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Grays vs brown.....or is there something new?

Design Time on WMEN TV5

October 2020

TV5 Design Time WNEM

Grays vs brown.....or is there something new?


Good Morning and thank you for joining us today for DesignTime. Today we want to talk about the neutral colors of grays and browns.

We know that gray has been really popular these last couple of years.....and you can find everything in gray, bath towels, accents.......but is gray still the number one neutral this year?


 Yes, gray tones have been very popular, but we are seeing a move away from the very cool gray tones! The good news is that we are talking about

neutrals and no neutral is ever “out of style”.


So, as we enter into the fall of 2020, what is changing with the gray tones? 

  • Furniture and Accessories’s are mimicking natural elements of wood, plants, and metals, which offer an opportunity to create a calming environment much like being outside. With the pandemic, many of us have been spending a lot of time indoors so this color palette is a welcome feeling. This doesn’t mean you need to go neutral or too safe! The grays are being mixed with the natural tones of stone, dirt, plants, sky, sun and tree bark. All these natural tones are represented in the colors we are seeing in the current trend. Many grays are blending with the beiges and brown which has created a newer tone, which I call a natural brown, or when you see it, it looks like a dirty brown

If we use this new Natural brown, can we still use grays with it? 

  • Yes, because the gray tones are blended with the browns, all of the neutrals work together! There are many fabrics that are actually putting all of the neutrals together. In the past, browns were usually considered a warm base, and the grays a cool, but as they are blending these together, new tones have emerged and allow for them to work together!

So, if I have a dark brown sofa and a beige carpet, could I bring the gray tones in? 

  • Yes, it is easy to use a grey based paint, making sure it is a contrast to your sofa color, so in this case a lighter gray tone with the dark brown sofa. Then you can add printed pillows with gray tones, art work which has both brown and grays, and even throwing in a splash of color like lime or blue can update the room to today’s colors!

Any words of caution for those of use changing a room color today? 

  • Yes, if you are moving towards gray today, make sure to use the newer tones that are mixed with the browns. They work with warmer tones, and we see that brown is coming back very strong. The gray trend is moving away so we don’t want to come in on the end of a trend! If you want to add some grays, do it is smaller pieces that could more easily change.

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