Few colors offer the versatility of gray — a shade that is at home in virtually every design scheme from the most traditional, rich with history, period-inspired recreations to a rustic country retreat to an ultra-sleek and modern contemporary look.

On a continuum from the palest grays that contain just enough tint to no longer be white to the deepest, richest charcoal grays, each hue has a place. The faintest shades are perfect for a light and airy space, and they can be tapped as the perfect subtle alternative to off-white.

Moody and glamorous, the darker shades are reminiscent of velvet in some sheens or with more gloss and shine, evoke a more dramatic wow. Charcoal gray offers a depth and a sense of being softly grounded without the harshness of black.

Gray is a color that can be imbued with a variety of different undertones, each of which changes the color enough to make a subtle difference. Often used undertones with gray include brown, purple, yellow, blue, or green. The addition of just a touch of pigment shifts the color ever-so slightly.

Add in the way each undertone plays with light, and it is easy to see that gray is a color that knows no bounds and offers new dimensions as the sun rises, then sets casting the color in different light.

Gray is popping up on every surface – walls, cabinetry, vanities, trim and moulding, and even furniture. As a blank canvas, gray is the perfect backdrop for modern floral prints, stunning architectural details, and whimsical patterns.

For color combos, consider these:

• Paired with white, gray looks elegant and timeless.
• Combined with navy, gray offers a crisp and classic appeal.
• Add a pop of color against gray for a joyful display.
• Bring together gray and soft pastels for a look drawn from the French Impressionists.
• Even olive green paired with gray works!