Light gray is a color that is achieved in its truest form by blending a small ratio of black with a large ratio of white. When it comes to wall paint, light gray is rarely presented as a true gray, and instead, it will have undertones of other colors. Light gray can be warm or cool, but most commonly, it has cool undertones of blue.
You will also find light gray paint shades with undertones of green, purple, and even pink. Warm light gray shades will have a hint of brown or beige in them, but typically these will be categorized as greige, which is an entirely different color altogether.
Light gray can sometimes be so pale that it is mistaken for a shade of off-white, and it is very susceptible to appearing like a completely different shade in certain types of light.
For example, if you have a shade of light gray with blue undertones, in a bright room, this will look like light gray, but in a room, with low light, it can appear to be pale blue.
As a result, you need to choose your shade of light gray carefully depending on the aspect of the room you are decorating and how much natural light it receives.
Paint swatches on the walls around different areas of the room and observe how the color changes at different points throughout the day.
The colors you pair with light gray walls can also change the way that the gray appears. For example, if you put orange accessories against a wall painted in a blue-toned gray, then the wall will instantly look more blue than gray. This is because orange is the contrasting shade of blue, so it brings out any blue tones and makes them appear more vivid.
However, if you put black or green accessories against the same wall paint, it would appear more gray than blue. Here we look at some of the best colors to use in a room with light gray walls and how they can affect the tone of the gray.
Mustard yellow is a rich and highly saturated yellow color that has some brown undertones. It is a distinctly warm color that feels simultaneously cheerful and cozy.
A room with light gray walls can feel cool and crisp, so if you want to adjust the feel of the room to make it more comfortable and inviting while still maintaining a modern vibe, then mustard yellow is a good option.
Gray and yellow work really well together, and mustard yellow especially looks very contemporary when used with pale gray, compared to using mustard yellow with brown or beige, which would give it a more retro feel. For a light gray and mustard yellow color scheme, you’re going to want to make sure your shade of light gray doesn’t have purple undertones.
When light gray paints have purple undertones, they can actually read as lilac when applied to the wall, and pairing the paint with yellow accessories will exacerbate this issue since yellow is the contrasting color to purple, it will bring out the purple tones and make them more obvious.
If you want to use mustard accents, make sure your light gray paint is a true gray and doesn’t have any undertones of other colors, or choose a light gray with green or brown undertones.
In the event that you already have light gray paint on the walls with purple undertones, avoid using shades of yellow or orange as accents because it will make the purple more vivid. Instead, opt for blue and gray accents to tone down the purple.
For a modern yet timeless look, dark gray furniture and accessories can be great with light gray walls. In a living room, choose a dark gray sofa against a light gray wall, or fix shelves that have been painted in a dark gray color onto a light gray wall.
Although no color contrast will be present, there will be a shade contrast of dark versus light which makes the room look interesting. Since these are both neutral shades, you can use this color scheme in absolutely any decor style. It would work well for a minimalist look or could be made to feel glamorous with the use of luxurious textures.
Use this color scheme in a common room in the home, such as a dining room or kitchen, because it won’t have a strong personality and therefore should appeal to everyone.
For this reason, this is also a color scheme that works well if you want to sell your home because it is chic enough to be appealing yet bland enough that it won’t offend anyone’s sensibilities and turn them off from buying the house.
Light gray is among the best colors that really go well with navy, especially for a casual laid back look.
Although gray is technically a neutral color, it typically has a cool temperature which blue also has, so this color scheme results in a look that feels crisp and fresh. It will feel best in a room that benefits from plenty of natural light; otherwise, you might find that the space feels unwelcoming.
If you want to achieve a coastal style in a room, then navy blue furnishings with light gray walls is a color theme that works really well. Set a white sofa against a light gray wall and accessorize it with navy blue cushions and blankets, then use navy blue and white striped curtains at the windows.
Light gray works better as a wall color compared to white in a coastal-themed space because it isn’t as sterile or dull, and it adds an instant modern edge to the feel of the room.
A room with light gray walls is the perfect base upon which you can build almost any kind of look. It is a blank slate that will work with a variety of styles, but one theme that is particularly popular right now is the natural look. This is a decor style based around colors found in nature, with a focus on earthy fabrics and natural textures.
As light gray is a neutral color found naturally in the outdoors. For example, on tree trunks and rocky beaches, it works nicely as a background shade for a natural theme. Choose forest green sofas and curtains to add more natural colors to the room, and opt for earthy textures such as a jute rug and woven blankets to further highlight the natural theme.
Other shades of earthy greens will also work well with light gray walls for creating this style, such as olive green and moss green.
If you want to achieve a sharp and timeless monochrome look, then use light gray to pair with black. Light gray works as the pale monochromatic shade as a more modern alternative to the classic white, and it also means that the contrast against black won’t feel as harsh.
Choose black accessories to position against the light gray walls, such as black picture frames and black wall lights. Medium gray accents will also work in this color scheme to serve as an in-between shade amongst light gray and black to help blend the interior decor together.
Opt for a mid-gray sofa with light gray cushions and a black faux fur blanket. Use high-shine black surfaces such as a coffee table painted in black gloss paint to achieve a sleek and sophisticated look, or opt for matte black finishes for a subtle finish.
One of the interior design trends that is huge right now is the airy and open style achieved by using only white and shades of off-white, along with natural and lightweight textures.
This look can work in a room with light gray walls if all of the other elements in the space are white or off-white. Your room should have plenty of natural light in order for this look to work; otherwise, the result will feel drab and dinghy.
First off, paint walls in light gray and use white paint for the trim. A wooden floor that has been whitewashed will create the casual and airy style you are going for, but white or pale gray tiles can also work well, or a white carpet.
Select a linen or cotton white sofa and sheer white drapes at the windows. Layer the space with other accessories and pieces of furniture in shades of white and off-white through to very light gray, such as off-white cushions and blankets, lampshades, and a rug. The resulting look will be one that feels bright and breezy, with a clean and crisp atmosphere.
This style will look best with minimal clutter, but it can be a difficult look to maintain, especially if you have children or pets, which typically come with extra belongings and dirty paws or fingers, which could ruin the look of a white couch.