Gray Living Room Decorating Ideas

Gone are the years where gray is boring. For decades, gray has been on the walls, floors and decorative items of homes. It is now a popular hue, known for its earthy tones that brings a sense of welcoming calmness.

As we spend more time indoors, home owners are looking to make their homes more cosy, more spacious, or just something different. There has been an increasing interest in warmer gray shades, sometimes known as greige colours. The gray colour is loved for its versatility and the sophistication it helps to bring about.

Besides the warm shades, gray has also become the king of neutrals.

From cool to warm shades, more homeowners are leaning towards having some gray tones for their homes. Since different shades of gray evokes different emotions, we need to consider which best fits our decorative intentions.

If gray is something you have been looking to add in your homes, here are some decorating ideas to inspire your next living room project.


Elegant gray living room design


Gray, being its versatile self, has the ability to churn out different emotions at different shades. It can be further accentuated by the correct usage of textures and accessories, weaving its own story altogether.

This flexible colour is often associated with elegance. Capture the sheer air of elegance and royalty by going for classic details and soft pastel palette. Classic details are the architectural moldings and carved mantel on walls and ceilings.

The art of elegance and sophistication of gray walled living rooms is about balance of lights – both natural and man-made.

A single, lighter gray tone allows the carvings of the walls to stand out. The introduction of pastel colored items and tufted sofas allows your gray living room to become a comfortable feast for the eyes.

You can also go for a contemporary style living room by pairing white or beige with black or dark gray, which helps to add a clean and modern touch to a space – not to mention sleek. Invest in a statement coffee table if you have the luxury of space.

Contemporary style Gray Living Room


Besides tufted sofas, try to incorporate luxe fabrics and ceiling-to-floor drapes. They help to bring out that luxuriously, graceful feel. Glass and reflective surfaces like metals and mirrors are excellent contributions to this mood as well.

Luxurious and grand gray living room


Ceiling-to-floor drapes are one of those things that add a touch of elegance to your home. Easy and light, yet a rich effect to create an amazing ambience in your sophisticated gray living room. For living rooms, it would be better to get the flowy kind of drapes instead of the blackout ones.


Airy ceiling to floor drapes


To really go for that sleek and edgy living room, try going for darker shades of gray. Statement pieces of mid-century modern and industrial style works magically here, complementing the rather mature, mellow gray colour palette. Bring in soft rugs to slightly fluff things up, along with tufted sofas.

Dark Gray living room


However, these rich, darker shades of gray always make a room seem smaller than it is. So keep in mind to have the ceiling painted white and your windows free from thick curtains or drapes.

Dark Grey shades for living room


80-20 rule in gray living room

Image Source | HUSH DESIGN

For a more relaxed and casual atmosphere, we go for a beige-ish gray, or some calling it greige, and pair it with one other colour (besides gray) around the home. Aim for symmetry of design throughout, with 80% of your living room being gray and the other colour will take up the remaining 20%.

We just want hints of the other colour without compromising the calmness of your gray living room. Result will be a clean looking and neat space. Invest in a large artwork that has hints of the 20% colour too. This would really bring your living room together.

Once again, choose metallic or reflective surface accessories to brighten up a rather neutrally balanced room. Linens are especially great to bring warmth. It will be great to have a couple of throws and cushions on your sofa too.

It’s all about the details, pay attention to them!

Large windows and wooden floors in gray living room


Homes with large windows, an airy living room can be created by keeping your furnishings simple. Flood the room with natural light with a light-toned gray, accented with white trim. Natural wooden floors help to bring the beautiful outside view inside, making the entire room feel not too far off from the refreshing nature. Crisp, calm and airy. All that a comfortable home should be. Notice that ceiling-to-floor drapes are (especially) used here.

Tree stump style wooden side coffee table

A small wooden round table with the shape of a tree stump is aesthetically charming and enlivens your space with nature. It’s chic, minimal and provides a good, cozy reading nook to place cups, books or magazines.


Below are some light gray shades that goes well in this style of gray living room.

Light gray shades for living room

The beauty of gray is its wide range, you’ll eventually find your gray. In a case where there is not much view outside or your living room does not have large windows, we bring the warmth indoors.

Gray colored walls with brown undertones are perfectly accentuated when paired with warm wooden floors and a mix of light and dark-toned furniture.

bright and airy gray living room




People who like bright colours for their living room would perhaps disagree to have gray for their walls. However, when played well, it can create a distinct, maximalism style where everything seems to fall into place cohesively.

Being a highly versatile colour, gray is able to work well with most accent colors.

yellow and gray colour in living room


When we speak of bold, we think mustard yellow or pink or red. Bright, eye-catching and a definite shot of vibrancy. To blend gray and a bold colour of such, go for a monochromatic gray living room; a mix of both light and dark gray.

Rule of 80-20 applies here as well. We still want more gray but that 20% loud colour is enough to steal the show.

pop art in gray living room


Another idea is to paint the walls the colour of a shy gray that’s very close to white, or dusty gray even, and pop in some bright and colourful art pieces around. Like a blank canvas, you can throw all the colours you want. The art pieces will stand out amazingly against these gray walls.

