A grey rug always makes for a great foundation in a room. It is a timeless furniture addition that can work as a neutral, allowing other pieces of furniture on top to really pop. It helps set the scene and allows you to build a cohesive color palette around it.
'Grey can literally pair with any color,' says Richard Misso, director of interior design firm at The Stylesmiths. 'It comes in so many glorious shades and tones it often has hints of different colors.'
But to narrow it down once you've found the best grey rug for your space, these are my 8 favorite color pairings that will help bring your pick to life.
What colors go with a grey rug?
One of the biggest considerations for choosing colors that go with grey to make a scheme around your rug may be in choosing a color that warms up this neutral which is often cooler in temperature. Caroline Cockerham of the sustainable rug brand, CICIL agrees: 'Almost all colors work with grey rugs,' she says. 'We love to pair grey rugs with warm tonal colors, such as multiple shades of warm beige and a hint of terra cotta or mustard. Layering different depths of one color can look really nice paired with a muted grey rug.'
1. Grey and wood tones
This interior from The Stylesmiths pairs a grey area rug with natural wood, as seen on the floor, and accented in the standalone armchair. The grey works here, a subtle addition to add a bit of softness underfoot, help zone the seating area of the open plan space, all the while without stealing the show from the glorious honey tones of the hardwood throughout the space. Any other color rug here might detract from the beautiful use of wood used throughout and the combination is subtle, calming and minimalist.
Think wood flooring, timber beams, wooden worktops to embrace the color palette and the natural materials will really shine.
2. Grey and blue
Grey and blue are a great combination. They both have a cool undertone to them, so they sit harmoniously together. When used cleverly they can blend seamlessly together so you can't even tell where the boundary between the two shades lies.
Without a rug grounding the seating zone, the wood paired with the slight moody shade of blue might create a space that is hard, turning the tone of blue to something cold and sterile, but the plushness of the rug really makes it feel cozy.
3. Grey and white
In an all-white scheme, grey brings a bit more texture and depth to white, helping avoid any flatness. 'We used a combination of slate 1 paint by Paper and Paint Library in a matt emulsion for the walls, cornice, and ceiling and eggshell on the woodwork which has a slightly reflective quality,' explains London-based interior designer, Juliette Bryne, on her Cote d’Azure apartment.
'In order to create a light and airy ambiance in this apartment the slightly off-white walls are complimented by the light grey stained oak wood flooring and this is then layered with a grey rug in a soft Rhodium silvery-grey white and bound in a complementary linen board to define the shape.
'The overall effect of the whites and grey tones are calming and give an elegant feel to the space – you can then accent this with stronger tones on the accessories, living room wall art, and scatters.'
4. Grey and neutrals
Grey rugs used in a neutral color scheme is a great combination. From dark chocolate brown to pale beige, layering a spectrum of brown shades, with a grey rug as a foundation, can help a cohesive palette slowly build. Add in your furniture, accessories and cushions in a living room, like this by Nina Magon, and you've got yourself a cohesive color scheme.
'To balance coldness, and to add warmth, I like to feature neutral earth tones for a neutral color scheme,' says Nina, who layered rich brown tones with paler beige coloring in this living room, centered with a large grey area rug.
5. Grey and yellow
Grey makes the perfect foundation for luxurious yellow gold to really pop in this scheme designed by Evan Edward. Any other color rug and the coloring would compete too much with the golden chairs and wow-factor table accessories, but grey really sets the stage for the gold to shine.
6. Grey and purple
Anne Hindley and her team designed this project using a color pop of light lavender on the ceiling to really highlight the bones and history of the house and give it a contemporary twist.
'We have used novel colors and shapes to create something new that still relates to the history of the house,' says Anne.
'We don't want a lot of contrast in color and tone between our flooring and our rugs, because it is more relaxing, less jarring on your sense of space,' she adds. 'We often use a neutral or sandy grey rug with colored timbers. This color combination also gives you a blank canvas for strong pops of jewel tones in the furniture and accessories.'
7. Grey and green
Grey can often have a stark and contemporary feeling, but green is a color that goes with grey, working to bring a freshness and feeling of the natural world to the space. This apartment, designed by David Ito Arquitetura had a brief to introduce biophilia and a quality of life through natural plants and foliage. Whatever colors picked needed to work alongside green.
The grey of the rug works against the green sofa and vertical garden that clambers up the wall. The overall palette of the room is grey, black, green with accents of wood, which create a space that is refined and polished yet adhering to nature.
8. Grey and charcoal
Another combination involves layering grey with itself, starting with the pale grey rug, and layering on darker and darker tones until the room has pops of charcoal and black. Look to the window trim, the living room accent wall and the furniture and it's clear the rounded palette of this space.
The scheme relies on layered tones to bring texture, rather than any bold primary hues. The result is chic, modern and sophisticated.
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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.
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