If you’re familiar with gray paint colours then you’ll be WELL aware of the fact that they love to pick up wild and wonderful undertones – and Sherwin Williams Network Gray is no exception.
And while I’ve spent a lot of time reviewing some of the more popular grays like Gray Owl, Revere Pewter and Repose Gray, there’s something to be the said for a gray that is a bit more unique and not seen quite as often – although after this blog post it just might start popping up more in our Pinterest feeds!
What is Network Gray?
Network Gray is gray paint colour with a ‘decent’ blue undertone. This means that it won’t have the stormy blue subtlety of SW Big Chill nor the muddy hint of green in BM Revere Pewter. In fact, Network Gray could ALMOST be called Network Blue in comparison to more traditional gray paint colours!
Now you might look at that wee little colour chip and think to yourself, ‘time to put down the wine Kylie – that’s gray’, and you’d be right on both accounts. But it’s a gray with blue in it- trust the crazy Ginger (and remember, we steal souls on a regular basis).
So, there are 2 things that blue just LOVES to do, and that is lean to the green side or lean to the purple side. When blue leans to the green side (even when it’s subtle, like a gray with a blue undertone) it softens it and can take a bit of the icy edge away. Add ENOUGH green and you get teal.
When blue leans to the purple side it can feel a bit more cool and even slightly romantic, giving it a bit of a periwinkle look.
So what type of blue does Network Gray have in it? Well you know what? The undertone of Network Gray is pretty…darned…blue. And while it might lean a weeee willy wink to the purple side over the green side, that can change based on your exposure, lighting and interior products.
The LRV of Network Gray
Choosing Network Gray is a great way to get out of the more safe, light range and try something that has a bit more depth and visual interest – without going too heavy and dense. With an LRV of 37, Network Gray is a medium tone, but it’s cool undertones keep it feeling a bit more fresh and modern.
Where Does Network Gray Work the Best?
Network Gray just loooooves south facing rooms. With their warm toned exposure, south facing rooms are the perfect foundation for Network Gray to add some cool balance.
See how Network Gray balances out the warm tones coming in the living room windows? The warm tones of the natural sunlight soften Network Gray a bit, while N.Gray takes the warm edge off of the sunlight.
It also works really well with wood tones as long as you want to enhance your wood tones. Do you have cherry or oak wood cabinets? Network Gray bounces off of the warm tones, creating a lower contrast palette with it’s depth, but a high contrast look because it’s a cool tone and the woods are warm tones.
Where to AVOID Colours Like Network Gray
Like any paint colour, Network Gray will be at it’s BEST on walls with at least a reasonable amount of lighting. And while some colours can rise above the shadows, Network Gray is not one of them.
Shadowed and Dark Rooms
This photo shows you a nice range of Network Gray and how it can react on both a reasonably well-lit wall and a more shadowed wall.
Notice on the shadowed wall that it becomes a bit more flat and heavy, you lose the beauty of the colour while on the well-lit wall the colour of it comes up more. Now of course this will be the case with ANY colour on a shadowed wall, but grays are definitely more prone to feeling heavy and flat in the absence of natural light. Now of course you can make up for that with adequate interior lighting, but you will HAVE to, otherwise you risk having a cold and uninviting space.
North Facing Rooms
Rooms with an exclusive northern exposure will have a cool gray (tinted blue) light coming in. And while this can enhance the cool blue tone of Network Gray slightly, it doesn’t do anything to soften the colour and can kind of tip the scales to where it just looks TOO cold. Combining cold northern light with a cool toned paint colour can leave a room feeling more friggid than Tim’s ex-girlfriend (hehe).
So what do you think, could Network Gray be your new fave gray? And HUGE thanks to my client Jennifer for letting me showcase her beautiful living room!
Not sure if Network Gray could work for you? Try my affordable Online Colour Consulting and E-Design Packages!