27 July 2009

Guest Post: DesignTies Blog

Gold Notes continues its one-year anniversary celebration with another of my favorite bloggers, Kelly James of DesignTies and Jax Decor & Design of Ottowa, Ontario, Canada.

Kelly and her design/blogging partner Victoria Lambert are incredibly fun to read, and definitely have their fingers on the design world's pulse. I asked Kelly to contribute a guest posting and she said yes! Yeah, Kelly!

I really appreciate her contribution, and was inspired by her post myself!

I hope you'll be, too. The purpose of guest posts is to bring Gold Notes readers a fresh perspective, and to pass along some great writers and resources that I hope become your favorites, too!

Kelly cools down with grey

Grey... Gloomy or great?

My cousin is moving into a new house and will be doing a lot of repainting. I suggested she paint the common areas grey with off-white trim and dark brown doors...

She said she thinks grey is gloomy and it makes her think of rainy days...

But I think grey is soft and soothing and beautiful!!

It's funny how people perceive colours differently.

Grey 101

Did you know...

  • The first recorded use of grey as a colour name in English was in 700 AD.
  • The more common 'grey' spelling became the established British spelling in the 20th century.
  • The 'gray' spelling is primarily found in parts of the US.
  • Grey is created when two complementary colours are mixed together - for example, yellow and violet, red and green, blue and orange.

Grey is cool... And so very hot for 2009!

However you look at it and however you spell it, grey is a hot colour in 2009. It's a wonderful neutral that goes with every other colour. It can be warm or cool, dramatic or demure. The Color Marketing Group named cooled-down and greyed-out browns and grays a top colour trend for 2009.

Complex neutrals satisfy our urge toward classic colors in an economically-challenged time. They also bridge the area between black, which seems harsh, and brown, which doesn't seem strong enough.

Karen Wistrom, ASID, Vice President of Marketing for Dura Supreme cabinetry and a member of the CMG, says:

"The global color palette has been drifting toward the gray hues for some time now. Blues and greens have become more subdued and instead of showcasing their vivid hues, they have become more of a subtle blue-gray or green-gray. The wise investor is careful to select colors that are up-to-date and yet will be timeless classics in the years ahead. Gray has become that timeless classic."

Two new DuraSupreme cabinetry finishes:
(L) Graphite with Country Traditions detailing
(R) Cobblestone with Charcoal Glaze

Without even realizing it, I've been on-trend with grey -- the last six rooms I've painted in our house, I've painted a shade of grey!!

Kelly's Grey Faves

Here are some of the beautiful grey rooms I found searching the net. Love the combination of warm, rustic wood with grey in these first two...

Photo from Willow Decor blog

Photo from Flickr

A wood-paneled wall painted charcoal gray is a pretty and soothing backdrop in this living room. The white ceramic horse stands out so nicely against the wall.

Photo from Decorpad

Gray can be airy and elegant...

Photo from Flickr

Or fun and punchy with hits of bright pink...

Photo from HGTV.com

Here's a dramatic dark grey living room in The Charles Condominium in New York City. Designed by David Collins, the grey, purple, and blue colour scheme is elegant, but not stuffy.

David took the grey palette outside onto the patio as well.

Canadian designer Sarah Richardson often uses soft greys in the rooms that she decorates.

And always finds the most beautiful tiles!!

Photo from Decorpad

Love this lovely diamond tufted chair in a formal living room.

This is probably my most favourite room ever -- and it just happens to be grey! It belongs to designer Monique Lhuillier and was featured in the January/February 2008 issue of ELLE D├ęcor. Doesn't the grey sofa look like a great place to sit and relax?

Final thoughts

Thanks to Jamie for letting me share my love of grey with you. If you thought grey was gloomy before, I hope you think it's great now. And if you thought it was great before, I hope you think it's even better now!!

Jamie's Dedication

I've never dedicated a blog post before, and I hope Kelly doesn't mind that I'm dedicating hers. (I hope she's honored, in fact, as that's the spirit in which it's being made.)

Today would have been my mother's 73rd birthday and she would have loved this posting. She favored classic rooms in cool colors in her own restored San Francisco 1880s Victorian. (I think she had my dad paint it several times before she landed on the perfect shade. I think he didn't really mind too much as it made her happy!)

Sondra D. Trief
1936 - 1996

We miss you!


  1. What a wonderful tribute to your mom! I can just see her getting your Dad to repaint until she got just the right shade. She must have been a great mom.

  2. Hey! I know who Kelly is! :-)
    How fantastic that you dedicated this post to your Mom, Jamie. Both Kelly and I have lost our Moms and so I think I can say with confidence that we can so appreciate you wanting to honour her on her birthday!!
    All the best,
    Victoria @ DesignTies

  3. Wow, Jamie, I'm SO honoured that you dedicated my post about grey to your mom!! As Victoria mentioned, we've both lost our moms too, so we both really appreciate you wanting to do something special in memory of your mom on her birthday. I'm truly honoured that you selected my guest post to dedicate to her :-)

    I really enjoyed putting this post together for you :-) Any time you need a guest blogger, let me know!! :-)


    P.S. Pratt & Lambert Windham is an awesome grey!!

  4. Wonderful posting....it helps me to design my room...........thanks a lot.

  5. I love grey, this blog is interesting. Thank you for sharing.

  6. I wasn't a big fan of gray until I saw it used extensively throughout a large building in San Francisco's Presidio redevelopment project. The old military buildings have huge windows that look out on the bay and the Palace of Fine Arts. With everything inside a different shade of gray it makes the massive windows look like incredible pieces of colorful artwork. Using gray was the perfect way to integrate the outside beauty with the inside design. Much like some of the pictures you chose I like gray because it makes all other colors used pop so much more. Great Post!

  7. What a moving tribute. This is my first time here - I found it via Design Ties. I loved her post - the pink touches in that living room and the gray tiles in the bathroom were my faves. Fabulous guest post!

  8. Been a "gray" or "grey" fan for quite some time - before it was the color of 2009. Great post!


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