What color sofa goes with a grey rug? 5 combinations that make for an ultimate pairing in your living room

If you've got a beautiful grey rug as the base of your living room scheme, these color sofas make for the perfect complement

A blue sofa paired with grey rug in a living room
(Image credit: Shade Degges. Ashe Leandro)

A grey rug is a great foundation for your living space. No matter what style of living area you have, from minimalist to maximalist, a grey rug can slot into your style and evolve as your room evolves over time.

Grey is quite a flexible color, meaning it works with a broad spectrum of bolder colors, complementing hues across the color wheel and making them really pop. When we want our sofas to stand out, a grey rug makes for a brilliant foundation, almost like a stage on which the sofa can shine. 

'You can wear a grey t-shirt with any outfit it's a neutralizer,' says designer, Kelly Hoppen. 'You have to get out of your head that grey is a cold color. It's one of the best colors in the entire world.'

Picking what color sofa is best for your grey rug relies heavily on the exact type of grey you are working with, says Melinda Trembley, creative director at interior design studio, Rincon Road. 'When selecting colors to coordinate with a grey rug determining the undertones of the grey is where I start. Warm grey shades coordinate well with other warm tones and cool greys with other cool tones,' she says. These five are my favorite color sofas to match with your grey rug and the best grey rugs to buy now.

1. Grey with green

An emerald green sofa matched with a grey rug

(Image credit: Gus Macdonald.The Design: The Stylesmiths)

I love the mix of this vibrant, emerald green paired with a grey rug underfoot, helping the sofa to really pop. 'Vibrant green velvet and grey plush upholstery invite cozy dialogue,' says Richard Misso, director of The Stylesmiths, the firm behind the design of this space. 'It contrasts well with wooden picnic-style benches that tastefully bring outside, in.' Any other color rug might have stood at odds with the color scheme too, with orange and green quite bold shades that required something neutral to allow them to bounce off each other. 

The designer has decided to float the furniture away from the wall, with two front legs overlapping the rug while the behind two legs sit directly on the wooden flooring. This means we can admire the rug in all its glory.

2. Grey with purple

A purple sofa with grey rug

(Image credit: Bill Abranowicz. Design: Matt Blacke)

Purple is another color that goes with grey, but this collaboration needs to be approached with caution. Think about the undertone, and make sure the undertones match. Purple has a red undertone to it so you need to look for a grey that has a warmer characteristic to get the match spot on - anything too cold and the purple-grey combination can look cold and moody. 'Here's the thing, grey is a taupe, but it's got more blue in it whereas taupe has got more purple,' says Kelly Hoppen. In this respect, it can be warmed up or cooled down. Look to your natural light source too, and avoid north-facing rooms where the light is lacking in warmth.

This design from Matt Blacke really pops, with its jewel-like purple the center of the room and the star of the show, while red accents help to warm up the scheme.

3. Grey with blue

A grey rug with blue sofa

(Image credit: Shade Degges. Design: Ashe Leandro)

This living room by Ashe Leandro is calming and soothing, owing greatly to the color palette that features grey, blue and white. The peaceful feel of the space is partly due to the exact tones of blue and grey. Something darker would have looked moodier, but this light grey pairing brings softness and subtlety to the space, and the high-ceilinged white wall keeps things light and fresh.

4. Grey and white

Beige living room with high ceilings and simple decor

(Image credit: Menu)

If you're looking to create a minimalist interior design, you might be tempted to furnish with all-white furniture. This keeps things serene and tranquil. But a white rug can often look modern and flat. You want to bring some texture to the space, so go a few shades darker than white and pick a light grey. 

Make sure you keep things warm with a few neutral decorative pieces - go for beige, browns and creams to stop the grey looking too cold. An alternative to a grey rug in a minimalist scheme is a jute rug, which brings the feeling of nature and warmth into the space with its golden fibers.

Hira metal grey rug, Article
Editor's pick

Hira metal grey rug, Article

If you're looking for a similarly high pile rug to this design, this from Article delivers with a chunky texture featuring thick, loosely looped piles resulting in a soft-to-the-touch finish.

5. Grey with dark charcoal

A grey rug with dark grey sofa

(Image credit: Sausalito by NICOLEHOLLIS, 1stDibs 50 _ www.1stdibs.co.uk (Image credit_ Douglas Friedman)

For a moody and sophisticated look, keep to the same family and go darker and deeper, embracing grey in all its forms, like this design that uses a light grey rug to anchor a charcoal black sofa from San Francisco-based interior designer, NICOLEHOLLIS. If you are sticking to the same family of color then you're guaranteed that they'll go together, and this combination is cosmopolitan and refined. 

Oonagh Turner
Livingetc content editor and design expert

Oonagh is a content editor at Livingetc.com and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.