10 Designer-Approved Colors That Go With Gray — Because Neutrals Aren’t the Only Option

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WORDS BY Rebecca Deczynski

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Published on November 28, 2023

For a color that’s synonymous with a less-than-cheerful outlook, gray is pretty great in our view. The neutral hue is endlessly versatile, which is why it’s such a design staple. Whether used on your walls, your upholstery, textiles, or other interior details, gray has a way of grounding a space without stealing the spotlight — unless you want it to, of course! 

Not so keen on the color? It’s more flexible than you might imagine. Sure, a cool-toned neutral space rife with, ahem, 50-some odd different shades of gray might suit some, but there are countless ways to bring this hue into your home. You can pair it with jewel tones to complement their richness, or you can even use it in a mostly warm-toned space for a bit of contrast. It’s time to stop thinking of gray as a personality devoid basic and instead consider it an intentional, elevated color.

Need some thought-starters on how, exactly, to incorporate it into your space? Allow Havenly lead designer Kelsey Fischer to share her favorite colors that go with gray.

1. Colors That Go With Gray: Navy

Colors that go with gray

Navy or slate blue makes a perfect match for gray. You can create a moodier look by choosing a gray that’s as dark as your navy, or pick a lighter option to brighten up a deeper blue (or vice versa). This pairing works with both cool and warm-toned grays!

2. Colors That Go With Gray: Rich Jewel Tones

Colors that go with gray

Dark teals, maroons, and rich browns are some of Fischer’s favorite colors that go with gray. Why: Jewel tones pop against more low-key neutrals — and better yet, grays don’t draw any attention away from show-stopping accent colors.

3.Colors That Go With Gray:  Earth Tones 

Colors that go with gray

Earth tones may not be an obvious pairing for grays — but remember, there’s plenty of gray in nature, too! Slate gray mingles nicely with terra cotta, brick, sage, and soft blues in this living space.

4. Colors That Go With Gray: Coastal Blues

Colors that go with gray

Gray can work perfectly well in a bright and breezy space — especially when complemented by pale blues and deeper cerulean hues. A lighter-toned gray is the ideal choice for this coastal-inspired palette.

5. Colors That Go With Gray: Warm Monochromatic

Colors that go with gray

Curious about how to incorporate gray into a warmer-toned space? The creamy white walls and wooden ceiling of this space lean warm, while a dark wood coffee table and leather stools bring a richness to the room. Warm, light grays help to pull everything together.

6. Colors That Go With Gray: Natural Accents

Colors that go with gray

Here’s another great example of grays working well with natural accents. Rattan, jute, linen, and iron bring an organic feeling to this space, and a pebble-gray sofa fits right in. Consider this proof that sometimes, what seems like a contrast can actually be a total complement!

7. Colors That Go With Gray: Multi-Color

Colors that go with gray

Okay, this might sound like cheating — but the truth is that pretty much all colors go with gray. The right gray can hold its own even against a rainbow. A mix of grays creates balance in this room without drawing away from — or paling in comparison to — a color-coordinated bookshelf.

8. Colors That Go With Gray: Tans

Colors that go with gray

Pale, nearly taupe grays can create a subtle contrast to light tans, like in this space. It’s a great way to prevent your space from feeling overly monochromatic, while still looking perfectly cohesive. 

9. Colors That Go With Gray: Pastels 

Colors that go with gray

Pastels can easily get overwhelmed in a space — but against light grays, they get their chance to shine. Cool, pale grays allow pastel blue and peachy pink to pop in this serene bedroom; these gray tones are also, perhaps surprisingly, a cozier alternative to stark white.

10. Colors That Go With Gray: Amber and Rich Reds

Colors that go with gray

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking your space has to be all warm or all cool. Sometimes, the most impactful palettes are ones that deal in contrasts — just see how refined and welcoming these deep reds look against cooler charcoal hues. They’re some of our favorite colors that go with gray for good reason!

Want expert advice on your own space, straight from an interior designer? Get started today with our style quiz.

Words by Rebecca Deczynski