Thursday, March 31, 2011



As each day begins with a dusty, indiscernible period of time when the eye has no idea the color about to burst forth so does each season and there is the excitement.  Blue? Rose? Tangerine?   What does the grey of spring hold for us?
Nature shows us a breadth of springtime greys. The cool greys of a spring rain on a bare branch waiting to burst forth with the color of a new season

or the warm greys of the over-dressed sheep waiting to be shorn of its warm winter coat.
The dawn of a new season, that early morning mist time before the sun gets high enough to burn off the fog. Everything is damp. It’s the time of year when depression can take over, even the air can weigh heavily on your shoulders. So we’ve decided to take the grey of winter into spring and celebrate its beauty. We want to pay homage to grey and point out how it can make us both calm and hopeful in a time when the world outside seems to be making that slurping sound a muck boot makes walking through the squishy ruts of a country dirt road after that first early spring rain. 


Not only is this room at an Ace Hotel warm in tone but the raw wood headboards and inviting wool blankets make getting out of bed a challenge on these early spring mornings when the temperature still says winter but the calendar says it should be spring.

Helen Green has taken warm grey almost to the point of brown in this bedroom of tone on tone. The wool of the winter sheep sleeps comfortably in this sophisticated boudoir.

The coolness of the greys in these two living rooms focuses on the calm quality of grey. Whether in the contemporary setting with the faux fur throw

or the lush transitional space by William Hefner where grey verges into blue the serenity of place is evident in both rooms. Grey has the ability to go casual or elegant, you can dress it down or hang it with crystals.

Greys can also walk on the darkside or trot out into the light. The deep shades of grey whether cool or warm can tighten up a room making it feel cozy and inviting.  By contrasting the bold deep tones of grey with white neither of these rooms seem smothering but instead inviting places to sit and read a book or watch TV. A touch of blue over a chair adds the necessary cool moment to a seat by the fire.

By extending the curtains to the ceiling in the TV room it makes the room feel taller and draws your eye to the amazing pattern on the ceiling.

Pale grey works its lightness on the bedroom with a view. The mottled texture of the light grey walls forms a perfect picture frame around the shuttered window and its bucolic view to the outside. This is definitely a room I’d love to wake up in smelling the scents of an oncoming spring.
Frank Roop’s dining room takes the same pale approach creating a sea breeze with only a hint of blue. The beach can’t be far away from this gorgeous room if not literally then imaginatively. Grey has the power to be humble creating whispers of serenity where calm is the desired effect.


Grisaille is a term the French use to describe art created from layers of grey on grey teasing the viewer into thinking they are seeing something in three dimensions. The layers may travel from dark to light or from transparent to opaque. Or as seen on the walls of our Kips Bay show house room from flat to reflective. 

Using a palette of opaque Benjamin Moore greys in a venetian stucco technique and finishing it off with some translucent metallic paint we were able to create a wall that seemed to shimmer as if it were created from water. 

The room seems to float in a tranquil sea of grey from the driftwood cool greys of the cabinetry and the tone on tone, silk on wool rug to the warm grey of the tapestry table and the marble Roman sculpture standing sentry over the serenity of the room.

Sandy Skoglund
Radioactive Cats, 1981

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