Gray Pair

Gray Pair

Miriam at Prudent Projects has a thing for grey, and so do I! Grey is my favorite. In fact, I was even hoping to name this baby boy Gray.  It’s a solid boy name, not too common but not too zany either. I really like it.  Sad news alert: my husband has vetoed it. His rock-solid reasoning is “I asked people at work, and they thought it was weird.” Well, in that case.

I mean, sheesh.  Let’s make all our decisions by asking people at work, why don’t we.  That’s why I try not to tell anyone our baby names until after the baby is born and named.  Then you get their OPINIONS.  And then you name the baby that anyway. And then it’s awkward.

So, I’m not telling you our baby’s name yet, but that’s because now we don’t even have one.  Hit me with your suggestions!  I’m hoping to find a one syllable, not too common, but not unheard of name that sounds good with the last name ‘Allen.’ Oh, and that the people at work will approve of. (eye roll)

ANNNYWAY, without further ado, here are Miriam’s lovely makeovers featuring the ever calm and soothing gray.  First, this sad settee:

Gray settee makeover on

Gray settee makeover on

Is now so fresh and so clean, clean!  I would love to have this tucked in any nook of my home.  It’s the perfect size. Love the gray suede too.

And Miriam also took this dresser from offensively orange to nice and neutral, with a gorgeous walnut stain to really set it off.  See more on her blog here.

Gray and stained dresser makeover on

Gray and stained dresser makeover on



  1. amy
    January 16, 2014 / 7:12 AM

    How about Drew or Lars?

  2. Bertie DeWane
    January 16, 2014 / 7:16 AM

    I like the names Levi, Reid or Reed, and Nicholas. I realize these are not all one syllable names, but you might change your mind about that if you find one you like. Good luck!!

  3. Ashley
    January 16, 2014 / 7:27 AM

    I need a settee in my life. Actually, I need a nasty settee that I can makeover.

    On an unrelated note, I LOVE the name Gray, so technically the people *you* work with love it. So there.
    I also love Finn, Dean, Beau, Matthew, and Loren (sorry, those last two are not one syllable). Husband and I just went through this, but ended up with a girl (Elle – nice, simple one-syllable name to go with our 3-syllable last name). Sorry about the life story, but I ADORED picking out names, even if we couldn’t agree. Best of luck to you!!!

  4. Jeni
    January 16, 2014 / 7:27 AM

    Wait a minute, this is YOUR work, right? So that makes us like your coworkers, and if we all like the name Gray what will your sweetie pie do with THAT paradox? lol

  5. Karon
    January 16, 2014 / 7:30 AM

    I think I’m with your husband on this one — not that I don’t like the name, but with the whole “Fifty Shades of Grey” thing, it might be more trouble than it’s worth. 😉 Don’t be mad — I love your blog! 🙂

  6. Patti Jones
    January 16, 2014 / 7:34 AM

    I just want to say that I was going to name my daughter Gray…but I made the mistake of telling some of my family that and they made fun of it. I was going to name my first daughter Tuesday…that got poo-pooed as well. They are 18 and 13 and to this day I wish I had named them what I wanted to name them! I think Gray is a beautiful name! And I love you blog. I read it every day!!!

  7. Catherine
    January 16, 2014 / 7:40 AM

    I love the name Gray. One of my favorite people from high school was named Grey. Some one suggested Finn which is pretty cool also. Then there’s Quinn (I’m a Glee fan), Cole, Grant, Jude. So many. You’ll pick the perfect name, though.

  8. Karon
    January 16, 2014 / 7:43 AM

    Oh, and as far as suggestions — Luke, Sean, Jake, Wes(ley), Mark, Seth? Your last name is awesome, because it starts with a vowel, so you have so many more options for the ending letter of the first name (Like if your last name starts and first name ends with the same consonant sound, it’s like one long word, or you have to consciously stop between the two sounds — Bob Birt, Chase Sutter, etc.). I’m a speech therapist, and I way over-think this stuff. 🙂

  9. elizabeth
    January 16, 2014 / 8:00 AM

    Co workers are temporary, your son is forever; go with your gut! We named our boys Townes and Harmon because WE liked them. If Gray is absolutely out, I like Mac, and Van. Good luck!

