Is gray the new beige?


Mw-15 on the walls & MW-41 on the ceiling and trim

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Gray at one time may have been considered to be cold or boring, but it is becoming the “go to” color in todays design trends. Gray is officially the new beige. Gray is a color that is being incorporated into today’s paint color trends in a very big way and  I am seeing clients request grays almost on a daily basis. However, gray is a color that, if not chosen correctly for a space, can really fall apart when it gets on the walls. Grays flip around more so than any colors, and it can have many different undertones in it. I have seen grays look blue, green, or purple, to name a few. There are a couple of ways of avoiding this situation. It is one of those colors that look so beautiful when done correctly, but can be a disaster if one of these undertones sneak through.

When gray is viewed alone, is can look flat or dull. In order to give it its flare, it must be paired with the right ceiling and trim color. It is a must that a clean white is used with a gray on the ceiling and trim. If you pair a gray with a warmer white that has a yellow undertone, it can turn the gray into a blue/violet. If you pair the gray with a redder white, it can turn the gray into a greener gray. The gray and white combination is a classic, clean sophisticated look.

When I formulated the colors in the “Michelle Winick Color Collection”, I did quite a bit of research on the gray family. I was mainly concerned with the tones of gray that people were bringing into their spaces. I was seeing quite a bit of white carrara marble being brought in, and other marbles that had gray veins in them. It became apparent when I saw 4 houses in one week putting all of the same white carrara marble in bathrooms, and that made me realize that this gray trend was here to stay.

One of the ways I found the “perfect gray” was by studying these stones. I wanted to see what tones I could pull from them to give me the most natural feeling gray. What I came up with was:

MW-15 morning fog

MW-16 rain drop

MW-21 stone mountain







These 3 grays I considered to be my “gray perfection”. The key to these three grays was:

MW-41 glowing white

MW-25 crystal white







Both clean whites that worked beautifully with these grays on ceiling and trim. Putting these combinations of gray and white together is absolutely awesome. I have seeing the spaces painted and they are magnificent.

I also figured out a way to incorporate a beige tone (that will never go out of style) with the grays that coordinates beautifully.

MW-6 Fine Silk became the perfect transition neutral beige tone to the grays in my collection:

MW-6 fine silk







Following these color trends has allowed for me to put out colors that you can trust. These color combinations have been proven to work time and time again…

Michelle Winick

Categories: Color Trends, Selecting Colors
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One Comment to Is gray the new beige?

  1. Linda Leyble
    January 7, 2012 2:35 pm

    Hi Michelle – great information here. Gray is one of the hottest color trends now – I see so much of it now.

    I wanted to let you know that I got the fan deck of your colors. Oh my goodness – they are gorgeous…beyond words! You hit the nail on the head with all of the colors. Easily I can see them being used in some many rooms.
    Every paint contractor and every designer should have this – it would make their lived soooooo easy!

    Thanks again. And I look forward to speaking to you next week,


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