40 grey living room ideas that prove this cool hue is never going out of style

These grey living room ideas cover all styles, so just keep reading for loads of gorgeous spaces...

grey living room ideas
(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

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. 

1. Layer up different grey tones

Modern rustic grey living room from John Lewis

(Image credit: John Lewis)

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 a 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 

Neptune grey living room

(Image credit: Neptune )

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

Grey living room by Ikea

(Image credit: Ikea)

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. Introduce greenery to a grey living room 

Grey living room idea

(Image credit: Neptune)

Houseplants can bring so much interest into even the simplest of color schemes. We love how the green looks against a dark grey, giving the room even more depth and drama. Pick a larger plant like a fiddle leaf fig or a big fern to make a statement or for a more rustic look, dot smaller plants around the space at different heights.

5. Mix a cool toned grey with pink

living room

(Image credit: Magnolia Network)

Pink and grey where the color power couple for a moment back there, but  we are loving this new, more grown up take on it. Mixing a pale, cooler grey with a lovely warm blush pink creates an almost neutral space, especially if paired with white walls and wooden furnishings as seen here. Add in a touch of muted light blue to bring out the cooler tones of the grey. Very chic.

6. Add grey at the windows

Light grey and blue living room

(Image credit: Neptune)

If you want to add some more grey tones to your living room, this is a really easy and effective way to do so. Rather than go all out painting a grey feature wall, instead paint your window frames. See how in this space the two tones of grey just brings out the cooler tones of the blue and complements the pale wood of the floors and ceiling.  

7. Add darker hues to a light grey living room

Coffee table decor ideas

(Image credit: Neptune)

Who doesn't love a really light grey, airy living room? The palest of greys on the walls gives a space such a loft elegant feel, especially if you contrast it with a really deep grey or a black. It just grounds all those light colors and gives the room a bit of focus. Bring in those darker colors with cushions, throws rugs or even an accent arm chair. 

8. Create a distressed wall effect 

Ikea snug room ideas

(Image credit: Ikea)

We know what you are thinking, that distressed 'shabby chic' look can be very hit and miss. But when it goes right it can look very chic, and that kind of bare plaster look is bang on trend at the moment. It's a really easy look to recreate using paint and a cloth to get that rustic, unfinished look.

We have a whole guide on creating this plaster paint effect so check that on for an in-depth step by step. 

9. Brighten up grey paint with metallic accessories 

Pink and grey living room with metallic accessories

(Image credit: lustliving.co.uk)

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. 

10. Create the perfect backdrop with grey living room walls

Grey living room with grey walls, grey cushions and grey throw

(Image credit: Urban Avenue)

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 colors if you use them; darker greys give them depth; paler greys help them to pop. 

Check out more of our favorite living room paint ideas if you are still in need of inspiration. 

11. Highlight grey walls with white floors and window dressings

Grey living room

(Image credit: Ikea)

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.

12. Warm things up with greige 

Grey living room by Cult furniture

(Image credit: Cult furniture )

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.  

13. Add black to grey color schemes for living rooms

Monochrome grey living room

(Image credit: Cult Furniture)

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. 

14. Choose a simple (but chic) grey sofa

Grey living room with rug by Designers Guild and sofa by Sweet Pea and Willow

(Image credit: Sweet Pea and Willow)

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

15. Add drama with a dark grey living room 

Orange sofa in black living room by Vanessa Arbuthnott

(Image credit: Vanessa Arbuthnott)

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 to 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

16. Counteract cool tones in a grey living room with mustard

Soft light grey in a living room with alcoves and glam touches

(Image credit: Kimberly Duran)

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. 

17. Mix soft grey with pretty pastels

Pink and grey living room with black and white prints

(Image credit: Arianna Trapani)

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. 

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. 

18. Make a dark grey living room feel warm and cozy

Black and white living room

(Image credit: Kasia Fiszer)

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. 

19. Add texture to a grey living room for an on-trend look

Boho grey living room from Maisons du Monde

(Image credit: Maisons du Monde)

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 brilliant boho design ideas

20. Don't ignore the floor, pick out a grey rug

Grey living room with grey sofa and large grey rug

(Image credit: Argos)

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 centerpiece or layer up your rugs for a more laid-back, relaxed look. 

21. Want a more luxurious grey living room idea? Add marble

Light grey living room with marble coffee table

(Image credit: Norsu Interiors)

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. 

22. Set a cool tone in your grey living room  

Grey living room idea

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

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

23. Choose multi-functional grey furniture 

Grey living room with simple grey sofa bed

(Image credit: Sofa.com)

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. 

24. Add interest to a grey living room with a mural 

Living room with large corner sofa, coffee table and monochrome rug

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

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. 

For more wall mural ideas, check out our feature. Find more small living room ideas in our design gallery, too.

25. Go for a coastal vibe with a light grey living room

Grey sofa bed from Maison du Monde

(Image credit: Maison du Monde)

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. 

26. Choose a cool green toned grey for a contemporary look

Grey living room by Nest

(Image credit: Nest)

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. 

27. Highlight alcoves with grey paint

Grey living room designed by Neptune

(Image credit: Neptune)

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. 

28. Create a very modern grey living room

black living room with black walls and a monochrome mid century sofa and ornate fireplace

(Image credit: Annie Sloan )

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. 

29. Pick a dramatic grey wallpaper 

Sandberg wallpaper in a grey living room

(Image credit: Sandberg )

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. 

30. Go for a moody vibe with inky greys 

Blue and grey living room

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Bluey grey is the grey of 2021. 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. 

31. Mix grey with slubby naturals

Extended Victorian home

(Image credit: Colin Poole)

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

32. Choose light flooring in a dark grey living room 

Sara Colclough and David Brass have added character to their new build home with a colourful makeover

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Dark grey color schemes for living rooms always work best if you choose a lighter flooring – lighter wooden flooring to be precise. The cheapest option is to go for a laminate version or vinyl. Pop down a rug to cozy up the room, plus some bright prints and greenery that will pop against that dark backdrop. 

33. Mix grey with warm browns  

Grey living room

(Image credit: Ikea)

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.

34. Go for a cool Mid-century style grey living room 

Grey living room ideas by Ikea

(Image credit: Ikea/Lina Ikse)

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. 

35. Go grey in a traditional living room 

Renovated Victorian home fireplace

(Image credit: Colin Poole)

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 risk 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. 

36. Make a grey living room cozy with plenty of soft furnishings

Living room with light grey walls, original brown floorboards, grey sofa and matching footstool covered in pastel pink and black cushions and gallery wall

(Image credit: Kasia Fiszer)

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

37. Mix grey walls with leather furniture for a retro feel

Farrow and Ball grey living room

(Image credit: Farrow and Ball)

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. 

38. Create a luxury feel with plush grey velvet furniture

Grey living room with dark grey sofa

(Image credit: Paul Craig)

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.

39. Create a clean look with white and charcoal grey

white living room with dark grey sofa and large mirror

(Image credit: James Balston)

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. 

40. Paint all five walls grey

Grey living room with bright blue carpet

(Image credit: Kasia Fiszer)

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?

Dark grey living room with yellow sofa

(Image credit: Rachael Smith)

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?

Beige living room with grey sofas

(Image credit: Darren Chung)

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.  

Hebe Hatton
Hebe Hatton

Hebe joined the Real Homes team in early 2018 as Staff Writer. As a renter, she is always looking for creative ways to make her flat feel like home. She loves boho and 70's style and is a big fan of Instagram as a source of interiors inspiration.