7 piece gray leather power reclining living room set

Simple Gray Living Room Ideas

Beloved for its versatility, the color gray is popping up everywhere in interior design, from traditional homes to ultra-modern and minimalist spaces. Although it provides a nice base for decorating, using gray takes a bit of thought and planning. Finding the best shade for your room depends on the mood you want to create.

What colors go with gray? As a neutral, gray complements almost everything. However, knowing a little about color temperatures and harmonies will help you get a cohesive look full of visual interest. Need some inspiration? Check out the gray living room ideas below for thoughts on how to use this sophisticated shade in your home.

What Is Color Temperature?

In the design world, temperature refers to whether a hue is on the warm or cool side of the color wheel. Warm hues, such as red, orange and yellow, make a space feel smaller, cozier and more vibrant. Cool colors, such as purple, green and blue, make rooms seem larger and have a soothing effect.

Since neutrals are not on the standard color wheel, gray has slightly different rules for temperature. Warmth or coolness is all about undertones. A warm gray contains a small amount of a hue like red or brown, lending it some qualities of those colors. Taupe, griege and pewter are warm grays. Shades such as silver, charcoal and slate feature a cool undertone like blue or green.

A Cool Combination

7 piece gray upholstered living room set

Decorate a relaxing den with cool gray. Navy walls bring out the blue undertone of the gray couch and loveseat pictured for a serene room that seems spacious. Warm gold accessories and beige throw pillows offer subtle contrast, helping to draw the eye around the room.

A Warm Palette

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A yellow and gray color scheme produces a different effect. This space is bright, cheerful and inviting thanks to yellow-green walls and a leather furniture set in dark taupe, which has a brown undertone. Accent pillows incorporating yellow and gray pull the room's colors together for a unified feel.

Creating Color Harmony

Once you have decided on a cool or warm gray, the next step is figuring out how to combine it with other tones. These common color schemes are a surefire way to decorate with gray for a chic and coordinated palette that works beautifully.

Make It Monochrome

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A monochromatic palette uses varying tones of a single hue. As there is only one dominant color in this scheme, a well-styled, all-gray space features both light and dark shades for a layered and multidimensional look.

To make a gray living room calm and airy, start with lighter colors as a base. Here, soft pearl-gray walls provide an understated setting for darker furniture and allow sunlight to bounce around the room. Furniture sets like this one are also an easy way to carry a gray theme across your space. Steely lamps and end tables offer depth, contrasting the pale dove sectional and chair.

To incorporate a hint of color, try decor such as plants, pillows and throws. Grays and accent hues of the same temperature produce a harmonious vibe. Here, small touches of blue reinforce the room's overall cool feel. Remember, in monochromatic gray rooms, less is more. A neutral background will help even the smallest colorful details stand out.

Analogous Pairings

3 piece gray upholstered sectional seating set

Analogous schemes include hues right next to each other on the color wheel. One example is blue, blue-green and green. These combinations naturally form a relaxing space that's easy on the eyes.

Accessories in analogous colors make the seating ensemble pictured so effective. Gold, ochre and brown in the pillows, art and end tables create an effortlessly coordinated look in this gray living room. Warm grays in the couch, chair and rug tie the room's palette together.

Complementary Hues

gray fabric 2 piece sectional

Complementary colors are directly across from one another on a color wheel. Think red and green or purple with yellow. These pairings have the strongest contrast, making them a fun way to experiment with bold looks and add impact to your space. In the example room, a light gray sofa featuring a violet undertone makes an ideal backdrop to play with colors. A gold pillow, sculpture and picture frame balance the rich plum pillows, plush eggplant throw and thick purple-gray rug.

Gray Matters

When it comes to colors that go with gray, the possibilities are endless. As you consider decorating your own home, start with an undertone that speaks to you. Then, work within your unique style to choose a palette that provides the perfect atmosphere. Designing a gray living room, bedroom or dining room that reflects your tastes is simple. The only real limit is your imagination.