Design and Decor

What Color To Paint A Living Room Wall With Grey Furniture

If you have a gray sofa or are planning to buy one, are you wondering what is the best color to paint your living room wall that will work well for your grey furniture? In the interior design world, the grey is a neutral color and is also considered a new beige. However, grays can be a bit challenging because they come with different undertones and most likely will have the tendency to look cold and blue. These challenges can also be experienced when you are looking for a hue to paint your living space wall that will compliment or work well with your furniture in order to achieve a balanced and cohesive look.

Grey couches have gained in popularity and are still maintaining their popularity up to now because of their versatility. They are a great choice for any room with eclectic design as they provide a perfect backdrop for colorful decor. They’re also great for a clean contemporary or modern look because they blend well with soft neutral shades and actually almost everything in between. You can definitely create any style you want to achieve, whether you want your sofa to work well or complement well with the entire hue scheme simply by using the right colors. Having said that, the living space wall color is one of the design elements that you need to consider when working with one.

The next question that you are going to ask might be, “what is the right paint shade for your living room wall that will not only look good against your gray sofa but also will work beautifully with your entire home decor?” If you are not careful in choosing the paint shade for your wall, you might end up with a cold and boring living area.

The neutral characteristic of the grey shade makes it a perfect color to match with almost all shades. Therefore, your grey furniture goes well with the most popular colors for living room walls such as white, green, charcoal grey, blue, coral, red-orange, yellow, magenta and many more. Since the different shades combination seem endless, you need to narrow down your choices by considering the basic design rules used by Interior Designers

Basic Color Design Rules For The Best Paint Shade In A Living Room With Grey Furniture

Design Rules Used By Interior Designers

Color is the most important element in design because everything around us has color. The color choice is a very vital decision to make to begin the design process. It can make any space look smaller or look bigger and can even make the visual height of the ceiling low or high. Therefore, it is important to choose the right shade for your space aside from the fact that it has a unifying effect and produces a cohesive and pleasing result.

  • Three Color Attributes – The 3 hue attributes allow you to know and differentiate color from other colors.
    1. Hue – Name of a shade or how people perceive and name a color
    2. Value – How light or dark the shade is
    3. Intensity – How vivid or dull the shade is
  • LRV Value – Knowing the paint color’s LRV will give you an idea how the paint hue will look, either it will look lighter or darker on the scale of zero (black) to one hundred (white) on your walls. This depends on the amount of natural light and artificial light your space gets.  Therefore the lower the value of LRV,  the darker the hue is and the higher the value of LRV, the lighter the hue is.
  • Shape Of The Space – The function of the space and the light quality are factors that greatly affect your shade choices for that space. There are certain colors that work well in certain rooms like the red. Red is a favorite shade to use for a dining area as it increases appetite and enhances its atmosphere. Green is good to use for a bedroom as the green hue  has a soothing effect that will help you to relax and unwind making it a great choice for the bedroom etc.. But this is not a set of hard rules that you need to follow, you can definitely ignore this rule!

Dark And Neutral Or Light Colors – Dark colors tend to shrink and recede towards you while light or neutral hues tend to expand and advance toward you. Consider this information if you are working with small spaces as the use of hues with a lighter shade will make your space feel open and bigger or if you have a big space, use a hue with a dark shade to make the space feel more cozy and inviting.

