This sitting room’s gorgeous millwork inspired its elegant palette, created by Michael Carter for the Boston Junior League Showhouse. “I knew I wanted to implement some changes that would highlight the millwork details instead of letting them recede into all-white walls of paint,” says Carter. Soft grays coat the walls, the darker of the two adding depth to the moldings. Gilded details throughout further accentuate the crown molding around the walls and over the mantel. The seating elements are appointed in shades of gray spanning from airy silver to velvety slate.

    Design: Michael Carter

  • Werner Straube

    Classic and Comfortable Dining Room

    Traditional patterns and metallic details add richness to the quiet palette of this dining room. “My concept was to capture a formal atmosphere, while allowing for a sense of comfort,” says designer Crysta Allsbrooks Parish, who created this serene space for the 2013 O’More Designer Showhouse. A grass cloth wall covering and a dining table made of reclaimed barn-wood with an iron base lend texture.

    See more of this showhouse on the following slide.

    Design: Crysta Allsbrooks Parish

  • John Bessler and Jonny Valiant

    Moody and Masculine Playroom

    Inspired by the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, designer Diane Guariglia gave an ironic twist to this playroom with a moody palette of rich grays, blacks, and browns. Like the books’ main character, “I wanted the room to be edgy and sexy, dark and complicated,” says Guariglia. Texture plays a starring role in this room: the designer created contrast by pairing rough-hewn barn-wood wainscoting with a sleek wall covering. Masculine materials, patent leather and nickel, expand on the uniform scheme.

    Design: Diane Guariglia

  • Werner Straube

    Elegantly Symmetrical Living Room

    Created by Gail Plechaty for Lake Forest Showhouse, the refined living room is unapologetically elegant. The formality of the space is exemplified in its rich ornamentation and sophisticated palette of cool gray and ivory. An intimate sitting area is beautifully symmetrical: a column of botanicals rises up from the ivory sofa in between soaring windows, which are dressed in luxurious silk panels.

    See details on the following slide.

    Design: Gail Plechaty

  • Werner Straube

    Gray and Ivory Silk Panels

    Cream and gray drapery panels from Scalamandré subtly incorporate the room’s palette in its elegant woven trim. The silky sheen adds interest to the room’s tall windows.

    See more from the Lake Forest Showhouse on the following slides.

    Design: Gail Plechaty

  • Werner Straube

    Contrasting Gray Dining Room

    A master of contrast, designer Darcy Bonner created alluring tension in the dining room at the Lake Forest Showhouse. The clean lines of the room’s contemporary furniture serve as a powerful counterpoint to the rich ornamentation of the walls, wrapped in a handsome shade of gray. A wool sisal rug over ebony-stained oak floors further reflects the room’s contrast underfoot.

    See more of this room on the following slide.

    Design: Darcy Bonner

  • Werner Straube

    Gray and Platinum Palette

    A cerused oak buffet is topped with a cast-glass slab in a textured platinum gold-leaf finish, its warm sheen complementing the dining room’s sophisticated gray paneled walls.

    Tour the rest of the Lake Forest Showhouse here.

    Design: Darcy Bonner

  • Werner Straube

    Library in Gray and Gold

    A library shows off its formal side with striking millwork and elegant symmetry. “Dolphin” paint from Benjamin Moore creates a solid backdrop for the pair of dove-gray club chairs and stone hearth. A gold-framed painting pops against the stormy gray. Salvaged pine flooring adds warmth.

    Design: Virginia Mary Brown

    Explore the rest of this home inspired by showhouse ideas.

  • Emily Followill

    Handsome Gray Master Suite

    This master suite is swathed in handsome grays and comfortable fabrics. Paneled walls are coated in a deep gray from which silver-framed botanicals pop. A plush armchair and tailored ottoman from the Cameron Collection create a cozy niche for reading.

    Design: Amy Morris

    Explore the rest of this Atlanta remodel.

  • Bruce Buck

    Serene Master Bedroom Wrapped in Grays

    Soft gray walls, draperies, and a shapely chaise longue wrap this master bedroom in serenity. A white duvet and monogrammed pillow shams are classically simple, while an antique rug in warm pumpkin and turquoise hues adds a rich dose of color.
    “The rug just glows,” designer Barbara Westbrook says. “I think there is a serenity to the space, and part of that comes from using neutrals. You feel enveloped in this really pretty warm gray color, and the pop comes in the area rug with its palette of oranges and touches of turquoise.”

    Design: Barbara Westbrook

    See more of this Atlanta showhouse.

  • Werner Straube

    Fresh Grays and Blues

    This home inspired by showhouse ideas executes design tricks-of-the-trade to create a classic aesthetic with a fresh feel. Venetian plaster at the fireplace is finished in gray for a handsome focal point. Club chairs covered in “Ash” fabric from Great Plains visually extends the mantel’s hues to mingle with the whites and nature-inspired tones in the sitting area.

    Design: Virginia Mary Brown

    See more from this home on the following slides.


  • Werner Straube

    Grays and Creams

    Farrow & Ball’s “Cooking Apple Green” is beautifully neutralized by a soothing collection of grays and creams. A chandelier from Paul Ferrante and large sliding doors leading into the kitchen create drama. A striped rug from Williams-Sonoma grounds the space.

    Design: Virginia Mary Brown

  • Werner Straube

    Youthful Gray Bedroom

    Above the garage, the homeowners’ eldest son’s bedroom is a handsome retreat. Patterned after a sleeping porch, the room is flooded with light from three walls of windows, which helps to balance out the stormy shades of grays and blues of the space.

    Design: Virginia Mary Brown

    See the rest of this home inspired by showhouse designs.

