Best Paint Colors

November 28, 2008

Working With Grey Walls

Q. I recently painted my bedroom Benjamin Moore’s Chelsea Gray (HC-168) and am wondering if I made a mistake. I feel like I am living in a cave, even with the cream ceiling, cream velvet curtains and the honey stained pine furniture. There is no ceiling light available, all we have are table lamps to light our space. Any suggestions to help brighten up the room — besides repainting?

— C.M.

A. Grey is a beautiful, hip colour, although it can sometimes be difficult to work with depending on the room. If your space has a lot of light, grey walls can work well and give you just a little touch of shading. If your space is small and dark, grey walls can indeed make it feel cave-like. With your cream-coloured drapery and ceiling, grey should work nicely in your bedroom, but if you feel it is still too dark, think about adding a punch of colour, such as red. Red striped throw cushions on your bed or side chair or a red wool throw at the end of your bed might help brighten up the room while adding warmth at the same time. Your trim and ceiling colour might be too creamy to contrast with the grey. If so, try Benjamin Moore’s Cloud White (OC-130); it might help add depth and contrast against the grey. Try hanging a large mirror to reflect the natural light from the windows into the room to make it seem larger and brighter.