May 31, 2012

Help Us Choose Our Gray

While on the topic of painting, we mentioned we've been swatching different colors all throughout the house. One of these areas includes our kitchen and we know we want to go with a gray, but we're having trouble deciding which gray to go with.

On our trip to Restoration Hardware, we picked up a shade of gray along with the Light Silver Sage we ended up going with in the front parlor (the shade was called Graphite from the Slate color collection if anyone is wondering). While in the store, we went with the lightest version of gray they had and thought it would be a shoe-in but once we got home and got it up on the wall, it was much much darker than either of us originally imagined. So when we picked up the primer and other painting materials from the hardware store to get started on the front room, Mary picked up another 3 sample size shades of gray to test.

Side note: That's a vintage advertising map of Richmond, Virginia from back in the 70's you may have noticed from time to time hanging all lonely-like up there on the wall. Once we paint the walls and shift things around a bit more, I'm looking forward telling you more about it.

Here's the breakdown of the samples, the darkest being the Restoration Hardware shade:

Knowing we'd be having people over that weekend, we set up a voting system where folks could simply tally which shade they thought was a go, not so much, or on the fence about.

Mary and I already had our personal favorites in mind but wanted to see what everyone else thought before making a final decision. So, we didn't tell anyone our own favorites and let them mark away...

The results mapped out to about what she and I had gut feelings about ourselves — options #1 & #2, the winner being #2 by a hare. Mary's favorite is #2 and mine is #1. I know it's always hard to translate exactly what different shades look like from in person over the computer screen, so the difference between #1 and #2 is in the tone — #1 had more bright blueish highlights in it while #2 is a little warmer.

We even had 2 people tell us they liked the idea of us painting the main walls with a lighter shade and then using the darker shade on a singular wall as an accent — this is definitely something to think about.

Now that we've tallied the votes from our friends and family that were able to make it to the weekend barbeque, we'd love to get your opinion too! So, we set up the following survey and hope you'll let us know what you think!

Thanks for taking the time to tell us which gray you like best — hopefully we'll be able to report with final results soon!

Ultimately, whichever final shade we go with, we plan to paint it in the kitchen, the little hallway behind the kitchen that leads to our back dining room and the walls of the half bath off that little hallway. We think painting each of these joined rooms the same color will help tie them together and give them the feeling of being one larger connected area.

I guess if worse comes to worse we can always just continue to live with gray patchwork walls...

**UPDATE: Guess What!? We finished the painting — find the full reveal with final photos of the painted room in this post.

P.S. For anyone terrified at the thought of black permanent marker on the walls, we plan to sand it down once we decide what color to go with and start fresh from there — so no worries!


  1. I went for RH. Depends where you are doing this- if there is enough light to compensate for the darkness of the colour. But it can really make other colours pop on top of it.

  2. I love the idea of gray paint. I'm almost sad that we didn't consider it for our living room/dining room area that we started to paint last summer (still finishing it up). Thinking about going with a super light gray for the bedroom when we get there!

  3. I do love the RH, but it's hard to tell if it would make the room too dark. I also really like #2.

    We're doing Eve's room gray/red/pink :)

  4. I think the two people that suggested the accent wall are geniuses...the idea of gray is ace!

  5. I think the RH is a bit too dark especially on winter when days are really short.

  6. I have a room that I painted a light warm grey, and added a red accent wall and it's awesome. that RH color really does look dark. I voted for #2, because it seemed to have a little warmth to it.

  7. I have to agree with Brian. I think the accent wall idea is genius!

  8. Thanks for all the opinions — we certainly need them!


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