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Monday, Oct. 1, 2012
Written by Amanda Bedgood
Photos by Robin May

The chic shade of neutral moves home

There are few things in the world of home style that are black and white. Interiors, however, are having just such a moment with a hue that’s making an appearance in both the most formal of foyers and laid back of living areas.

“It’s the new neutral. Gray is the new black,” says Larayn Guidroz of Swags and Tassels.

It’s a color that works beautifully in luxe glamorous spots as well as dressed down interiors. It also offers the options of a monochromatic approach that is anything but boring while playing backdrop to nearly any color. In a recent project, Guidroz went totally gray showing us how it’s done without breaking a sweat.

“I didn’t want color to compete,” Guidroz says of the foyer of the A. Hays Town home on West Bayou Parkway.

The home boasts a foyer nearly the length of it overlooking an open courtyard with floors of white marble. Color, Guidroz says, would have been intrusive in the space and could have competed with the courtyard. Instead, a bevy of textures are woven into the space for a look that’s void of color while remaining anything but dull.

“There are a lot of textures and shades of gray. For monochromatic, to keep it from being boring, you add texture,” she says.

Texture like chenille threaded with metallic fibers, silk velvet and stand out details: mirrored tables, for example.

“It’s a lot of texture and detailing and very clean lines,” Guidroz says.

A sunburst-like fixture on the ceiling of silver carries the gray theme and brings in a contemporary element. It all combines for a look that’s at once serene and interesting and very grown up. It’s just the approach that worked for a foyer used often for entertaining. But Guidroz says gray can just as easily work with other colors as well as less grown up and less formal settings.

RMay_120924_5743“I just got a call last week about a baby room,” she says describing the options for a nursery with a gray vibe.

She’s done chevron as well as gray with red accents — menswear look for a boy. And then there’s gray with floral accents for a girl.

“Gray with citrus works or [with] pink,” she says.

And the easiest way to take it up a notch is to add chrome or mirrored pieces to a gray room.

“It all pops. It’s not a boring color at all. You can make it very dressy or casual,” she says. — AB

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