“Gray and white are always a classic pairing. I've been using gray tiles that pull other earthy neutral colors into them and have a slight metallic shimmer.” —Cindy Monchecourt

PHOTOGRAPHY OF FINISHED SPACES COURTESY OF YODER HOMES AND REMODELING.

Cindy Monchecourt, head of design selection for Yoder Homes and Remodeling, says because of its wide range from barely-there gray to dark charcoal, gray is fitting for every design style and personality. “Gray is a very soothing neutral color,” says Monchecourt. “I almost always use gray in some form in bathrooms and kitchens.”Monchecourt says the use of gray in kitchens can add beautiful subtle color and still keep the color scheme neutral. “I love to use at least two colors for kitchen cabinets to give the space character,” she says. “Inevitably, one of the colors will end up being a shade of gray.”

For those homeowners who relate the color to a dreary day—gray can actually take your space from drab to fabulous with the right complements. “There are several ways to add a little ‘wow’with gray,” Monchecourt says. “I love yellows, oranges and turquoise with gray.” Gray adds softness and makes for an ideal neutral to pair with pops of color instead of white, which when paired with bright colors can come across as too pop-art and modern for some tastes. Nicole Sforza writes in her article “Decorating with Gray” for Real Simple magazine, “In decorating circles, gray is the new white—and has been for a while. It’s a more elegant neutral that gives depth to subtle colors and makes bold tones pop (rather than shout).”

Another way Monchecourt likes to excite gray is to distress the shade on cabinetry with opaque stains on knotty alder or oak. “You get color while bringing out the beauty and character of the wood. You end up with a truly unique work of art!” Recently, Dura Supreme, whose cabinetry is used by Yoder, introduced a beautiful palette of gray paints and gray stains. “Gray stains are a popular option for customers who are looking for a more neutral color for their homes and prefer the look of wood grain instead of paint,” reports the cabinetry company. If you’re afriad the cool color will actually make a space feel stark, mixing in natural wood elements with a gray backdrop, suggests Monchecourt, makes for a warm and handsome interior, stylish for years to come.

For those who hug tightly to neutrals, gray can refresh a space and add depth by using different shades in one room. “Gray and white are always a classic pairing,” says Monchecourt, on the no-fail color scheme. “I've been using gray tiles that pull other earthy neutral colors into them and have a slight metallic shimmer,” she says. “They are beautiful and add just the right amount of ‘pop’without making the space trendy or potentially dated in just a few years.” Though the design world is flooded in shades of gray at the moment, unlike the illustrious “Radiant Orchid” or “Tangerine Tango” takeovers, it’s less of a trend and more of a mainstay. “Gray is a classic beauty that has always been popular in our design elements,” says Monchecourt, “and [a shade] that will continue to shine as one of the most versatile colors in our palette.”