The New Neutral That Goes With Everything
It's the color that makes every room look instantly pulled-together. These six ideas show just how appealing it can be to accept a few gray areas in your life.
Capture the Best of the '70s
Graphic wallpaper and a velvet-covered bedframe may sound like the rejected set of Austin Powers 4, but in a light gray, the look is fresh and modern. To avoid overwhelming the space—and making it feel retro—cover one wall only, recommend designers Cortney and Robert Novogratz.
Wake Up Without Witnessing Dawn of the Dead
Glaring fluorescent lights bouncing off an all-white bathroom is a recipe for starting your day with an "I look like a zombie!" grimace as you stare into the mirror. Designer Tim Clarke recommends relying on natural light and painting the room a shade that complements your skin tone—like the cool gray on this vanity, as opposed to last year's "greige" trend, which has yellow undertones that only accentuate a ghostly pallor.
Photo: Marili Forastieri, from Outside the Box
Find Your Middle Ground
Like beige, eggshell and taupe, gray has a reputation for being an "adult" color: It's mature and sophisticated—and it can be completely forgettable. Not so with this trompe l'oeil wallpaper. It's a shot of fun, yet the charcoal background keeps you from feeling as if you're plunked in a cartoon fishbowl.
Make Your Kitchen Sparkle (Without Scrubbing)
Stainless-steel everything has had its hold on America's kitchens for long enough. A more affordable and original way to add a silvery sheen to your cooking area? Line tin ceiling tiles next to each other to create a backsplash, says Young House Love
authors Sherry and John Petersik.
Check In to Your Own Five-Star Accommodation
If you're dreaming of a bathroom that feels more like a boutique hotel than the place where you Oxyclean the grout, consider adding a dramatic, floor-to-ceiling wallpaper—especially one with a little texture, like this slate-gray number. The contrast makes the porcelain in the room really pop, even if it's been a while since the last scrubbing.
Fake It As You Make It
You don't have to be the next Bob Ross—or an HGTV Design Star contestant—to create your own eye-catching wall art. Search for orphaned frames lying around your attic, your grandparents' house, and the Salvation Army, then paint them the same color as the walls. These "ghost frames" add faux-architectural interest to the room, says Living In a Nutshell
blogger Janet Lee.
Next: The living room of your dreams