The Color Gray

November 28, 2011 1:11 PM

The color of affluence and dependability

Gray is the color of intellect, knowledge, and stability. It is perceived as classic, sleek and refined. It is a color that is dignified, conservative, and carries authority. Gray is the color of compromise, occupying all the space between black and white.

It is said that gray is the color around which creative people are most creative. Gray is a neutral color that can enhance and intensify any other color it surrounds. My favorite version of gray is silver. This gorgeous white gold and raw diamond ring is from Boulder, Colorado artist, Todd Reed. I bought it a few years back and can wear it with anything.

High-end car companies, in an effort to make a luxurious statement, often use gray in their advertising. Gray is the color of affluence, seriousness, dependability and stability, the perfect message for car sales. In nature, everything gray is permanent including rocks, silver, and aluminum. It is associated with timeliness, practicality, and exclusivity (i.e. the platinum credit card).

The psychology of gray suggests void, emptiness, and lack of movement. It has a detached and isolated feeling. Gray can have a cooling effect when placed next to other, more vibrant colors.

Sadly, gray is often associated with old age (“gray-hairs”), indecision, death, taxes, illness, depression (gray skies ahead) or a lost sense of direction (gray area). Gray is unsettling and creates expectations. It is often considered boring and suggests a lack of character.

How to use gray to affect your life:

Gray clothing suggests efficiency and is often used in the business world to send a stabilizing, dependable message. It is a great color for negotiations. As a result, the gray business suit has long been a perfect choice for lawyers, bankers and other professionals. Too much gray, however, will suggest lack of character, initiative and detachment. If you are working in these fields, remember to pair gray with other vibrant colors.

Recently it has been used as the “new black” to provide a fresh, clean variation on the slimming, sleek presentation of black.

A bit of gray will add that rock-solid feeling to your look, room or product.

When deciding what to wear to a job interview gray is a great choice if your intention is to show your future boss that you’re responsible. Make sure to add a deliberate splash of another color to stand out from the crowd. Send a complementary message about your acumen for managing money with a splash of green.

Silver, my favorite presentation of gray, can be added to most any outfit to shine it up and make you look sophisticated, sparkly, and radiant.

According to feng shui, gray is associated with metal and is the color of friendship, helpful people and travel. It encourages self-control and self-sufficiency. It is best used in the feng shui bagua areas of creativity and children (right center area), helpful people and travel (right front of space), and career (front center of space). Using the compass method, gray is recommended for the West, Northwest or North sections of your space.

Gray is a great color for your home office or entryway and should be avoided in the bedrooms. Used as an accent color, it will enliven and boost the effect of other colors surrounding it. To balance a very earth living room (in my helpful people and travel section), I painted the far fireplace wall metallic silver, paired that with citrus green walls and now have a space everyone enjoys being in.

Gray gemstones are healing stones and can assist in stabilizing relationships; these include hematite, black pearl, drusy, smoky quartz, silver, platinum, steel aluminum, and my favorite, raw diamonds.

By common consent gray hairs are a crown of glory; the only object of respect that can never excite envy. – George Bancroft.

For more information on color, please check out the previous posts:

Introduction: Using Color as a Tool for Self Improvement

The Color Red

The Color Orange

The Color Yellow

The Color Green

The Color Blue

The Color Indigo

The Color Purple

The Color Pink

The Color Turquoise

The Color White

The Color Black

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