I read that this particular hue is spelled G-R-A-Y in America and G-R-E-Y in the UK.    Looking at this manor house, I can see so many shades of gray in the stonework - warm griege, light gray, medium, charcoal and even a little bluish or greenish tint now and then - they all look perfectly beautiful together.

For Jenny, gray came out a little too blue.  She has asked for some help finding the perfect shade of gray for her first home.

Hi Claudine,
I've found your blog to be immensely helpful in the quest for perfect paint. After reading through your previous reader question and answers, I'm finally submitting my own. I grew up with standard new home builder-grade beige walls and am hopeless when it comes to wall color. Any advice you can offer will be greatly appreciated!
My husband and I are newlyweds setting out to make our first home, replace our college hand-me-down and Ikea furniture with classier pieces, and generally get settled in as the mature, respectable adults we're supposed to be. We spent the last few years in San Francisco and, that having impacted our taste quite a bit, are shooting for a clean, bright, Cali feel in our first house in Texas. Ignore the clutter and mismatched disarray in the attached photos-- we've only just begun the transformation. :)
When we first moved in, the walls were a vibrant faux finished golden color throughout.

It worked pretty well with the previous occupants' decor, but completely overwhelmed the cooler, lighter furniture we're slowly purchasing. (Don't even get me started on those cabinets and how much prettier they'd be painted white...) I also work from home and, after two years staring at that yellow, fervently wished for something more soothing and flexible on the walls.

I painted with grays I thought would be perfect based on this house:

- Ben Moore's Horizon (which opens the dark upstairs hallways and the kitchen wonderfully)
- Sleigh Bells (living room with one large south-facing picture window partially shaded)

- Half-moon Crest (currently the husband's music room with a smaller west window shaded by trees; openly connects with living room)
- Cos-Cob Stonewall (library/game room with plenty of light year round; connects to kitchen, but has walls that allow for a nice color breaking point).
Unfortunately, the last three turned out FAR more blue than anticipated, making the house seem darker and clammier than intended. Even worse, I love blues and greens as accent colors, like these examples:

and found that it was too much blue against these walls. And to really top things off, the dark brown walnut floors I put in seem almost cherry-like against that blue. In all, I quickly learned the value of warm grays rather than cool ones and, after convincing the husband that it's ok to put another coat of paint on the walls, am ready to fix my mistakes.
Thanks again for any recommendations!

Hi Jenny
So excited to help you!  Love that you are working on your first home and I think you are definitely going in the right direction - in fact you are sprinting in that direction - and I like all of your choices and ideas.  You have discovered that examples of wall paint on the computer or in a photo are rarely true to color.  What looks like a perfect hue will often turn out to have a strong blue, green or even purple undertone and come out totally wrong.  So here are some colors to try that you will be able to add your blue and green accents and still have your walls remain neutral (and by 'try' I mean to paint it on white foam core or poster board and keep a white border around it because the current wall color in those rooms will affect sample color): 

Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter

Sherwin Williams Warm Gray
Benajmin Moore - Gray Owl

Benjamin Moore - Sparrow

Benjamin Moore - Nantucket Gray

Benjamin Moore Senora Gray

Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray

Sherwin Williams Tony Taupe

Benjamin Moore Abalone

Wall color is also affected by light, ceiling height and size of room, so you will be the best judge of what color works for you, but I tried to give you lighter and medium tones and both cool and warm grays or beige grays that should all go well with greens and blues.  As with all grays, they look best with fresh white, so be sure to include that in your plans.

Best of luck and let me know how it all turns out!
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