Do you remember when the color gray was the “it” color on the runway? Well, it’s still a “go to” in home decor.

Look in virtually any magazine and you will see a shade of gray as the color of choice on nearly every wall. From soft, muted gray to deep rich charcoal, the color is more popular than ever.

It is considered by some to be drab and gloomy, but the reality is, gray is one of the most versatile colors in home decor. Why? Gray is a foundation color that can easily be paired with other colors and can be used for “foundation” pieces such as large upholstery pieces, including sofas, beds and chairs.

You can use gray to help “ground a space” as well as an accent color. Here are some decorating do’s and don’ts to consider.

DO use light gray in spaces that don’t get much light. Light gray can help to make a space feel light and bright.

DON’T be afraid to use a dark shade of gray such as charcoal gray. Smoky shades of gray can be luxurious.


DO use gray for primary pieces such as sofas, chairs and beds.

DON’T be afraid to mix different shades of gray in the same space.

Gray is an ideal color for primary furniture pieces such as beds. (TNS)
Gray is an ideal color for primary furniture pieces such as beds. (TNS)

DO mix warm and cool grays. Warm grays are more cream in nature, while cool grays are bluer.

DON’T be afraid to use gray as accents. From artwork to pillows, gray can be a smoothing addition to your space.

DO pair gray with strong contrast colors such as indigo blue, black or brown.

DON’T use dark shades of gray in spaces that don’t get much light as it will likely make the space feel overly dark.

DO use gray in unexpected areas such as dining rooms.

DON’T forget that finishes can be used as a way to add gray to a space. Chrome and nickel finishes are great ways to infuse the color gray into a room.


Cathy Hobbs: Cathy Hobbs is an Emmy Award-winning television host, an interior designer and a home-staging expert based in New York City.