gray laminate
Are you kidding me. Read more.

A top commenting rule on the blog is, “No one can be made to feel bad for their choices.” So I am breaking my own rule and will probably regret it. However, I can no longer contain my rant against “greige” — that drab, virtually colorless, gray-green-brown-beige — that has begun to permeate the contemporary interior design world. Above: from Restoration Hardware. This is their second season, at least, deep into the doo doo (pun intended) of greige. I know times are really tough, and that a somber mood, on many occasions, is called for. But, this palette (can you even call the absence of color a palette?) … makes me depressed. I encourage the secret society of people who plan the “hot colors” for years forward to, instead, consider promoting a palette that reminds us to smile… that lifts us up… that gives us some hope! We Americans are an optimistic, extroverted, hard-working bunch, and we’ll pull out of this malaise. We are Not a Greige Nation. Oh and one more thing: Please remember that the Marketing Machine wants to convince you to throw out everything you bought five years ago for whatever is new today. Train your own eye, surround yourself with what makes You happy, and ignore what any trend pundits — including me-ish — say.

  1. Sharon says:

    hello. I have been lurking on this blog for a while. I was born in a mid century modest house that had lots of color on the walls. I now live in a 1970’s condo. I h*** [edited] dull depressing colors such as greige, grays, etc. My living room is currently a dull shade of white, but I plan to have it painted in a soft shade of light green (sherwin williams nurture green or haven). I am looking at various paint colors for the other rooms. I plan to paint my main bath a pretty shade of light peachy pink. I do not understand why so many designers like ugly neutral grayish colors in every room. I live in Ohio and in the winter months, it can get very dull and grey outside. I like having something bright and cheerful to come home to.

  2. Laurel says:

    …And along he same lines, I tried painting all the house trim in brown–a neutral selling color. I really hate it. it looks awful next to the brick. Will paint over as soon as I can afford it.

  3. Laurel says:

    Much as I think about going black, grey and white in the kitchen, the rest of the house is in colors like BM French Lilac, BM Innocence, Apple Froth, and BM Sugar Plum….I keep looking at paint flyers and every one of them says my choice in color is juvenile, or is more appropriate in kid’s rooms. I just thought i liked Pure tints not shades. Nice to hear some one else really likes colors. I hate beige walls or any colors dulled down with black. One of my family members had the whole house painted in a color called celery. it was a dulled down yellow. I thought it looked like the entire house was painted in old urine. She liked it anyway……

  4. Kim J says:

    When we put our house on the market, I fell into the trap of painting my “dated” gold kitchen walls a horrible color that looks like cat vomit. Atrocious. I’m a miserable failure at trying to see this “color” as part of any palette other than “gross.” When your paint color choices are between “Bleck” and “What the heck do you call that?”, there’s no way to win. In our next home, I’m going to paint the walls with actual colors that make me feel good, instead of nauseous. Thanks for the post!

    1. pam kueber says:

      Back in the day there was a common color “Battleship Gray” — it was the color you painted the inside of your garage, or the masonry walls inside the part of your basement where the heater was. I don’t believe that anyone would have dreamt of using this color in the public part of the house.

  5. jim says:

    Shame shame shame!

    “A top commenting rule on the blog is, “No one can be made to feel bad for their choices.” So I am breaking my own rule and will probably regret it.”

    I believe every color, no matter how neutral, has a place in home design. IMHO, there’s nothing as restful as a bedroom decorated in gray or beige (and gray and turquoise go beautifully together). I wouldn’t use neutrals in a living room or kitchen though as I like some zest in those rooms.

    C’mon, please don’t turn into the “color police”!

    1. pam kueber says:

      My comments were specifically directed to Gray on every surface like a mausoleum. But, yes, I admit I broke my own rule!

  6. Technicolor says:

    I fell for the beige and am so tired of it. Will never go gray. We do need to find “ourselves” and your blog supports this. My 50s home wasn’t changed much when bought, other than new kitchen cabinets. I so wish they had left the original kitchen to work around. Since my position is not possible for changing them, have decided to honor the rest of the kitchen with tile counter tops and beadboard. At least a comfort status and hopefully redirect attention to the cupboards. Am also painting the entire interior in white and go from there with color. Paint can be changed if this doesn’t work. Love your blog and send many here to see possibilities for existing and wonderful possibilities to honor their homes’ origins.

  7. Chelsea says:

    As I home stylist, I am always aware of retail merchandise. I walked in to RH last week and thought I was in a basement. There is so little light in the store, I needed a flashlight. Mood? Feels like the Adams Family lives there.

    I felt like I was suddenly color blind – but really there just wasn’t any to see. If you need to waste time, stroll thru.

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