A surprisingly balanced, fairly neutral, and at the same time fashionable gray-beige shade.

LRV 70

We have already written several times about the advantages of gray-beige shades and even referred to the most famous shades in the world suggested by professional designers. Next in line is SW 7631 City Loft by Sherwin-Williams. This surprisingly balanced, fairly neutral, and at the same time fashionable gray-beige shade haunts even its creators: color experts have repeatedly included it in current palettes and collections, such as Living Well – Reflect Collection, Cool White Collection, and Trendsetter Collection.

City Loft paint color features

The first thing to know about City Loft is that it is an actual shade of gray-beige. Some believe that it is nevertheless closer to gray. However, it is enough to apply a sample painted in this shade to any gray surface to see that it is too beige for it. Likewise, it is enough to match it to any beige element to notice that it is cooler and directed more towards gray.

Experts attribute gray-beige shades to the so-called near neutrals. This means that they are light enough, versatile, and adaptable in various interiors, for different purposes, and in combination with most colors. However, thanks to the complex mix of undertones and their varied ratios, each of these shades has its own unique character, which is more expressive and distinctive than the actual neutrals.

City Loft: is it warm or cold?

It’s safe to say that City Loft is by no means a cool gray. Thanks to the active presence of beige and hidden deep reds, oranges, and yellows, it really turns out to be warm, which is also confirmed by facts – the color index of 39 degrees and the predominance of red in the RGB model. If you want to be sure of its warmth completely, compare SW 7631 with a really cool shade of gray paint and witness it with your own eyes.

How does lighting affect City Loft?

We want to warn you right away: City Loft is very sensitive to light. This is especially important to know since it can reveal itself in a completely unexpected way, depending on its location and light source, and can radically change your design idea.

Therefore, in bright daylight, it invariably appears white – which, however, is typical for almost any color with a similar LRV. However, if there is a limited amount of light, which is not dazzling, this color can go both into a warm beige and cool gray – it all depends on the amount and intensity of the shadows.

It is even more interesting to witness the play of City Loft undertones under the influence of artificial lighting. Bright, cold lamps and chandeliers can make it not only grayish or white – but also reveal purple undertones. Under warm and soft light, it quite predictably becomes less daring and pleases with beige and yellowish notes.

One more thing: City Loft may well reflect the nearby bright and saturated colors, taking on the appearance of their pastel copy. That is why it is necessary to choose color accents as carefully as possible.

City Loft LRV

City Loft has a high enough LRV for a gray-beige shade of 70. This means that it can reflect light in large quantities while becoming almost white. However, at the same time, with insufficient light or a certain color temperature of artificial lighting, it surprises with a dissimilarity to itself on the sample, since undertones enter the game, contributing to the reflection of certain light streams, and sometimes opening up in the most unexpected way.

City Loft undertones

Gray and beige are the keynotes for City Loft. However, designers and colorists recommend taking into account the huge number of other undertones. Depending on the lighting and angle, it can manifest itself as beige, gray, light gray-brown, peach, and even very light purple or barely perceptible greenish. That is why experts advise trying this shade on a sample, examining it in various rooms and locations – so as not to get a color that is exactly the opposite of what is expected.

Similar colors

Like other members of the trendy gray-beige family, City Loft has many similar shades, both in the catalog of Sherwin Wiliams itself and in the palettes of many other manufacturers. It would take a very long time to list all the tones of this type, so we will limit ourselves to the most popular ones:

  • Windfresh White SW 7628 – slightly darker gray-beige, but in most cases almost indistinguishable from City Loft;
  • White Heron SW 7627 – very natural gray-beige with a little more warm undertones;
  • Origami White SW 7636 – a delightful watercolor shade in which gray and beige reveal themselves in a very light version;
  • Lunar Lite SW 9546 – a slightly cooler gray-beige, looking like that due to light silver undertones;
  • Ginger Sugar MQ3-18 by Behr – a shade with a slightly lower LRV, appearing slightly warmer;
  • Silver Ash GR-W11 by  Behr – a color almost identical to City Loft, but with slightly more pronounced gray tones;
  • Pale Oak by Benjamin Moore – almost a complete analog of City Loft from an equally large manufacturer of paints;
  • Grandma’s China by Benjamin Moore – gray-beige in the same tone, but noticeably lighter;
  • Warm Gray by Pantone – a shade very similar to City Loft, but with more beige tones and slightly less light reflectance;
  • Thimble Case by Dulux – cooler and darker taupe with similar behavior as regards lighting.