  • Warm– Warm tones or hues toward the red end of the spectrum such as red, yellow, orange and all their combinations have an advancing effect because they look closer to the eye than they actually are. For example, a small space or area with a piece of furniture with warm and intense colored upholstery will seem closer to the observer which makes it look larger than its actual size. While for a large area with walls painted with warm and intense hue it will appear to look closer but it makes the room feel smaller or less spacious than the actual size of the space.
  • Cool – Cool tones or hues toward the violet end of the spectrum such as blues, violets, greens and all their combinations have a receding effect because they appear to be further away than they actually are. For example, a small piece of furniture with a cool colored upholstery will visually reduce the size of that piece of furniture but for a large space such as walls of the room when painted with a cool hues will visually make the room look bigger
  • Beauty Of A Color Is Highly Dependent On Colors Surrounding Them – There are certain hues when paired to certain shades can make the space look dingy and dirty or dull and boring. Therefore, make sure that the hue you choose blends well or compliment with each other to have a cohesive look. To learn more about the different color schemes such as achromatic, monochromatic, analogous, complementary or contrasting and triadic scheme, click here!
  • Test The Beauty Of Your Shade Choices In Natural Light And Artificial Light – The beauty of the paint shade will be highly dependent on the amount of natural light coming in and the type of artificial light you have in your space. Natural light is the best tool to use when you want to know the undertones of your paint shades. Therefore, there is a great need to test the paint shades at different times of the day and at night time because light variation can also change the paint shade as well. Then select one that suits the level of light you have in the room. FYI,  professional home stagers recommend the use of LED lights because of their durability, good quality of light with a wide range of color temperatures and because they are the most energy efficient.
  • Consider The Function Of The Space During Color Planning – Intense hue schemes are not always recommended for spaces or rooms that are being used for a long period of time. Dining rooms and living spaces that provide great ambiance for gathering are usually in mildly warm to natural hues paired with smaller areas or objects like furniture, accessories and window treatment that have a stronger or vibrant shades.
  • Think Of Ambiance – The majority of people prefer to have warm color schemes or warm accents within cool or neutral schemes because they provide a cozy and welcoming ambiance that they are looking for. Warm or Cool color schemes are best for a specific space or room but can be boring for the entire home. This is especially true for an open concept home. Therefore, it is important to learn to add different colors in different areas of the home, either through unifying or contrasting tones.

Understand The Nature Of Gray Color And Its Different Tones

The gray hue is one of the favorite colors of many interior designers because it works well with different styles. It adds a neutral and versatile feel to any space. Gray can be either warm or cool, depending on the shade of grey and its undertones.

Warm gray colors are paint shades that have yellow, red or beige undertones which provide a cozy and comforting atmosphere while cool gray colors are paint shades that have blue, green, violet or gray undertones and which gives a soothing and relaxing feel. They also come in different shades ranging from pale dove to dark charcoal shade and the only differentiating factor from each other is how light or dark the gray hue is. This is the reason why gray has become the favorite hue for couches, walls and decor.

However, it needs to be accompanied with other colors in order to be appreciated, making them a perfect choice if you want to infuse pops of color in your space.

Undertone Of Your Grey Sofa

When choosing a color to paint your living room wall with grey furniture, whether a grey armchair or grey sofa, the hue undertone should be taken into account. Using different undertones of paint shades makes your space look or feel odd while paint shades with the same undertones makes the entire space look cohesive. As mentioned earlier, natural light is the most inexpensive and the best tool that you can use to know the undertone of the hue. So, place your sofa where you intend to place them and examine its color undertone at various times of the day and take a corresponding picture because undertones tend to be more visible in the photos.

Once you figure out the undertone, narrow down your paint selection for your wall by choosing paint with the same undertone of your sofa. By doing this, you will spare yourself the confusion and most importantly, avoid the nightmare of having a mismatched undertone.

Consider The Entire Living Room Color Palette

Use This To Determine What Shade To Paint A Living Room With Grey Furniture

Using a grey hue serves as a beautiful backdrop to almost all shades the same as your grey couches. Having said this, you still need to limit yourself to the number of hues to use in your living area because mixing or incorporating too many shades can make any room feel busy and disorderly. In order to avoid that, you need to look around and take a mental note of all the colors that you have in the room which include the shade of your console table, accessories, artwork, table lamps, floor lamps, window treatments, curtains and so on. After doing that you will find out the main shade you are using in your living room. Check if your “main color” will blend or complement well with the shades and undertone of your couch and if not, you might want to rethink your existing hue scheme. Then consider the use of the 60-30-10 rule, simple guidelines used by interior designers to have a perfectly balanced color scheme.

The 60-30-10 Rule

This rule means that 60% of the room which is usually seen on the largest space like the walls should be the main color. 30% should be the secondary hue or texture that supports the main hue but has enough character to give a nice interest. 10% should be for your accent colors (which can be bold and bright hue or mild and subtle ones depending on the style that you would like the space to have). From there, you can start experimenting by adding one more accent hue at a time to see how it looks.

Specific Example:

  • 60% Rule – Wall space, flooring, large area rugs, and large scale furniture (this should be the items carrying your main hue).
  • 30% Rule – Accent furniture, textile, wood trim, curtains, window treatments. etc. (this should be the items carrying the secondary hue to support the main color)
  • 10% Rule – Decor, artwork, smaller accessories, etc. (items that can have bold colors, patterns and textures to add more depth and energy to the room)

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From the picture above, 60% of the room is under the grey family of colors, the wall is painted with lighter grey and pairs with the large sofa with a darker shade of gray and the striped gray area rug prevents the room from having a flat look. 30% of the room which includes the accent chair, curtain, lamps, and coffee table is white and neutral while the 10% is comprised of shades of pink and metallic.

