This Couple Sought a Cool Gray Color Scheme for Their South End Condo

A couple’s South End living room proves that this hue has staying power.

Interior Designer: Rachel Reider Interiors / Photo by Read McKendree/Joel B. Sanders Agency

The Problem

For their reno project, the owners of this contemporary South End condo wanted a cool gray color scheme that reflected their urban aesthetic. But with sleek floor-to-ceiling cabinetry and shiny finishes throughout the open floor plan, a steely, monochromatic palette could have grown cold and uninviting pretty quick.

The Solution

Not one to shy away from a challenge, Rachel Reider, of Rachel Reider Interiors, designed the home entirely in grayscale, pulling together a range of shades and tones to achieve an almost pastel-like softness. In the living room specifically, Reider brought together varied materials to add interest and depth: Nubby pillows on fabric chairs sitting on shag rugs could have been overkill against a warmer backdrop but were a welcoming touch here.

Reider also used the curved Ligne Roset furniture, crisp Makkas Workroom drapery, and an abstract piece by the artist Sheryl Daane Chesnut to add layers to the room. “When I’m working in a monochromatic palette, I make sure there’s contrast in the textures, tones, and shades. That’s how to go from something flat to something dynamic and interesting,” Reider says. “I like to call our style soft modern. It’s clean, fresh, and sophisticated.”