{friday finds: it’s too red…too purple…too something}

Coventry-Gray-HC-169 from Maria Killam

What paint colors are on the minds of Hirshfield’s customers when they walk into our stores?

Jill ( Hirshfield’s Edina) tells me their customers like the idea of using gray and try to use gray in their homes. Guess what? A number of customers return to the store enveloped in a cloud of gray ennui. Gray ennui?  The gray is either too green, too cold, too brown, too something, and it just doesn’t look “right.” Those sneaky undertones. The chameleon among colors, gray is a classic, refined neutral that works well with any color scheme. Depending on the shade, it can be cool and calming or, with a little bit of silver, energetic.

Customers ask for the perfect gray. There is no perfect gray. Every customer has a different perfect gray. When shopping for paint bring along your existing interior finishes if you can, as this makes it easier for Hirshfield’s staff to find the perfect gray for you.*  Your carpet may have a green undertone and your favorite gray paint has a red undertone. This is the reason why your room will never look “right.”

Color Chats, by Benjamin Moore, helps point color-troubled customers in the right direction with this recent blog posting:  Fifty Shades of Gray {Paint}. Michelle Zakko has curated 50 enticing grey, greige, and gray room settings for your viewing pleasure.

Benjamin Moore’s five favorite grays

Customers from the Edina store are also looking at the colors of sea glass, plum, taupe, with a few forward-thinking, orange and kelly green customers.

Rhubarb 2007-30 Benjamin Moore

If fifty shades of gray paint doesn’t do it for you, Conspicuous Style recently shared her favorite paint colors…her top 100 Benjamin Moore paint colors! Can you see why rhubarb is a favorite, especially when it’s sharing space with turquoise.

Thanks, Jill for sharing your customer observations. Stop by any Hirshfield’s location for a color chat with one of our undertone experts.

*Is a color call what you need? For information on the personalized service of an in-home paint consultation, click here.

{friday finds: again with the grays}

Benjamin Moore Smoke 2122-40

Smoke 2122-40

Benjamin Moore Harbor Gray AC-25

Trim is Deep Caviar 2130-20 Wall color Silver Lining 2119-60 Looks like a glaze may have been used.

AC-28 Smoke Embers

Smoked Oyster 2109-40

Silver Fox 2108-50

Ralph Lauren Forde Abbey  TH06

Anchor Gray 2126-30

Gray Owl 2137-60

Sparrow AF-720

 So you still haven’t had your fill of gray? I can tell by the continued popularity of the black and blue and gray all over and gray, grey, greige posts on the blog. I put my curator’s hat on and pulled more room settings and comments from designers and everyday folk on the color gray.

 Jill, at our Edina location, said over the past couple months there has been increased interest in grays, particularly with purple and brown undertones…the chameleon colors. She mentioned Benjamin Moore’s Smoked Oyster which appears in the current Pottery Barn catalog and is shown above. Kim, from our Coon Rapids store, said gray is not as popular with her customers. One reason is that her customers’ base board trim and cabinetry colors often do not work with gray colors. Nate, from Apple Valley, said grays with brown undertones is the most popular at his store.

The colors I listed in this post are Benjamin Moore and Ralph Lauren paint colors. I’ll showcase the lovely Hirshfield’s grays in another post.

Wow! We have Silver Fox on 3 walls in our bedroom. The 4th wall is Sienna (a deep brown). I love the combination and Silver Fox is a favorite of mine.

Raccoon Hollow 978
We just got back from France, where I couldn’t help noticing that everything is painted what I call Avignon taupe — that flaxy natural color that’s a little on the gray side.” -Gerrie Bremermann

“We just finished decorating a bungalow where we struggled picking paint colors because the owner had just stripped all the wood trim and didn’t want to paint it. All the colors we picked changed totally in the presence of that orangey light brown wood. A contractor finally told us about Benjamin Moore’s November Rain — it’s a putty color, warm but not too warm, and it looked great everywhere we put it.” -Sharone Einhorn and Honey Walters
November Rain 2142-60

Our new grey is Ralph Lauren’s Artist’s Studio. LOVE it. Has more of a blue undertone than brown.

Silver Fox is a quiet classic.

…BM grey cashmere (not cashmere grey) it looks green grey on the paint sample but its really more a blue grey. However, if you are putting into a room with lots of direct sunlight it can be more blue. I have it above my wainscotting in a room that has lots of natural light not direct sunlight so it cast more blue grey.

Gray Owl is a good choice for all color schemes – a refined alternative to light blue. Very adaptable.

...tested out a couple of colors on poster board, the BM 2116-60, Touch of Gray was too light, and too pink. The 2118-50, Excalibur Gray, is nice, purple undertones, certainly not the Hollywood “Gravender” look, but it certainly looks more “modern” and current. I also liked Sweatshirt Gray (2126-40), this one doesn’t give me the gravender look but it does look nice and warm.

