How To Use Gray Successfully In A Living Room



Gray is a color that many designers avoid for domestic interiors. Used without any creative care, it can make a home seem a little soulless, rather like an office or an airport terminal. Gray can be a forgiving color to employ, however, since it is good at hiding blemishes and any imperfections with your walls or floor. Nevertheless, ashy hues can bring something new to the domestic environment, if applied sparingly.

From deep slate to silvery grays and natural stone, there are a lot of tones to choose from. The key to the successful use of gray in you living room is to be bold with its use without overdoing it. Allow gray to be the main color theme, but ensure that there are other tones, primarily white, that will let it stand out.

Let Your Walls Go Gray.

If you are looking to update your living room’s color scheme, painting your wall gray is well worth considering. Light gray will work best in most types of living room. As with any color that is not as naturally reflective as off-white or cream, use plenty of other elements that will prevent the room from looking too dark. A white coffee table, or white backed pictures are good choices. Use lamps to cast light over your walls so that you get a washed effect. Marble fireplaces and mirrors will also help you get the look right. Pick out your window frames, door jambs and skirting boards in pure white. A white ceiling is generally the best option to go with gray walls.

Coordinated Furnishings.

Once you have got the gray wall look down, coordinate your furnishings to complete the living room’s décor. The beauty of gray is that you do not have to match the exact shade of gray to coordinate successfully. Choose an occasional chair in a lighter tone, if you want. Alternatively, purchase a sofa in a deep charcoal hue. Both will work equally well in a gray room. Gray rugs will also fit in well with your design, but don’t over do it. Have a couple of design elements that are white, to break up the look. It is also worth avoiding out-and-out black.

Dark Gray And Slates.

If you prefer the darker gray tones that are closer to black, don’t be afraid to use them in a living space context. However, remember that the darker you go the more you will need to balance it with whites. Keep a wall, or two, white if you opt for dark grays elsewhere. Plenty of recessed lighting is a good idea to keep the look fresh. Match you darker gray furnishings with a lighter tone. Set the darker elements closest to your window, where there is most light, for the best results.

Two Tone Touches.

If you like to decorate your rooms with two tones, gray works just as well as more traditional color choices. As with other twin tone designs, use the darker element more sparingly. The larger walls should be the ones painted with lighter colors. Use a light fitting to shine on the darker colored wall.

Gray Wallpaper.

Gray wallpaper looks great in a living room. Choose something bold and unapologetic. Geometric patters will work well. Ideally, have something that blends white, or at least a very light tone, with the gray. If you have a recessed shelving area, using gray wallpaper to line the back of it can be particularly effective.

Monochrome Accessories.

Complete the gray themed décor of your sitting room with a couple of gray accessories. A graphical piece of artwork hung over the fireplace will look good, as will a charcoal sketch. Set off the look with glassware and dark pottery. Add a lamp, or two, with a gray shade and a simply designed mounting for the perfect monochrome accessory.

Picture sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10.


Published by in Interiors, on December 18th, 2012

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