Spectral color

What color is the slate? A popular choice for the modern home

As there is an array of different shades of grey, with gray being an ever popular color for home decorating, we beg the question, what is the color of slate?

Named after the metamorphic rock of the same color, known to be used as a building material for flooring and tile designs, slate is considered a gray hue with beautiful blue undertones.

When planning room color ideas, slate can bring a touch of the outdoors into the home, as well as creating a sophisticated and modern scheme, which works well in both classic and contemporary interiors. A versatile neutral, when decorating with grey, working with the color slate can bring a timeless appeal to your chosen environment.

What color is the slate? We explore how to decorate with slate

Dark gray painted bedroom with multicolored floral wallpaper behind the bed, blue gray textured headboard with dark gray bedding, rust red hanging pendant, dark wood flooring with black side table

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

On the color wheel, slate is a tertiary color created by mixing purple and green – a tertiary color is created by combining equal amounts of a primary and secondary color.

As slate is a mixed color there are many different shades, some closer to dark gray and some closer to blue, but generally slate is considered a shade of gray.

Sue Wadden, Director of Color Marketing at Sherwin-Williams states, “Slate, based on the rocky material of the same name, is an earthy shade of gray that can range from deep to light.”

When using colored slate in interior design, whether through paint, upholstery, or the stone itself, color offers an array of possibilities. Great for neutral room ideas, as well as being bold with paint ideas, slate can be used to create both subtle and striking effect in a space.

Justyna Korczynska, senior designer at Crown Paintings states, ‘Different shades of gray are extremely versatile – they have more color and texture to them than pure black – a monochromatic black and white scheme is much more unforgiving than one of the slate and clay shades, which will change in subtlety with the light throughout the day, giving them personality and character.

What color is close to slate?

Traditional interior space with a slate floor, cream painted walls with artwork and traditional metal candelabras, leading to an open rustic wooden door with a carpeted staircase, a blue velvet accent chair and a multicolored patterned rug

(Image credit: Mark Bolton)

Slate is popularly known to be a shade of gray, inspired by natural colors and varieties of slate rock. As the color comes from a mixture of purple and green, there are many shades of slate with these subtle undertones, as well as others that look like different shades of gray.

As slate is a mixed and tertiary color, there will always be a variety of options to choose from when planning your slate decorating ideas.

Is the slate more blue or gray?

Open-plan living room with slate stone wall and fireplace, light wood flooring with blue patterned rug, wooden chaise longue with gray upholstered cushions, rounded geometric patterned side table, leading to kitchen with kitchen island and cupboards

(Image credit: future)

When looking at slate colors, there are often two main categories of slate shades to choose from, slate gray and slate blue.

As slate is a mixed color with blue undertones, there are many shades that appear more blue or purple, but traditionally, and especially in reference to the color of slate rock, slate is considered a gray shade .

Patrick O’Donnell, Farrow & Ball Brand Ambassador, says: “Slate is often perceived as a dark blue/grey – our ever-popular railings would fall into this category at the darker end of the slate spectrum. ‘slate.

There are a variety of shades to choose from, so when planning your slate decorating ideas, choosing a light or dark shade with blue or dark gray undertones is a good place to start.

What colors go with slate?

Slate painted stairwell with painted orange accent stripe, white painted wainscoting under stairs, dark wood staircase with gray rug, dark wood flooring with bright orange chaise longue, white tulip table with vase of flowers

(Image credit: Little Greene)

When slate is paired with bright, bold colors, this color contrast can create a dynamic and stylish color palette for the home. In this hallway space, the bright orange chair and painted band work beautifully with the slate painted walls and white painted paneling – a great accent color choice for gray.

Justyna Korczynska says, “I love gray in the bedroom – either a really watery tone for a light, clean look, or a deep slate or charcoal for more drama. Really anything goes with one or the other – a shocking pink, a touch of metal, a deep mustard – you have to choose the atmosphere you want to create and decide if that means you want to use deep and dramatic tones, or light and reflective tones’.

Slate can also create a restful and relaxed environment when paired with other adaptable neutral hues, forming a soothing environment that references the outside world.

Sue Wadden says: “Over the past few years we have started to see popular gray tones shift from cooler, modern tones to warmer, nature-inspired hues. The earthy undertones of Slate Tile form a base shade that pairs well with warm neutrals like Shoji White.