Grey living room ideas are just so classic. They suit any space and any style, which 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 homes or, if you’re keen to embrace the dark side with dark grey and deep charcoal hues for a cozy and enveloping finish – you’ll be able to find the perfect shade.
After all, grey is here to stay and whether you want to go all out or simply add in grey accents to tone down a brighter decor scheme, there are so many ways that this said basic color can help you achieve the ambiance and interior decor scheme you have in mind. Fittingly, we’ve covered all the different grey color schemes possible for living rooms so that you can pick your perfect look.
Grey living room ideas that don’t age
‘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,’ says explains Patrick O’Donnell, brand ambassador at Farrow & Ball (opens in new tab).
‘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.’
1. Introduce colorful accessories
An archway is a beautiful architectural feature that feels oh-so-inviting in a grey living room. But, if you want to have some fun, why not paint the inside of it, in a contrasting color (such as yellow) to an add a kid-friendly color pop? These are two paint colors for the living room that work in perfect harmony together.
Abstract art, jewel velvet cushions and tactile footstools all add to relaxed and free-spirited vibe. The look is unstuffy, welcoming to all and provides the perfect place for play dates.
2. Pair grey and dark navy
Pair a grey sofa with navy blue living room elements like shiplap wall paneling and upholstered chairs to create a cozy theme. We also enjoy the subtle celestial nods scattered around the space, ideal for a dreamy evening spent around the fire.
3. Zone an open-plan living room with a fireplace
If you’ve got an open-plan home it can sometimes be hard to designate a proper space that doesn’t spill into the kitchen and other areas of the home. But, by introducing a corner fireplace into your grey living room, you can carve out this area of relaxation.
In line with the wooden flooring and abundance of houseplants, this fireplace is built from grey brick to create a sense of bringing the outside in.
4. Paint alcove cabinetry grey
Modern living rooms can often be modest when it comes to decor, with only the best statement furniture making the cut. With out-there orange patterned armchairs and distressed antique-style mirror taking center stage, sometimes you’ll want storage to take a back seat.
Here, built-in cupboards have been painted in a very light grey so as not to distract from the other elements of the room.
5. Pair bare walls with statement furniture
Let your furniture do the talking with our industrial chic look, that’s perfect for urban living.
Combine pared back décor with Scandi-inspired tactile textures to create a stylish yet warm feel. Exposed brick walls, concrete and original floorboards are softened by natural materials such as linen, cotton and leather for a harmonious balance.
A neutral palette of grey, white and pale wood evokes a sense of stillness, giving a calm and mindful ambience. The delicate balance of faux fur on the armchairs and footstools plays with texture to create a restful space to chill out and relax.
Less is more with this look, so scale right back and only choose defined, purposeful accessories that will subtly complement the scheme.
6. Layer your mirrors
We know all about the benefits of layering living room lighting, but this duo of paned glass can really help to give the perception of a larger lounge space too. Choosing a cool grey like Benjamin Moore’s Metropolitan AF-690 (opens in new tab) will help as one expert explains:
‘Comforting, composed and effortlessly sophisticated, Metropolitan AF-690 exudes beauty and balance,’ says Ellen O’Neill, director of strategic design intelligence, Benjamin Moore (opens in new tab).
‘It’s a color in the neutral spectrum that references a contemplative state of mind and design. Not arresting nor aggressive, this understated yet glamorous grey creates a soothing, impactful common ground.’
7. Paint your floorboards
Like with most things in the world, we need balance and equilibrium in our homes too. So if you’re going to go for a dark grey living room – keep the floors light. Now, if you have wooden floorboards, you can either strip them back to a very light wood or try painting floorboards in a lighter, softer grey.
8. Create the illusion of a large space with striped carpet
Fashion has been responsible for teaching us the power that lines and stripes have to make us look slimmer or elongate our silhouette and the same discipline can be practiced in a grey living room.
Here, Carpetright’s Westmoreland Twist Carpet in Misty Zig-Zag (opens in new tab) will help to stretch out that floor plan to maximize the space you have. What’s more, a busy pattern like this will help to disguise spills and stains – which is perfect for whatever modern life throws at us.
Carpet is also one of the cheapest living room flooring options, so shop around to make sure you bag yourself a bargain.
9. Make a statement with carpet tiles
If you don’t want to commit to a full floor of the same design, carpet tiles are another type of flooring to try. Much easier than cutting reams of this fabric by the meter, you can have more control with this measurement – which is especially important if you’re doing the job yourself.
We love the blue, grey and charcoal detail on the fireplace hearth in the center of the room which adds texture and interest, when combined with the other blue wall paint and soft furnishings in the room.
10. Break up grey with art
Scandinavian interior design has taught us a lot about how to create a sophisticated and stylish grey living room that looks and feels homely too. And one of the best take-aways that we’ve introduced into our living spaces is the good old gallery wall.
Whether it’s finding pictures of the family to frame, or going online and picking up some budget-friendly reprints from Desenio (opens in new tab) – this is one of the more simple living room ideas that everyone can get on board with.
‘Looking to go all-in with a grey living room by keeping the ‘raw’ feel?’ asks Annica Wallin, executive creative director, Desenio.
‘Display your minimalist posters in black frames to create contrast with the grey walls. To maintain balance and a cozy vibe, add a grey-scale rug, or pillows in similar shades. A living room with a minimalist grey decor makes room for unique details and the motifs on the walls.’
11. Bring the outdoors in with grey rattan
Grey rattan garden furniture is a great investment for the summer time, but as the evenings get a little chillier, and the nights get shorter, it risks becoming redundant until the next year’s signs of spring.
