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5 Ways to Decorate a Gray Living Room

How to Decorate a Gray Living Room

Gray is a wonderfully versatile neutral making it an ideal choice for elegant living rooms in just about any style. Learn the basics of putting together a successful gray living room, from what color furniture goes well with gray walls to what complementary colors.


Different Shades of Gray Walls

Choosing your paint isn’t just a matter of picking out a single color. Gray is versatile because it comes in so many different shades and tones. From dark charcoal to pale smoke, the concentration of black in the color mix can have a big impact on the color. Plus, gray can mix in with colors like blue or green to make subtle mossy or watery tones more accessible without being too on-the-nose. 


Green and blue are among the most common color hints in gray – it’s generally considered a cool-toned color. Cool gray isn’t the only option, though. There’s a big difference between gray (cool) and beige (warm). And greige, a combination of gray and beige, sits between warm and cool. The shade of gray paint you choose can help determine the ideal color options for your bigger living room furniture pieces. Taupe and brown furniture go best with grays toward the greige end of the spectrum. Furniture in blue or white looks nice against a cooler gray.


Gray as a Calming Influence

Gray doesn’t have to go on the walls. In fact, gray actually works quite well as a color for furniture, rugs and many types of drapes. This is especially true in a living room with walls in bright colors or wallpaper prints. In this situation, neutral gray acts as a refining influence on a living room space that could get visually noisy if you introduce multiple colors or patterns. Solid grays or subtle gray patterns, such as monochrome stripes, work best with high-impact walls. This can also be a good design choice for a living room with windows overlooking a can’t-miss view. It goes equally well near lots of bookshelves or artwork that deserves to take center stage. 


Picking Pops of Color

Gray is calming and beautiful, but too much might feel a bit plain for your tastes. This is where bright pops of colorful decor or an accent piece comes in handy. Vibrant throw pillows, colorful artwork, patterned drapes and jewel-toned floral arrangements all add life and personality to a majority-gray living room. This is a good approach for anyone who feels a frequent need to mix things up and redecorate. The gray walls and furniture provide a steady and chic foundation you can experiment on. Decide what you prefer as an accent color and go from there. Everything from pale pink to bright chartreuse and dark green can look great.


Going for Texture

As a rich, deep color with a lot of tonal variety, gray makes a great choice for texture. This works especially well on walls or in fabric. Gray looks wonderful in luxe upholstery materials like velvet or suede, with plush depth revealing beautiful gradients from different angles and in different light. Walls painted with a textured effect look more restrained and subtle when they’re gray, too. Texture is a good way of making an all-gray living room look multi-dimensional.


Setting the Tone with Anchor Colors

Color pops are a good way of making a gray living room a bit more vibrant and eclectic. If you prefer a more classic, toned-down look, you can also use colors to offset gray. The key is to choose just a few colors and stick with them. That way, you won’t have to think about every small detail, like what color curtains goes with gray walls or which rug you should choose. You can stick with your anchor colors. White is a very popular option for fresh, modern living rooms. The warmth of exposed wood can also work well with gray. Black is a daring choice. When paired with a chic accent anchor color, the combination can be very impressive.

Gray is a beautiful color that works well in just about every space. Use these helpful ideas to plan a gray living room you’ll love.