How do you choose the best colors that go with gray? In today’s interior design climate, no one can deny the popularity of gray. Many homeowners and interior designers alike love to use gray to replace other neutrals because of its depth and visual texture.
Some are surprised that choosing colors that complement gray is not as easy as it sounds, but gray is a complex color.
Therefore, it is important to understand what is going on beneath the tones to know how to blend gray with other colors. By the time you complete this article, your knowledge will help you pair gray with other colors like a pro.
Colors That Go With Gray
- Neutrals – If you want to create a soothing vibe, try combining gray with a neutral color palette of white and off-white shades, beiges, tans, blacks, and browns. These are colors that go well with gray of all shades, both lighter shades and darker shades. Also, if you want to create a more monochromatic look, don’t forget that you can also pair gray with other gray shades. If you use multiple tones of gray together, you can still create depth and nuance.
- Pink – Blush pink and gray have been a winning combination in the current era, but there are also shades of darker pink that add warmth and depth to gray tones.
- Green – Green colors add vibrancy to gray tones in a way that looks fresh but classic. Consider both jewel green tones like emerald, dusky olive green, and lighter shades of green like seafoam.
- Blue – Blue and gray are a traditional combination that you can find in patterns and plaids of all varieties. Consider different shades of blue like navy blue to paler shades like sky blue to pair with all shades of gray.
- Yellow – Yellow and gray might seem like an unlikely combination, but together these colors create beautiful contrast that is pleasing to the eye. Use light shades of gray with darker yellow tones for an unexpected look.
- Red – Infusing a splash of red into a room with gray adds instant energy into the space. Red and gray are a sophisticated pairing that can work well. If you don’t like bright red, try a deep burgundy or soft brick toned red.
- Orange – Orange and gray work for the same reasons that red and gray work. Again, if you don’t like bright colors, use a terracotta or russet orange for a more elegant look.
Because gray is neutral, it goes well with almost every color combination. However, you should understand the complexities of grays and of other colors to pair them in an effective way.
- Undertones – All shades of gray have unique undertones which make them look distinct from one another. Grays range from cool to warm depending on undertones. Cool grays have blue undertones. It is best to pair these with cooler color schemes like those with blue. Warm grays have violet and green undertones. Pair these with warmer colors.
- Shades of gray – There are many varying shades of gray from dark tones to lighter tones. You can use these shades to your advantage to create a look of contrast or one that is more soothing. For instance, if you want to create a bold statement, pair charcoal gray walls with a bold color like orange or ochre yellow. If you want a more calming palette in your space, try a pale gray with blush pink.
- Location – Gray, like other tones, is affected by the natural light in the room. Consider the windows and the location of the room before choosing the color scheme. If you have a dark room but want a light style, consider using a lighter-toned gray with a lighted toned complementing color.
Some of the Most Popular Shades of Gray
Agreeable Gray (SW 7029) from Sherwin Williams
This is a light gray with a touch of green making it lean toward beige. Accent colors that go with Agreeable Gray are Rock Garden (SW6195) and Alabaster (SW 7008)
Peppercorn (SW 7674) from Sherwin Williams
Peppercorn is a deep charcoal gray color with a good balance between warm and cool undertones. Accent colors that go with charcoal gray are the pale Hinting Blue (SW 6519) and the dark taupe Dovetail (SW 7018).
Gibraltar Cliff (1587) from Benjamin Moore
This is a dark gray with blue undertones that can lean green in the right light. Colors that go with blue gray are Chantilly Lace (OC-65) and Yorktown Green (HC-133).
Edgecomb Gray (HC 713) from Benjamin Moore
Repose Gray (SW 7015) from Sherwin Williams
This is a light gray with a hint of green/purple undertone. Colors that go with Repose Gray are Luxe Blue (SW 6537) and Peppercorn (SW 7674).
Colors That Complement Gray
There are many wonderful colors that work with gray and each creates a different atmosphere. We have rounded up some pictures to show you how diverse gray paired with other colors can look.
Blush Pink and Light Gray
While these colors are both light, they create a look of striking contrast between the muted gray tones and playful pink. Many have used this color scheme in nurseries, but we think that it creates a stunning look in this bathroom as well.
Charcoal Gray and Deep Orange
If you want something more dramatic, try dark gray with an intense russet tone. The charcoal gray walls have a hint of purple that warm them and allow them to work with the bright russet and splashes of deep aqua blue.
Soothing Neutral Colors
If your design style is more serene, you can’t go wrong with a pairing of neutrals and gray. Notice how the crisp off-white walls and ivory floor rug create an overall light foundation with accent colors of dark gray, light gray, and taupe.
Aqua and Dark Gray
The touches of acqua add just the right amount of color into this gray room. The desk and chair are neutral to keep the office space calm and peaceful; together they create the perfect work space.
Navy and Dark Gray
This dining room from Addison’s Wonderland combines different shades of gray, navy, and other neutrals to achieve a beautiful overall balance. The dark navy ceiling is unexpected in this room with the multi-toned gray wallpaper accent wall.
Light Gray and Brilliant Orange
If you like bold tones like bright orange, consider just painting it on an accent wall. Rather than overwhelm the room with more color, the designers used gray to balance the orange.
Textured Grays and Ochre Yellow
Despite having a simple style, this living room has a more complex color palette than standard yellow and gray. The light gray sofa combined with the yellow ochre creates a look of contrast, but the real depth is provided by the pale gray curtains with the purple undertone against the crisp white walls.
Light Gray and Forest Green
If you are looking for colors that go with gray furniture, consider green. For instance, choose a dark forest green if you want to create a moody room using your gray furniture; or, if you are looking for a more neutral shade, look for a light sage. Either way, there will be a green that will work for you.
Dark Gray and Vibrant Red
Some of the best bright colors that go with gray are red and orange. For example, consider this dark gray room which is far from moody or drab. Instead, it has a stunning vibrancy that is tempered with the dark colored walls to create a more sophisticated style that isn’t too bright.
Light Gray and Pale Blue
This dining room has an elegant and classic style. The interior designer set pale blue wallpaper against clean white trim and a light gray ceiling. The ceiling moderates the light tones to create a more complex look than would a bright white ceiling.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
Is the color gray or grey?
Both spellings are correct. Gray is the standard usage in American English, and grey is the standard usage in British English.
Is gray a color?
Gray is the color between white and black. It is a neutral tone or achromatic color because you can create gray with just black and white. However, most shades of gray paint and fabric have undertones of different colors that make them more complex than just a combination of black and white.
What colors make gray?
There are many color combinations that make shades of gray. Black and white create gray. Also, many people create gray by mixing the three primary colors: red, yellow, and blue. Contrasting colors mixed together also create gray such as purple and yellow or red and green.
What color curtains go with gray walls?
When considering what color curtains go with your walls, you first need to determine if your walls are a cool or a warm gray. If you have cool gray walls, consider neutrals like crisp white or a darker gray tone. Also, you can use cool blues. With warm gray walls, use warm color choices like ivory, beige, pink, or green.
Is gray a relaxing color?
While some grays may appear cold, many people consider gray a relaxing color. Choose grays that are warm to create a look that is cozy as well as peaceful.
When it comes to gray, there is a tone for everyone. In the same way, there are perfect accent colors for every shade of gray. Once you understand all the complexities of gray, you can choose accent colors that will make the most of every shade. In the end, it is just a matter of deciding on the best one.