For the past few years, if you wanted to sell your house, you would paint the walls gray and do a gray-toned wood floor before it hit the market. It would sell out within hours.
Local interior designers are sad to report that the gray trend is over, although many homeowners are still obsessed.
“In our area, the gray trend is really hot, but it’s going down,” said Kellie Burke, of Kellie Burke Interiors in West Hartford. “The trend is towards bare wood, especially bleached oak. Not to be confused with the old fashioned floors which were yellow in color.
Sharon McCormick, of Sharon McCormick Design at Glastonbury, said the whole gray trend was overdone and designers had moved on.
“No grays were shown at all, no furniture or anything at High Point Market last spring,” McCormick said of a big show for interior designers. “Now we move on to creamy colors, to warmer colors like beige and taupe.”
McCormick said not to worry if your whole house is already gray.
“There are ways to update the gray look, like adding colorful accessories. Cobalt blue is very popular,” she said. “For gray furniture, change it up with new ones. pillows of another color. Bring color into artwork or a throw on your sofa. There are little things you can change like a new rug which could be a bright color or new lamps in another color or neutral. The goal is to try to make the room not just so gray and white.
Burke agreed, saying layers of color, fun and colorful wallpaper and furniture are the way to go.
“With the COVID craze, people started buying vintage furniture to blend in with more colorful surroundings,” she said. “Walls are easier to build than floors. Bring back some warmth with some white or fabulous art or a wallpaper accent wall.
Today’s wallpaper, Burke said, is nothing like most people. It’s not the caustic, ruining, curling, boring stripping wallpaper of the late 90s and early 2000s.
“You can even put wallpaper in the bathrooms. It’s not aggressive like the old ones that would seep into drywall. It doesn’t curl or unravel with water or humidity,” Burke explained. “It’s also a more organic glue that isn’t caustic.”
McCormick explained that because the magazines are produced a year in advance, many consumers haven’t yet discovered the changing trends.
“Designers were done with gray about two years ago,” she said. “But all of that was still being shown in magazines, so consumers were still going gray.”
McCormick and Burke pointed out that there’s nothing wrong with gray if you like the color.
“We’re still doing it for the customers because they’re still addicted,” Burke said. “It’s going to be a while because everyone just remodeled their house and it’s an easy way to get into a new home without committing to a color.”
McCormick said if you’re looking to put your home on the market, rethink gray.
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“If you’re painting a room or cabinets and planning to resell within the next five years, I wouldn’t go with gray,” McCormick suggested.
Instead of gray, go with not quite the yellow family, but warmer neutrals like cream, taupe, and beige.
“Grays are very cool colors,” she said. “Now we are looking for warmth in our homes.”
Burke suggested highlighting pops of color.
“We take a lot of old, cool pieces and paint their frames with funky colors and upholstery in a floral fabric,” Burke said. “Trends in patterns, textures and lighting are all the rage right now.”
The gray trend that has been popular in recent years has been a blue undertone gray. McCormick suggested a warmer gray with a beige undertone or pairing gray with black or other colors to bring warmth to a space.
“Add gray as an accent, but don’t overwhelm the space with gray,” she said.