  10. Deb-IL
    January 16, 2014 / 8:03 AM

    Although I like Gray for a name, with all the book, fashion and decorating use currently, it might be the kind of name that evokes a definite time period in years to come. As in, (fast forward to 2039) ‘Hi, my name is Gray.” “Oh, I bet your mom named you during that whole gray phase a while back!” Yeah…… don’t go there. There are lots of other great one syllable names you could use. Jon, Mark, Ross, Scott, Lee, and on and on.

  11. Amy
    January 16, 2014 / 8:24 AM

    Another co-worker vote for Gray. Plus you work with a lot more people than your husband does (hello, the whole internet!) so your workplace wins.

  12. tara
    January 16, 2014 / 8:30 AM

    love gray….
    how about jace?

  13. Heidi
    January 16, 2014 / 8:31 AM

    My son’s name is Reece. Hubby wasn’t sold on it but I pushed hard for it and won him over. I’ve never regretted it. Just different enough to stand out but not weird enough to stand WAY out!
    Here is my test I used to see if a name works. Remember, I had a lot of hormones coursing through me at the time. Could you see somebody calling him Dr. ______ Allen? Or could you see his name stitched on his work uniform. You have to picture the name on him as an adult. “Dusty” can be cute for a boy but maybe a little too childish for a man. If it passed that test, it’s was winner in my book.

  14. January 16, 2014 / 8:49 AM

    Oh man, I feel you on the unwanted baby name opinions! One of our three favorite names was Bran. Everyone hated it. Guess what we named him? And personally, I kinda love the awkwardness…it’s a little satisfying to see them backtrack!

  15. Emily
    January 16, 2014 / 8:49 AM

    I know you’re wanting to stick with a one syllable name but if you want to keep Gray as much as possible you could go with Grayson. Less obviously color-like for those work people but still similar and a totally respectable name. I think that would sound good with your last name too 🙂

  16. January 16, 2014 / 8:54 AM

    That gray settee is so cute and then to read that it’s suede! So cosy.

    I love baby names. My favorite is George (because I have a George). I also love Cal (could do a long version of Calvin or Callum), Gus, Frank, Beau, Dean, Hank, Mac, Nate, Sam, Will, or Zane.

  17. January 16, 2014 / 8:59 AM

    Seth! Love that name. Unique but not weird, rolls easily off the tongue, doesn’t mean something else (I love Gray but it’s a color is what I mean), not a bastardized spelling of some normal name, sounds great with Allen. Seth!

  18. Missy
    January 16, 2014 / 9:06 AM

    Well, he’s going to be your son for life and they are only going to be your husbands coworkers for a little while……I’m just saying. I vote for Gray. My grandson’s name is ‘Rhett’, my son’s name is ‘Clay’ and my brothers name is ‘Doug’. I have cousins named ‘Dale’ and ‘Shane’ I also like Hank, Jude, Finn, Beck, Chad, and Kipp. Good luck!!!

  19. Jo
    January 16, 2014 / 9:22 AM

    Love picking baby names:) How about Kade, Jack, Blake or Jude. Have fun picking out a name, and hope that the birth all goes well:)

  20. Stephanie
    January 16, 2014 / 9:24 AM

    We have three sons. One is named Brigham. However, we almost always call him BRIG. It’s a twist on a traditional name but not too weird. Plus it would sound good with your last name. I agree with others. Just follow your heart and you will figure out what he wants to be named. My oldest son, he’s 15 now, is named Easton. We got a lot of opinions about that name and they weren’t all good. But I just knew that was to be his name. It suits him and I haven’t regretted it ever. Plus, now there are Easton’s all over the place. I didn’t know I was such a trend setter. 🙂 Best of luck!!

