Neutral Territory

When it comes to neutrals, I’ve always been more on the tan side of the fence than the gray side.  In fact, I’ve never decorated with gray in my own home – weird, huh?

Well, I’m thinking about changing that but I’m not sure I want to take the plunge yet.  The room that I’m thinking of playing around with {my office} has beige carpet . . . and I’ve always kind of thought that gray & tan aren’t friends, that they’re kinda like oil and water.  But lately I’ve come across oodles of spaces that feature this {somewhat} unlikely pair and do you know what?  I like it!

{Wouldn’t it be so much more designer-y if I called these colors something like smoke and cream, or mist and almond?  Oh well.}

Most of the interiors I’ve been finding use gray & tan in a soothing, relaxing manner with breezy curtains and nailhead trim – absolutely gorgeous.  And while I love that look, let’s face it – I need some serious color.

Here’s a sampling of the more fun & funky gray/tan combos that I’ve found so far:

{ Inspiration for Decoration }

{ Coastal Living }

{ Bonesteel Trout Hall }

{ Rate My Space }

{ Inspiration for Decoration }

{ Amoroso Design }

{ Three Men & a Lady }

How do you feel about the gray/tan combo?  Got any other inspiration pics that I should check out?  Would you rock this combo in your house?

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  1. I have recently painted my own master bedroom with a gray that reminds me of driftwood, and I love it! I think it works quite well with the sandy color of the hallway walls. It seems like from your pictures, the best way to tie the two colors together is to warm up the cool gray with a yellow-based accent color, like green or orange. Can’t wait to see your own take on this!
    Sarah @ The Ugly Duckling House´s last blog post post ..Out With The Old…

  2. Struggler says:

    I think it probably depends very much on the shade of gray and, as Maria Killam would say, its undertone. Love these pics, so have fun choosing!
    Struggler´s last blog post post ..Inspiration: Decorating with Stars

  3. Katrina says:

    I love the color combo or grey and biege…our living room walls are painted a biege that have a slight grey undertone feeling { its hard to tell in pics unless theres a lot of light in the room }
    Katrina´s last blog post post ..Throw in the Mix

  4. Go for it Liz! I love mixing it up — just like mixing metals, mixing brown- and black-based colors can really work and give a room some interest.

  5. Sweet! Thanks for pointing this out. I have a gray couch & chair that I THOUGHT worked with the tan walls, but I wasn’t sure, ya know? Now I feel a little better rockin’ that combo. I also have thrown together and mixed up gray and tan pillows, along with chocolate and white ones, and am using green and turquoise for accent colors, so perhaps that helps “marry” the two colors. :)

    Chelsea@ThisFreshFossil´s last blog post post ..Freebie Friday – Seashell Series, Print #2

  6. Lynn says:

    I never would have thought to paint the walls in our house gray until I let my husband paint our home office/guest bedroom whatever color he wanted (light gray) and I suddenly found myself wanting to spend all my time in there! I’ve since painted almost every other room gray, and love it – so calm and relaxing. And I think it looks great with wood floors – so the tan/gray combo seems like it works.

  7. Karena says:


    I love the Amarosa design…. the gray and crisp white looks fab!

    Art by Karena
    Karena´s last blog post post ..Tie One On- Steve Maloney -Head to Toe Trunk Show at Wilkes Bashford

  8. Dyanna Pure says:

    What a great color combo! I would never have thought of that myself. <3

    -Dyanna Pure

  9. Amanda says:

    Loving the combo right now. I am going from an all tan house to now wanting to do floors in slate-like tile and a light gray with tan undertones on the walls…but still have beige in furniture. I think it just looks really sharp right now though :)

  10. Gail says:

    Breaking the mold of grey and blue. I just don’t like blue. I had my bedroom floors done in tile that looks like grey driftwood. They’re beautiful. Put in 5″ floor baseboards. My walls are that “model home” tan. Bed is all white. I just made a 1X6 padded bed frame and I’m going to match the grey floors for the frame cover and make a headboard to match. Then for some color – I purchased a dark salmon/brick colored rug for under the bed with pillows to match.

    So far it’s just dreamy and calm.

  11. Frank Johnson says:

    Tan and Gray are both neutrals, so it makes sense that they go together, even though not that many people seem to try it. As most of those pictures show, back or white provide a nice bridge between the two, and orange, yellow or green are good compliments to cycle in. Good choice of pictures to illustrate that design concept.