Grey living room ideas are just a classic, they suit any space and any style and that is precisely the reason why we have a whole gallery dedicated to them...
Whether you are a lover of cool-toned greys that work amazingly in minimal home decor styles, or if you are embracing the dark side with a deep charcoal grey to create an enveloping cozy living room, we've covered all the different grey color schemes possible for living rooms so that you can pick your perfect shade.
'The best way to perceive grey is as a neutral which can create the ideal canvas for spaces that require calm and relaxation such as the living room. With such a broad spectrum of greys from gentle soft versions to deeply dramatic darks, they work very successfully when layered with other grey tones.' explains Patrick O'Donnell, brand ambassador at Farrow & Ball.
Just keep on scrolling for loads of grey living room inspiration and check out our living room ideas page when you have the chance.
- Head over to our living room design feature for layout advice.
1. Layer up different grey tones
Using just one shade of grey and your room can feel flat and dull so it’s important to layer the shades, one on top of the other. Start with a base layer, a grey that really inspires you, and add different shades through furniture, soft furnishings and accessories.
This sofa is deep and dark and works well against the backdrop of dark wall and cooler grey living room flooring. The grey throws and grey cushions in add texture too.
2. Get the lighting right in a grey living room
Grey is one of those colors that can completely change under different lights, so picking the perfect lighting for your space is important. As a general rule when it comes to grey living room ideas – the cooler the tone you choose, the warmer the lighting should be – think about the room at night, you'll still want it to feel cozy and welcoming despite the cool grey color scheme. Pick out lampshades that give of a yellowish glow and always go for warm/soft white bulbs.
Pick out different sources of light too. As with any living room, you'll want to think about having a few different sources that all do different jobs. Typically you'll want to cover ambient lighting (soft lighting usually from a pendant or wall lights), task lighting (stronger, focused lights) and accent lighting (soft, but still focused lights that highlight certain areas of your room).
For more living room lighting ideas you can head to our guide.
3. Choose grey living room furniture that's minimal
Don’t limit your love affair with grey to just wall color, if you love this hue consider new furniture pieces in this shade to add a modern edge to your living room. Storage units are a great way to add in grey, and particularly good when you don’t want wood or white melamine.
Check out more living room storage ideas in our gallery.
4. Brighten up grey paint with metallic accessories
There’s nothing more glamorous than some beautiful gold accessories which, of course, pair well with a base palette of greys. Use different grey shades layered throughout a grey living room for your neutral backdrop, retaining the focus on the metallics and any other color you choose to introduce. Keep it soft or add bold, bright accents; just ensure they don’t detract from the shine and sparkle of your metals.
Olivia, Blogger at Lust Living, has the most stunning living room pairing a really pale grey on the walls with some beautiful gold metallics.
5. Create the perfect backdrop with grey living room walls
With its charm and appeal lying in the ability to offer the best neutral base for interior décor, grey is the ideal shade with which to decorate your living room walls. Using a grey wallpaper or paint won’t intrude on the brighter accent colours if you use them; darker greys give them depth; paler greys help them to pop.
Check out more of our favourite living room paint ideas if you are still in need of inspiration.
6. Highlight grey walls with white floors and window dressings
If you're keen to ensure that your living room stays light and bright, despite the grey walls, we'd really advise keeping the window area uncluttered and dressed in a light color. A white or pale-colored floor will make a big difference, too.
7. Warm things up with greige
We will confess, we have previously mocked greige and what we liked to think of as its blandness, but alas, we have grown to love this neither grey nor brown nor beige color and think we owe it an apology. So, sorry greige.
It's actually a perfect warm toned color that was made for creating cozy grey living rooms! We love how it's been styled in this living room with splashes of sage green and pale mustard yellow. So what is the perfect greige shade? Well, we recommend Farrow and Ball Stony Ground.
8. Add black to grey color schemes for living rooms
Black and white doesn’t have to be a boring combination – when teamed with different layers of grey, it can look exceptionally striking. Use a deep grey on your living room walls, and then mix in plenty of black and white accessories to get the full impact of this dramatic scheme.