  21. Angela
    January 16, 2014 / 9:33 AM

    My son is named Hunter, it was one of five that my ex and I could agree upon. And so I’m offering up his name, granted it’s a two syllable name but I like it with Allen. However whichever name you guys decide I’m sure will be the perfect name. And some people wait until the baby is born to see what fits best. Luckily with my daughter she fit her name since it was chosen way before she was conceived. Her name is Caitlyn and out of the names the ex chose for our son, Hunter fits him the best.

  22. Hanna Cage
    January 16, 2014 / 9:33 AM

    Haha! Kids names are so hard. For my daughter I went through our family tree and found the worst names I could find and told everyone we were naming her that. Neeltje Gijbertha Hepsibah Cage. The first two are Dutch and are pronounced Nailt-juh Heas-bear-ta. Everyone was then releaived when I called her Evelyn Emma Ariana Cage. /grin

    Two names that got veto’d for my son: Asa (mine) and Ney (his). Asa apparently sounded too much like a girl’s name, and Ney was chosen because my husband is a huge history buff and Ney was the name of a general in the napoleonic war and… everyone at my work said it was weird so I veto’d it. Not MY fault they all thought it was weird. That is my story and I am sticking to it!

    Some names we loved but didn’t get to use: Nicolaas (again, Dutch spelling) because Nicolaas Cage would have been too weird for the poor kid. Zachariah, Elija, Lucas, Benjamin. I like the old and traditional names apparently. 🙂

    Note: Despite the crazy Dutch names above, the weirdest names were actually from the American branch of my family. We had a group of siblings names Love, Fear, and Wrestling. Those crazy pilgrims. So I advise you to tell everyone you are naming your kid Wrestling, and then they will be very relieved when you name him whatever you want on the B day. Unless you really like Wrestling, in which case… I advise a plain middle name so the kid has options later in life. 😀

  23. Ashley
    January 16, 2014 / 9:34 AM

    So, yeah, I’ve already weighed in. But, I forgot the name Kent. And I’m loving the multiple suggestions of Jude.

  24. Hanna Cage
    January 16, 2014 / 9:34 AM

    And, I forgot to say I think Gray is a wonderful name! Silly coworkers!

  25. January 16, 2014 / 9:35 AM

    I like the name Gray, but I don’t think my husband would go for it either. We named our little boy Milo, and I’m not one of those people who’s super protective over their kids names, so I’ll suggest it. I always like Kade too. I once knew a guy named Tate and thought that was kind of a cool name.

  26. January 16, 2014 / 9:49 AM

    My married name was Boren, and I had two great uncles named Warren and Loren. So my Grandma started referring to my unborn son as little “Warren Loren Boren”. (We named him Samuel Peter.)

    All I can suggest is to imagine your child at every age –newborn to old age– and consider if the name you chose would truly suit a person of that age. A name can be a bonus or a burden, so think HARD before choosing something too clever or trendy. Be kind; he’ll have to live with it forever.

  27. Alison
    January 16, 2014 / 9:51 AM

    I love Grant like someone mentioned above! It has a similar sound but is a more classic name. Honestly if you spelled it with an A, he would be in for a lifetime of people thinking it was Gary spelled wrong.

  28. January 16, 2014 / 9:54 AM

    Oh my gosh, WRESTLING? I’m dying! Great stories and names!

  29. January 16, 2014 / 10:17 AM

    Baby names are so hard! We can’t agree on a boy name either!

    I think Gray is a very cool name! But, I’m suggesting the name Lane. That’s what I named my oldest and I still love it. Plus Lane Allen sounds awesome.

    Good luck!!

  30. Patti Osmus
    January 16, 2014 / 10:37 AM

    ERIC – My son’s name…and he’s the best. Love your blog!!

  31. Tracy
    January 16, 2014 / 10:57 AM

    Maybe not Gray, but how about Grayson? Grayson Allen sounds nice.

