There was a year when on all the runways, gray was the “it” color. You literally saw gray everywhere in fashion. Then there was the trickle-down to home decor.

Did gray ever go out of style?

The answer is no.

In fact, the color gray is hotter than ever, especially in home decor. Have you noticed that gray tends to be an extremely popular wall color choice? Why? Because of its versatility and ability to blend with so many other colors.

When it comes to how and when to use the color gray, here are some top tips.

• Do blend tints, tones and shades of gray together in a single space.

• Do use gray as an overall wall or accent color.

• Do look for ways to incorporate dominant furniture pieces in gray into a space such as a sofa or area rug.

• Do consider gray if you are looking for a dark color shade that isn’t quite as harsh as black.

• Do pair gray with bright citrus colors such as green, yellow and chartreuse to help create an interesting sense of contrast.

• Don’t blend warm grays with cool grays. Cool grays have a lot of blue undertones, while warm gray has more tan and yellow. They don’t always blend together.

• Don’t be afraid to use dark shades of gray like charcoal, which can often feel elegant.

• Don’t overlook opportunities to bring in gray accent pieces like area rugs, side chairs and even lamp shades.

• Don’t use dark shades of gray in small rooms as dark colors can make small rooms feel smaller.

• Don’t be afraid to use gray in different rooms of the home, from social areas such as living rooms, to kitchens and bedrooms. Gray is a versatile color that can be used in almost any room of the house.

By Cathy Hobbs, Tribune News Service (TNS). Cathy, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at i[email protected] or visit her website at