This is the perfect gray shade to paint your home office, according to interior design experts

This is the home office paint colour that will help you concentrate and be productive – but you have to use the right shade to make it work

A home office painted in Cornforth White No.228, Farrow & Ball
(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

You should choose gray as your home office paint colour, according to interior design experts. Gray is quite easily the most popular interior paint colour of the decade; we've seen it all by now – gray bedrooms, gray living rooms and hallways, but home offices? 

You're more likely to be recommended to paint yours white or even a vibrant colour (orange? purple?), with gray paint traditionally considered too calming or even depressing to use as part of your home office design

And yet, it turns out that gray was the most popular colour for home offices in 2020, and is highly recommended by interior design specialists. The key to getting it right, however, is choosing a very specific shade of gray. 

The right gray paint color for home offices

Home office painted in Cornforth White No.228, Farrow & Ball

Home office painted in Cornforth White No.228, Farrow & Ball

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Choosing the shade correctly will make or break your gray home office color scheme.  The WFH Interiors Trend Report by analysed the HEX codes of over 200 WFH office images from Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter and revealed that the most popular colour for home offices last year was a cool, bluish grey, which can be summarized as 'Iron'. 

This shade is vibrant and creates a fresh, sparkling effect that is energizing and will help you focus. The report said: 'a sleek grey is too often assumed to suppress good moods, when in fact its neutrality can give you a clean slate for thought processes, creativity and innovation.'

Neptune Carter desk, Brompton desk lamp in Antique Brass , City plan print

(Image credit: Neptune)

Having said that, it's important to know you grays and do your research on the different shades before you make the mistake of painting your home office a safe and flat shade that will have the opposite of the desired invigorating effect on your productivity. A study performed by the University of Texas found that bland grey, beige, and white offices induced feelings of sadness and depression.

If you're not sure, there are two ways you can guarantee that your gray home office will look three-dimensional and inspiring not boring. One is to pick an off-white shade with a grey tint (Cornforth White by Farrow & Ball is a great example) – it's guaranteed to have a brighter effect than a classic gray. 

Elder floor lamp in lily white, Garden Trading

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

The other way to make sure your gray home office looks good is by using more than one colour, combining the gray with white, cream, or even a brown or near-black. Gray thrives when paired with other colours, which lends it that coveted silvery, metallic sheen that can be lacking if you go for just gray. 

You can also consider a greenish gray to add depth to the colour; interior design experts from Made explain that 'the green undertone warms the grey and blue. This shade would suit both a calming space channelling a minimalist interior style, but also offers a tinge of the two most productive and energising colours, blue and green.

Remember: gray is a neutral and comes in a great variety of shades; stick to cooler, lighter shades, and your home office will look stylish and make you more productive. 

Anna is a professional writer with many years of experience. She has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening. She covers a range of topics, from practical advice to interior and garden design.