    My sons are Harrison and Carson – feel free to borrow! (guess I have a thing for “-son” names!) But my daughter’s name is Nora. 😉

  32. Chris
    January 16, 2014 / 11:16 AM

    I have a little Seth. Not too common, but I think it’s a great name. 🙂

  33. January 16, 2014 / 11:22 AM

    What about Grayson? Then you can call him Gray.
    My husband likes the name Kai, but I feel like you have to be Hawaiian to pull that one off (we are not), but I like the name Cai which means “rejoice” in Welsh.

  34. January 16, 2014 / 1:03 PM

    Well, I love Gray. I wanted to name my middle daughter Breezie, but got outvoted. And my daughter says that would have been a horrible name. I never had a boy, but I like Ty, Rhett, Leo, Nash, Miles, Will, Gabe and Jack.

  35. January 16, 2014 / 1:12 PM

    If you name your baby Grey, people will think you named him after 50 Shades of Grey. Whether or not that’s true, you will get some creepy jokes made about it.

    I like old man names. James, Oliver, Edmund. I’m probably not much help.

  36. January 16, 2014 / 1:18 PM

    We had the same problem when I was naming my kids. How about Garrett Allen. Sounds hunky! Her settee is fabulous!

  37. theresa
    January 16, 2014 / 1:18 PM

    I helped my boss try on daughter’s names – would it be a good CEO name or a great name for a cheerleader? It needed to be both. Husband named our sons Ross and Dane, and they are perfect for the young men – both as boys and as men. He said he didn’t want any nicknames for the kids, but they each had 57 different nicknames. Grayson is awsome –

  38. Jessica H
    January 16, 2014 / 1:22 PM

    On the first one, I thought, “Oh yes, that is a sad settee, but the wood is nice. Oh. She painted the wood. Too bad.” on the second one, I was very happily surprised. It looks great and the gray really sets off the lovely wood.

  39. Liz
    January 16, 2014 / 1:25 PM

    Lang !

  40. January 16, 2014 / 1:44 PM

    I love Kai, but we already have a Koy! Probably why I like it so much!

  41. Stacy
    January 16, 2014 / 1:55 PM

    I have a friend named Gray. Might be short for Grayson, but we all call him Gray and it is a really nice name. Your husband should reconsider Gray. It is masculine and unique, but I do know a Gray and he is awesome!

  42. Heidi
    January 16, 2014 / 1:59 PM

    How about Reid?

  43. Jolene
    January 16, 2014 / 2:59 PM

    Along the Gray lines, we named our son Greydon, because I liked the name Gray, and my husband knew someone from his childhood named Greydon. However, what I didn’t think of at the time was all the other “aden” names out there. Jadon, Bradon, Aiden, Hayden, Zaden, Maiden. Oh, wait. Not Maiden. 🙂 We had a neighbor who named her son Swift. I always thought that was clever and interesting. And he fit him name to a T! Always moving. Fast. Good luck!

  44. January 16, 2014 / 3:01 PM

    Looks like you have a lot of support for Gray here – and in a round about way we could be considered YOURS co workers.

    We have two girls, so I never got to use my boy name of choice – Cooper!

    Other names we liked were Noah, Owen and Finn.

  45. Louise
    January 16, 2014 / 3:12 PM

    You might regret asking for names on your blog, lol!! I love all things baby names. =) So, 1-syllable boy names coming right up: Ross. Hank. Kale. Jack. Hans. Luke. Max. Will. Kent. Jace. Mark. Nate. Colt. Shane. Dane. Karl. Zack. Dave. Dan. Dash. Cash. Jon. Josh. Kory. Brad.

  46. January 16, 2014 / 3:17 PM

    How about Trey?

  47. Maria from Oz
    January 16, 2014 / 4:30 PM

    Ok, you Yanks have all these BORING names. You know you gotta have some Aussie flavour here. How about Tommo, Stevo, Davo, Bluey (if the kid has red hair that’s the name they will be stuck with no matter what!) Wombat, Scudbum, Wonka, and soooo many more! Yes, indeedy, it is amazing the variety of boy’s names here! Ok, now in seriousness, my kids are Alex and Pat, shortened versions of course of Alexander and Patrick. They have friends whose names I really like and in no particular order; Jake, Kale, Jae, Beau, Ray. I particularly like Jae, pronounced, Jay. I don’t like Gray. To me it is a surname and that is a common surname here. Hells bells woman, just bung all the names in a hat and if Wombat comes up, you owe me a slab of beer.

