It should seem simple to match the color scheme in a room. Blues and greens go together. Black and white go together, and anything neutral is a winner. However, in bringing out the best display of the color palette in a living room, confusion can set in.
Bedrooms are equally intimidating for color; especially if you start with a blank slate. For instance, choosing the best paint color for a bedroom for grey furniture may have you running to a warm white or beige. However, some colors and tones can make you feel more at home by learning how you can complement gray with the right paint color.
Table of Contents
- What Colors Create Gray?
- What Shade Is Your Gray Sofa?
- Which Direction Is Your Bedroom Facing?
- Matching Gray Bedroom Furniture
- How Style Plays Into Color
What Colors Create Gray?
We can simply create the color gray from black and white. But, there are different tints of gray that deliver over 150 shades. We can make only the basic neutral gray with black and white. Using different color combinations can give gray-green undertones or make warm colors appear as blue grays. Unless a specific shade of gray is sitting next to gray walls, it can almost be impossible to tell a difference in the tone.
We can create countless shades of gray. By using different percentages of primary and secondary colors, the gray tint will change ever so slightly. Eyes cannot register tiny degrees of color difference, but they are there.
Try this experiment with water-based paint to see how many gray paint colors you can easily create.
- Equal amounts of yellow and purple
- Equal amounts of orange and blue
- Equal amounts of crimson, blue, and yellow
Two or three different primary and secondary colors will always lead to gray of differing shades. By using varying amounts of light and dark colors, different shades of gray will form right before your eyes. This can further aid you in creating a pleasing color combo for an entire room. For instance, stormy gray, forest green, and coral make earthy tones that soothe while providing rich shades that give a ‘wow’ reaction.
What Shade Is Your Gray Sofa?
Knowing what mixtures of colors they included in your gray furniture is a good place to start with finding the right color for bedroom walls. Many paint companies offer color apps that compare a specific color to different room shades.
Sherwin Williams has color-matching technology called Color Snap. This app gives you a live view of the best paint colors to use for matching a grey sofa to large or small bedroom walls.
Another recommended site comes from Home Depot. Organized by color family, you can see hundreds of color ideas with ProjectColor. This is a great aid for getting inspired and matching colors in your favorite rooms.
Yet another way to find the right color for a master bedroom with gray furniture is with the Benjamin Moore Color Portfolio Mobile App. Snapping a picture with your phone will keep your project ready to work on any time you have a spare minute.
By using one of these apps, you can see the undertones of a third color. Blue undertones or even a pink undertone in an upholstered gray couch can suddenly pop out when placed next to a light gray wall.
Which Direction Is Your Bedroom Facing?
Arranging furniture in a bedroom has more than just Zen to consider. You know, always point the foot of the bed toward the doorway to sweep out negative vibes. Natural light can play tricks on your mind (and eyes) depending on which way your windows are facing.
Not only dark grey walls, but an attractive accent wall can change suddenly from a great color to a menacing dark color because of the direction of the sun. All the decorating advice in the world cannot change the fact that something is not right with the wall paint color that you so carefully picked out.
The best bedroom paint colors for a room that faces the north are warm and comfy tones. According to Natalie Papier of Home Ec., north-facing rooms introduce a naturally chilly feeling. Cooler tones, like blue, gray, and purple, increase the drab, cold feel of the room.
We have a good explanation for why warm shades work better than a cool color in north-lying rooms. You will never have direct sunlight in a room facing the north. You may think that this is a plus for keeping the amount of light even and a wall color pure, but it is not.
According to Helen Shaw of Benjamin Moore, even though you have the right wall color, it is prone to bring out a color’s undertone. For example, blue grays may seem the best choice for a bedroom facing north.
However, the plan on the room appears more gray than blue with the secondary gray color. If cool tones are what you wish to achieve, this could be perfect against gray furniture. However, always look at the color of a north-facing wall as a shade darker than the secondary color.
You would think that a south-facing room would afford the same amount of light as a north-facing room, but this is not true. Regardless of what shade of paint you use on a southern wall, it will make a room feel warm and inviting.
Darker colors, light colors, or medium-rich shades will all work as an option in keeping your popular color consistent. A south-facing wall is a joy for selecting paint colors. You can count on direct infusions of light staying strong throughout the day.
The middle of the day is the only time when your room casts a washed-out look, but it doesn’t last long. Always keep your windows free from heavy curtains that will ruin this lovely effect. If you need some type of window treatment, a good choice is light-filtering blinds or sheer curtains.
You will notice the light changing during the day with a west-facing wall. The moving sun will bring you indirect sunlight and intense sunlight. This is a perfect balance for using white walls, light gray shades, and neutral hues.