I just painted my sleeping alcove a Regent Metallics Ralph Lauren paint called Wadsworth Grey. I absolutely love it….

… Ben Moore color called Winter Solstice. Completely neutral gray color. On the paint chip the color looks a bit pale. However on the walls it came out a very nice midtone gray.

Any color can be a neutral if it is grayed off with a touch of black and used all over a room, without any other color interrupting it. I particularly love greens as neutrals: moss, sage, stone, hunter. I like to use many different tones.” -Stephen Sills
 Stone Harbor 2111-50

Abalone is my favorite grey. It is has the slightest bit of pink in it which makes it feel warm and inviting. Loved it next to my red dining room.

Is one of your tests “Ashley Gray”? We have painted our whole home with this colour. The reason … it goes with everything and we can accent each room with different colours. We also have an amazing view from our home and this colour made the view seem even more spectacular.

You still have time before graduations and confirmations to freshen up your home with new colors for your walls. No need to feel overwhelmed, stop by this weekend and let our staff assist you with paint colors. We got you covered.


Images:  DecorPad, The DIY Showoff, Happy Hermit, Happy Hermit, Benjamin Moore Flickr, Bossy Color, Pottery Barn, Apartment Therapy, Ralph Lauren?, Apartment Therapy, Apartment Therapy, Pottery Barn

{friday finds: gray, grey, greige}

Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter HC-172 – DecorPad

The color gray is a gray area. It is a complex color. “That’s not gray, that’s…”

The shade of gray that is “in” right now is a brown gray. It looks good with the warm tones that have been trendy the last few years. When asked about customers’ preferences, Michelle from the Edina store, agrees, ” people usually shy away from the cooler grays and gravitate to the brown grays.” When selecting a gray paint color, pay attention to the undertones. Are you seeing a blue-gray, a purple gray, a green gray? Pearl grays can be iridescent and have purple and pink in them. A good charcoal gray is closer to black, but much softer than black. So many choices.

I pulled some reader comments on grays from Apartment Therapy postings. If you are searching for a gray you may find these comments helpful.

… my dining room is Benjamin Moore’s Metropolitan AF-690, from their Aura paint line. It’s a nice bluey grey as well…

…Ralph Lauren Soft Earth UL29 is a nice grey that would still look good with golds…also, Forde Abbey TH06 is a great color…

A few years ago I painted the entire inside of my house BM’s Balboa Mist 1549. It’s a soft grey that changes with the light. Decorator white woodwork and black doors with brushed silver knobs. Loved it every day. Very fresh….I’m addicted to gray!

I recently painted with Benjamin Moore Feather Gray 2127-60, and it’s gorgeous. Depending on the light, it can look sort of blue or silver, and it’s just such a soft shade, like a bird’s wing…

I love gray and found BM Stonington Gray HC-170 here on Apartment Therapy. Everyone said it was the most neutral gray and did not take on purple, green or blue the way some grays do. Oh, how right they were…

Benjamin Moore Coastal Fog 976 is a color offers a wonderful chameleon-like background for other colors. I had it with a white sofa and chair and smaller accents of bright, light green — also had deep brown. It also looks fabulous with red and with black…

Our new grey is Ralph Lauren’s Artist’s Studio VM 157. LOVE it. Has more of a blue undertone than brown.

Currently, my bedroom is Gray Owl 2137-60 and OC-52 (Benjamin Moore). It’s really subtle, with a hint of green. (I also have a bathroom painted Pigeon Gray 2133-50 (BM). That’s a nice deep gray with purple undertones.

We’ve got you covered with the warm and cool grays found in this wallcovering – Ideal Home

Ideal Home

Chelsea Gray (HC-168) is the background in Brooke Shield’s NY living room.

Can’t commit to grey on your walls? Image from Vtwonen found on Decor8

Metallic wallpaper from Graham& Brown – Ideal Home

Benjamin Moore Nightingale AF-670 – Pottery Barn

Cow Parsley wallcovering by Cole & Son

Benjamin Moore Whale Grey 2134-40 and Deep Space 2125-20

For more photos of this space visit Cheeky Living.

Ideal Home

Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal HC-166

Benjamin Moore Abalone 2108-60 (The lighter grays are hard to see in photos)

This is a work in progress from china shepherdess.

Love the gray and black accents – Ideal Home

When looking for paint colors remember to bring in fabric samples, flooring, or whatever you have available, so Hirshfield’s sales staff can assist you with your paint and wallpaper selections. If you can’t see the difference in a purple gray vs. a green gray, not to worry, that’s when our sales staff can be of assistance. They work with color every day, all day. Grab some samples and audition them with your finishes, your lighting, your husband (not really), in your home. Need more one-on-one assistance, think about a color consultation.

Check out the paint coupons on the Hirshfield’s website and this last link to gray.

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