Gray has become a staple color in interior design over the last decade. This color which was once thought of as dull and drab has been transformed into a shade that signifies all that is modern and stylish.
Gray is a neutral shade that works well as a base color in a room, or it can alternatively be used as the focus in a color scheme.
There are so many shades of gray incorporating both warm and cool undertones that you can be sure there is a shade of gray that will be suitable for any style, any room, and any taste. Here we look at some of the best colors that go with gray in interior decor.
White and gray, when used as a color duo, appear like a more subtle version of monochrome. Use a medium to dark shade of gray for a greater contrast or pale shades of gray to create a more tonal look. To achieve a sharp and modern atmosphere, choose a gray color that has cool undertones of blue or green, or for more traditional decor, opt for a gray with brown or beige undertones.
White can look cold and clinical in some rooms, especially those which lack natural light due to small windows in the direction the room is facing. In this instance, choose a shade of off-white to pair with gray.
A warm off-white will make the space feel more cozy and comfortable, such as cream or ivory. You can use white and gray to achieve a breezy and casual feel in a room by using pale gray or white as your wall color and using white and gray accents such as for bedding or other soft furnishings.
Gray and white can also be used as a color scheme to create a more dramatic feel in a room. To do this, choose a medium to dark shade of gray for your wall color, with a dark gray sofa broken up by small hits of white, for example, white faux fur cushions and white knitted wool throws.
Being surrounded by a deep gray will make the inhabitants of the room feel enclosed and secure, while the pops of white lighten up the mood and prevent it from feeling oppressive.
Black and gray can work in a similar way to white and gray to achieve a more modern take on a monochromatic color scheme. Paint walls in a pale dusty gray and use black as a contrasting shade by framing wall art or photographs in matte black frames and painting doors and trim in black.
You can also use a dark shade of gray with black as long as the two colors are a few shades apart; otherwise, the dark gray and black could blend into one another, and the room will lose definition. In rooms with medium to dark gray and black, choose a lighter or brighter accent color to bring some contrast to the room, such as a pale pink or lemon yellow.
Gray rooms look great with black furniture, such as a black leather sofa or black painted wooden tables and shelving units. Dark furniture can help to ground a room and add a more dramatic feel.
A stylish look that has been gaining popularity in the interior design world is the layered look. This is achieved when various shades of the same color are used on top of each other in a room to build layers and depth.
With gray, use multiple shades of pale gray in a space to create a modern and sleek style, or opt for more variation in your shades to create higher levels of contrast and drama.
A lot of grays can make a room feel cold and uninviting depending on the undertones of the gray, and the size of the room, and the light it receives.
To avoid this, you can achieve a layered look with warmer gray tones, such as greige, and shades of gray with brown tones in them. This will result in a warmer and more welcoming atmosphere.
Gray is a modern shade that perfectly balances out the femininity in pale pink. Gray and pale pink is a popular color pairing for nursery decor, as parents seek to make their newborns’ rooms more modern while still keeping a light and playful feel.
Pale pink can have a tendency to look sickly sweet or too girly in some color schemes, so pairing it with gray squashes this vibe and adds a more balanced feel to a room.
Gray and pale pink are also a great color pairing for other rooms in the home, such as bedrooms, living rooms, and even kitchens. Gray and pale pink, when used together, make for a soft and soothing atmosphere that induces a feeling of relaxation. For rooms with pale pink walls, add gray accents to tone down the pink and ensure the space feels contemporary and balanced.
Kitchens with gray cabinets look stylish with pink accents such as pale pink bar stools, pale pink planters, or pale pink curtains. If you have a gray room with predominantly gray walls or gray furnishings, you can add personality with pale pink cushions and pale pink ornaments.
Gray is a color that can bounce really well off each other with orange. Dark gray looks stunning alongside rich burnt orange, creating a modern and cozy vibe. Paint walls in charcoal gray and add texture with thick crochet orange blankets or glossy orange cabinets.
This color scheme can make a nice contemporary change in a home office or living room, as it evokes positivity and creativity. It’s also a very gender-neutral color pairing that has no hint of femininity or masculinity.
Orange will make for an inviting and cozy atmosphere when used with dark gray, or it can look more eclectic and bright when used alongside pale shades of gray. Choose gray colors with cool undertones to create the best contrast with orange, which is a very warm color.
Gray and navy blue is a classic color pairing that can be used to achieve a dramatic nautical look or a sleek and elegant feel. For a nautical vibe, use navy blue and gray with accents of white or rich brown furniture.
Nautical-themed rooms tend to have a more formal feel compared with coastal-themed rooms, which can have the same color scheme but feel more breezy and casual. In a nautical-themed room, you can use any shade of gray with navy blue, though a medium shade will be best for achieving a style that is more sophisticated.
You can also use gray and navy blue in mid-century modern-style spaces, focusing on clean lines and classic luxury. To achieve this, paint the walls navy blue and choose a gray sofa and gray furnishings, and add a further accent color in a jewel tone such as emerald green.
Depending on the tone of green you choose, it can be energizing and revitalizing, such as lime green, or soothing and calming, such as olive green.
You can pair almost any shade of green with gray and achieve an appealing palette, but for an especially stylish look, opt for shades of green that are trending in interior design right now. These include emerald green and sage green. Emerald green can be used with gray to achieve a luxurious contemporary look.
Choose mid to deep gray walls and velvet emerald green sofas for a rich, modern vibe. For a more natural look that is reminiscent of mossy mountain sides or Mediterranean olive groves, choose dusky sage green with light gray and enjoy the refreshing atmosphere this provides.
Brown and gray might seem like an unlikely pairing, but these two colors, when used well together, make for a very classy style. As these are both neutral colors, they can be used as a background color palette to which you can add an accent color, such as teal or peacock blue.
Brown and gray can also be used alone, and despite being neutral, shades can contrast each other nicely due to their different undertones. To ensure balance in the room, use a warm brown with a cool gray.
This could include cool gray walls with blue undertones and a rich brown hardwood floor with golden tones. The balance achieved by using both cool and warm shades ensures the energy in the space feels level.
See more brown color ideas in our post on colors that go with brown.
Yellow and gray are two colors that balance each other out perfectly. Gray makes yellow more muted so that it is not too overstimulating, and yellow brings feelings of warmth and positivity where gray could feel dull and depressing.
They are a contemporary color pairing that is commonly used in Scandinavian design with geometric patterns and functional furniture.
Use this color palette in a room in which you want to be fresh and casual, adding white as the third color for an airier feel or black for sharper contrast.