Ready To Wash That Gray Right Out Of Your … House?

Is gray passé?

It’s a question that’s going through the minds of design professionals, if not the minds of home buyers and sellers across America.

In the 2010s gray bumped the former go-to color (beige!) out of the top position, and gray has been wildly popular ever since. Many homeowners began considering gray as “the” color for both interiors and exteriors.

Touted as a perfect neutral because of its chameleon-like nature, gray really is versatile! Compatible with virtually every other color, gray can also support almost any design style.

What’s not to like?

In fact, in 2020 when Sherwin Williams released a list of their 50 most popular paint colors at least 20 of them were some shade of grey.

And in late 2020, Pantone (perhaps the authority when it comes to predicting trending colors) chose Ultimate Gray (17-5104) as one of their two colors of the year for 2021.

What a difference a year (and a pandemic) can make.

After over a year of challenges, working from home, and general hunkering down, paint manufacturers are betting that we are ready for a change.

This trend is moving in two slightly different directions – toward warmer and deeper earth tones and also toward brighter jewel tones. Neutrals still play a big part (and warm neutrals appear to have an edge over cooler neutrals), but it looks as though we’re moving away from that ubiquitous gray.

That’s not to say gray has completely gone away. About 19% of us plan on using gray paint in upcoming projects. And designers feel gray is here to stay, although likely in a supporting role rather than as the star.

Interestingly, even if the paint color being used isn’t gray itself, many of the paint manufacturers have identified “color of the year” shades that are heavily influenced by gray.

Take a look at the 2022 colors of the year by paint brand. Each of these eight colors has been shaped by gray’s decade-long popularity.

And it’s so interesting that seven of the eight companies have selected a shade of green as their “color of the year.”

When it comes to color theory, green is associated with calm, serenity, reconnections, health, and fresh start.

Given that, is it any surprise that green will be such a big player in the years to come?

I’m a big believer in using color in your home that you love, not just the “in” color. So often, homeowner ask me about what color is “best” to paint their house if they’re going to sell.

Fixr’s Color Trend Reports looked at this very question. A whopping 63% of professionals recommended interior walls of white or cream. These shades truly do create a blank canvas and allow potential homeowners to let their imagination soar.

Does that mean you should paint your interior walls white or cream?

As always, that depends!

Are you planning on selling your home this year? Do you love white/cream walls? Do those shades work with your existing furniture, art, and décor? The answers to these questions are critical in determining the best paint color for you.

Finally, remember that any “color of the year” prognostication that covers all of the USA may not necessarily translate well in certain geographical areas. Gray is actually a good example of this. While many very sunny parts of the country can pull off gray interiors, a house that is heavily gray inside may be a bit much for some people to take during Seattle’s naturally gray winter months.

If you’re toiling with what color to paint your house, and a sale is in your future, let’s talk. Our team is skilled in helping homeowners prepare their house to maximize sales price – and we’d love to help you do that too.

Marti Reeder, Realtor, Managing Broker