Joanna Gaines has just proved that gray is still on trend with this dark earthy twist on the cooler shade

The designer plays with a shade that (experts say) is unlikely to fall out of fashion, and it's not Magnolia

Joanna Gaines
(Image credit: Joanna Gaines x Magnolia Home Castle Collection)

It's not uncommon for popular neutrals to fall under debate among designers who often argue some are falling out of favor – and gray is the most notorious of these shades. 

Though often labeled as 'timeless,' this hue continues to divide opinions, meaning many experts often look for new twists on the color as we know it – and Joanna Gaines may have just found the most stylish alternative yet. The shade in question is a dark green-gray, categorized as a 'new neutral,' seen on the walls of her son's bedroom. 

While discussions of what color is replacing gray may continue, Joanna has exhibited a natural alternative to the stark classic, and it's a choice that, experts say, epitomizes the move from cooler grays to warmer, earthy tones – hence the label 'New Neutrals.' 

According to Dutch Boy's Winter 2023 Paint Color Trend Report, colors much like Joanna's green-gray are set to change how we decorate with neutrals long into the new year. 

'New Neutrals are a contemporary approach to neutral colors. Traditional neutrals typically include shades of white, beige, gray, and brown, which are often used as a backdrop for interior spaces,' comments their marketing manager Ashley Banbury. 

'New Neutrals expand this palette to include a broader range of colors that are still considered neutral but offer more variety and character than the standard neutrals. New neutrals have an underlying undertone that creates interesting dimension to a space, pulling a room color palette together.'

Headshot of Ashley Banbury
Ashley Banbury

Ashley is Color Marketing Manager at Sherwin-Williams, with over 15 years of experience in the design world. Working with consumers across the color selection process, she is an expert in communicating lifestyle trends through the use of color.

green bedroom with doors painted the same as walls by Paint & Paper Library

(Image credit: Paint & Paper Library)

These colors work beautifully in all spaces – whether we follow Joanna's lead and bring them into a boy's bedroom or experiment in more sociable areas, such as our living room. Ashley adds that they're particularly perfect in rooms with charming trim details, as seen in the designer's Waco abode.

'New neutrals can include soft pastels and even some subtle, non-traditional colors that add a touch of warmth or personality to a room,' she adds. 'These room colors are often selected to complement other design elements and decor choices.'

Plus, it's not the first time we've seen Joanna play with a twist on gray in recent projects. In her 'Mini Reni,' she opted for a lighter gray-green compared to the one seen in her son's bedroom – but the result is just as inspiring. 

'We wanted to create more impact on the main wall in this Mini Reni living room. We knew the homeowner wanted more color and pattern here, so we played up the fireplace and transformed this blank canvas into a colorful, character-filled living space,' Joanna says. 

It's gray, but not as we know it – and if the experts are correct –  we can expect to see hues like this for a long time to come.

For more bedroom inspiration from Joanna, Magnolia's fall collection is a natural starting point. These picks will pair effortlessly with any gray-green and every other New Neutral we may choose.

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.