Grey here, grey there, grey everywhere!  Grey is an extremely popular color at the moment – and for centuries it has been the artists go-to trick and tool.  Why? Because using grey makes all the other special colors in our lives shine fully.  It is the perfect orchestra music for the star soloist, the perfect backdrop for a dramatic story, the perfect custard for a crunchy burnt sugar brûlée topping.


Author Jude Stewart describes the color grey beautifully in her just published book ‘An Exceedingly Surprising Book About Color’   I tingled with delight when I saw these quotes in the book —


The color of truth is gray –  Andre Gide, French writer and 1947 Nobel Price winner


For a painter gray is the richest color, the one that makes all the others speak –  Paul Klee, Swiss-German painter.


I was talking with my designer buddy Deanna Mackensen of ReDesign a couple of months ago and we both agreed that the colored pencil ‘French Grey’ was our favorite throughout design school and continues to be to this day.  When applied just so it brings our drawn colors closer to our intentions and our renderings more fully dimensional.

Rendering for Kitchen concept, PepperJack Interiors

I love the color orange and many of my clients love the color orange so I get to have lots of fun with it.  Do I add orange everywhere?  No, I first lay down lots of grey with finishes, paint, perhaps some wood tones, and then carefully paint in the lovely oranges with select fabrics, key pieces of artwork and accessories.  A room full of orange is overwhelming and if we are not careful our love becomes hostage in a color cave with no escape or rest for the eyes.  Just a little bit is a powerful greeting when walk into a room.


Very nice.


Even nicer……The orange is the star in this room.


The grey walls allow the lovely orange hued wood and pillow fabrics take center stage.  Would you agree with me that there is lots of color in this room even though the walls are all grey?


Same for this room.


So when a client tells me she loves orange I reply, ‘Wonderful, let’s paint the walls grey!’  Now you know.

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