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Is Grey A Good Living Room Colour?

grey living room

Grey Needn't Be Boring - Why It's A Great Décor Choice

For many people, the colour grey may not seem like the most exciting choice for the living room.

We think of grey as being dull & even depressing.

But nothing could be further from the truth.

So is grey a good colour for your living room? Absolutely! Grey is a neutral colour that comes in many subtle shades & matches with any other colour. This means it opens up a lot of décor possibilities for your living room.

Colour plays a significant role in our lives in how it has an affect on our psychology & moods.

As well as being an easy colour to mix & match with other décor, grey can also offer positive psychological benefits as well as beneficial Feng Shui.

What Colours Make Up Grey?

Grey is considered a neutral colour, which in interior design terms, means it compliments & doesn’t compete with other colours..

Grey is a mix of 2 colours, black & white.

Both pure black & white aren’t technically even colours as they have no specific wavelengths.

White can be easily tinted with any colour.

But black is made from mixing a combination of colours.

These can be, but not limited to -

  • Blue & Brown

  • Green & Red

  • Yellow & Purple

And of course the individual colours that make up black are also mixed from different colours.

It’s a rabbit hole! I fell down it when researching this article.

grey colour chart

Mixing colour is a science.

But basically, this means grey can have a multitude of various shades & base colours in the black.

This means there are cool greys & warm greys.

So what does this mean for your living room?

Create An Airy Or Cosy Living Room By Using Cool Greys Or Warm Greys

Different colours influence our moods in their own unique way.

Cool colours reflect things in nature like water, the sky & forests.

Depending on the shade of cool grey, it can bring a sense of energy & liveliness to a space.

Other cool colours bring a calmness & a feeling of relaxation & peace.

Warm colours are called such because they mirror sunshine & warmth.

Choosing a warmer grey can make a space feel cosier as well as evoking feelings of optimism & happiness.

cool & warm colour chart

Shades Of Grey - How They Affect Our Mood

There has been, & still is, ongoing research into how colours affect our feelings & emotional states.


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Grey is neither black nor white, it’s a mix between both of these non colours.

The darker the grey, the more it will take on aspects of black, being mysterious & dramatic, whilst lighter grey takes on elements of whites’ liveliness & optimism.

Darker greys can also be associated with gloominess & depression.

Dark grey by itself can be a somewhat dingy colour.

But charcoal & deeper greys also represent solidity & strength.

Pale & light shades of grey can actually be quite feminine.

But being neutral means you can use many other colours that will pop against the dark of the grey & bring a room to life.

But grey is also a conservative colour that has formality & sophistication.

These attributes make it a good colour choice for a living room, along with the fact that many other décor colours can be mixed & matched.

shades of grey colour chart

The Feng Shui Of Grey

Feng Shui is a highly nuanced philosophy & understanding of colours, object placement & other aspects of how energy flows in our spaces.

Here is a general concept of how the colour grey is viewed.

Feng Shui has 5 elements which are -

  1. Wood

  2. Fire

  3. Earth

  4. Metal

  5. Water

Grey signifies the metal element.

Feng Shui infographic

Consisting of 2 opposites, black & white, it can represent connection & a solution to problems or conflicts.

Great for those arguments about who gets the TV remote!

Grey is the most undisturbed colour in Feng Shui, good for clearing the mind as it brings a soothing & relaxed energy.

Even though it’s viewed as a detached colour, Feng Shui doesn’t recommend overusing it.

Lighter greys are better if you’re decorating the whole room, otherwise use grey as an accent or even a feature wall.


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Lving Room Size

You may already be aware that as a general rule, lighter colours make a small room seem bigger & darker colours will make a large room feel cosier.

This is because dark walls appear to come forward & light walls appear to recede.

You can use this effect in the living room to either create a snug feeling or open up a smaller living space.

By painting the longest or shortest walls in the appropriate shade, you can create the illusion of more or less space.

This is why grey is a wonderful & versatile colour to work with.

It comes in many shades whilst remaining neutral, allowing flexibility when creating décor.

light & dark grey living room room walls

Dark or Light? Best Shade Of Grey For A Living Room

As we covered, too much & too dark of a grey can be a bit overwhelming, making a living room feel dingy.

Dark grey can be used to great effect though.

Because darker grey is associated with solidity & functionality, it’s good for a more formal living room, especially when matched with formal furniture & soft furnishings.

To prevent the room from becoming too depressing, throw in a few accents from cooler colours to lighten the mood.

grey & orange living room

Dark grey is also a good choice if you’re creating an industrial theme as wood & other natural materials sit well against this colour.

grey industrial living room

Create a feature using dark grey, as the other walls can either be a light grey or different colour altogether.


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Light grey can be feminine in contrast to the more masculine dark grey.

Especially when paired with fuchsias, light pink, darker pinks & even purples.

It's a good living room colour for a female dominant household.

Light grey can still be masculine by pairing with blues, reds, browns & other warm colours.

Accent Colours For A Grey Living Room

Which colours match with grey?

Which colours don’t is the more appropriate question!

Grey is such an easy colour to work with.

You can use it as a base colour on your walls & then implement any décor scheme you like.

Alternatively, use grey for accent pieces like cushions, throws & curtains to add a touch of solidity to a cooler room or to tone down a vibrant colour scheme.

Because colours have their own individual influence on the feel of a room, it’s not so much which colours match with grey, as to what colours you choose to create a certain mood.

grey living room with vibrant accent colours

How to Brighten up a Grey Living Room

For whatever reason, you may already have a dingy grey living room.

Maybe you’ve inherited it or you’re in a rental & you’re not allowed to paint.

Fear not, as we now know you can use any colour scheme to work with the hand you’ve been dealt.

Hanging light coloured curtains goes a long way to breaking up a grey wall.

blue curtains in grey living room


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Use light or vibrant artworks, especially in white frames, as these will pop against the grey.

artwork on grey living room wall

Really large artworks do a great job of covering wall space.


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Having a light sofa & other furniture will also make a major difference.

If you own the house you can swap out any dark carpet for either light carpet or install a click together flooring system

If you’re renting, buy some vibrant large rugs to cover the floor space.


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Last but not least, cheerful lamp shades with decent wattage bulbs will also help to make the gloom disappear.

Final Thoughts

Who would've thought that grey could be such a versatile colour?

It’s far from simply being a utilitarian colour that reminds us of underground car parks & office buildings.

Since grey goes with every colour under the sun, it’s a fabulous choice for a living room because you can simply swap out all the other décor elements when you feel the need for a change of scenery.

I hope you found value in this article & feel free to share, it's always appreciated.


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