  • Gordon Beall

    Luxurious Gray Bathroom

    Carrara subway tile wraps this bathroom in an airy backdrop of light gray, against which gold-green custom cabinetry at the vanity stands out. Café curtains above the tub lend warmth in a soft beige.

    Design: Mary Jo Donohoe

    See the rest of this remodel here.

  • Bruce Buck

    Dramatic Gray Showhouse Room

    This ultra-glam showhouse room boasts a myriad of distinctive features, not limited to a stunning crystal chandelier and a hand-cast white plaster ceiling in a geometric pattern. Because so many of the room’s elements demand attention, designer Charles Pavarini chose to wrap the room in elegant shades of gray to highlight its most glamorous features and distinctive architecture.

    Design: Charles Pavarini

  • Dominique Vorillon

    Guest Bathroom in Shades of Gray

    In this guest bathroom, ebony floors and a crisp white ceiling are tempered with rich gray walls in between. White porcelain fixtures, like the soaking tub and pair of vintage sinks on chrome legs, stand out against the moody backdrop.

    Design: Ryan Brown

    See more fabulous rooms from the Santa Barbara Design House.

  • John Granen

    Living Room in Layered Grays

    A cool backdrop of dove gray, cream, and honey highlights overscale architectural salvage and paintings by local artists in this living room. Whitewashed-oak floors are covered in light cowhide for a touch of texture; draperies and upholstery fabrics in elegant neutrals keep the ambience light.

    Design: Henry Brown

    See the rest of this stylish Northwest home.

  • Werner Straube

    Gray-on-Beige Master Bedroom

    “Shadow Beige” from Pratt & Lambert covers the walls of this master bedroom to create a warm palette for grays at the custom headboard and linens on the wing bed. Neutral hues elsewhere complement the cooler shades of gray.

    Design: Denise Macey

  • Werner Straube

    Striking Gray Master Bath

    Asymmetrical architectural features in the master bath give life to the “European Gray” wall paint from Benjamin Moore. A white floor and soaking tub mix with a framed charcoal drawing to harmonize with the lovely grays at the walls and windows.

    Design: Gail Plechaty

  • Werner Straube

    Timeless Gray Dressing Room

    A dressing room bathed in timeless gray pairs with silver and crystal details for subtle opulence. Mirrored doors and a stainless steel-topped island enhance the room’s graceful palette.

    Design: Gail Plechaty

    See the rest of this Chicago-area home.

  • Squire Fox

    Living Room in Soft Grays

    Comfy furniture and a serene palette make this living room feel bright and inviting. Wrapped in a light gray, the furniture is upholstered in an elegant neutral tone that invites an array of muted blues and greens.

    Design: Skye Kirby

    See the rest of this home here.

  • Mark Kiely

    Dramatic Gray Sitting Area

    Shimmery drapery panels in shades of gray give the impression of a movie theater in this “Night at the Oscars” room, designed by Deb Landis. Varying hues of gray give the space dimension, while silver accents embellish the starstruck theme. A tonal geometric rug by Stark Carpet ties the room’s elements together.

    Design: Deb Landis

    See the rest of this Holiday House here.

  • Michael Partenio

    Bright Gray Kitchen

    Open shelving in this kitchen reveals the beautiful gray walls behind, against which the white cabinetry and shelves pop. Backsplash tile from Walker Zanger add textural interest. A stainless-steel hood range from Viking complements the soft gray of the walls behind.

    Design: Molly Frey

    See more of this kitchen here.

  • Werner Straube

    Chic Gray Sunroom

    Chic grays tempered by comfy neutrals and eye-catching patterns fill this sunroom designed by Gerri Wiley. Sophisticated fabrics on the tailored furniture mix to create a clean and luxurious ambience. Positioned against the wall under a landscape oil painting, a 19th-century Syrian wedding chest boasts mother-of-pearl inlays for inverted contrast.

    Design: Gerri Wiley

  • Werner Straube

    Cozy Blue-Gray Study

    “I wanted this study to be a dark, cozy retreat,” says designer Samantha Todhunter of this blue-gray room she designed for the Ritz-Carlton Showhouse in Chicago. “It’s a little bit masculine and a nice contrast to the pops of color going on everywhere else.” The paint is Oxford Gray from Benjamin Moore.

    Design: Samantha Todhunter

    See more from this apartment here.

  • Airy Grays

    Airy grays give way to comforting blues and ivory in this living room. Antique chairs and a sofa are covered in a narrow-striped seersucker, which complements the warm gray walls. A Lucite coffee table and white flokati rug heighten the space’s ethereal ambience.

  • Tria Giovan

    Pretty Blue-Gray Ceiling

    The setting of this lakeside home played a part in its décor and color schemes. In the kitchen, crisp white cabinetry and a center island with elegant molding are set off by a blue-gray ceiling and rich walnut floors. The kitchen’s thick marble countertops bring some gray from the ceiling down to mix with the airy white below.

    Design: Rob Klein

    See more of this summer home here.

  • Grey Crawford

    Master Bedroom in Warm and Cool Grays

    Varying hues of gray lend a vibrant undercurrent to this master bedroom. A combed wallpaper from Keith McCoy & Associates lends a hint of green to the mix of tones; curtains from Lee Jofa and area run from The Rug Company combine with a gold cocktail table to warm the space.

    Design: Jeff Andrews

    See the rest of this L.A. home here.

  • Emily Minton-Redfield

    Living Room in Black and Gray

    A decadent living space is appointed in rich blacks and grays highlights with gold and ivory. Walls are painted in a gray-toned python skin pattern for an unexpectedly glamorous background for button-tufted chairs and ottomans upholstered in steel gray. Metallic glints from the nailhead trim and cabinet pulls give the space a bejeweled air.