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Old 12-21-2011, 10:50 AM   #1
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Recommended Gray colors for home office, anyone?


I just finished redoing a bedroom that i'll be turning into a home office and I think I want to paint it a gray color. I've heard gray is extremely tricky because it typically throws off another color hue like pink, purple, green's, or blue.

Anyone have a gray color that they love? I'm trying to find a true gray that is mid to darker in color.

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Old 12-21-2011, 11:16 AM   #2
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Recommended Gray colors for home office, anyone?


I don't remember the name or brand, but I recall Martha Stewart recommending a nice neutral gray. You might try Googling "Martha Stewart gray" and see what you come up with.

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Old 12-21-2011, 11:19 AM   #3
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Recommended Gray colors for home office, anyone?


Sorry Frank- I'm a painter- will put up anything the owner wants-
Colors are the decorator or Homeowners job. But I think greys are not as tricky as you think. I could grab my Ben Moore book (sitting right here) and tell you a few I have seen often.
Would you use BM paint?
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:27 AM   #4
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Recommended Gray colors for home office, anyone?


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Originally Posted by Blondesense View Post
I don't remember the name or brand, but I recall Martha Stewart recommending a nice neutral gray. You might try Googling "Martha Stewart gray" and see what you come up with.
Thanks, I'll look this up.

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Sorry Frank- I'm a painter- will put up anything the owner wants-
Colors are the decorator or Homeowners job. But I think greys are not as tricky as you think. I could grab my Ben Moore book (sitting right here) and tell you a few I have seen often.
Would you use BM paint?
Yup i'll use Benjamin Moore, probably use Aura paint.

I had some old chips from a while back and its crazy how the chip will look different in your hand with the light shining on it, vs against the wall. They really darken up once on the wall.

Which are your favorite gray's you recommend in the BM book?

Last edited by HandyFrank; 12-21-2011 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:54 AM   #5
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Recommended Gray colors for home office, anyone?


A guy whos willing to use the good stuff! Aura matte is my fav, although I will say that Regal Select matte in an area like your new office would also work very well.
Decs really like the HC section of the book (Heritage Collection)
Most colors are toned down a bit (greyed)
if you look at a strip like the HC-169-174- its easy to see which way they will lean. look at the other elements in your room- furnishings, carpet, window treatment- that will give you ideas on where to go.
Then you can get a pint sample- paint the on a sample board (2 coats) and hold it up to those things and in different lights.
A little time and a couple of dollars in R &D will be easier than putting up a color you are not happy with.
Good luck!
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:52 AM   #6
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Recommended Gray colors for home office, anyone?


Many of my clients were art galleries and a favorite set of warm neutral grays was from an older Sherwin Williams color collection. You can still get it mixed. I don't remember the sequence but some of the names in it were Zurich White, Architectural Gray, Windsor Gray and others. It blended nice with wood flooring and illuminated art looked nice displayed on it. Benjamin Moore is my preferred brand but they can mix colors from other major company collections. They all have translation tables.

Your concerns are valid. Grays, because they are neutral will pick up the color of the light and shift toward it. You will want to aim for a color of light that is pleasing to you and try to match it in all of your bulbs. I have posted this before but will again as a guide for you. As another reference 6500K with a color rendering index of 100 is the standard for setting color monitors and viewing color so everybody is on the same page. Bulbs advertised as full spectrum daylight fall into this category but some do not like them. They have been shown to have some health benefits and very positive results for winter depression though.

1000K - Candlelight
2000K - Early Sunrise
2700-3400K - Incandescent, Halogens and Warm White Florescent
3000-3500K - Neutral White Florescent
4100K - Cool White Florescent (The Most Common Office Bulbs)
5000K - Noon Daylight
5000-6500K - Daylight Florescent
7000K - Overcast Daylight
10000K - North Light
30000K - Ultraviolet

Even more important is the color rendering index. Aim for a CRI above 95 percent. Halogens and incandescents are great. Some of the more expensive florescent bulbs, especially the full spectrum daylight ones, have great CRIs but the light color itself will appear cooler. Cheaper florescents have limited CRIs and as a result make people and things under them look eery and kind of blue greenish.

Last edited by user1007; 12-22-2011 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 12-22-2011, 09:27 AM   #7
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Recommended Gray colors for home office, anyone?


I did a quick translation to Benjamin Moore colors for you and painted an office in their Personal Color Viewer. These grays match the ones I mentioned and are in the 2111 family. You might also look at the 2108 and 2107 families if you go with Benjamin Moore. I don't have the viewer or a color selector for Sherwin Williams (mine never made it home the last time loaned).

Ben Moore's, Sherwin Williams and other have free color viewers you can play with. In this case I used a stock photo but you can take your own, upload it, mask it off, and virtually paint until you grow tired.

Obviously you need to inventory other colors in the room. Warm grays will look goofy if you have cool colored carpeting or window coverings for example.


Last edited by user1007; 12-22-2011 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 12-22-2011, 10:55 AM   #8
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Recommended Gray colors for home office, anyone?


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Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
I did a quick translation to Benjamin Moore colors for you and painted an office in their Personal Color Viewer. These grays match the ones I mentioned and are in the 2111 family. You might also look at the 2108 and 2107 families if you go with Benjamin Moore. I don't have the viewer or a color selector for Sherwin Williams (mine never made it home the last time loaned).

Ben Moore's, Sherwin Williams and other have free color viewers you can play with. In this case I used a stock photo but you can take your own, upload it, mask it off, and virtually paint until you grow tired.

Obviously you need to inventory other colors in the room. Warm grays will look goofy if you have cool colored carpeting or window coverings for example.
THANKS for the color matching and all the details, that was very helpful!

