Gray may be associated with a gloomy mood or cloudy day, but when it comes to interior design, the color is endlessly appealing. Neutral and versatile, gray is a popular choice for everything from paint to furniture. Depending on what shade you employ in your home (from downy off-white to dark charcoal) and which colors you pair it with, gray can take on many different personalities, from cozy to sleek.
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An accent wall is one way to bring a splash of color to a room. It's a bolder move than adding a colorful throw pillow to a gray couch — after all, an accent wall isn't something you can just tuck away in the closet when you're not in the mood for color. However, it can instantly transform the feeling of a room, making a previously muted space memorable. When it comes to choosing an accent wall color that goes with gray, think about what your priorities are for the space. What mood are you hoping to evoke? Relaxation, energy, or joy? What kinds of color combinations speak to you? Do you want a dramatic contrast or a subtle one?
"When choosing an accent wall to go with gray, I am hoping to create a sense of equilibrium throughout the room," says Christine Vroom of Christine Vroom Interiors. "I want to create balance in a room, as I try to account for the wonderful chaos that is typical in one's life. I typically go for a gentler contrast, which is why I love incorporating blues with neutrals like grey. However, if I go for a more dramatic contrast, I like to do so by adding a colorful tile or a tile that adds complexity to the room."
Below are several color ideas for accent walls that go with gray. May they make you smile even on the cloudiest days.
15 Accent Wall Colors That Go With Gray
A black accent wall is a bold choice. When paired with lighter gray furnishings, it creates quite the study in contrasts, especially in this room with a rose gold side table making a scene-stealing performance. Also note how you don't necessarily have to paint your window frame or baseboard molding the same color as your accent wall. The choice to leave both white here gives this living room a more contemporary feel.
In this midcentury post-and-beam home in San Rafael Hills, California, the bright orange accent wall that runs from the staircase into the living room embodies the SoCal spirit and our wondrous sunsets, while the concrete steps provide an urban contrast. The combo has endless midcentury appeal — there's no shortage of orange doors welcoming visitors in such homes. When choosing a bright color for an accent wall, take note of how it interacts with the natural light at different times of day to make sure you'll like how it looks, whatever the hour.
3. Light Blue
Embrace the cloudy quality of gray by pairing it with a muted shade of blue. Think of how you feel gazing at the ocean on a cool, hazy day when the waves are gentle. Cultivate that feeling in your own home with soft textiles, like the white faux sheepskin blanket and taupe suede couch in this living room. Add a bouquet of flowers to bring a bit of the outdoors in.
If you're looking to bring warmth to a gray room, a splash of peach paint is one way to deliver it. The soft color combo creates a tranquil atmosphere. Light wood furniture and translucent white light fixtures add to the airy feeling of this dining area.
Teal has the power to bring out gray's lively side. In this open space, the moldings in the living room have been painted the same shade as the kitchen cabinets, a creative touch that adds an air of whimsy. Teal coordinates easily with all the neutral colors here, including the stylish black trim, and a potted plant makes it look all the more fresh.
Rich green symbolizes prosperity and renewal. It also evokes the wonder of a forest, bringing the beauty of nature into your home. In this living room, the greige mantel and whimsical light gray art pieces glow in front of a deep green wall. Bright accent colors like pink and yellow add depth and a sense of play.
7. Textured Gray
We wouldn't have imagined a gray accent wall in a gray room either, until we saw this design by Mainstreet Stockholm. In this room, a textured medium gray wall is framed in the middle of a pale gray wall, between a stone fireplace and a green-gray sofa. A landscape painting mirrors the cloudy texture of the accent wall.
If we're talking about emotions, blue and gray may be associated with sadness (BTS Army, yes, we know their heartfelt song), but in home decor, it's a different story. An azure blue accent wall can turn a gray bedroom into an oasis of serenity. To balance those cool colors, add a warm accent, like a tan reading chair.
A bronze accent wall demands attention. Let it be the star of your room by keeping everything else simple. In this space, textured wallpaper is the focal point, accented by other metal-inspired colors: a silver-gray dining set and a copper sofa and chair.
Gray and mauve together exude understated elegance. This nearly neutral shade of purple perfectly pulls together the gray couch, burgundy coffee table, and plum ottoman. The white paint on the baseboards grounds the color, keeping it from looking beige or gray, while the potted plant provides a bright green accent.
White may be the last color choice that comes to mind for an accent wall, but Christine of Christine Vroom Interiors has us convinced with her choice of white shiplap for a client's gray kitchen. "Shiplap has been all the rage, but when used in the right way, it can actually be quite effective at bringing in a more contemporary touch," she shared. "[While] you can paint it a contrasting color or even something dramatic . . . sometimes keeping it white and clean and classic gets the job done. When paired with the right gray, those linear lines draw your eyes into the room."
A pink accent wall brings cheer and whimsy to a gray color scheme. While gray on its own can read as serious, pink has a way of drawing out its tender side, especially when you go for pastel shades of each color. Like a rose quartz, this textured pink wallpaper inspires a calm, loving state of mind.
As an accent wall in a gray room, rust can have a meditative effect. A rich, earthy color, it brings warmth to balance gray's cool. This rust-colored statement ceiling shows how modern and mature the combo can be. Along with the wood flooring, it acts as a bookend to the navy blue couch and various shades of gray in the room.
Pairing two neutral colors like gray and taupe doesn't have to be dull. Together, they give a room a laid-back quality — exactly what you want to come home to after a hectic day. In this bedroom, the combo is truly minimalist chic. Black wall sconces and a patterned wall hanging with blocks of blue and black add welcome interest to the otherwise muted palette.
Could any color liven up a gray room more than a splash of red? The color red stimulates, drawing the eye instantly. In a home office, a red accent wall can bring excitement to the work day and encourage productivity; in a living room, it screams, "Let's play." Just invite us over.