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How To Decorate With Different Shades Of Gray

Elle Decor
Photo by: Elle Decor

You can thank “50 Shades of Gray” for making this color a new staple. Everything from gray walls and ceilings to headboards and couches have quickly risen in popularity – and for good reason. It is simple but when used correctly, it can add drama and depth to your home. Read on for some tips on how to decorate with different shades of gray.

Gray Paint

Gray is a perfect alternative to plain, white walls. This elegant neutral provides depth to subtle colors and allows bold tones to pop. One tip when painting with this color is to use flat paint rather than semigloss or high-gloss. Otherwise, it could like industrial metal rather than a beautiful gray wall. A creamy white trim is the perfect complement.

Cool grays have a blue undertone and are ethereal and breezy. They work well in sunny rooms as well as bathrooms for a Zen and peaceful feeling. Light, cool grays are great for ceilings and walls while dark, cool grays add glamour and do wonders in a dining room.

Warm grays have a hint of yellow and exhibit comfort, coziness, and earthiness. A warm gray tone is great for darker rooms without much natural light as the slight golden hue will make the space less dreary.

To add depth to a room, try color blocking the wall with two different shades – a light one on the top and a darker shade towards the bottom. For a sophisticated combination, try adding pale blue accessories – like vases or lamps.

Photo by: Elle Decor


Adding gray furniture to your home can be the perfect starting point for those who want to experiment but don’t want to commit to painted walls. For bedrooms, try adding a light gray headboard in a fun texture or even a gray throw. For a simple, neutral-inspired theme, try mixing in white and blue.

The living room can be a fun way to experiment with this color. A dark gray couch or accent chairs, for example, can add a neutral element to the room. Try adding pops of color in the form of pillows or wall art.

Gray countertops are often found in the kitchen but if you aren’t a fan, try adding other elements like window curtains or even an area rug with a fun gray-inspired pattern.

Photo by: Elle Decor

Paint & Furniture

To decorate with gray even further why not try adding both paint and furniture? While you may think too much gray is not a good thing, that’s not necessarily true. For example, pairing a charcoal wall with barely-gray bedding and pale yellow accent pillows makes for a chic and sophisticated space.

On the contrary, you can paint the walls a light gray and accessorize with charcoal furniture. In the living room, for example, consider pairing a dark charcoal couch with light gray walls. Bring in pops of color by adding fun accent pillows in Kelly green or pale yellow.

For a peaceful space, try mixing it with bronze and green. Light dove-gray walls mix well with stone gray curtain panels and a headboard. A nightstand in soft green and a warm bronze bed skirt add a romantic element to the room.

Photo by: Elle Decor

Decorating with grays doesn’t have to be dreary and bland. By adding different shades, you can add instant depth and sophistication to any room – from the bedroom to the kitchen.

What are your favorite ways to decorate with gray?