The Hottest Color for Home Interiors in 2015

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine 

Gray interiors are growing in popularity, holding the edge on most popular hue for the second year for home interiors, according to the Paint Quality Institute.

“It’s understated and sophisticated,” according to the Paint Quality Institute in a 2015 color trends report. “And most tints and shades of gray are ‘chameleon’ colors that change appearance when the light changes, so they provide enormous visual interest.”

Part of the gray appeal is that the color can go with just about any other color, an easy on the eyes neutral that home buyers will appreciate too. Gray paired with other neutrals – like white, off-white, beige, taupe, soft blue, or black – can also provide a tranquil color scheme for an interior space, particularly for family rooms and bedrooms, according to the Paint Quality Institute.

Many shades of gray are popular too, from silver tints to gunmetal, charcoal, and slate.

“Grays that contain traces of warm hues like red, yellow, or brown seem cozier, and partner best with warm companion colors,” the Paint Quality Institute notes. “On the other hand, grays that have hints of blue or green seem cooler and more austere, so they are inherently more compatible with colors on the cooler side of the spectrum.”


Melissa Tracey

Melissa Dittmann Tracey is a contributing editor for REALTOR® Magazine, writing about home & design trends, technology, and sales and marketing. She manages the magazine's award-winning Styled, Staged & Sold blog.

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  1. Gretchen Alice Olsen

    Thank you for writing such a helpful article.

  2. The names and brands of the paint in the photos would be helpful 🙂

  3. Hi Susan – Great question!! Here are the wall colors for the photos above:
    Photo 1: Benjamin Moore – Coventry Grey HC 169
    Photo 2: Baby Seal by Dunn Edwards (DE6361)
    Photo 3: “Evening Hush” by Behr
    You also can find out more about all of the products/details in the rooms by clicking on the photo and then viewing it on the designer’s page at Houzz. Many of the designers detail what all they used.
    Melissa Tracey

  4. Esteban Ramirez

    Perfect timing, we are getting our home market ready at this point and wondering about color scheme; I will most definitely consider gray tones to add sophistication. Now the problem will be our willingness to sell after the upgrades. HA

  5. Love it – great article! I just returned from Las Vegas Market and saw some coordinating/transitioning colors for gray as 2016 colors begin to appear. Think hot cocoa for bedding, or a coppery cognac, navy, and cranberry.

  6. Karen

    HELP!! I have been through 5 different grays and I can’t get one not to look purple, blue or brown. I have tried universal gray-glidden(looks blue)Alpaca-Sherwin Williams(looks brown), Versitile Gray-SW(looks purple) Grayish-SW(looks purple) and Popular Gray (looks beige). I want a warmer gray so I have been staying with ones that are tinted with black maroon and deep gold. I have espresso cabinets and kalahari gold counter tops. I am going crazy! Living room furniture is changing(it’s a warm green) lots of natural light and soft white light bulbs. Any suggestions? Should I wait until never furniture comes? It will be a darker charcoal gray(black dog so couches have to be darker)

  7. Hi Karen – So it looks like your color problem with gray is a common one! Some design experts say there’s some things you can do to mute the purple undertones, in some cases by just changing the lighting in the room. Check out this article filled with tips:

    You also might want to take a look at this conversation string from 2014 on Houzz where designers are offering tips to a person who has the same dilemma:

    Good luck and hope those walls go gray soon!
    Melissa Tracey

  8. I’m no expert, but this is a trend that I hope passes quickly.