If you have read our previous Color articles on Wedding Colors and Decorating your new Home Together –Welcome Back! We’ve included the 5 Easy Steps to Decorating your Home here in case you are just visiting our site for the first time with our Decorating with Gray article. If this is your first visit to Style, Inspiration, & Design ….Welcome!
We have Gray Living Room Decor ideas further down the page in the article.
First & Foremost, you’ll want to keep your main colors in the neutral tones in order to bring peace, harmony, and relaxation to your bedroom space. Add your pops of favorite color(s) in your decor accessories, accent pieces, and chotchkies. Remember to refer to Feng Shui rules for room color and what you should and shouldn’t do. It’s a very helpful guide to get your bearings if you get stuck in your decorating process.
To get you going, start with our previous article “5 Quick & Easy Steps to Decorating Your Bedroom“ here, it’s a quick read, and will prep you for this article. There are some fabulous examples of bedroom design to inspire you before we start with your individual color preference.
It goes without saying that you need to SLEEP in your bedroom. So you don’t want to have super bright colors that keep you awake or reflect a lot of light. This does not mean you have to use all dark colors. And if you are a “color” person, it also does not mean you can’t introduce a pop of bright color in room accessories!
However, you will want a nice balance of décor that encourages relaxation & rest.
Gray is such a wonderful color, it really goes with everything and even just on it’s own using subtle different shades of gray is a great way to create the restful space you want to create in your bedroom space.
Adding texture with fabrics and in accent furniture is a great way to use different shades of gray in one room. It pairs very nicely with soft tans, beiges, and even golds.
Even choosing all grays in your bedding and bed itself is a great look. This will also allow you to add some extra pattern and texture to the room. Real Designer Advice: Add a little white or soft gray in the decor accents to ensure your space has some balance between light and dark.
If you like Gray, but aren’t sure how to use it, try using as the focal point in your room to draw the eye in in one wall in your room. Then add a few gray accessories to tie the room design together, still keeping your base decor items in neutrals staying with the Feng Shui principles.
Using gray as accents in your bedroom allows for the recommended amount of base neutrals still in the design ensuring it is a restful space for you both! In this image, the soft gray tones are used simply as accents in texture in the bedding and the drapes, and focal point wall. All subtle different shades of gray, which blends beautifully with the soft neutral beige and tans in the room.
Still think gray might be too dark for your bedroom? Try just using in in the wall color. Coordinate your molding and trim in white with your white bed linens, and you have very restful, airy look. If you are a DIY’er, try using the “sponge” or “rag” technique when you paint your walls. It gives the room a country-rustic look. Almost like a gray “patina”
Gray really can be very relaxing color, it works great in guest bedrooms as well. Using gray again as an accent as in this bedroom, the majority of the room “color” is white with wood furniture accents. Keeping the wall color white, furniture all in the same wood “color” and simplified decor allows for the addition of pattern in the floor covering making it a wonderful mixed gray focal point in the room.
On to Gray Livingroom Decor! Using the same principles that we recommend with bedroom decor, start with base neutrals and build your gray into the room using accent pieces.
Real Designer Tip: One Kings Lane has some wonderful statement piece sofas to choose from in all different shades of gray and styles and they have HUGE sales!!
Love gray but worried it will be “too much” for your new spouse?
Tone it down a bit and try using subtle different shades of gray to soften the look, and slowly introduce it in the room design in small decor items like pillows, frames, accent chairs, and chotchkies.
If you like the darker gray hue, but feel like it might be too much in a large statement piece, try using it is the smaller accent decor items like side chairs & pillows. You can bring gray into your room in throw rug design as well, it will tie the whole room together nicely without looking like an after thought.
Real Designer Tip: Joss & Main has some fun accent pieces and decor items to choose from too!
For a contemporary look – try using gray in your larger statement furniture pieces, and note a little bit of gray in all your decor items, flooring, wall art, and furniture. Remember to keep the chotchkies to a minimum to achieve this look.
Gray works beautifully in rooms with bright light – Look how this designer used the gray rooftop view as an accessory to the room, balancing the room with several shades of gray in the fabrics to mirror the color of the fabulous rooftop and sea view. This look is created using the same principle as a gray accent wall, but using the actual “window view” as the “wall” color.
If you are joining your 2 homes together to make one and re-purposing your existing furniture – adding gray is a wonderful way to to update your look and bridge your 2 styles together. Use your re-purposed neutral items in the base room decor items: Sofa, Rugs, Tables, and Window Treatments. Then use the gray as your new “shared” color.