The underlying tones of the color will pick up the light and have a dramatic effect on your furniture. Either warm or cool secondary tones can be a great way to deliver a balanced wall color. Neutral tones with a bold accent color of sage green or navy blue can create a burst of life in a dining room or bedroom.
The problem with east-facing walls is shadows. There is no avoiding them. The gray afternoon light is enough to avoid using any grey tones as a backdrop. Any color will look sparkly in the early morning hours, with afternoon light shaded and flat. Vivid warm colors, like blue with a little green, will be a great choice for delivering a cheery feeling in the afternoon.
Don’t be afraid to try light purple with hints of pink for a warm all-day feeling. Let the paint colors help you develop natural light in a not-so-natural setting and see the difference in warmth.
Matching Gray Bedroom Furniture
Now that you know the best shades for bedroom colors, it’s time to introduce your gray bedroom furniture. The difference in tone that you remember may surprise you. Your couch may appear darker or lighter against your new wall color.
Secondary colors of blue, green, or yellow on the couch could come into contrast with a light grey wall. It is always a good idea to have the sofa, or a swatch of the fabric in the room when selecting paint colors.
The underlying colors in light gray furniture are usually purple, blue, or green. Medium gray furniture holds a third color of brown, green, purple, blue, or red. Dark gray furniture almost always has undertones of brown.
To make the job of selecting the perfect choice easier, here is a list of colors that a group of interior design experts has put together that is a great option for matching gray furniture to surrounding walls.
Light Gray Furniture
- White walls with pink and gold accents with light gray furniture
- Brown walls with textured grays and white accents with light gray furniture
- Sage green walls with bright yellowish-orange and dark gray accents with light gray furniture
Medium Gray Furniture
- Grayish-blue walls with light gray and black/white accents with medium gray furniture
- Grayish-purple walls with green and gold accents with medium gray furniture
Dark Gray Furniture
- Yellow walls with navy blue and light brown accents with dark gray furniture
- Dark gray walls with pops of yellow and purple accents with dark gray furniture
- White and blue with silver and wood accents with dark gray furniture
How Style Plays Into Color
Always keep the style as a top priority when selecting bedroom colors. As you can see, grey colors offer a host of ways to use colors from bright whites to darker shades.
The style is also an excellent choice with your shades and accents. Area rugs are one of the best ways for blending walls and furniture together. Art wall pieces can act as a focal point with the perfect colors.
If you are looking for a luxurious look, you cannot go wrong with warm gray. Any neutral color will make the perfect backdrop for a medium gray-tufted headboard. A dark shade of gray gives you the option of bright colors of blue walls with green shades like an accent wall.
Mid-century modern (MCM) has become popular in recent years. MCM allows you to mix up retro furniture with all of your favorite things to deliver a fun and interesting look. A rich shade of greige (Pewter) and crisp whites on walls will give you a free hand in placing unique furniture and the perfect bedspread. Also common with mid-century modern styles are applications and use of dark blue in certain configurations, whether the kitchen, guest room, or family room.
Gray colors with underlying light blue tones are perhaps the most trusted choice for a timeless and contemporary look. A lighter shade of paint can make small spaces appear larger and encourage much light. You can easily move into a transitional style of decor when the versatile shade of gray is present.
Minimalism is still a favorite of the younger generation. Not only bedrooms, but dining rooms and living spaces are scarce in decorative pieces. We can celebrate soft tones of true gray with bursts of color in pillows or stainless steel light fixtures.
Modern coastal is a growing interior design that is airy with a seaside feel. The best color for painting this fresh scene is white paint with warm grays and blues. Plenty of wood accents and rugged stone pieces will make this your peaceful place.
Warm greys and similar colors have all but replaced the once popular tones of beiges and creams. Not that off-white and browns are fading into the sunset.
However, you have to be careful with these tones that pick up a yellow hue from directional lighting in the sun. Gray leans more toward blue unless you have a dark gray couch with underlying hues of brown. Headboards, comforters, chairs, and small sofas are all ways to show off your new grey colors with style.
Focal points and accent pieces help to deliver a dramatic touch to your warm or cool bedroom feel. Use all the tools available to you for merging color, texture, and accents into your room to form an amazing atmosphere.
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Karen Gillan, Senior Writer
Experienced Writer with 20+ years. Demonstrated writing experience includes technical writing, magazines, story writing, and journalist projects. Karen has a powerful media and communication background with academic training from LaSalle University (architecture, interior design) and business college courses. She loves editing novels and contributed to a national art journal.