I'm starting with a clean slate in the room. It is a bedroom turned office for now that I vaulted the ceiling and have 6 recessed light fixtures in the ceiling, and have some exposed brick from the chimney. Also has natural type wood floors with a touch of stain. I'm expecting to put a smaller carpet, a nice desk, chair, and then some light art on the walls or photography.

I'll use your suggestion and give some of those a shot. I'll share what I decide on or if I have more questions.
Thanks again!
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Old 12-29-2011, 11:46 PM   #9
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Recommended Gray colors for home office, anyone?


I can tell you from experience, that you should buy small samples to test before committing to a color. I've been the "let's just pick this one and go with it" a few too many times, only to curse my impatience once I make the decision to have the room re-painted. As an Interior Designer, I've seen a tried and true gray turn blue in one persons house, green in another. Everyone's light is different, and paint changes in the environment it's in. But to get you started, take a look at My favorite grays:

REVERE PEWTER: A light grey with warm undertones, this classic shade creates a unifying look that calms and restores. A great transitional colour, it's perfect for an open floor plan... It's what I painted my whole house in.. And definitely choose the MATTE finish, too glossy and the color will change on you.

STONE HARBOR: This classic, elegant grey confers a sense of spaciousness that makes it ideal for small bedrooms and areas like hallways and mudrooms.

SILHOUETTE: A super hot, dark color with red undertones. I once used this color in my apartment that was filled with light during the day, and felt dark and cozy at night.

And EVERY SINGLE ONE of Restoration Hardware's "flint" paint collection is absolutely stunning.

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Old 12-30-2011, 04:57 AM   #10
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Recommended Gray colors for home office, anyone?


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Originally Posted by DesignStarr View Post
I can tell you from experience, that you should buy small samples to test before committing to a color. I've been the "let's just pick this one and go with it" a few too many times, only to curse my impatience once I make the decision to have the room re-painted. As an Interior Designer, I've seen a tried and true gray turn blue in one persons house, green in another. Everyone's light is different, and paint changes in the environment it's in. But to get you started, take a look at My favorite grays:

REVERE PEWTER: A light grey with warm undertones, this classic shade creates a unifying look that calms and restores. A great transitional colour, it's perfect for an open floor plan... It's what I painted my whole house in.. And definitely choose the MATTE finish, too glossy and the color will change on you.

STONE HARBOR: This classic, elegant grey confers a sense of spaciousness that makes it ideal for small bedrooms and areas like hallways and mudrooms.

SILHOUETTE: A super hot, dark color with red undertones. I once used this color in my apartment that was filled with light during the day, and felt dark and cozy at night.

And EVERY SINGLE ONE of Restoration Hardware's "flint" paint collection is absolutely stunning.

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For future reference, you might want to include the paint company associated with the color collections so the folks can find the colors. As I mentioned in my post, and you reinforced, grays pick up and shift with the light color and color rendering index. I assume all your favorite grays are from the Restoration Hardware collection?

Your suggestion to get large swatches like I do for clients or even a test quart to paint out a couple of square feet for a test drive is excellent especially for subtle hues like grays. The little test bottles or bags available in many paint company colors will work too. Certainly cheaper than buying gallons of paint without knowing for sure! I forget to mention the concept. You really cannot tell from the little paint chips grabbed at the paint store.
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Old 12-30-2011, 12:09 PM   #11
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Recommended Gray colors for home office, anyone?


Sorry about that, Revere Pewter, Stone Harbor and Silhouette are Benjamin Moore paints. I usually get my paint color matched at Home Depot. While Home Depot typically looks up the color formula before mixing the paint, this last time the associate color matched the actual swatch, which resulted in a color that was a bit off. In the future I'll be sure to request that the formula be looked up.
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Old 12-30-2011, 02:09 PM   #12
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Recommended Gray colors for home office, anyone?


Skyline Steel from SW was always one of my favorite colors of gray.
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Old 01-01-2012, 01:18 PM   #13
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Recommended Gray colors for home office, anyone?


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Originally Posted by DesignStarr View Post
Sorry about that, Revere Pewter, Stone Harbor and Silhouette are Benjamin Moore paints. I usually get my paint color matched at Home Depot. While Home Depot typically looks up the color formula before mixing the paint, this last time the associate color matched the actual swatch, which resulted in a color that was a bit off. In the future I'll be sure to request that the formula be looked up.
I have mentioned it elsewhere and maybe you do not know it.

www.easyrgb.com

Enter the RGB code, choose your REAL paint company fave and its collections and the four closest matches will be displayed.

Real interior designers to not let their clients buy BEHR!
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:06 PM   #14
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Recommended Gray colors for home office, anyone?


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Originally Posted by Blondesense View Post
I don't remember the name or brand, but I recall Martha Stewart recommending a nice neutral gray. You might try Googling "Martha Stewart gray" and see what you come up with.
My daughter picked a Martha Steward color for her room in the house we moved into six months ago and my wife came home with it before I could say "Let's go match the color at the Benjamin Moore store a block away please".

I'm assuming this is rebadged Behr paint, but it covered and handled decently enough and there have been no issues thus far.

It's called "Wild Turkey" and it is a warm gray. It is absolutely beautiful. Incredibly sophisticated looking...slightly warm and inviting without being claustrophobic. It looks much "pinker" in this online image than it actually is:



And yes, grays can be very tricky as unless it is absolutely neutral gray, which would make your room look like the inside of a battleship, it will have a hue of some sort of another. It can be difficult to visualize what a whole room of it looks like in advance. What seemed to be "slightly warm" on the paint chip can turn out to be mauve or some other ghastly color that you did not expect.
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:11 PM   #15
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Take it off site please.

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