Repurpose your outdoor seating in an indoor space to get the most out of your purchase. We love this calming grey and white living room with shiplap walls and lots of indoor plants. Perfect for an all-year round botanical aesthetic.
12. Pick a plaid sofa for country vibes
One very quick and easy way to inject country charm into your grey living room is through your choice of couch. The best grey sofas to serve this style could incorporate an all-over check, plaid or gingham pattern.
Mix it up with a contrasting print like Laura Ashley’s Beckworth table lamp (opens in new tab) for a more modern finish with the practical bonus of added task lighting also. Bringing in more pattern via the grey wallpaper helps balance out the space perfectly also.
13. Layer up different grey tones
Use 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 flooring. The grey throws and grey cushions in add texture too.
14. Match the warmth of your lighting to the grey you choose
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 off 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 living room wall lighting), task lighting (stronger, focused lights) and accent lighting (soft, but still focused lights that highlight certain areas of your room).
15. 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. Living room storage units are a great way to add in grey, and particularly good when you don’t want wood or white melamine.
16. Introduce greenery for height and depth
One of the big benefits of houseplants is that they can bring so much interest into even the simplest of color schemes. We love how the green looks against dark walls, giving this grey living 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.
17. Mix a cool toned grey with pink
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.
‘To avoid giving off a ‘hard’ expression, which grey has a tendency to do, we recommend adding details such as softer colors like gold and pink,’ says Wallin.
‘Display black and white photo prints in gold frames, and add pink as an accent in the grey interior. A pink pouffe, pink pillows, or a throw makes the perfect accessory and lends a softer side to your living room.’
18. Add grey at the windows
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 accent wall, instead learn how to paint window frames. See how in this space the two tones of grey help bring out the cooler tones of the blue and complements the pale wood of the floors and ceiling also.
19. Add darker hues to a light grey living room
Who doesn’t love a really light and airy grey 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 armchair.
20. Create a distressed wall effect
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 step-by-step guide on creating this plaster paint effect that’ll get you concrete results.
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 (opens in new tab), has the most stunning living room pairing a really pale grey on the walls with some beautiful gold metallics.
22. Create the perfect backdrop with grey 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 living room 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.
23. 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.
24. 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.
If you can’t decide between a beige room or a grey one, it’s actually a perfect warm-toned color that combines the two hues. 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 (opens in new tab) Stony Ground.
25. 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 wall, and then mix in plenty of black and white accessories to get the full impact of this dramatic scheme.
26. 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.
27. Add drama with a dark grey living room
If you’re after more dark and atmospheric decorating ideas and not one to shy away from being bold and daring, then go for a dark grey living room. 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.
28. Counteract cool tones 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.
29. Mix soft grey with pretty pastels
Use soft warm greys and mix them with pastel decorating ideas for a pretty grey living room. 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 (opens in new tab), has created a sumptuous, cozy and candy-hued space packed full of texture and warmth.
30. 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.
For a farmhouse touch, we love the look of this cow-print rug, but anything statement will do to add interest underfoot. Discover our round-up of the best living room rugs.
31. 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 brilliant boho design ideas.
32. 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 centerpiece or layer up your rugs for a more laid-back, relaxed look.
33. Want a more luxe living room? Add marble
But there is a reason we’re 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 and swishy finish works perfectly with lots of different shades of grey.
34. Choose multi-functional grey furniture
If you are as obsessed with grey as we 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, sofa beds, grey ottomans, you get the idea, any pieces that can be shifted into a spare bedroom or a hallway.
If you’re stuck for ideas of where to go for said furniture – you needn’t trawl to the shops. Our best sofa beds are all available online for doorstep delivery.
35. 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 living room ideas, the use of a mural also expands the space as it stops an expanse of white wall making the room feel boxy.
36. 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.
37. Choose a cool, green-toned grey for a contemporary look
We love the modern vibe of this grey space and the borderline khaki green living room 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 (opens in new tab)) 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.
38. 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.
39. 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.
We just love the decorative stone horse on the living room fireplace which stops the mantel looking too bare, while also adding interest.
40. 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 mountain motif of the Midnatt wallpaper (opens in new tab) from Sandberg, but there are tonnes of other grey wallpaper ideas that will pique your interest.
41. Go for a moody vibe with inky greys
Bluey grey is the grey that’s here to stay. 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.
42. Mix grey with slubby naturals
Grey living rooms run the risk of feeling a little cold, but if you mix it with rich textures: knotty, warm-colored wood, slubby linens and soft 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.
43. Choose light flooring in a dark grey living room
Dark grey 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.
44. 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. This tan leather sofa set for example is the perfect furniture if you want to create a vintage retro living room.
45. 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.
46. Go grey in a traditional living room
If you have a more traditional living room and are 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 lighter grey breaks up the darker grey of the walls which could risk looking quite flat if it wasn’t contrasted with the warmer, greige.
47. 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.
48. 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 (opens in new tab) 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.
49. 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.
50. Create a clean look with white and charcoal grey
A slightly softer version of monochrome is to 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.
51. 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 your ceiling and give them the attention they deserve.
Painting walls and the ceiling 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 coz
How do you decorate a grey living room?
‘Decorate your living room with grey paired with natural elements,’ advises Wallin.
‘Display your black and white posters in a collage, and mix in oak frames to elegantly add wood details to the grey decor. Oak frames paired with other accessories, such as wooden side tables, brown leather pillows, and green plants, make a living room more lively while contributing an elegant balance.’
What colors go with grey in a living room?
This depends on the vibe you are trying to create – if 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 O’Donnell.
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 recently, 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 (opens in new tab) for our fave picks.