Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Gray is the new black

It's official, I love fall.
I love everything about it (probably because it does not snow where I live).
I love the colors of the leaves on the ground, the orange mums and pumpkins.
I even love pumpkin ice cream.

source: paula cheney
The thing I have noticed this year is that gray is everywhere.  It made it's way into the market place more than a year ago and it's still going strong and has permeated everything design related.  Since that's part of my job...to notice trends in the industry, I think I have been taken in hook, line and sinker.  Throw the anchor overboard!  I'm staying here with gray for a while!

Now you might be thinking...what in the heck does gray have to do with fall?  other than maybe the color of the sky.  But I think it has a lot to do with it because it is the perfect neutral for the color orange, my favorite fall color.
I decided to do my own little research to see what I could find in the perfect combination for fall.

From the front door,
to the living room,


1 kind design
 to the kitchen,
gray and orange were everywhere!

Bedrooms (love it),
to the nursery (love the big, bold stripe on the wall).

I even found it in the office, making simple white shelves a knockout.
room lust
Grey is everywhere in the wedding scene...gray with orange, gray with bright pink, gray with bright yellow.  See for yourself.
The Perfect Palette

How about in fashion?

Nike running shoes

source: Nike
Orla Kiely Tote bag
I love you so much orange leather tote bag, but why in heavens name do you have to cost $465?
source: Orla Kiely
Don't you think the Orla Kiely orange tote would look great with this gray outfit from Banana Republic?

It has even made it's way to my house by way of new coverlets in the guest room, a new bench outside and a new project that's currently on the work table (more on that later).

I have a very long porch and have always wanted a bench under the window but could never find one long enough (about 8 ft) so I made a little sketch and my husband built it from scratch.  Then came time for paint.  I looked at some different colors, black, red, creme, but then had an epiphany that I needed to paint it gray.  So we went to Home Depot for some gray exterior paint with primer and once again, he made it happen.
A couple week later, he sanded the bench to distress the edges and I glazed it with a some Ralph Lauren glaze that I had left over from another project.  I don't believe they make the glaze anymore so stain could easily substituted.  We finished it off with a spray varnish in matte. 
And now I have a bench on my porch in the fabulous shade of gray.  
Looks fabulous with the orange don't you think?
 Paint color: Behr Ultra in Antique Tin UL260-21

What can you paint gray to get ready for fall?


  1. Beautiful! Erin recently painted her living room grey with yellow accents. Very trendy!

  2. I absolutely luv grey...I decided to redo our living room with greys, cremes and taupes...I hope it turns out good.

  3. I love your bench and yes, it looks wonderful with the pumpkins! Grey and yellow are one of my favorite color combos and now grey and orange is too!

  4. That grey & orange wedding is LUSCIOUS !! I too love Fall and love the fact that it is followed by Winter complete with snow !!! You think grey is beautiful, you need to see fluffy white goodness. On a sunny day or dark night, it is perfection !!! Have a happy one !!

  5. Hello, Paula-- Ha! love this Grey trend. Turns out it fits in high summer in S.A. too- Last week we approved the final colour for our exterior house repaint (starts tomorrow & I am dreading it)colour called "Fynbos". Ring any bells?

  6. Grey has always been big here in France; its nuance is endless.

  7. LOVE THE BENCH...Gold star for hubby!

  8. Hi Paula, I have a yellow house with a long table in front of the window on the front porch. It has been black for ages but you just inspired me to go gray.l Front door tool And it won't show the dust as much. Bonus! Thanks.

  9. Hi Judy!
    I hope you like the gray! Every time I walk by the bench I just love it. Also had so many great comments about it from friends. Love to see a picture when your done!

  10. Fabulous inspiration. That bag is gorgeous...but expensive...but I really love it! Love the bench!

  11. Yes Paula, I will send a picture! Just sent my hubbie out for pumpkins. (Copy catting you as usual).

  12. The bench looks great Paula! Way to go hubby!!

  13. The two wedding inspiration boards of orange and grey are from the Perfect Palette - not Style me Pretty. If you could change the credit that would be greatly appreciated :)