Artzenflowers’s Blog

Shades of Grey

Posted on: January 4, 2009

Today’s client interaction again revolved around selecting shades of beighe, tans and gray, with a smattering of green between.

The coming year’s color trends are forecasted in “Color Pulse 2010“, a high quality  hardback book, published annually by Benjamin Moore, available on their website. The award winning love child of Benjamin Moore’s ‘Color Guru’ Dotie  “Color Pulse 2010” looks ahead into the next 18-24 months of color trends in architeture, fashion and interior decor.  In this seasons presentation Dotie had stated the return of Beighes as the neutral of choice.

Who knew? Were they ever Not a Neutral? But it’s true!

For some inspirational tone on tone calm, take a look at Benjamin Moore’s Classic selections; 981 Winds Breath; 982 Cedar Key; 984 Stone Hearth or 1002 Featherstone; 1003 Kitten Whiskers; 1005 Hazlewood or for something a bit warmer try; 1100 Sundial, 1101 Fennel Seed and 1103 Camel Back.

Warm brown based tans, beighes, taupes are all highly sought after fare.

For taupes with a sophisticated color play & depth, hints of yellow and green in a rich gray base, see; 975 Tapestry Beighe and 976 Coastal Fog. For a bit more color saturation Affinty’s AF100 Pashmina, AF150 Cotswald or AF155 Weimaraner are proven winners.

Warm or Cool grays everyone is seeking the illusive, perfect gray to give them that restful zenlike bliss which also pares well with high energy impact colors; primary and tertiary beauties such as Acid greens, Citrus yellows, Vibrant red and oranges are especially great.

One special client, Betty, is absolutely smitten with this lovey neutral grey; Benjamin Moore Classic 1570 Gray Wisp.

Rich dark browns are the impact color of choice, hands down, though some people find brown an emotional mud bath that has them drowing in their woes, the rich mahogany, red or green based browns in sultry shades such as Preview 2114-10 Bittersweet Chocolat , AF 170 French Press or AF175 Barrista; Benjamin Moore Americas Colors #AC3 Texas Leather will add rich contrast to classic and historic home’s wealth of warm white molding details.

For slighty less intensity try Benjamin Moore Classics; 1001 North Creek Brown or 1036 Deer Trail. For something entirely sensual and rich go to the Affinity color deck; AF160 Carob, AF165 Kona. 

For ceilings and trim a great white is the finishing touch; AF20 Marscapone or 967 Cloud White will do the job.

As for what goes well with Brown? You name it: Lavender, Lilacs, Violets, fresh Greens, Pinks, Yellows, Peach or Orange…try some of the many gorgeous browns available in your kitchens or baths. 

What the heck they even go well with gray or beighe!

Here’s to a life full of color!

PS>My secret color wish? A room entirely painted in a grassy green, like Benjamin Moores Classic #574; ‘Once Upon a Time’. Ahhhh…Lovely!

2 Responses to "Shades of Grey"

I wish you were working for the B. Moore store here in Sonoma County, California! Alas, only young men “man/woman” the paint counters in our neck of the woods, and while they sometimes try to be helpful w/paint selections, I never really feel comfortable w/their suggestions.

At this very moment I should be painting the kitchen and dining room. I can only paint when my husband is away because he has no patience for disruption, even though I’m the one who’s doing the painting, etc.!

The rooms are currently painted “sandy white,” which has a green caste, especially at night, so I think I want/need something warmer? The dining area is south-facing, while the kitchen’s light sources are from the north, a little from the south and west since it’s open to the dining and living rooms, and from a skylight over the kitchen island. The island is painted red, and it’s top is Carrara marble. The cabinets are white, and the counter tops are honed, absolute black granite. The floors are red/golden? oak.

I’ve just painted a large sample of “sundial.” I’m curious to see how it looks this evening w/incandescent lighting. Hoping it won’t look greenish. I’m toying w/the idea of warm grey? Is this too much of a contrast? All of our appliances, excepting the fridge are stainless steel, including the range backsplash and large hood, as is the cabinet hardware, and then there’s the grey and white marble island top.

At some point, I’d consider painting the lower cabinets a neutral other than white because they’re hard to keep looking clean.

If you could help me, I’d be so grateful. We’re retired and new to the area, and we don’t know who to turn to for help.

Your blogs are wonderful. I’m glad I found you!

Warm regards,


Hi Susan! Thanks for checking in with me, I hope I can be helpful to you!

Your main concerns seems to be that you want to lose the greenish hue of the Sandy White. ‘Sundial’ is a lovely warm tan/beige with golden under tones which would mimic the color of your flooring. Which could be a great answer for your dilemma.
If you are interested in trying a warm gray I do have a couple suggestions in the same value range. Moving from lightest to deepest value: from the Off White collection # OC 16 ‘Cedar Key’ is a beautiful neutral as is ‘Hush’ # AF 95 from the Affinity group, going even deeper in value another warm gray I love is ‘Thunder’ AF 685 which simply adores living side by side with marble or granite.
Finally more similar to ‘Sundial’ in personality but slightly less golden is ‘Blond Wood’ Classic color # 1067.

If you don’t get what you need here you are welcome to send me photos of your space directly to my email; I will do a ‘virtual’ consult for you. Thank you again for your inquiry!

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  • artzenflowers: Hi Loribeth, Thank you for taking the time to view my post and the feed back noted!
  • Loribeth: Interesting info about red. I think it takes a lot of daring to use it in decor...something I don't have a lot of. But I might consider adding little
  • Emmakins: This is so helpful, THANK YOU! I think I will do pashmina in bedroom since it is a cooler color and may not work as well in the main area. Hush throu
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