Interior designer Rayman Boozer's New York City apartment is his home and studio, so it has to be a welcoming, inspiring space for him, his team, and clients of his firm, Apartment 48. The colors he chose for the large surfaces are integral to maintaining a calm yet creative feel.
"One of the tricks I use is for the sofas, walls, and curtains to be neutral," he says. "Then I add pillows in a rainbow of colors and artwork that picks up every color. The mix doesn't feel crazy because they're isolated against something neutral."
To unify the open space, he repeated shades of his favorite blue throughout—on bookcases in the living area and fabric on the dining chairs, for example. Boozer painted the ceiling white to balance the saturated wall color, reflect light, and give the illusion of added height.
Boozer likes to mix warm and cool tones, but if you favor a strictly cohesive look, choose accents in the same temperature as your gray. (A warm gray with warm colors like yellow; a cool one with blue.) To gauge undertones in cool grays, Boozer compares a chip with a blue swatch to see if they look similarly cool.
Even the coolest of grays can look warm in bright light; darkness intensifies its undertones. A warm gray can skew brown; a cool one will lean toward its underlying hue—in Boozer's case, purple. "In my apartment, the walls look purple when there's no light."