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What Colors Go with Gray? How to Make a Neutral Hue Pop in Your Home

Neutral colors like gray and taupe are always popular options for your home's interior design. Both are versatile shades that can go with a plethora of other hues, allowing you to easily change up the...

Neutral colors like gray and taupe are always popular options for your home's interior design. Both are versatile shades that can go with a plethora of other hues, allowing you to easily change up the look of your decor. With all the different shades of gray paint available, from matte to glossy, warm to cool, and brownish to blueish, it's certainly possible to find the perfect one for you and your home.

Of course, too much gray can wash out a room or make it feel dull and unwelcoming. Think of gray as the neutral backdrop on a canvas that lets your color palette shine. So, how can you accent this elegant tone and make it pop? Let's find out.

Choose Bold Colors to Complement Gray Walls

Vibrant furniture may be the answer to brightening up a room with gray walls. As a general rule of thumb, it's a good idea to match your decorations' color with the undertones of the gray paint. For example, if your light gray walls have blue undertones, a bright yet soft blue sofa will pair well with the walls and add a much-needed pop of color. Warm grays tend to complement colors like orange, yellow, or red, while cooler grays go great with blues, greens, and even purple.

Gray and orange retro inspired living room Image source: Ground Picture / Shutterstock

Remember that choosing a brightly colored couch will instantly make it the room's focal point. If you have other statement pieces you'd rather feature, add accent colors more subtly with wall art or a throw blanket. You can also bring color into the room with an area rug or bedspread in your hue of choice. Don't feel forced to stick to one bright color either. If you tend to lean toward bold or eccentric styles, add an explosion of color to your space by choosing multiple vibrant colors in the art, decor, and accessories.

Contrast Warm and Cold Neutrals for a Less Busy Design

Gray is a neutral color, but the most popular shades tend to have cooler undertones. By pairing it with warmer neutrals like beige, cream, and even muted pink, you can create a sophisticated, calming palette for a rustic design that's still visually interesting.

To update your room with a contemporary flair, lean into the cool color scheme and pair grays with crisp, clean whites.

Add contrast to the room by breaking up the dark gray walls with bright white light fixtures or beige furniture. While pops of color make for a more interesting design, contrasting deep and bright colors or cool and warm hues can also create a more exciting design scheme.

Gray living room with pink sofa and blue rug Image source: Ground Picture / Shutterstock

Other Gray Complementary Color Options

If you're looking for some other gray options, you can get creative with your color choices and go bold with an accent wall. Keep it neutral and paint one wall a deeper shade of gray than the others, or make a statement and add a pale yellow accent wall to offset the ashy paint around the rest of the room. You can also add different shades of your accent color throughout the space, bringing the color into your furniture, area rugs, art, or throw pillows. For a more luxurious design, paint your bathroom bright white and choose a soft gray vanity and shower curtain.

Whether you are ready to remodel a room or just want to add some excitement to an existing one, gray is a great color option. While many consider this to be a neutral, forgettable color, it can add a touch of subtle luxury to any space. Additionally, grays are so versatile — there are hundreds of shades to choose from, so you can find the right one to pair with your aesthetic.

Gray room with neutrals Image source: Photographee.eu / Adobe Stock

Dark and Moody Tones Will Make Lighter Grays Stand Out

A light gray backdrop can be the perfect pairing for shades that tend toward the moodier side. Create a dark and sultry color palette with rich, deep tones like black, chocolate brown, deep velvety purple, midnight blue, slate gray, or a rich evergreen. These hues pair beautifully with light gray tones because the gray color acts like a softer and more subtle version of white. Where white can be too stark and cold with these deeper, warmer tones, a simple gray can help elevate a space and round off your design to reflect a moodier atmosphere.

With many palettes leaning into darker, richer colors for a luxe or academic look, it's a great idea to take advantage of the dark tones trend and invite the colors into your existing gray palette. Browns and off-black shades, in particular, are quite popular and do well with a gray backdrop.

Light gray walls in home office Image source: onurdongel / Getty Images

Professional and amateur designers alike often consider neutrals to be background colors that don't require much planning or thought. This couldn't be further from the truth. While neutrals pair well with just about any color, it still takes a discerning eye to choose the right shade to make your design stand out. Gray is not just a single color. The various shades and their unique depths and undertones make subtle differences that can transform your home into the oasis of your dreams.

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