Gray Living Rooms

Today's gray is anything but gloomy. From charcoal to dove, using gray effectively is all about finding which shade works best in your living room.


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Gray living room
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Mix and Match

    Combining shades of gray is a subtle way to give any room character. These light gray walls balance the deeper tones of the furniture. Bright accents give this living room the right amount of contrast and visual play. A zebra rug adds a fun focal point.

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Airy Gray

    Chameleon-like gray tends to adapt to its environment. In this living room, shades of cloudy gray become airy, thanks to high ceilings that create a sense of spaciousness and large windows that allow plenty of light into the space. Different intensities of gray color everything from walls to furniture to an area rug. Using varying shades of gray helps diffuse the hue's cool tendencies to create a softer look.

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Intensely Gray

    Create an intimate living room or sitting area with a backdrop of steely gray. In this space, the walls and ceiling are painted the same color, which constructs a continual visual plane. Leaving the ceiling white would have created a jarring break where the saturated-gray walls end and the ceiling begins. Lighter, softer neutrals give the space a comfortable aura, as do richly colored accents, such as the pillows and draperies.

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Barely-There Gray

    When the objective is light and airy, just a whisper of color elevates a room into the stratosphere of polish. In this traditional living room, a subtle shade of gray colors the walls. The hue helps to highlight the detailed moldings and trims by providing the slightest bit of contrast.

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Furniture Color Picks

    Even though gray has presence, it can still be considered a neutral. Color is typically applied in paint form and neutrals are reserved for big-ticket items such as furniture and flooring that aren?t as easily or affordably changed. But when the hue in question is gray, consider using it for one of these investment pieces. In this space, the largest block of color comes from a graphite gray sectional sofa. Although it is now the feature color, it can easily transition to neutral status should the walls take on a different hue, like terra-cotta or golden yellow.

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Gray Background

    Keep the attention focused on interesting architectural elements with help from a soft neutral gray used throughout the room. Similar shades of gray on the walls and furniture let the architectural beams be the star of the space. The throw pillows and drapery panels echo the beams' deep tone, balancing the room's use of color.

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Gray Area

    Use gray to define your style and put personal collections on display. Gray walls in a loftlike living room bring sophistication and warmth to the open space. Here, the gray provides the perfect backdrop for rattan chairs, an antique Chinese cabinet, and an Asian-inspired coffee table.

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Glamorous Gray

    Gray-green walls wrap menswear-gray furniture and mirrored accents in an elegant, Hollywood-chic vibe. The soft paint color covers the walls, moldings, and mantel to provide a wash of soft color without the visual interruption of a contrasting trim color. Mirrored and dark accents give this living room its glamour.

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Natural Palettes with Gray

    Use nature as inspiration when working with grays. The color palette for this living room is drawn from the sky. Gray-blue walls and creamy-white upholstery give the space an ethereal effect, while natural woven shades, a stone cocktail table, and wood floors bring it back down to earth.

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Dramatic Display

    Dramatically display black-and-white art prints on a dark gray wall. A back-to-basics color scheme is a cohesive way to display many different shapes and sizes of images without the arrangement becoming visually overwhelming. Gray walls make the framed and matted prints pop, while additional items -- mirrors and a TV -- in the same color scheme bring dimension to the collage.

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Gray Upholstery

    A large, comfortable sectional sofa upholstered in a medium gray anchors a mostly white living room. The gray sectional gives credence to the limestone tiles framing the fireplace. The neutral-color upholstery works well with all colors and wood tones, making it a lovely alternative to beige.

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Gray and Yellow

    Warm gray and citrus yellow are a fashion-inspired color combo that can be an unexpected but fabulous addition to a living room. Brighten a cool charcoal gray space by bringing in bright yellow accents. A gray-and-yellow printed throw pillow is a great starting point for building a decorating scheme. Limit the amount of sunny yellow you add to keep the scheme fresh and bold.

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Emphasize Antiques with Gray

    Tie together a room full of antiques with a soft French gray. The painted walls provide a neutral background for displaying a variety of pieces with a timeworn patina. The gray hue accents the distressed look of the antique pieces, putting them on stage. A mix of modern upholstered furnishings keeps this living room from looking like an antiques store.

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