Living Room Design Tips: How to Decorate with Gray

Sick of your plain white walls, but don’t know what color to paint them next? Try something unexpected and go for gray.

gray panelling
Gray and blue living room.  Photo courtesy of Ooh_Food.

While most people think gray walls would be depressing and dull, if it’s done right they can add drama and mystery to a room. Here’s what to do:

 1. Contrast Colors

cozy modern livingroom
Gray and red work well together. Photo courtesy of Ooh_Food.

 If you have colorful furniture or accent pieces, pairing them with gray walls will really make the colors stand out and make the room more visually interesting. The bolder the colors of your furniture, the more dramatic the effect will be.

2. Add Accents 

 If you don’t want a whole room to be painted gray, paint only one wall to accent what’s on it, either a window with a stunning view or a piece of art you love. It will draw attention to the area without being ostentatious.

painted nook
Gray accent wall. Photo by Ooh_Food.


3. Add Wallpaper

Gray walls can be made more interesting by using gray wallpaper.

I love how the gold-colored pillows tie in nicely with the lamp as well as the gold touches on the flowered wallpaper. 

floor couch
Gray and purple wallpaper. Photo courtesy of Ooh_Food.

4. Go Airy with Gray and Cream

Gray works well for adding visual texture and depth to an all-white room. The blue-grays in the rooms below help add to the airy feel of the rooms. I love the contrast of the red flower on the cream-colored coffee table.

calm white space
Gray and cream living room.  Photo by Ooh_Food


gray interior
Gray living room with wood accents.  Photo courtesy of Ooh_Food.

What do you think? Have you had an experience decorating with gray?

Janette Mallory

2 responses to “Living Room Design Tips: How to Decorate with Gray

  1. HOLA
    Nice post! I painted my kitchen cabs a Benj. Moore historical gray in … wait for it … 1985! I’m happy gray’s back! I am having fun blogging about our redoing a foreclosed Dutch colonial. I’m still on the fence about what gray to paint our south-facing, 3 big windows living room. I’m not sure I have the courage to go dark dark gray!
    K A Y

  2. Hi there, nice post. This is an interesting and very informative topic. Thanks for sharing you thoughts on this issue. Keep it up, looking forward to read another one in the future. Cheers!
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