Perennially chic, let grey pave the way...
Grey living rooms aren’t just for the chilly winter months. Grey paint has the ability warm a scheme in the colder seasons as well as cool a space in the summer – with the lighter shades keeping a room looking bright and fresh. A light, muted palette will open up a space, while darker tones bring intimacy to larger rooms.
Each shade of grey is capable of creating a completely different look. From Dimity to Down Pipe, grey is one of the most versatile colours on the spectrum; it can channel edgy Rock ‘n’ Roll vibes or a calming rustic feel. It’s no wonder grey living room ideas are among the most popular images on Instagram.
Of course, it’s entirely possible to change the mood by changing a few accessories – cushions in burnt orange or a sunny yellow will add instant warmth when the temperature drops, while pale blue and fresh green accessories will feel lighter and brighter when the mercury rises again.
Read on for living rooms that prove grey can simultaneously feel warm, light and airy, with gorgeous grey painted walls offering a beautiful backdrop for modern furniture, art and books. If you want to keep your living room looking fresh, paint the skirting and ceilings white, and stick to a minimal Scandinavian inspired scheme, with pale blond wood flooring, clean lines and lashings of white to complement the grey walls.
Fancy a room with more drama? Paint the woodwork in the same grey as the walls, or go an even darker shade on the skirting to ground the scheme and create a cosy, cocooning effect. If that’s not dramatic enough for you, browse our post on how to decorate with black, or find inspiration in our smoky and sophisticated Scandi Noir story.
Why stick to just the living room? Soothing grey works well in a sleep zone too.
Check out these dark and dreamy bedrooms.
Artwork by John O’Carroll in layers of wax, resin, aluminium and steel shine out from the graphite-coloured walls, while untreated oak flooring adds natural warmth.
Get the look The wax and the grey artwork are by John O’Carroll and the small painting is of Venice, where Sebastian and Patrina got married. The Etoile marble fireplace is from English Fireplaces. Ochre’s Club Chair is paired with Jessica Zoob’s It’s Complicated cushion for Black Edition by Romo. This is a vintage Twenties table lamp. For similar, try Anglepoise. The rug is by Linie Design at Heal’s.
Zoning gives what once was an open-plan house a more generous sense of space, and areas with individual personality.
Get the look These are original Senior armchairs by Marco Zanuso for Arflex. The rug is from The Rug Company. The unit is by B&B Italia.
This is where the owners retreat to read the paper, watch TV or simply get some ‘space’. Soothing grey tones are provided by lime plaster with a grey pigment on the lower part of the walls.
Get the look The sofa is from made.com. The table was designed by Mark Lewis.
Colourful book spines stand out against the floor-to-ceiling grey bookcase.
Get the look The bookcase was made bespoke by Rick Baker. The reclaimed chevron oak flooring is from Solid Floor. The rug is by The Rug Company. Ros sourced the coffee table from an antiques shop. Talisman stocks similar. The Salute sofa from sofa.com is a good match.
Tones of soft mink, teal and silver create a calm environment. Dividing doors between this space and the living room means this area provides quiet respite from family life.
Get the look This Chesterfield sofa was upholstered in Washington velvet in Gargoyle from Andrew Martin. For a similar floor lamp, try Porta Romana.
In a simple decorating scheme, pops of colour provide impact – here, it’s the glow of the yellow upholstery against the charcoal walls.
Get the look For a similar paint shade, try Off-Black estate emulsion by Farrow & Ball. For a similar round table, try Lombok. The armchair, an auction find, was reupholstered in Peonies in Lemon by Michael Szell for Christopher Farr Cloth. Head to George Smith for a similar chair. Find the Josephine T pendant light by Jaime Hayon for Metalarte at Foundry Light + Design.
This house was renovated on a tight budget, with most of the furniture found at flea markets or up cycled – a tight edit of colour and materials brings the scheme together.
Get the look Find a bull’s head like this at English Lamp Post Co. The side tables are made from stumps of olive trees. French Connection Home does similar tables. The cane chair is a flea-market find. Try Graham and Green for similar.
Chunky slate tiles and smooth and textured plaster on the walls are teamed with lots of wood for solidity and warmth.
Get the look This is the Mod. 2129 pendant by Gino Sarfatti for Flos. These are Gray 07 armchairs by Paola Navone for Gervasoni. This is the small Ink coffee table by Emilio Nanni for Zanotta. The bespoke shelving is by Ofist. See Ideas to Steal for similar. The Natural Stone Company stocks a range of similar slate wall tiles.
