Arren Williams is the name, and I'm a stylist, editor and trend reporter. You'll catch my work regularly popping up in print in the likes of the National Post, House & Home and elsewhere. I'm also a guest expert on Citytv's CityLine, and you can occasionally find me on HGTV as well as on ABC 7 News in Chicago.

To keep things fun I've tapped a couple of friends - Julia Black and Jenn Hannotte - to contribute their views on design too. Enjoy!


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Ask Arren > Grey (or gray) carpet

Hi Arren, we just bought our first house (yay!) and now I'm surrounded by about 50 paint chips trying to create "flow" from one room to the next. So far, so good...until I get to the finished basement (aka family/media room). This room is carpeted wall to wall with a cool light-to-mid grey textured carpet. While I know grey is a neutral, I feel like the carpet is being bossy and am stumped for paint and fabric choices that are not just lighter versions of the same grey. We had planned to buy a sectional in a chocolate brown chenille but now wonder if that's the right choice. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

May 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShannon T

Hi Shannon T, Sheesh! The last thing you need is a bossy basement carpet! For colour I'd say your best bet is to go for something warmer that actually references the grey in the carpet, but takes it into an easier-to-work-with more neutral direction. You're going to have to check tons of paint chips to find the one that works, but look for colours that are dirtier and have some depth to them, rather than a flatter, clearer colour - BUT, before you get to paint colour, you should really start by picking the priciest piece in the room, the sectional! For your upholstery to get happy with that darned carpet you are going to have to sit a fabric sample next to the carpet to see how the colours are playing together. Is the grey making your brown look ashy and dull, or orangey and bright, or, for that matter, just right? Fingers crossed for just right, otherwise you might have to look for different fabric options!

Good luck! Arren

May 20, 2010 | Registered CommenterArren

I love gray and have it various places in my house. You may want to consider a red sectional. It will pop with the gray carpet and give you lots of other color decorating options. I use black and white accents in my room as well. Good luck.

June 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSherri