Gray is the Goldilocks of neutrals. It's not stark (like bright white can be) and not too dark (black, we love you, but only in small design doses). Gray is just right. It's also not overpowering. Instead it's a friend to every color, complementing other neutrals and primary shades alike. Can you tell how much we love this hue? It's such a classic, that all gray room ideas are good ones. Here's how to get the look.
Choosing the Right Shade of Gray
When you're choosing a shade of gray, whether for paint or decor, consider two things: the undertones and lighting. Undertones — the warm or cool colors that give a hue complexity— are often subtle at first, then obvious over time and during certain parts of the day. Didn't see the green undertones in your gray walls at first? They might become glaring in artificial lighting.
Gray Furniture and Decor
The greatest thing about gray? It's neutral and versatile, so your eye is happy to see it in big doses. (Except gray skies. We prefer those in moderation.) Accordingly, this shade is perfect for large pieces of furniture, such as couches or patio chairs. Plus, since the tone is so popular, every retailer offers gray accent items, making for quick and easy shopping.
A gray rug will ground a room and hide dirt, while a gray planter (like this DIY concrete design) is a classic forever home for your plant friends. You can even consider the dusky shade for other pieces of decor like side tables or bed frames.
Gray Accents and Materials
For more permanent fixtures in your home, such as shower tile or kitchen counters, materials with gray tones are ideal. Ceramic, marble, concrete, and even wood laminate in shades of gray create an elegant, timeless look, no matter which room they're used in. Use pewter accents in your kitchen for a clean, industrial feel or on your home's exterior for a classic, neutral palette.
These gray bathroom ideas are your first stop for inspiration in terms of tiling, tubs, and countertops, while these gorgeous gray kitchen floors will inspire you to rip up your current cook space immediately. Anywhere you add tile or marble, consider an option with smoky tones to build interest.
Popular Gray Paint Colors
Sherwin-Williams's Agreeable Gray is, well, exactly that — agreeable. It's wildly popular, too and is the brand's best-selling paint color. There are slightly warm undertones that make it an ideal match for any space that needs a simple backdrop.
If you're interested in darker shades, look to Farrow & Ball's Plummett or Clare's Irony. They both have an industrial, modern feel that's dramatic and perfect for smaller areas, such as a hallway or home office.
If you're considering coating an entire room with this neutral, be sure to test shades before committing. The key to any color project? Paint a small area in your space, perhaps a three-foot square, then observe it at different times of day in various lighting. And if you're renting, you're even likely to find a gray that's landlord-approved.
Where to Shop for Gray Furniture and Decor
Headboards and couches and light fixtures, oh my! Good news for those who love this color: Since it's a much-beloved neutral, gray furniture and decor pieces are readily available at all your top shopping spots. Here are our favorite places to start the search.