The Grays Have It

Chateau Mossaic - Cote Sud Dec 07-Jan 08 as seen on

I’ve found that just the word “gray” can put some people off from using it in their decor. This may be because the word gray (grey) has long been associated with looking sick, tired or just plain old. It is also an adjective we use to describe a dismal day or something that is faded, dull and worn. Even a gloomy mood is characterized as “gray.”

Jardins du Botrain-Jardins Maison - as seen on

So it’s understandable, then, that some may be put off by the very mention of the word as part of their design scheme. However, I’ve found—as with most everything in life—it comes down to balance and perspective. Upon closer inspection (a new perspective) one sees that gray is actually prevalent throughout nature. He is the workhorse, the behind-the-scenes element quietly pulling everything together.

l&l at home - garden: iceberg roses, lavender, stone wall - image by L for

If you are skeptical, I challenge you to take a closer look. Notice the gray in nature and see what it does to balance and bring out the beautiful qualities of all the hues. If blended into the hue, it gives a richness and depth that the hue alone wouldn’t have. And juxtaposing it with other colors offers balance, respite for the eye and structure to the whole scheme.

image via Cote Sud Magazine as seen on

via Jardin Maison - as seen on

Take the olive tree outside my studio here. Its colors mesh well with the gray browns and dusty slate of the stone walls. This tree, with its silver-gray leaves and mushroom-y gray bark is a feature in my garden and beautiful all on its own, however, it also plays an important “supporting role” if you will. Its gray, muted tones offer contrast and highlight the bright greens of the foxtail and the maiden hair ferns and other plants nearby. It’s the balancing act I spoke of…and one aspect would not be nearly as beautiful—or as interesting—without the other.

Australian Fern - l&l at home - image by L for

image via Jardin Maison - as seen on

I’ve long embraced grays because they are so prevalent in the ancient stone villas and other elements found in the countrysides of Europe I love so much;

image via Match Pewter as seen on

not to mention the pewter and zinc metals I adore.

image via pinterest: diybastilideen as seen on

To me, grays are anything but dull and ordinary.

Cote Sud, Fev-Mar  2006 as seen on

Rather, they are distinguished and classic, imparting an elegant, timeless appeal to any design scheme.

—Now, these rogue grays in my hair. . . well, that’s another story. (sigh)

Cote Sud, Dec 2003-Jan 2004 as seen on

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