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Dunn-Edwards Shady Review: A Tranquil, Cool-toned Gray

dunn edwards shady featured image

The word “gray” is linked to some pretty depressing synonyms: unemotional, detached, impartial; wet cobblestones and gray skies. 

But when it comes to interior design, gray comes with a whole different set of emotions: neutrality and balance, intellect and compromise, sophistication and tranquility. 

It’s one of the most practical colors that exist in the world of design, which is why it’s so popular. 

With thousands of grays out there, it’d be impossible to choose a favorite.

But if I had to, I’d say Dunn-Edwards Shady is on the top of the list. 

Dunn-Edwards Shady is a neutral cool gray that leans towards the lighter end of the color scale. It’s extremely flexible and works with dozens of color schemes. 

This comprehensive guide will help you bring the best out of this gorgeous color. Read on to learn its best coordinating colors, as well as its effects on lighting. 


Dunn-Edwards Shady DEC774 Technical Characteristics

shady paint info

Dunn-Edwards Shady DEC774 is a light, cool neutral gray color that goes perfectly with cream and greige. 

It’s part of Dunn-Edwards’ Classic Collection, alongside popular colors like Cape Cod Blue, Cobblestone Path, and Raisin in the Sun. 

Shady reminds me of cool summer days and relaxing date nights. It’s simplistic yet elegant, perfect for homeowners looking to add a subtle splash of color to their space. 

With an LRV  of 63, Shady leans more towards the lighter end of the scale. It reflects a decent amount of light, making the room brighter, bigger, and airer. 

paint shady LRV

For the uninitiated, LRV refers to the Light Reflectance Value of a color. 

The lighter the color, the higher the LRV. Higher LRVs create an illuminated, “daytime” feel to a space, as they bounce back more light than they absorb. 

Colors below 50 LRV soaks up more light than it reflects, creating a cozier, intimate space. 

Shady isn’t too dark nor too light; it adds just the right amount of space and brightness to a room while retaining some intimacy. 

Here are some other important values that’ll help you with color matching:

  • HEX Value: #DBD6CB 
  • RGB: 219, 214, 203
  • CMYK: 0, 2.28, 7.31, 14.12

How Will Dunn-Edwards Shady DEC774 Make Your Home Feel? 

Shady makes your home feel elegant but inviting. 

Its deep-rooted gray undertones exhibit a sense of peace and tranquility to a space, making it a great color to come home to after a long day at work. 

Shady also makes your space feel expansive and airy. 

It’s cool and bright without the glaring starkness of pure white.

Plus, it blends in the background if you want it to! 

It’s an out-of-the-way, forgiving color that works well with tons of color schemes if used right. 


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The Effects of Lighting on Dunn-Edwards Shady DEC774

Shady is deeply dependent on light. Without enough light, it’ll look dull and dreary. It works best under balanced light, be it natural or artificial.

Like other light gray colors, Shady is much like a chameleon—it changes its appearance depending on the light it receives. 

In north-facing rooms, its bluish undertones become more prominent. In south-facing and west-facing rooms, it appears grayish. 

When it comes to artificial light, the color changes depending on the light source. 

Incandescent bulbs, for example, have a CRI (Color Rendering Index) of 100, making the gray color of Shady look more natural and vibrant. 

Fluorescents have low CRI but offer great light output, resulting in brighter, bolder pigments.  


Other Similar Colors to Consider

With hundreds of light gray variations out there, it can be difficult to choose the right shade for your home. Here are some alternatives to consider: 

Dunn-Edwards Shady vs. Sherwin Williams Ice Cube 

de shady vs sw ic

Sherwin Williams Ice Cube is a lighter version of Dunn-Edwards Shady. It’s just as cool as the alternative and exhibits the same calming effect in a room. 

With an LRV of 77, Ice Cube is the perfect alternative for homeowners looking to add a fresh, crisp feel to a space. 

To get this full effect, use it in either west or south-facing rooms. 

Its technical specs are as follows: 

  • HEX: #E3E4E1
  • RGB: 227, 228, 225
  • CMYK: 0, 0, 1, 11 

Dunn-Edwards Shady vs. Sherwin Williams Windfresh White 

shady vs windfresh white

Shady and Windfresh White are so similar they’re hard to distinguish if not placed side-by-side. 

In fact, their RGB values are only a couple of digits apart. 

However, Windfresh White is actually lighter than Shady with an LRV of 69. 

The difference is more apparent when the color is submerged in light. 