To complete your one-of-a-kind artistic living room, incorporate neutral coloured velvety sofas and patterned carpets. This combination of different textures and pops of colours gives off a very modern vibe, one that is young and light-hearted.

You can always go bolder with a stronger patterned carpet for this kind of style. The canvas is all yours. Because here, the gray walls help to balance your living room and keep it from looking like a mess.

I’ll recommend Rug Source for you to choose high quality rugs of all kinds, at an affordable, value price. With a 30-day money back guarantee, you can stay assured of a satisfying online rug buy. 


The direction of where your natural light comes in plays a part. With the right usage of light and space, the colour gray can actually help to balance the intensity of the sunlight coming into your home.

Living rooms facing the east would receive warmer, stronger lights in the morning and then much cooler lights in the evening. It will be the opposite for west facing rooms.

Natural lights in gray living room

Take into consideration of the colours and undertones of adjoining rooms. Pick the gray where the light dominates more.

Pale gray evokes the feeling of airiness and space which makes it an excellent choice for a small living room. Because gray can help to bounce light off your room, take the chance to paint your ceilings as well. It will help to create a more consistent appearance to guide the eyes to look around the home with ease.

If natural lights can help to accentuate your gray hues, so can artificial light sources. Warm, soft white bulbs are great to enhance warm tones while cooler white bulbs are better for the blue and green tones.

It can be frustrating to pick the wrong colour and shade. Before anything, paint large test squares on every wall of your living room. Take a look at time at different times of the day. 


This special colour, gray, acts as a beautiful neutral colour for a home. One that can be hard to choose from its wide, wide shades spectrum. Yet when combined well with the right textures and materials, grey living rooms are always bursting with life and personality.

Design is always personal. And by drawing inspiration to the kind of atmosphere you would like for your home, you can certainly create one that is your kind of gray.

From sophisticated to edgy, delicate to striking, gray is proving to be a well-loved versatile, modern and fresh colour for homes. And as a neutral colour, it gives plenty of room to change the furniture and accessories without disrupting the design balance of your living room.

Roll up those sleeves, it’s time to get painting. 


** Disclosure: Some links in this article are affiliate links, which allows me to earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. There are no additional costs to you.

22 thoughts on “Gray Living Room Decorating Ideas”

  1. I’m really glad I came into this article because this year my mom is about to paint her house grey but she still doesn’t know which type of grey. I liked the #dedede light grey shades so I’m for sure sharing this article with her so she can check it out & have tons of new ideas.

    Thank you keep it up,


    1. Hey Venche,

      I would be having a tough time choosing a gray for my home too, I think I can understand what your mom feels. Hahaha.

      The light gray shades will look amazing and thanks for sharing. I hope she can draw inspirations for her next project from here!


  2. This is a solid, well-written post about how to decorate your home with grays! I absolutely love all shades of gray and usually pair them with a pop/splash of bright color (I prefer light ash gray with deep turquoise). I have learned so many things about decorating from just one post of yours! From what drapes to choose to keeping in mind of the color of wood on floors- superb ideas! I am going to check out that wood table you suggested as well. it looks like such a statement piece to have in a living room.

    Thank you so much for putting this post together and giving us awesome ideas! I’m already having tons of cool ideas to remodel my living room now!

    1. Hey Sasha,

      Light ash gray and deep turqouise is a BEAUT.

      I’m glad you’re able to take away some ideas from here! Have a good time decorating your home. I think you’ll do superb with it.


  3. Hi Sam,

    I am so glad I came across your website! I am moving into my first home with my partner next month and a lot of our house is gray. We will be painting some of it, but for the most part we like it! I’m a huge fan of gray with pops of color, especially mustard.

    I also love the natural wooden look with gray, black or white rooms. That end table is super cute!

    Home design/decor is something I’m super interested in and have thought about starting a second website to focus on that niche. Mood boards are my free time hobby haha!

    I’m definitely looking forward to checking out your site and your future posts!

    1. Hi Haley,

      Congrats on your move! You must be super excited.

      Its great that you already have base gray that you and your partner like! Mustard is great colour to match with gray. I mean, yellow. They just scream fresh from one look. Hahaha.

      Moodboards are fun to do. If you have the passion, then you totally should start on a home design site. Let me know when you have one up and running.

      Drop by anytime. Have fun decorating that new home of yours. You’ll do fantastic, I’m sure!


  4. Hi Sam,

    I really loved reading through your article on how to get an ideal gray decorated living room. I totally agree with you that for a contemporary style living room one can pair white or beige with a black or dark grey touch to help texture and add a clean and modern touch to a home. Everyone wants an elegant living room for sure.

    Thanks for sharing this article.



    1. Hey Sergej,

      Gray can indeed work well on a contemporary style living room. The beige part feels light and airy while the black or dark grey feels like a strong personality. Love them either ways!