9. Choose a simple (but chic) grey sofa
We all love on-trend colorful sofas but sometimes we want to keep it simple and uncomplicated. That’s where a grey sofa really comes into its own. It suits all styles of living room, from country cottage to industrial to contemporary, and anything in between. Give it some life and add a few strong accent colors or simply layer your greys for a more monotone feel.
Need some help finding your perfect sofa, grey or otherwise? We've put together the ultimate guide to choosing a sofa.
10. Add drama with a dark grey living room
If you’re are after more dramatic grey living room ideas and not one to shy away from being bold and daring, then go for a dark grey scheme. Painted on the walls and even the ceiling too it can act as a striking basis for bright colors and rock and roll décor. You’ll need to get your living room lighting right to make the space useable at night, but these darker charcoals make a room feel exceptionally moody and atmospheric.
Love this look? Check out more of these dark and atmospheric decorating ideas.
11. Counteract cool tones in a grey living room with mustard
Greens and botanical prints work effortlessly with grey tones as shown here in this bright, light, grey and yellow living room. The homeowner has paired a subtle shade of grey with golds and greens allowing the features to shine, with a bold print that doesn’t impinge on the lighter feel of the space.
We have loads more green living room ideas if you are after more inspiration.
12. Mix soft grey with pretty pastels
Use soft warm greys and mix them with pastels for a pretty grey living room idea. Prevent it from feeling too sweet and sugary by accenting with darker, moodier shades seen here with black and white cushions and dark wood table. The result is a calm living room suitable for the whole family.
Blogger, Arianna, has created a sumptuous, cozy space packed full of texture and warmth. The wool throw is from The Future Kept; artwork from Desenio; and a selection of cushions including pretty pink ones.
If you love the look of this pink and grey living room, go and have a look at these pastel decorating ideas for more ways to work candy hues into your home.
13. Make a dark grey living room feel warm and cozy
If you opt for a darker, charcoal grey on your walls yet don’t want the living room to feel all doom and gloom, lighten the space by using white based artwork. Include pops of color through your soft furnishings and make the most of your cozy feel by adding layers of sheepskins for warmth and texture.
14. Add texture to a grey living room for an on-trend look
Palest greys and darkest blacks come together with stark whites to create the nomad look which has become rather popular in the last few seasons. Mix up your greys with a black and white pattern in shaggy textures. Add some natural materials like rattan and wicker plus lots of house plants, and you have a very on-trend living space.
Love the vibes of this grey living room idea? Go and get some more inspiration from these brilliantly boho design ideas.
15. Don't ignore the floor, pick out a grey rug
When you’re not sure how to start designing a grey living room, look down. The floor is often the best place to begin when you’re building a scheme and if you want to include grey, this is a great kicking off point. Pick a larger grey rug as a center piece or layer up your rugs for a more laid back, relaxed look.
16. Want a more luxurious grey living room idea? Add marble
Marble isn't particularly revolutionary when it comes to home decor, we know, it's pretty much an essential in the age of Pinterest and Instagram. But there is a reason we all so in love with is swirly, opulent, qualities, marble just brings elegance into a space like no other material. Give a grey living room a lift with a few pale marble accessories, the smooth finish works perfectly with lots of different shades of grey.
17. Set a cool tone in your grey living room
Due to its versatility and fashionable standing in the interiors world, grey must be one of the easiest shades to work with. Creating a grey living room which feels cool and crisp is easy when you use a piece like a darker grey rug to anchor the space. When you feel like a change in an accent color, no need to invest in a new rug every time, the neutral shade always works.
But... just in case you do fancy investing in a new grey rug, check out our pick of the best rugs for your living room.
18. Choose multi-functional grey furniture
If you are as obsessed with grey as we are (and since you have made it to point 18 of a grey living room ideas feature we are going to assume you are), chances are you might not want to limit grey to your living room. So when choosing furniture, pick pieces that are versatile and can be put to use throughout the rest of your home too. Storage benches, day beds, grey sofa beds, grey ottomans, you get the idea, any pieces that can be shifted into a spare bedroom or a hallway.