Coordinating colors

City Loft looks great with other neutral shades, including cream, brown, beige, and woody tones. Many designers also find it perfect when paired with navy blue, dark gray, and black. It is recommended to be more careful with bright colors since there is a risk of highlighting unwanted undertones. If you’re worried about missing out, take a look at the color suggestions offered by Sherwin-Williams experts:

  • Snowbound SW 7004 – a snow-white glossy tone that looks particularly impressive in City Loft wall trims;
  • Connor’s Lakefront SW 9060 – an exhilarating deep blue with subtle hues of green;
  • Taupe Tone SW 7633 – gray-brown shade, calm and charming in its naturalness;
  • Portico SW 7548 – a calm brown-beige shade that looks especially organic in classic interiors;
  • Mountain Air SW 6224 – very airy and cool pale blue;
  • Rave Red SW 6608 – deep and dark noble red;
  • Soft Apricot SW 6352 – a muted light yellow color with pleasant pinkish tints.

Use of City Loft in interior

Good news for gray-beige lovers in general and City Loft in particular: you can use it wherever you want! Indeed, this wonderful shade’s calm and warm character is appropriate in almost any room and any contemporary interior. Let’s take a closer look at a few solutions with this delightful color, at least for inspiration!

Living room

If we had talked in more detail about all the living room options in which City Loft looks organic, we would have not written an article but an actual book. However, the option we found particularly attractive is the use of black and brown tones and unobtrusive country elements in the form of wooden ceiling beams, copper lamps, cozy armchairs, and sofas with light canvas or leather upholstery.

At the same time, City Loft works no less efficiently with elegance – you just need to change the details on its background. Light wood floors, light furniture with flowing lines and silhouettes, light transparent textiles on the windows, and golden metal details will create an atmosphere close to the sophistication of Art Deco.

Bedroom

Sherwin-Williams’ SW 7631 shade can be very therapeutic if you feel tired and in need of rest. Use it to paint the walls in your bedroom, do not forget about a cozy bed with a high headboard (and possibly a canopy), beautifully hung linen curtains, and a soft light carpet. Enjoy your free time in an aesthetic environment! 

Bathroom

City Loft may well be the perfect bathroom solution if you choose a lighting source that is not too cold and bright – in this case, the background color will appear to be a soft white or slightly beige. Furniture made of wood in calm golden-brown shades, mirrors in simple frames, and light tiles on the floor will enhance the impression. Another wonderful option is to consider furniture and decor in purple tones. In this case, the beige-gray color will show its rare purple undertones, and the interior will look restrained and stylish.

Kitchen and dining room

City Loft can be a very interesting shade for your kitchen if you paint the cabinets this way. Since they go beyond the limits of the plain wall, they receive significantly more light and appear almost white. You can also consider painting the same way both the cabinets and the walls in the same way – the slight contrast created will bring in intrigue.

As for the dining room, this shade is equally charming in any design option – from loft to Scandinavian to minimalism. Today, designers are increasingly choosing it for farmhouse-style interiors with wooden textures, wrought metal elements, and lots of textiles.

Kids’ room

Gray-beige City Loft can be used as a background for a toddler’s nursery. In cool daylight, it will appear to be a very soft white, in muted light – a very calm gray, and in neutral light – calm beige. In nurseries for small children, where furniture and decor are chosen in gentle, light, and pastel colors, our shade of gray-beige will provide the very relaxing and pacifying atmosphere that pediatricians so often insist on.

Today, designers also offer an interesting idea for City Loft in the teenager’s room – using furniture and decor in blue and green tones. This combination will help to “pull out” the same green undertone, which rarely reveals itself. At the same time, the whole room will look extremely stylish and original.

Use of City Loft for house exterior

Delightful due to its simplicity of use, City Loft is a great choice for painting a house exterior. It may seem a regular white from a particular distance, but its warm undertones become noticeable if you come closer – especially if reinforced with wooden accents. You can also consider it for painting shutters: against the background of a white wall, the gray-beige tone looks delightful.

Another find for City Loft is black accents. This may sound paradoxical, but it is thanks to them that the color of the walls seems even warmer and softer.

SW 7631 City Loft by Sherwin Williams is another stately example from the category of gray-beige shades. It is safe to say that most designers, decorators, and owners of houses and apartments are in love with this shade. Calm, warm, very balanced, and by no means boring – it will allow you to turn your home or a separate room into a stylish corner for relaxation.