While Shady gives off deep cool gray undertones, Windfresh White has greige undertones. 

Here are the technical specs: 

  • HEX: #DED8CF
  • RGB: 222, 216, 207
  • CMYK: 0, 3, 7, 13

What Colors to Coordinate with Dunn-Edwards Shady DEC774

Now for the exciting part of this article: color coordination! 

Shady is an extremely versatile color. It goes well with sage greens, darker blues, cool grays, and browns. 

However, you have to be extra careful when matching these colors, as they greatly affect the vibe of your space. 

Here are some color combos I recommend:

Triad Coordinating Colors 

DE shady multi paint chip

If you’re going for a romantic and/or coastal vibe in your home, consider this palette: 

  • Dunn-Edwards Pale Berries 
  • Dunn-Edwards Wolverine 
  • Dunn-Edwards Silver Setting 

This palette brings a sense of order and balance to a room. 

The pastel colors are soft but vibrant, making it a fantastic choice for homeowners looking to create an impactful, unified space.

Pale Berries can be used as your secondary color—the color that complements your Shady walls. Wolverine and Silver Setting  are perfect for accent colors and decor. 

For your trim, use Warm White by Dunn-Edwards or something more crisp like Dunn-Edwards Cool December

Complementary Coordinating Colors 

DE shady comp coordinations

For a bolder, complementary look, consider this: 

  • Dunn-Edwards Cocoa 
  • Dunn-Edwards En Plein Air
  • Dunn-Edwards Stone Craft 

With this palette, each color emphasizes the richness of the other. They’re dynamic and pleasing to the eye, especially when paired with light-colored walls. 

You can use En Plein Air as your secondary color and Cocoa and Stone Craft as your accent decor. 

You can also use the latter two as a feature wall. The dark color complements the cool gray of Shady wonderfully. 

For your trims, use High Reflective White by Sherwin Williams. 

Analogous Coordinating Colors 

DE analogous coordinations

Light-colored rooms are trending right now, especially with the rise of minimalist-style spaces. If you want to go all light, consider this: 

  • Dunn-Edwards Abstract White
  • Dunn-Edwards Cold Morning 
  • Dunn-Edwards So Chic!

The differences are subtle when compared with each other, but they go together brilliantly with the right color balance. 

For best results, use the 60-30-20 rule: 60 for the base color (in this case, Shady), 30 for the secondary color (either Abstract White or Cold Morning ), and 20 for the accent (So Chic!). 

For the trims, use a creamy white color like Dunn-Edwards Dove White. 

Best Places to Use Dunn-Edwards Shady DEC774 in Your Home

With the right color scheme, you can use Shady in almost every part of your house, from your living room to your garage! 

It adds elegance and sophistication to a space, making it a great color to invest in. 

Here are some suggestions: 



You can’t go wrong with light-colored kitchen walls, especially if you have off-white kitchen cabinets! 

Use this color as the backdrop for your kitchen and pair it with white marble-veined countertops, black window frames, and greige floors and accents. 

You can also use it on the countertops themselves. 

To complete your palette, add some matte black pendant lighting, matte black pull handles, and white-patterned backsplash tiles to your kitchen. 

Dining Rooms 


For dining rooms, Shady looks stunning when paired with light-colored wooden tables, oak cabinets, and off-white dining chairs. 

Choose one or two colors as an accent, such as simple white or daring blue, and incorporate some textures here and there. 

Living Room 


Shady adds a calming, sophisticated vibe to a living room, especially when paired with pastel colors like blue, cream, and soft pink. 

Use light colors for your couch, cabinetry, and rugs, and dark, bright colors for your accents and throw pillows. 

DE shady single chip

The dark colors add a contrasting touch to your living room, preventing the space from looking too cold and monotone. 



With the right approach, Shady can turn your bathroom into a luxurious, tranquil space. 

It’s easily a popular choice for modern and contemporary bathrooms, valued for its relaxing, cool-toned shade. 

There are dozens of approaches when designing bathrooms with Shady walls. 

If you’re going for elegance, use black as your secondary color. 

Use it on the mirror frames, the floor tiles, and the bathtub if possible. 

For the bathroom cabinets and countertops, use bright white.


Dunn-Edwards Shady is one of the most popular shades of cool-gray in the Dunn-Edwards collection. 

It’s the perfect balance of light and dark; it brightens a space while simultaneously making it feel intimate and sophisticated. 

So if you’re searching for that perfect cool off-white gray for your home, Shady is a top contender!

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