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 color is a neutral color and is also considered a new beige. However, grays can be a bit challenging because it comes 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 color to paint your living room wall that will compliment or work well with your grey 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 a living 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 colors 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 color scheme simply by using the right colors. Having said that, the living room wall color is one of the design elements that you need to consider when working with grey furniture.

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

The neutral characteristic of the color gray makes it a perfect color to match with almost all colors. 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 color combination seem endless, you need to narrow down your choices by considering the basic color design rules used by Interior Designers

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

Color 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. Color can make any space look smaller or look bigger. It can even make the visual height of the ceiling low or high. Therefore, it is important to choose the right color 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 color attributes allows you to know and differentiate color from other colors.
    1. Hue – Name of a color or how people perceive and name a color
    2. Value – How light or dark the color is
    3. Intensity – How vivid or dull the color is
  • LRV Value – Knowing the paint color’s LRV will give you an idea how the paint color 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 color is and the higher the value of LRV, the lighter the color is.
  • Shape Of The Space – The function of the space and the light quality are factors that greatly affect your color choices for that space. There are certain colors that work well in certain rooms like the red color. Red is a favorite color 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 color 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 Colors And Neutral Or Light Colors – Dark colors tend to shrink and recede towards you while light or neutral colors tend to expand and advance toward you. Consider this information if you are working with small spaces as the use of colors with a lighter shade will make your space feel open and bigger or if you have a big space, use a color with a dark shade to make the space feel more cozy and inviting.

  • Warm Colors – Warm tones or colors 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 color will appear to look closer but it makes the room feel smaller or less spacious than the actual size of the space.
  • Cool Colors – Cool tones or colors 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 color will visually make the room look bigger
  • Beauty Of A Color Is Highly Dependent On Colors Surrounding Them – There are certain colors when paired to certain colors can make the space look dingy and dirty or dull and boring. Therefore, make sure that the colors you choose blend 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 Color Choices In Natural Light And Artificial Light – The beauty of the paint color 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 colors. Therefore, there is a great need to test the paint colors at different times of the day and at night time because light variation can also change the paint color as well. Then select the paint color 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 color schemes are not always recommended for spaces or rooms that are being used for a long period of time. Dining rooms and living rooms that provide great ambiance for gathering are usually in mildly warm to natural colors paired with smaller areas or objects like furniture, accessories and window treatment that have a stronger or vibrant color.
  • 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 color 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 colors that have yellow, red or beige undertones which provide a cozy and comforting atmosphere while cool gray colors are paint colors 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 color gray is. This is the reason why the gray color has become the favorite color for furniture, walls and decor.

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

Undertone Of Your Grey Furniture

When choosing a color to paint your living room wall with grey furniture, whether a grey armchair or grey sofa, the color undertone of your grey furniture should be taken into account. Using different undertones of paint colors makes your space look or feel odd while paint colors 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 color. So, place your grey furniture where you intend to place them and examine the undertone of your grey furniture at various time of the day and take a corresponding picture because undertones tend to be more visible in the photos.

Once you figure out the undertone of your grey furniture, narrow down your paint color selection for your living room wall by choosing paint colors with the same undertone of your grey furniture. 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 Color To Paint A Living Room With Grey Furniture

Using a grey color serves as a beautiful backdrop to almost all colors the same as your grey furniture. Having said this, you still need to limit yourself to the number of colors to use in your living room because mixing or incorporating too many colors 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 living room which include the color 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 color you are using in your living room. Check if your “main color” will blend or complement well with the shades and undertone of your grey furniture and if not, you might want to rethink your existing color scheme. Then consider the use of the 60-30-10 rule, simple guidelines used by interior designer 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 color or texture that supports the main color but has enough character to give a nice interest. 10% should be for your accent colors (which can be bold and bright colors or mild and subtle colors depending on the style that you would like the space to have). From there, you can start experimenting by adding one more accent color 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 color).
  • 30% Rule – Accent furniture, textile, wood trim, curtains, window treatments. etc. (this should be the items carrying the secondary color 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 living 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 grey furniture is larger scale furniture then it means your main wall color as well as other large anchor pieces should be under one color family which is under the neutral color family. However, if you plan to use your grey furniture as an accent piece and position it against the accent wall to create a focal point in your living room, you can choose a color to paint your living room accent wall that will give a nice contrast to the main color. Then, add an accent color 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 color works and how to have a balanced color scheme, below are different wall color ideas that go well with grey furniture.

Paint Color Ideas For Living Room Walls With Grey Furniture

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

Neutral Colors


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 color. White walls provide a nice sharp and clean backdrop to highlight any furniture color and home decor. It is also an ideal paint color for small spaces as the white color 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 color works perfectly with a gray couch. These two color 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 your grey furniture has a warm undertone, paint your living room walls with taupe as it goes well with grey with a warm undertone. This combination creates a welcoming and cozy atmosphere to your living room especially if you accessorize it with green plants and mirrors.

Light Grey

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If you want your furniture with darker shades of gray to stand out, pair it with a light grey color wall. Gray walls with grey furniture create a flawless, elegant and peaceful space. You can accessorize your grey room with the color white and black to achieve a monochromatic scheme for a contemporary look or add good accent colors 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 your living room as it beautifully compliments your grey furniture. You can either paint your accent wall or the entire living room 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 living room walls with the sage color. A sage and grey color 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, a grey couch against muted shades of blue will give a modern, beachy style living room.

Charcoal Grey

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If you want your grey furniture to make a statement, this is a deep gray color that is almost a black color 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 color category which has a great tendency to overwhelm you if you end up painting the entire living room wall this color.


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


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 for grey furniture.


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Yellow is popular as a favorite accent color which will provide a happy contrast to your grey furniture.


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 color scheme.

I hope that my guide on what color to paint your living room wall with grey furniture has given you the confidence you need to pick the right color for your space. When planning to paint your living room, you also need to consider the best finish aside from choosing the right color to paint your living room 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 color you’re planning to paint your living room. 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 living room from looking crowded.

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