There is an industrial feel to this overall look, with exposed RSJs, Crittall screens, steel staircases, metal light fittings and varying shades of smoky greys and black.
Get the look Both sofas are from Eilersen. The Caged 4.0 light is by Buster + Punch. The side table is from Stellar Works. The pouffe is from Made.com. The Justine artwork is by Matt Small at the Nelly Duff Gallery. The walls are painted in Pavilion Gray estate emulsion by Farrow & Ball.
The dark, moody tones in this room beautifully showcase the carefully curated furniture and accessories.
Get the look Find similar artwork at anncarrington.co.uk.
In this room there's a contemporary take on classic interior style.
Get the look The sofa is from The Sofa & Chair Company. The coffee and side tables were all bought at The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair. The silk cushions were brought back from Jaipur.
Moody and atmospheric, this living room relies on luxe finishes – marble, brass and leather – for its air of opulence.
Get the look The blinds are made in Hackney Empire velvet by House of Hackney. The pendant light is by Soho Home at Liberty. The Chesterfield sofa, Tank chairs, rug and mirror salvaged from a train station in the Czech Republic are from Pure White Lines.
The grey walls here are lifted by vast, sink-into sofas from Caravane and a pair of circular coffee tables, which were a bargain from French store Petite Friture. The design is owed to interior designers Turner Pocock.
Get the look This is Caravane’s Victor sofa. The cabinets were made bespoke. These are Hollo coffee tables from Petite Friture and the Form 2 rug by Tom Dixon for The Rug Company. The vases are from a selection from Anthropologie and Holly’s House. The grey throw is from Cologne & Cotton.
This industrial-meets-bohemian interior is a light and airy oasis. The original oak parquet floor was painted white to enhance the low-key mood.
Get the look For unusual architectural salvage, try Lassco. This is Jan’s New Sofa by Paola Navone for Linteloo. The Brick stools are by Paola Navone for Gervasoni. This is the 265 wall light by Paolo Rizzatto for Flos. The sculpture is from Objeto de Deseo in Barcelona. The large white panel is a period roof tile discovered in an antiques market in Girona.
A modern artwork, sofa and table lamp inject youthful energy into this grand room. The grey on the walls feels light and calming, rather than drab and dreary, and the black painted radiator offers a nice contrast.
Get the look Find skull artwork like this at Other Criteria.
While there are subtle visual flourishes – including contemporary lighting designs by the likes of Marcel Wanders, as well as high-street finds that look as 21st century as can be – the decor is kept calm by avoiding overtly pop flourishes and brash colours.
Get the look The sofa is from sofa.com. The faux shagreen bedside trunks – two of which are used as a coffee table – are from Oka.
Original shutters and radiators have been retained for a rustic look. A soft grey palette and modern classic furniture keeps it fresh.
Get the look These are Oscar sofas by Matthew Hilton for SCP. The Conran Shop has a classic Butterfly chair. The reindeer rug at Heal’s is similar.
A gentle palette of greys and lilacs collaborate here in the snug to give an elegant and soothing effect.
Get the look The ‘Brooklyn’ sofa in Adler linen is from Designer’s Guild. The curtains are in Portico Graphite FDG2349/05 with Tiber Ice F1736/72 from Designer’s Guild. The butterfly side cabinet is from The French Bedroom Company. The walls are painted in Steel No 34 from Designer’s Guild.
This movie-cum-music room has a distinct modern yet comfortable edge.
Get the look The cabinetry is a bespoke design by the owner’s interior design company Magentapink Interiors. This is the Long Island sofa by sofa.com. The Moon Pebble coffee table is by Ochre. The Meurice wall sconce is by Jonathan Adler and the floor standing light, leaning over the sofa, is from Mr Resistor.
The family room has an elegant yet edgy feel. The overall mood is natural, but styled with a contemporary eye.
Get the the look The vintage armchair was found at Pure White Lines. The cushions on the sofa are House of Hackney’s Palmeral design. The Beni Ourain rug is from West Elm. The artwork, left on the chimney breast, is by Blacklist. The Nice View typographical print is by Nathan Johnson for Blacklist. This is Tom Dixon’s Copper Bronze pendant. The vase is from House Curious.