Looking for grey living room ideas? You are not alone. Grey’s amazing versatility is what makes it so popular
The 1980s may have had magnolia, but the wall colour of the Millennium so far is grey. And it’s so easy to see why. Grey can create a warm scheme as easily as a cool one; it can channel edgy modern and charming country; be calm and soothing or vivid, lively and energetic.
Just a quick peek at a Farrow & Ball paint chart suggests the myriad possibilities of this favourite decorating shade and explains its enduring appeal: from the barely-there neutrals of Dimity and Ammonite, to the mid tones of Lamp Room Gray and Calluna, through the green-edged Mizzle and Pigeon, blue-hued Parma Gray and Lulworth Blue and out the other side to deep dark Down Pipe, Plummett and Brassica.
Each shade of grey is capable of creating a different look, feel and style of living room and the shade that you choose will be part and parcel of your own personal style. Modern schemes tend to call for cooler, darker, dramatic charcoals or near-blacks, while vintage and classic-inspired styles have a natural affinity with warmer blue and green-toned greys.
Want more colour inspiration? READ: Living room colour schemes brimming with character
Think about the patterns and accent shades that you might want to bring into your grey living room. If you have grey painted walls, consider pattern on flooring, curtains and upholstery. If you favour plain upholstery and flooring, consider using a grey-patterned living room wallpaper. In a modern scheme, this might be stripes or geometrics in gradations of grey or black. in a country-style living room the pattern possibilities are limitless – if the tonal mix is right, it’s possible to use florals, stripes and polka dots all in the same scheme.
Don’t underestimate the effect of a block accent shade in a modern scheme. A bright pink coffee table or orange designer chair can turn your grey living room scheme into something extraordinary. But if you’re not quite so brave, worry not. Keep accent shades for accessories rather than furniture.
Inject a shot of sunshine yellow
Image credit: Simon Whitmore
If you’ve already dipped your toe into the grey trend with pale walls, you may now be ready to take things a few shades darker. As you can see, it’s a sophisticated way to go, and will instantly make a room feel cosier. However, if you’re nervous it will seem too dark, stick to one feature wall – you can always paint the others at a later date. Yellow accessories will also brighten things up, provided you choose a strong enough shade. This deep daffodil shade is ideal.
Give florals a sophisticated twist
There’s something almost regal about this deep grey living room, with pops of colour provides by the curtains, cushions and purple upholstery. Using such a dark backdrop really brings out the brighter tones, and it does something magical to a floral print, making it appear edgy and modern as opposed to mumsy or in any way old-fashioned.
Image credit: Simon Whitmore
Grey makes a fine backdrop to these energising Ikat patterns and hints of rich orange. Try this look with mid-century furniture, add elegance with smooth, dark woods, or create a Wild-West feel with weathered wood and leather.
Start with a feature wall
Image credit: Lizzie Orme
A feature wall is always a good place jump-off point if you’re nervous of working with a new shade. You could even start by painting a chimney breast. Or you could take it to the next level and commission built-in furniture from a local carpenter, then finish it in a deep grey. Coordinate with carpets and upholstery in a paler shade.
Use grey furniture
Image credit: James Merrell
This traditional living room creates a striking feature using floor-to-ceiling built-in bookcases. The unit has been painted the same soft shade of grey as the walls, allowing it to blend seamlessly in with the rest of the room. The grey of the sofa and radiator brings the whole look together while splashes of colour have been added using the books themselves and scatter cushions.