You say you want gray, but what KIND of gray?

Hello there, friends.

Today I’m chatting about the color gray. The key to understanding gray is to look at how cool or warm it is, and what undertones are present. Here is the tile sample that I am working with currently.

Coolness or warmth of gray can best be detected by color comparison. Remember: looking at a small paint chip tells you virtually nothing about a color. You can identify it as gray, and maybe even a “cool” gray, but until you compare a color to other colors, you cannot understand just HOW blue, or cool, it is.

 At first glance, I can see that the overall undertone in this gray is blue, but it is key to look at colors in context. See below.

At first glance, I can see that the overall undertone in this gray is blue, but it is key to look at colors in context. See below.

What do I mean by looking at color in context? Well, it is important to compare different types of grays next to one another. This is a concept that I practiced during training with Maria Killam www.mariakillam.com, the inventor of a brilliant system which breaks down colors by undertone. Side note: I am now a certified Maria Killam True Colour Expert, using her materials and color boards.

Below you will see that we have several types of grays. Shown below are blue grays, green grays, and violet grays. Missing from the photo is blue-green gray. Looking at these colors alone might be difficult to detect undertone, but you can see it clearly when comparing one group of boards to another.

 To the left you see the blue grays, and on the right we have green grays. Undertone refers to the underlying tones of color you see present in an overall hue (in this case the hue is gray).

To the left you see the blue grays, and on the right we have green grays. Undertone refers to the underlying tones of color you see present in an overall hue (in this case the hue is gray).

 To the left we have the green grays, and on the right we have violet tinged grays. It is only by seeing these boards next to each other that we can truly detect undertone.

To the left we have the green grays, and on the right we have violet tinged grays. It is only by seeing these boards next to each other that we can truly detect undertone.

To illustrate my point further, take a look at the flooring samples below. The first sample pairs best with green gray boards, and the second sample pairs with the violet grays.

Armed with this information, I can make a more informed choice. The whole purpose of paint is to bring into harmony the existing fixed elements in the home. We want to create visual flow among significant furniture pieces, wall coverings, flooring, cabinetry and counter tops.

Below I determined that blue gray is the best color category for this tiling.

 A selection of grays with a blue undertone….

A selection of grays with a blue undertone….

So what was my final paint color selection to accompany this gray tile? Drum roll please. Ladies and gentlemen, it is Benjamin Moore’s Coventry Gray HC-169

 PHOTO CREDIT: Instagram @matthewcandesigns + @miyeyesseethis and published by Benjamin Moore on Pinterest

PHOTO CREDIT: Instagram @matthewcandesigns + @miyeyesseethis and published by Benjamin Moore on Pinterest

Until next time, friends, keep rockin’ and embracing color as often and as much as you can!

Your color strategist Lauren