What color goes best with gray? This is a common question that many homeowners and renters ask themselves in an effort to shake things up. You see, gray is a popular color thanks to its versatile nature, ability to blend into the background if needed, and suitability to almost any design style. But that doesn't mean it's the most interesting hue on its own.
In color theory, gray represents neutrality and balance; it's the shade that brings white and black together. It is seen as the perfect neutral, moderating brighter hues and pulling color palettes together. Basically, it's an easy color to work with, which means you really can't go wrong.
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So, what colors work well with classic gray? Well, you can actually pair it with most hues, but there are a few that will undoubtedly look better than others — it just depends on what shade of gray you go with. Undertones will determine whether you'll have a harmonic duet or an out-of-key performance. If you're unsure about the undertone, just look at the paint description online or at your local hardware store.
In general, gray is a great color choice for walls, floors, furniture, decor, and textiles. Just don't use it all at once and steer clear of using too many dark tones for larger features — this will keep your space from feeling too gloomy. To help you make the best choice for you and your home, we've rounded up 12 of the best colors to pair with the cool hue. And don't forget to check out these gray paint ideas for even more inspo.
The 12 Best Colors to Pair With Gray
1. Gray + Dusty Pink
Dusty pink is a versatile color that goes with most shades of gray, but we love to see it paired with a light stone-colored hue, as shown in this living room styled by Mainstreet Stockholm. The muted warm and cool tones balance each other out, resulting in a functional space that looks and feels oh-so dreamy and luxe. Highlight the combo further with statement art, decor, and accents.
2. Gray + Mustard Yellow
Take a look back at Scandinavian trends and you'll find mustard yellow paired with steel gray everywhere. They really are a match made in heaven if you're looking to create a graphic yet minimal scheme. This eclectic bedroom by Fantastic Frank showcases the beauty of the striking color combo in the center of the room: the bed. The charcoal gray sheets and the sunny yellow comforter make a bold statement against white walls, while the yellow artwork hanging above and the blonde wood flooring tie the whole room together. A pair of green sconces are the perfect finishing touch.
3. Gray + Clean White
You can't go wrong with gray and white — pretty much any shade will look fabulous. Case in point, this bedroom corner by Hunker contributor Carrie Waller features gray and white color-blocked walls that act as a harmonious backdrop to the earthy decor. All you need in order to recreate this serene setup in your own home is a little paint, some low-adhesive masking tape, and a very steady hand.
4. Gray + Teal
You may associate gray with being a safe color choice, but that needn't be the case. In fact, gray comes into its own when paired with a brighter hue. Just take this eye-catching kitchen design by Mainstreet Stockholm as proof. The dark teal cabinetry paired with pale gray plaster walls and ceiling are a visual treat. ::chef's kiss::
5. Gray + Brown
It's safe to say that gray works wonders with "neutral" shades, and brown is no exception. For instance, in this rustic bedroom by Jersey Ice Cream Co., soft gray wall color with a bit of texture plays well with the rich wood finishes used throughout (hello, accent wall!), resulting in a cozy and inviting space. Just remember to break up the dark, earthy hue with lighter textiles and furnishings to keep your setup from feeling too heavy.
6. Gray + Green
And relax. The combination of gray and green evokes some really relaxing vibes, making the pair an ideal color scheme for bedrooms. Complement the look even further by weaving in green accents — such as the books, plants, and artwork seen in this tranquil scene. We recommend forest, emerald, and sage tones, to name a few.
7. Gray + Beige
We get it, vibrant colors aren't for everyone, but what if you want to create a bright yet warm space? Enter beige — the neutral hue that's here to make shades of gray look a little less sterile. In fact, you could even try out "greige," which combines the two. And if you need a little more convincing, allow this living room design by Chango & Co. show you how to work the classic combo. The design team used a warm gray paint color on the walls. They paired it with furniture and decor, flaunting varying shades of beige for a cohesive finish that's far from boring.
Gray shades often showcase blue undertones, making blue hues a great match. So follow the lead of this moody setup by Scandinavian Homes and dress up your silvery bedroom walls with a bold navy. Break up the drama-filled color scheme with pops of verdant green in the form of lighting, decor, and plants.
9. Gray + Black + White
Black, white, and gray is a classic trio that can work with a range of different aesthetics, from contemporary to traditional, depending on how you style it. For instance, in this modern-meets-industrial living room, the color scheme hits all the right notes. The gray textural accent wall and light gray wood flooring add dreamy depth and anchor the open layout, while the black accent chair, firebox, and stair rails punctuate the space and add a bit of edge.
10. Gray + Red
You may not realize it, but depending on the specific shades that you choose, the combination of red and gray can result in a wide range of moods. A primary red with a cool gray can feel very lively and energetic, while a dark gray and a deep crimson red will feel completely different. In this boho living room, limewashed slate-colored walls are paired with a red daybed, complete with matching pillows, and a red patterned area rug. The overall look is intoxicating and leaves a lasting impression.
11. Light Gray + Dark Gray
If you're a fan of tone-on-tone schemes, there is no better color to pair gray with than, well, gray. Follow the lead of this uber-chic bedroom design and get creative with wall paint to showcase your monochrome color idea. Here, both dark and light gray paint colors are layered to create a graphic accent wall behind the bed. The silvery linens complete the modern setup.
12. Gray + Terra Cotta
Last, but certainly not least, one of our favorite color combinations is gray and terra cotta. And with one look at this stunning living room design spotted on These Four Walls, it's easy to see why. The statement ceiling painted in burnt orange is the perfect complement to the tall silvery, gray walls (the matching suspension lighting doesn't hurt either), and the pops of green, navy, and charcoal accent colors provide even more for the eyes to feast on.