So if your sofa is larger scale furniture then it means your main wall color as well as other large anchor pieces should be under one hue family which is under the neutral shade family. However, if you plan to use it as an accent piece and position it against the accent wall to create a focal point in your living space, you can choose a hue to paint your accent wall that will give a nice contrast to the main one Then, add an accent hue through utilizing artwork, decor and accessories that make your living area sparkle but do not over do it!

Now that you know how the grey works and how to have a balanced color scheme, below are different wall paint ideas that go well with it.

Paint Color Ideas For Living Room Walls With Grey Furniture

Intense hues are ideal paint shades to paint your accent wall while warm to neutral paint hues are ideal to paint the rest of the wall.

Neutral Shades


What Color To Paint Living Room With Grey Furniture

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White is always and forever will be considered as a classic wall paint. White walls provide a nice sharp and clean backdrop to highlight any furniture hue and home decor. It is also an ideal paint shade for small spaces as the white hue makes the room feel open and airy.


What Color To Paint Living Room With Grey Furniture

(Image Source Pinterest) It has an LRV value of 63 and under warm color category

Ivory, either medium or dark tone, which has a simple and subtle shade works perfectly with a gray couch. These two hue combinations enhance the space and provide an eye-appealing and sophisticated look.


What Color To Paint Living Room With Grey Furniture

(Image Source Sherwin Williams) Mega Greige has LTV value of 37 and also under warm color category.

If the shade of your sofa has a warm undertone, paint the walls with taupe as it goes well with grey with a warm undertone. This combination creates a welcoming and cozy atmosphere to your space especially if you accessorize it with green plants and mirrors.

Light Grey

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If you want your sofa with darker shades of gray to stand out, pair it with a light grey painted wall. Gray walls with grey sofa create a flawless, elegant and peaceful space. You can accessorize your grey room with the white and black hues to achieve a monochromatic scheme for a contemporary look or add a good accent hue to make the space cozy and bright.

Light Brown

What Color To Paint Living Room With Grey Furniture

(Image Source: Sherwin Williams) – Natural Tan with an LRV of 65 and under category of warm colors.

Light brown such as tan with a caramel hue for the wall is another great option to add warmth into the room as it beautifully compliments your sofa. You can either paint your accent wall or the entire walls with it.


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If you want to have a classic and modern living space but gray or beige is not your thing, paint your walls with the sage shade A sage and grey combination will create a calming home feel but also exudes elegance and sophistication when you accessorize with house plants and add textile elements. This is a great alternative neutral.

Intense Colors


Blue makes any space feel calm and spacious. Depending on the shades of blue, your couch against muted shades of blue will give a modern, beachy style living space.

Charcoal Grey

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If you want your couch to make a statement, this is a deep gray hue that is almost a black and will do the trick for you. To balance these two shades of grey, utilize white and metallic accent colors.


Red-orange is a bolder version of coral which energizes grey couches. This red-orange is under the intense hues category which has a great tendency to overwhelm you if you end up painting the entire wall with this shade.


If you have a cool grey couch, magenta gives a bright hue contrast and will definitely grab the attention of your visitors. You will need to add the right amount of neutral hue and neutral elements to balance the look of the space painted with a magenta.


What Color To Paint Living Room With Grey Furniture

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Coral has undertones of pink and orange but surprisingly provides a nice backdrop.


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Yellow is popular as a favorite accent color which will provide a happy contrast.


What Color To Paint Living Room With Grey Furniture

Image Source Pinterest: mixandmatchdesign,com

Teal and grey colors work perfectly together.


What Color To Paint Living Room With Grey Furniture

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Depending on what shades of green you use, deep or dark green walls when paired with a grey sofa, natural brown tables or cabinets will definitely add warmth to the entire hue scheme.

I hope that this  guide  has given you the confidence you need to pick the right shade for your space. When planning to paint your living room, you also need to consider the best finish aside from choosing the right shade to paint your wall. If you have an open concept home, where the front door is basically part of your living room, you also need to consider if the color of your front door will work well with the shade you’re planning to paint your living space. Also, you might need to rearrange the living room furniture if you are thinking of adding an accent wall in a way that will highlight the focal point or remove some unnecessary items to keep your space from looking crowded.

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