  48. January 16, 2014 / 5:03 PM

    Hahaha, if I could get Wombat past my husband, then Gray shouldn’t be a problem! I really like Jae, and have a nephew named Kale too!

  49. riley
    January 16, 2014 / 6:09 PM

    I always liked the name Witherspoon. Spoon for short. Spoon Allen. It has such a nice ring to it.

  50. LeeAnn
    January 16, 2014 / 7:21 PM

    Cole is a great name. And that dresser with the walnut wood, gray drawers, and silver pulls is just stunning.

  51. January 16, 2014 / 7:58 PM

    I like Gray, but I like to spell it Grey — seems more name-ish. Greydon and Grayson are nice. I’ve always liked Colby for a boy or girl, and the name Kyle. Good luck, this is hard, I’m sure. Because I’d have the need for it to be perfectly fitting, I’d have to wait until I saw his little face, maybe a name I’d been planning wouldn’t even be the name he got.

  52. Swan
    January 16, 2014 / 8:03 PM

    So exciting to choose a name for a child. I have a nephew named Grayson, and neither the family nor he believe it to be a ‘weird’ name. Still, if you want alternatives, there is at least one baby name website where you can type in what you’d like the name to mean and then it will search for alternatives. ‘Gray’, eg. resulted in several choices, including Graeme, Graham and Griselda. You can also use google translate words like ‘gray’ into different languages to give you more options. Good luck, congratulations and savor the search! Thanks for all you do!

  53. Amy
    January 16, 2014 / 8:44 PM

    Gray is a nice name. Baby Gray, Uncle Gray, Grandpa Gray… See he will grow with it. You could also go with Grayson and call him Gray for short. As for the Fifty Shades shenanigans piffft! That is old news. Also gray is a classic color and will always be “in.” Good Luck!!

  54. Sandy
    January 16, 2014 / 10:00 PM

    What about the name Gage? It kind of has a similar sound to Gray and is definitely a strong name. It seems like Gray and Grayson have spiked in popularity lately so if you want something unique you may want to rethink that. I also like: Kin, Dax, Trent, Dirk, and Jack. Jack is common but I still love it so much. You just can’t worry about what other people think, with one exception, and that would be your husband. If he doesn’t love it then I would definitely try finding something else that you both love.

  55. Lauri
    January 16, 2014 / 11:08 PM

    My boys are both in their 20’s, so these names might be out of fashion. I have a Mark (which I see has been already suggested) and a Jeff (short for Jeffrey, but he has gone by Jeff since he was a tot). You could make the spellings a bit less mainstream….”Marc” or “Geoff”. So those are my suggestions.

  56. julie wells
    January 17, 2014 / 12:40 AM

    my grandson’s name is Jett, named after the James Dean character in the movie “Giant.” i love it!!!

  57. Jim
    January 17, 2014 / 3:56 AM

    I really like the name Gray. I think Gray works really nicely for a boy, and would have assumed it was a masculine name on-sight. I also really like the suggestions of Luke, Sean, Jake, Wes, Mark and Seth.

  58. Kirsten
    January 17, 2014 / 5:43 AM

    Love Gray! My younger son’s name is Finn: totally hip and manly (gaining in popularity though–he’s 10; it wasn’t very common when he was born).

  59. Melissa
    January 17, 2014 / 7:16 AM

    Well- I think er should all go tell the peanut gallery at the office that we like the name “Gray” :-). I have also been crushing on the boy’s name “Graham”. I love it and its different but not too out there 🙂 I also love the name “Grant”. Also a little out of the ordinary.

    Good luck!!

