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Going Gray in a Big Way for 2017

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With the holiday season in the rear view mirror, the often gray skies of January might be wearing you down a bit.

But take heart, there’s a silver lining in that gray. In fact, there are many shades of gray to provide you the opportunity to turn that cabin fever into a fever to decorate – or redecorate – your favorite room.

Jessica McAllister, designer with D&B Elite Construction Group, Spring Township, will tell you that gray is the real deal when it comes to home design in 2017.

“In Berks County, it’s gray on gray on gray,” McAllister declared.

Indeed, McAllister, a graduate of the Art Institute of Philadelphia, and a designer working locally for more than a decade, knows the Berks market.

The Gray Way

While gray doesn’t always get it’s due (gray clouds, gray skies, gray day), it is a color with some interesting lore. First of all, Americans spell it “gray” as opposed to the British “grey.” 

While it can be a color of sorrow like its darker counterpart black, gray with silver overtones is considered an active color.

And, it’s amiable, too.  

Native Americans, so it is said, associate the color gray with friendship.

Among the character associations with gray are security, maturity and dependability.  Not that you often see it in campaigns signs, but candidates might want to consider using it as, in some circles, it symbolizes a sense of responsibility, practicality and conservatism.

Practitioners of Feng Shui see gray as calm, detached and quiet, lacking in energy and the middle product of black and white. They contend it is a very neutral and indecisive color which doesn't care to take sides. 

What McAllister knows is that gray has been a favored color for some time before it gained traction in Berks. Locals have come to embrace it in everything from their walls to their floors to their kitchen and bathroom cabinetry and surface areas.

And that attraction, even allegiance, to gray is apparent in both the residential and commercial markets.


“It is a newer trend in this area,” she says. “It’s been a pretty popular trend in Philly and I’ve seen it grow here.”

Part of the gray popularity spike may be a bit of McAllister’s doing.

She’s done a lot of design work in the Philadelphia metro area – from condos to homes on the Main Line. There, she found lots of design challenges and opportunities.

“In the condos, you have to get really creative with space,” she says. “You need to use every square inch. The minimalist approach is best.”

But, pulling off that minimalist look is not as simple as it seems.

“It’s very difficult to make something look effortless,” she says.

Sleek built-ins are among the best ways to accomplish the style.

Indeed, while custom cabinetry saves much-needed space in small kitchens, it has also come in demand for everything from master bedrooms to dressing rooms to baths and libraries and living spaces.


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