Grey wall colors come in a wide variety of shades and grey paint is probably the easiest color to make work in an interior. Pick out a charcoal grey for a bolder and darker effect in the space, go for a light grey for a subtle effect that still has a bit more depth than regular white walls, or go for a soft grey to turn your room into a soft canvas for your soft furnishings and main furniture pieces.
While white walls can feel bright and tend to reflect the daylight in a strong way, they can make your home clean and bright, but can also be a bit harder to make cozy and inviting. By selecting warm grey tones for your living room (especially in rooms with a wooden floor) you warm the palette up and your walls become the perfect stage for your furniture and accessories.
A living room with pale grey walls and white elements
The grey walls in this beautiful apartment built in 1895 in Sweden accentuate the elaborate architectural features on the ceilings, doors, and windows. The light grey wall color makes the white elements stand out so wonderfully and the warm undertones of the white-soaped hardwood floors add a subtle warmth and luxe feel to the entire apartment, especially in the grey living room.
The historic green fireplace brightens up the otherwise neutral palette in the grey living room and the light grey wall color is brightened up by the white and cream tints in the sofa area. The white linen sofa (I believe this is the Ikea Vimle model with a Bemz custom cover*) combined with the lighter colours in the throw pillows, white cushions, and the fluffy white area rug add texture, and brighten up the grey palette and turn this space into a relaxing living room.
The natural materials of the two rattan armchairs add some warm shades to the mix and the black eye-catcher vase on the brilliant white marble coffee table combined with the black floor lamp add some different shades to the room. The monochromatic prints next to the fireplace stand out very nicely against the grey walls and the wooden floor, while as the books on the floating shelves are the only pops of colour in the otherwise grey scheme.
How to make a grey living room work
Grey living rooms come in a variety of shades and you can pair grey with different palettes to turn your living room into an interesting, cozy place to relax. Take this example of a very subtle grey living room just a few shades darker than white, or this example of a characterful living room with a powerful grey scheme that looks characterful and strong, paired up with a grey sofa.
Selecting the right shade of grey for you living room
Go for light greys in your living room (like Blackened* or Dimpse* from Farrow & Ball), just like in the pictures when you want a light look that reflects the natural light coming in and pair up with a light grey couch or even a white one to enhance this lighter look.
Got for a darker, or deep grey living room when you want a deeper, more characterful look and pair grey walls with a grey sofa or a grey rug to go for a tone-on-tone look where you combine grey shades and mix grey textiles for a subtle effect.
Neutral shades like wood and rattan, cool tones, and bright prints go well with a grey palette, as the grey living room walls act as a dark backdrop for everything that is placed in front of it.
When you select your grey paint color, you should always pay attention to the orientation of your room. The daylight in north facing rooms tends to make your greys appear cooler, while a south facing room enhance the warm tones in your grey.
In case you are unsure, you can always start out with a feature wall and always buy the paint sample to try the color out in the space.
A white kitchen with a beige natural stone countertop
Rather then the grey colour palette in both the living room and bedroom, which are painted a few shades darker, the walls of the kitchen have been kept white to keep it clean and to reflect the natural daylight in the best way possible.
The kitchen itself is built inside a niche without a window with direct daylight, so in this room, an all-white colour palette is preferable. Both the kitchen and the dining area are kept very light and neutral, with a few wood tones and the beige natural stone on the counter as the focal point in this room to enhance the natural light coming in from the smaller window in this room.
A grey bedroom with black accents
The bedroom shares the same modern grey colour scheme as the living room, yet rather then working with a white fluffy rug, a deep grey rug with a diamond pattern was added underneath the bed. The accent soft furnishings on the bed share the same colour as the textiles in the grey living room. The mixture of beige and white really stands out against the cool grey wall color.
The black wall lamps on both sides of the bed add a contrasting element, just like the floor lamp does in the living room and makes the mix of grey more interesting and characterful.