When designing a room with gray walls or gray furniture, choosing complementary colors can be tricky. Gray is a versatile neutral that goes well with many colors, so you have lots of options. Here are some tips on picking the best colors to decorate with gray.
Warm Colors That Go With Gray
Warm colors like red, orange, and yellow can brighten up a gray room and give it energy. Here are some warm shades that pair beautifully with gray:
- Red – A bold red makes a striking contrast against cool gray. Try using it in small doses as an accent color.
- Coral – This peachy-pink flatters light grays. It has the same vibrancy as red but is a little softer.
- Burnt Orange – Earthy and rich, burnt orange is ideal for creating a cozy feel against dark charcoal grays.
- Mustard – From bright yellow mustard to muted gold tones, any shade of mustard livens up medium grays.
Cool Colors That Compliment Gray
Cool colors like greens, blues, and purples create soothing, elegant combinations with gray. Some top choices include:
- Sage Green – This soft green has a natural, earthy look that pairs well with gray walls or furniture.
- Robin’s Egg Blue – A bright, cheery pastel blue that gives a playful pop of color.
- Navy – Rich navy blue accent pieces feel refined and sophisticated against gray.
- Lilac – Soft and romantic, light purple brings out the sophisticated side of gray.
Neutrals That Work With Gray
For a more subtle, neutral color scheme, layer different shades of gray with off-whites and black. Here are some excellent options:
- Cream – Adds warmth and softness to cool grays. Looks lovely on pillows and lampshades.
- Oatmeal or light taupe – More saturated than cream, earthy tan neutrals complement medium grays.
- Charcoal – Deeper and moodier than gray, charcoal makes a dramatic contrast.
- Black – Use sparingly to create bold accents against light grays.
Wood Tones That Match Gray
Natural wood finishes emphasize the sophistication of gray. These warm brown wood tones pair beautifully:
- Walnut – Has a dark chocolate brown color that complements charcoal gray.
- Oak – A lighter tan brown that flatters medium grays.
- Cherry – A rich reddish brown that pops against cool gray tones.
- Maple – Pale and golden, it lightens up dark gray rooms.
Vivid Colors That Contrast Gray
Bright, saturated colors make gray pop. They work best as accents in small doses. Some eye-catching choices include:
- Cobalt Blue – An intense blue that energizes light gray color schemes.
- Kelly Green – Vibrant and cheerful, perfect for adding color to a gray dining area.
- Tangerine – Citrusy and fun, tangerine accents liven up a gray living room.
- Fuchsia – A little goes a long way with this bold, hot pink against gray.
Color Combos that Work With Gray
Now that you know the best individual colors, here are some stunning color combinations you can use in your gray rooms:
|Gray and yellow||Mustard or golden yellow brings out the warmth in gray. Uplifting and cheery.|
|Gray and green||From mint to sage, green hues complement gray’s natural elegance.|
|Gray and blue||Light blue conveys tranquility, while navy adds sophistication.|
|Gray and purple||Orchid purple or lilac create a soft, feminine feel with gray.|
|Gray and orange||Spicy citrus orange energizes a gray scheme. Works best in small doses.|
|Gray and red||Red makes a bold, vibrant style statement against gray backgrounds.|
|Gray and brown||Walnut, oak, or cherry wood tones bring warmth to a gray palette.|
|Gray and white||Crisp white brightens up dark gray. Cream softens cool grays.|
|Gray and black||Charcoal and black create dramatic contrasts with light to medium grays.|
Tips for Decorating With Gray and Color
Here are some final tips for beautifully combining gray with accent colors:
- Stick to 3 colors max – Gray plus 1-2 accent colors keeps the palette sophisticated.
- Use color strategically – Add pops of color to gray furniture or walls using artwork, pillows, rugs and decorative objects.
- Pay attention to undertones – Cool grays pair best with cool colors, while warm grays match warm hues.
- Try different saturations – Mix softer pastels with vivid brights against medium gray backgrounds.
- Repeat colors throughout – Tie the whole room together by repeating your accent colors.
- Choose gray first – Pick the shade of gray, then select complementary colors.
Gray is the perfect neutral backdrop that allows you to get creative with vibrant colors or stick with a calming neutral palette. From fiery orange and mustard yellow, to soothing sage green and robin’s egg blue, you have endless options. Just remember to keep the overall palette balanced and consistent by limiting it to 2-3 colors maximum. With the right accent colors, you can create a gray room that reflects your personal style.