Love this look? Head over to our grey hallway ideas for plenty more inspiration.
19. Add interest to a grey living room with a mural
Before we go on to talk about the many positive points of adding prints and murals to a grey living room, can we just appreciate the artful layering in this living room? That's how it's done, people!
Anyway, yes, murals – a great way to add even more texture to a living room with a limited color palette. They are also a fab option if you are decorating a rented home, because you can choose to hang a mural rather than paste it permanently to your wall.
In this small grey living room, the use of a mural also expands the space as it stops an expanse of white wall making the room feel boxy.
20. Go for a coastal vibe with a light grey living room
You might live nowhere near the beach but that doesn't mean you can't bring some of those coastal vibes into your living room. Coastal interiors aren't all about blue stripes and miniature ships in bottles. You can create a beach house-inspired interior using light greys and lots of layers of different fabrics and materials. Rugs, cushions, baskets, wall hangings can all be incorporated into your current space to create that relaxed, laid back feel that the coastal look is all about. For more beach house interior ideas go and check out our gallery.
21. Choose a cool green toned grey for a contemporary look
We love the modern vibe of this grey living room and the greeny tones would work perfectly if you had a sunny, south-facing room that can take a moody shade. To copy the look, choose a grey paint with cooler tones (something like Farrow & Ball's French Gray) and, to further enhance the cool color, pair it with darker tones and furniture that has clear, sharp black lines. You can add in some warmth with throws, cushions and rugs.
22. Highlight alcoves with grey paint
Use grey paint to highlight alcoves in a living room: it's a neat trick for creating depth in the room, showing off artwork hung on the darker walls and exaggerating the height of the ceiling in the room. Light the alcoves with wall or table lamps so that the grey becomes a warmer tone at night.
23. Create a very modern grey living room
If you want those quite dramatic, contemporary vibes in your living room, keep the furniture very sculptural and slimline and enhance the drama of a dark space. The Mid-century modern furniture works so well in this minimal space and creates a really quirky contrast with the traditional design of the room.
Another top tip that can be taken from this dark grey living room – keep the floors light. If you have wooden floorboards either strip them back to a very light wood or try painting them in a lighter, softer grey. We have loads of tips on painting floorboards so check that out first.
24. Pick a dramatic grey wallpaper
Wallpaper is such an easy grey living room idea, potentially the quickest way to add a dose of this stylish hue. Most of the time you will be able to find a shade of grey that will work with your current scheme, so it can be the simplest way to update your space. We love the dramatic effect of the Midnatt wallpaper from Sandberg, but make sure you head over to our grey wallpaper feature for loads more ideas and inspiration.
25. Go for a moody vibe with inky greys
Bluey grey is the grey of 2020. It's moody, atmospheric and dramatic but styled the right way is can be really soft and welcoming too. Mix it in with some natural materials and lots of textures for a really cool contemporary grey living room idea.
26. Mix grey with slubby naturals
Grey could feel a little cold, but if you mix it with rich textures: knotty, warm-colored wood, slubby linens, stroke-able velvet, you'll create a warm, welcoming feel. Loving how the sofa is color-matched to the walls here for a space-enhancing feel.
The living room in this gorgeous renovated home in Shrewsbury uses grey to a calming effect
27. Choose light flooring in a dark grey living room
Dark grey color schemes for living rooms always work best if you choose a lighter flooring – lighter wooden flooring to be precise. These cheapest options is to go for a laminate version or vinyl – Harvey Maria has some gorgeous really realistic wood effect luxury vinyl that is a fraction of the price than solid wood flooring. Pop down a rug to cozy up the room, plus some bright prints and greenery that will pop against that dark backdrop.
28. Mix grey with warm browns
The darker the grey, and the less yellow or even pink tints within it, the cooler the room begins to feel, so accessorizing or furnishing it in warm colors is essential. We really love warm, natural colors and textures or spice shades against grey – it brings out the best in both. However, any warmer color will help make a cool room feel instantly more welcoming.
