Shades of Grey: Creative Use of Grey in Interiors

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Image: Design to Inspire

It’s no secret that I’m a aficionado of masculine design and all its various trappings. From rough textures and exposed construction elements , to tailored upholstery and sleek surfaces, I have a big place in my heart for the many variations of manly style. Running like a juicy sub-plot within “House of Cards” through masculine design is the use of darker colors, such as my current favorite—grey. There are so many creative ways to use grey in interiors; here are a few of my favorites.

Grey Fabrics and Upholstery

Shades of Grey: Creative Use of Grey in Interiors

Image: Beyond the Bachelor Pad

The room pictured above has an abundance of terrific greys, starting with the lava-rock-colored stone of the fireplace. Even if you don’t have a focal point like that (ahem, you could create something similar with paint, of course), hanging grey curtains and using grey upholstery will help to create the same sense of relaxed sophistication. One key here is that even the green upholstery of the chairs has grey tones in it.

Bedding and Art

Shades of Grey: Creative Use of Grey in Interiors

Image: SA Decor

This look couldn’t be simpler. Using art with the same shades of grey as the bedding helps to bring a calm, masculine vibe to this bedroom. I also like the choices of an architect’s lamp and a raw wooden pallet for additional interest.

Cabinetry and Stainless Steel

Shades of Grey: Creative Use of Grey in Interiors

The range of greys in this kitchen is a true testament to the color’s versatility. The dark charcoal color of the paint and pendants sets the stage for the bluer slate grey of the cabinetry. The stainless steel—a natural material for kitchens— used in the appliances and back counter bring a bright silvery grey into the mix. This, along with the window and the use of wood, prevents this space from feeling too dark.

Paint and Pillows

Shades of Grey: Creative Uses of Grey in Interiors

Image: Remodelista

Changing up paint and accessories is always the easiest – and often the smartest – way to change up a space. This living room shows off a creative use of grey paint and adds various grey throw pillows into the mix as well.

Do you have a creative use of grey to share?

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Dave Hime, founder/curator of, has been an interior design addict for as long as he can remember. In 2005, he bought a house-in-progress and missed several opportunities to have an influence on his own home decor–leaving him wanting more. With design heroes such as Blake Dollahite ( and Robert & Cortney Novogratz (, Dave began seeking out online resources that would exemplify the interior design practices he's most drawn to: using color, texture and simple materials well. Bringing all of this together, along with his specific focus on providing interior design inspiration from a man's point of view, is Dave's mission: masculine design.