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Modern gray paint colors for the living room: How to hit the right note

Warmer and cooler gray shades can help you achieve different effects

There are no two ways about it: Gray continues to be one of the hottest paint colors.

Thinking of making your living room a little cooler? Gray might seem fairly simple at a glance, but committing to this color means embracing many shades of gray.

You may be after a neutral, airy feel, or you may want to make your bungalow feel a little cozier. In both cases, there’s a gray for that. So which shade is the best one for you, your home, and your design goals? Here’s a closer look at the possibilities if you’re painting your living room gray.

Painting living room gray
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Why is gray so trendy?

Gray is a neutral color, just like black, white, brown, and beige. This makes it a versatile option that blends easily with most interiors and designs. It’s also a color commonly found in nature, which makes it attractive to those (and there are quite a few) who draw design inspiration from the great outdoors.

It’s also surprisingly versatile from a purely visual perspective. Different shades can be dark or light, warm or cool, and can contain overtones of green, brown, blue, and more. This makes gray an eminently adaptable color on multiple levels. It can work in essentially any context while bringing its own personality to the party.

Gray living room
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Modern gray paint colors for the living room

With this in mind, finding the right shade of gray for your living room suddenly becomes a more intricate undertaking. The good news is there are plenty of options, but there’s no need to go blind comparing color swatches. Here are a few popular shades of gray for the living room and beyond.

  • Greige: Combining beige and gray, this is a hugely popular color that makes any space instantly warmer and cozier. Agreeable Gray from Sherwin-Williams is a popular greige variation.
  • Warmer shades of gray: Not quite greige, but in the ballpark. These inviting shades evoke wood and stone, and they often have green or taupe undertones. Silver Drop from Behr is a beautiful example.
  • Cooler shades of gray: Whereas warm grays create a cozy environment, cool grays can evoke tranquility and relaxation. Take a gander at Big Chill from Sherwin-Williams and feel your pulse slow down a few beats.
  • Neutral gray: There’s nothing wrong with a classic. The super-light Classic Gray from Benjamin Moore is the Switzerland of the color wheel.

Gray also works well as a complement to other colors, including green, another super trendy color at the moment.

If you’re looking for something boring, look elsewhere. Gray is anything but, with a range of shades from understated to showstopper. Your living room deserves to shine the next time guests arrive. Unsure of what color to choose for your living room facelift? Gray has genuine staying power and wide appeal, and it’s far more versatile than one might think.

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Scott Harris
Scott Harris is a freelance writer based near Washington, DC, with more than a decade of experience covering health…
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