29. Go for a cool Mid-century style grey living room
You can still keep things feeling bright and fresh in a grey living room, just be selective about where you add the grey. Here one cool-toned grey wall works really well to differentiate between two 'rooms' in an open-plan space. The grey also looks great mixed with the fresh, clean white and the warm dark woods of the Mid-century style furniture.
30. Go grey in a traditional living room
If you have a more traditional space and looking for grey living room ideas, this picture provides all the inspiration you need. The mid-tone grey works so well with the lighter wooden floors and the gold accents and it's all softened up with cozy soft furnishings. We love how the paneling in the later grey breaks up the darker grey of the walls which could risking looking quite flat if it wasn't contrasted with the warmer, beige grey.
For more gorgeous traditional living rooms have a scroll through our gallery.
31. Make a grey living room cozy with plenty of soft furnishings
What we love about grey living rooms, is they can be both fresh and chic but really cozy and inviting at the same time. In this space, the pale grey walls work perfectly as this room isn't huge to great for making it feel lighter and bigger, and the darker grey sofa is a nice contrast. Then it's just a case of making the space softer with plenty of cushions, throws and even house plants can help add a kind of cocooning feel.
If you want more inspiring home decor ideas, make sure you take a tour of this first time buyer's Scandi-style house renovation.
32. Mix grey walls with leather furniture for a retro feel
What a cool grey living room, very Mid-century, and see how the cool-toned grey worked with the very orange hue of all the furniture. The walls in this space are painted with Manor House Gray from Farrow & Ball, it's a favorite in contemporary homes and does need quite a bit of light so as not to look flat but it the right space paired with warmer colors it looks so chic.
33. Create a luxury feel with plush grey velvet furniture
If you want to add a touch of luxury to a grey living room, velvet is the way to do it. The obvious choice is to go for a gorgeous grey velvet sofa, that will be the focus of your space. Opt for a deep charcoal – practical and pretty! You could add in some velvet curtains or even just a few cushions too if you are looking for a quicker, more affordable living room update.
34. Create a clean look with white and charcoal grey
A slightly softer version of monochrome is it pair white with a deep charcoal. We love this grey living room because it feels so light and fresh but there's warmth here too with the light woods and berber rug. The walls might look white but they are actually a very very light grey which brings more dimension that just a Brilliant White would.
35. Paint all five walls grey
We all have a tendency to stick with white when it comes to ceilings, but why not be bolder with our ceilings and give them the attention they deserve. Painting all fave walls gives a lovely cocooning effect to a room and works especially well if you have a larger room with high ceilings and want the space to feel more cozy.
What colors go with grey in a living room?
This depends on the vibe you are trying to create – of you want to play it safe and like a neutral scheme, then layering greys with creams and whites is always a classic look. You could however be a bit bolder and throw in some contrasting colors like oranges and yellows.
'Bluer based greys will team wonderfully with rich blue tones, brick reds and terracotta shades. Whilst browner greys look beautiful with an added punch of warm burnt orange and chartreuse yellow in your accessories through to more restful layering of caramel and chocolate tones.' explains Patrick O'Donnell, brand ambassador for Farrow & Ball.
Is grey a good color for a living room?
We actually did had a recent debate over is grey still in style? And the overwhelming majority said yes. Thank god, because it's our personal fave color to decorate with and we think it works in every room of the home. There is however a trend towards much warmer greigey greys for 2021, so consider choosing a grey that has a more earthy undertone.
How do you add warmth to a grey living room?
Easy, pick warmer greys! If you are planning on painting your walls grey, choose a paint that has pinkish undertones, avoid anything to blue as that might make a room feel cooler, especially if it's north-facing.
You can always warm up a grey living room with accessories too. Pick our warm wooden furniture, add in some cute rattan baskets, pick out cane lampshades too. Oh, and nice slubby linen cushions will help – check out H&M Home for our fave picks.