  5. Interesting concept on grey living rooms, although I find grey a cold and dull colour and need something bold to be combined with it, otherwise it will not work for me. Grey reminds me too much of old age homes and boring clothing. Now I know it might not be the same these days, but that is still my mental connotation. Grey can only work for me if it is combined with a vibrant colour like turquoise or ocean blue. Might work for those that love grey 

    1. Hi!

      I have to agree with you that gray does have a somewhat mellow vibe, it’s pictured like that since we were all young. Gray is not the colour for someone who finds gray clothes boring. Not at all! Hahaha.

      And yes, someone commented liking turquoise with gray and I have to say that it will look amazing. 

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts! It’s really interesting to hear different perspectives, I feel that that is the beauty of interior designing. Finding colours that suits one’s personality. 



  6. A timely articulate Sam. I’ve been working with an interior designer to kit out my apartment and the concept that we are running with has a fairly strong gray theme – couch, counter seat cloth covers, stone bench tops, art work etc. A work in progress but loving the colour schemes. Will be living with it for a few years to come so always nice to see that we’ve made a good call.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Jason,

      Wow! That’s gotta be one sleek home. Love it when the shades of gray are streamlined.

      Coming home to a design you like is the best indeed!


  7. Sam,

    It’s funny that I came across this article considering I just started painting my house. I actually chose a color similar to F5F5F5 – a slightly blue tinted gray. I thought I didn’t like it at first, but it’s grown on me since I’ve extended my second story and painted the new walls that we added. I still have to finish the rest of the house, but I imagine I’ll get there soon enough. Painting an entire house is painfully dull and I keep putting it off. I’m pretty sure I’ll end up putting it off until next winter now. But, it’ll get done piece by piece.

    I have to admit, I love the blue accents in the living room above. I think that that would be a great contrast and it would bring out the hue that I chose. I’ll have to incorporate that into my designing here soon.

    Thanks for sharing these palettes! Love them!


    1. Hey Katrina,

      Painting the a whole new level on your own is hard work. Hope you’ll get it done soon! Slowly but surely hahaha.

      I feel that there is a sense of calm in blue tinted gray. And they look slightly different when the natural sunlight comes in. Its a charm! Together with the blue accents as that image, I honestly think your whole home will have a very chill atmosphere. Go for it!


  8. Hi Sam,

    I love gray since it’s a neutral color that could match with all other colors, in my opinion. I also love that you share the color codes in this article so that we have more chances to use them for future references.

    A shy gray will be my choice to renovate my living room next time, with colorful art pieces. I love how harmonious they are when I saw the photo you attached.

    A good article to read today.


    1. Hey Matt,

      I thought so too. I would have thought beige and white were the more neutral colours but gray has really caught on in recent years.

      Great choice! A shy gray is fantastic to go with colourful art pieces. They will allow your paintings to be given the attention they deserve, yet not let your living room feel bare or overpowered.

      Glad you liked the gray palettes I’ve created! You can always drop by to refer to this article when you paint your living room.


  9. Thank you Sam for this beautiful article. Gray has always been my go to colour for a room, when anyone ask ‘what colour do you think I should paint my room’ I always say ‘gray’ because its sophisticated and easy to decorate. Gray furniture, curtains, floors, pillows and anything else gravy just blends in well when you choose the right kind of gray, it helps when decorating and I think people should take that into consideration. I like gray when its mixed with white and black, it gives off this nice, calm and sophisticated feel. Im glad I came across this article its been very helpful

    1. Hi Femi,

      Glad to find another Gray home fan! My exact sentiments about the colour. Its just super easy, super flexible and super easy on the eyes.

      A Gray, White and Black combination for a home? YES. That is one classy home right there.


  10. HI SAM,
    This is a solid, well-written post about how to decorate your home with grays! I absolutely love all shades of gray and usually pair them with a pop/splash of bright color (I prefer light ash gray with deep turquoise).

    I have learned so many things about decorating from just one post of yours! Home design/decor is something I’m super interested in and have thought about starting a second website to focus on that niche.

    Mood boards are my free time hobby Haha! Everyone wants an elegant living room for sure.

    Thank you so much for this great post. Keep up the great work.


    1. Hey there!

      Light ash gray and deep turquoise? Beautiful combo! It’s something chic and elegant. A great balance, really.

      I think it’s actually good that you like making mood boards. Putting your ideas on a mood board and then making it to reality is such a fulfilling thing to do. I hope you have one that came out of your moodpboard!

      Happy to know that you find this article useful.


  11. Hi Sam,
    Curtains have always been a staple in my apt, which gives it a home-like feeling. I love your website. It has a calming flow, great information, and a great read.
    Thanks, Lydya

    1. Hi Lydya,

      Same here, to me it gives the most home-like vibe. Maybe for me, it’s because I grew up seeing one curtain design after the other (My mom’s a huge fan of it). And during festive events, I remembered that she did add on the valances for the living room! I must say, they do help the home ooze of royalty too.

      Gosh, thank you for your kind words. It warms my heart to hear that, I’ll continue to do my best! Do drop by some other time (:

      Cheers. SAM

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