  60. Stephanie
    January 17, 2014 / 8:57 AM

    I have always liked the name Gray, too! If I had another baby boy I would name him Graham (my maiden name) but call him Gray since Graham is pronounced Gray-um and not Gram. lol 🙂

  61. jane
    January 17, 2014 / 10:02 AM

    I love the color grey too! I painted my front door grey, and my mother in law said I should have painted it red. I told her “well its a good thing you don’t pay our mortgage, now isn’t it?” I love these makeovers, especially the dresser. Well, I love them both equally!

  62. Laina Lamb
    January 17, 2014 / 11:27 AM

    Ben, Jak, Trey, Brough, Beau, Slate… Good Luck with the Baby!!!

  63. Amy
    January 17, 2014 / 12:08 PM

    My son’s name is Nash, which I love, because he’s him. I also like Vaughn.
    And I love your website, which has caused me to have 3 half finished projects in my garage. Finish one please!

  64. DiAnn
    January 17, 2014 / 12:47 PM

    Painted our interior door to the garage red, and everyone loves it. I like gray but not if it’s the most popular color. I like to have something different. Love your bolg and marvel over what others do to ugly things. As for names, how about something like Hawk or Huck?

  65. Bets
    January 17, 2014 / 2:26 PM

    Oooh, I wanna play too! How about:
    Bryce Allen
    Rhyse (pronounced Reese) Allen
    Joe Allen (whooops, on second thought it sounds like I’m saying JoEllen. No good.)
    Max Allen
    Zane Allen
    Jett Allen
    Graham Allen
    But I have to say… my favorite is Gray. I wanted to name one of my children Gray (or Grey for a girl), but ended up with Ryan, Corinna and Kelli. Of course, now I can’t imagine them with any other names. (Although perhaps I should mention that my middle child wants to shorten her name to Rin. I’m not buying it, but that would be another option for you… Rin Allen.)
    Good luck!!

  66. January 17, 2014 / 5:38 PM

    So my name suggestions would be, mainly cause I like them, not cause they fit your standards :p
    Nicholas – Nick (shortened is one syllable)
    Alexander – Alex (win again)

    Sadly I’m a pretty standard sort of gal. And I agree with you – don’t tell ANYONE the name, lest they bag it, and then you’re fresh out of names.. That being said, a friend just named her baby Poppy. It’s my nickname. I know someone whose ‘real’ name is poppy who’s my age – always being asked if it’s a nickname. So.. yeah, I would not like that to happen with my child :s

  67. Katrina Mick
    January 19, 2014 / 6:07 PM

    I like Grayson! I also really like Grant.

  68. Colyn
    January 19, 2014 / 11:04 PM

    Another vote for Gray here! It’s a great old name. I know it from the novel The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham — Gray was our hero’s best friend. Those who first think of Fifty Shades should really get out more.

  69. Beth H.
    January 20, 2014 / 9:07 AM

    We just had our little boy in December, and named him Blake and his middle name is Allen. We’re up in Canada, so feel free to share it if you like 😉

  70. Terresa
    January 20, 2014 / 12:10 PM

    I love that dresser redo – but those pulls are not working for me at all. Looks like a silver spray paint job on them, maybe it’s a nickel finish but it’s weird with the paint and wood in my opinion.

    On the baby name topic I like Miles and Jude.

  71. Darlene
    January 20, 2014 / 6:53 PM

    How about Drake or Zeke? We have a Zeke.

  72. Nomester
    January 21, 2014 / 9:47 AM


  73. Audrey
    January 21, 2014 / 2:26 PM

    I suggest Paul. It’s what I named my son. Good for a young boy and great for an adult. Strong and masculine.

  74. Angie
    January 22, 2014 / 11:37 AM

    Brooks is a great one syllable name!

  75. Tara
    January 22, 2014 / 12:46 PM

    What about Greyson and he goes by Grey? Your husband can have a name that is popular enough to satisfy co-workers and other opinions but you can can call him Grey. Also, why not Ben? Ben Allen sounds sweet and dignified. Benjamin Gray Allen is super nice. (Which brings me to another idea, what about an honorific first name for someone in the family, with Grey as the middle name, and he goes by Grey?) Just a thought.

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