Greige: The New Neutral

© Copyright 2015 Meredith Corporation

“Great pick,” I commented on the greige paint color, surprised that my client made such a sophisticated paint choice on her own. “I did my research,” she admitted. “I spent months on Pinterest and Houzz searching for the most popular and beautiful neutral.” The color traveled through the two story foyer, like a gentle guide escorting us past the nursery to the guest suite freshly painted in another shade of… you guess it… greige. After previewing the stunning tile work in the ensuite, which she designed herself, I was sure this dentist sidelined in design. She created the perfect neutral foundation, making it easy for me to continue designing her home.

Wandering through the Design Resource Center today on the hunt for the perfect transitional club chairs to complement her Revere Pewter living room walls, I stumbled into a fellow designer. “What a day,” she exclaimed, “I met with a client this morning to share my design for her child’s playroom. I was so excited about the colorful pink, yellow, and cream design scheme when my client says, “I was thinking more along the lines of grey.” I’m designing a GREY playroom! What is it about grey?”

The Paint Quality Institute predicted gray to be the most popular hue for home interiors in 2015. “This is the first time any color has headlined our forecast in back-to-back years,” states Editor, Debbie Zimmer. HGTV has labeled greige “the hottest neutral.” In a Business Insider report, “Everything you need to know about ‘greige,’ the color that’s taking over Pinterest”, Madison Malone Kircher reveals that one Pinterest post about finding the best greige has been repinned more than 1,000 times. In a House Beautiful article titled “Why Greige Is Everyone’s Favorite Neutral”, Jessica Mattern explains it best as “the coolness of gray and the comfort of beige rolled up into one stylish shade.”

It’s little surprise why greige is the most coveted color in real estate. It simply sells homes. The blend of grey and beige acts as a perfect neutral, complementing architecture and adding sophistication to any space. When selecting greige colors, homeowners should be careful. Grey can be a tricky color that changes based on the way lights hits a room.

A cool grey can look lavender or blue…


A warm grey can reveal undertones of green…


While some greige colors will retain more beige tones….


It’s always best to have your Stager select the best hue for each room in your home to avoid costly mistakes. If that’s not an option, here are a few tips for choosing the perfect greige:

  • Determine the best shade of greige for the design and style of your space.

  • Greige is not to be confused with a stark grey, which can be cold and antiseptic.

  • Always select the color in the actual room you will be painting. Colors look completely different from room to room.

  • Be aware that the time of day and outside sources, like trees or red brick, can reflect on the walls and change the way you see the color.

  • Never look down at the color swatches. That’s not the way light will hit the color in the room. Always hold the swatch in front of you.

  • Try samples on the wall. Colors can look different in real space than on the swatches.

  • Be aware that neighboring colors on the fan deck will affect one another.

  • Apply samples to different walls in the room. A color may have a purple hue on one wall and neutralize on an opposing wall with less light reflection.

  • Warmer greiges are safer than cooler griege tones.

  • Greige is meant to be a backdrop. To work effectively it should be accented with color in the furnishings, accessories, and window treatments. Accented walls and colors in neighboring rooms will also help temper an overload of greige.

Stay tuned for the next blog where I’ll share with you some of the hottest griege paint colors for real estate.

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