Love gray but still think it will make your room look too masculine? Add some soft feminine colors like soft mint, or teal, golds in muted tones as we did in this Style, Inspiration, & Design inspiration board.
Love texture and patterns in room designs? Pairing different patterned fabrics and textures can be challenging, but you can do it! Remember to keep your flooring in simple, neutral tones and use accessories with simple lines and similar patterns. Using the above image as example, the rich texture in this rooms fabrics does not make the room look “busy” as the designer kept the room “chotchkies” to a minimum. The pattern heavy throw rug is masked by the coffee table, so it doesn’t overtake the room. This also allows for the use of several different shades of gray all in one room.It really makes your eye travel to each uniqre decor piece in the room.
Real Designer Advice: When using rich, textured fabrics, keep the accessories simplified to give a clean look to the room design. Accent items like pillows and bric-à-brac can have rich texture as well, but try to keep the pattern to a minimum so the look isn’t too busy.
Love color and pattern but afraid to combine the two? Keeping additional furniture pieces like this fab tendershoot green sofa in a similar design as the side chairs as in the above image allows for the addition of the texture in the fabrics and room decor. As you can see this designer chose the side chairs in the same color as the rug and wall color to keep the room decor from looking too busy. This still keeps the look unencumbered as the wall color, floor covering and side chairs act as an anchor to the design of the room.
Love neutrals but love color too? Using neutrals as your base color in your room design does not mean you can’t use bright colors too! When in doubt, Keep it simple! Try using white (or pale gray) as you start out on your decorating journey in your wall color, you’ll feel like you are taking less of a risk…Try using Gray as one of your “Pop” colors in a side chair or ottoman. This decision also allows for the addition of patterned fabric and “shapes” in the accent decor and side chair color.
Using grays as your base color in your room design does not mean you can’t use bright colors too!
All the same rules apply… so Let’s critique this fabulous room design based on what we already know from our previous Home & Lifestyle articles.
When starting out – decorating for the first time… start with these 4 simple steps:
1. Keep the base colors flat. (no texture or print)
2. When using many different textures and fabrics together in several different pieces, choose muted, soft fabrics.
3. Keep your “pop” of color in accessories
4. Draw the eye into the room with 1 beautiful focal point pieces. In this example, the gorgeous dark gray wall color in the dining room really draws the eye through all 3 “room” spaces.
Don’t be afraid to introduce other colors to the room either!
In this living room, it’s easy to see how the neutral colors are used as a base element in the decor in the wall color, soft furnishings, and woodwork. Note how the designer kept the base and the surrounding decor items in the same neutrals as we mention throughout this article. By adding accessories in the same soft neutral color (hue) palette from those of the base decor items, it still keeps the look very clean and inviting.
Circling back to our paint swatches from the beginning of the article. One can see how easy it is to add any shade of Gray to your room decor with different fabrics and pattern subtly when you keep to the similar hues. You don’t have to be matchy-matchy in your decor!
If are still wary of using gray, choose a lighter shade and introduce it slowly….again, just in the large furniture pieces or a wall color.
When in doubt, Keep it simple! Try using white as you start out on your decorating journey, you’ll feel like you are taking less of a risk…Try using Gray as your Pop of Color in your decor items or the focal point of the room (as in this image, the fireplace) and mirror that same hue in a side chair to give an “anchor” to the room design.
We hope that using the design principles and examples in our “How to” design articles and you will see how easy it is to add a pop of color and texture in accessories…drapes, pillows, and art.
You can do it! Let us know how you do with your room design… send us your before and after images and we’ll post it for everyone to
Furniture source for this article’s Style, Inspiration, & Design’s collages are from Allen Wayside Furniture! You can visit them here and of course in their many locations in Maine & New Hampshire.
They have a new bedding department which we’ll be writing about soon as well, so please visit us again soon!
Article: Lisa Sammons – Owner/Principal Planner & Lead Designer – Lisa Sammons Events/Contributor & Features Editor: Style, Inspiration, & Design We are REAL Wedding Planners & Designers servicing New England & New York. We also travel to where ever our clients need us. If you are planning a destination wedding, we are happy to plan your wedding … where ever and whenever!
Are you a DIY Bride and just want a few pointers or a consultation?
We are happy to schedule a meeting or a call with you. Feel free to contact us at anytime to set up a DIY planning meeting. We are happy to help! moc.stnevesnommasasilnull@ofni or via phone @ 603-828-6490.
We look forward to speaking with you!