Decorating with Brown and Gray – A Pairing That May Surprise You

loft dining room with gray and brown decorating
Downtown Dining

We’ve decorated our share of neutral spaces, and our design team are masters at the tricks and techniques it takes to make a neutral space interesting and inviting.

But what we’ve never posted about specifically is pairing the two neutrals brown and gray in a room.  And we’re frequently asked – Can brown and gray decorating even work?  Do these two colors really “go” together?

Steiner Koppelman Builders Artisan Home Tour | Photo: PK/Schneiderman’s

The answer to that question is: Definitely! 

Neutral territory.

Brown and gray are both neutrals, and they appear together way more than you may have noticed (nature, for example). So, yes, they can be a perfect pairing – and they also work well with many other colors.

Opposites attract.

As with any color, browns and grays can vary from cooler tints to warmer shades, but generally brown is thought of as a warmer color, while gray is considered more cool.

And that’s one of the reasons they’re so great together.

Gray can provide a nice visual break and cool things down in a room with mostly brown furniture, while brown can add warmth to a room that’s dominated by gray.

loft living room with brown motion furniture, gray windows and treatments.  Brown and gray decorating.
SHOP: sectional | recliner | cocktail table | end table | accent table

Mixing it up.

When you’re going with a mostly brown and gray color scheme, using various tints and shades of the two colors will keep things interesting.

And accenting this color scheme with the stark contrast of white in trim, walls, accent walls (especially with texture – like brick or shiplap), and accessories can add a fun freshness to the mix.

Cozy living room in brown and gray. Pretty color palette with touches of green and blue
Travis sofa and chair

Gray walls with brown furniture.

I especially love the contrast of woods in a warm brown stain contrasted against gray walls, and white trim that makes it pop.

It’s beautiful in the bedroom below, and also works great when you want to give a fresh look to a kitchen that has brown cabinets.  (Been there, done that – love it.)

brown and gray decorating - master bedroom with gray walls, white trim, and brown bedroom furniture
Oxford Bedroom

Make accent colors pop.

And since brown and gray are both neutrals, they make the perfect backdrop for showcasing your current favorite accent colors.

What’s your take on brown and gray decorating?  Do you like these two neutrals together?

For more color inspiration and design tips, browse our How to Decorate page!

10 Responses to Decorating with Brown and Gray – A Pairing That May Surprise You

  1. Chris Sardelis August 11, 2018 at 3:43 pm #

    Hi. My name is Chris. I have a very nice brand new sectional in charcoal grey. My walls are very light grey and my floor is brown. I am confused as to what color pictures would match and what color coffee table and cushions on the couch. Any help is appreciated.

  2. Patty July 7, 2018 at 6:05 pm #

    In the picture of the bathroom, do you know the name of the paint on the walls?

    • PK July 8, 2018 at 9:09 pm #

      Hi Patty – the picture was taken at a model home, and unfortunately we don’t know the name of the paint.

  3. Roselyn Fisk May 31, 2018 at 3:05 pm #

    We just purchased a large dark brown shag rug. It is not a solid brown. It has some beige and gold specks in it but is a darker warm brown rug. What color sofa would go with it? I am most drawn to warmer colors. I currently am using reds with it but would like a change.

    • PK June 2, 2018 at 3:21 pm #

      Hi Roselyn – Thanks for checking out our blog post and leaving a comment!
      The short answer to your question is that dark brown is a neutral so you should be able to pair almost any of the colors in the warm palette you’re drawn to with it.
      You’ve inspired a blog post, though, so stay tuned and I’ll link to it once it’s posted!

  4. Kelly August 22, 2017 at 8:29 am #

    Do you know what brand the wall shower tiles are?

    • PK August 24, 2017 at 9:05 pm #

      Hi Kelly. Thanks for checking out the blog post and commenting! Unfortunately, no. We don’t know the brand of the shower tiles.

  5. Donna Kingsbury May 3, 2017 at 9:34 am #

    Hi my name is Donna. I need help deciding what color to use with my dark brown sofa. A rug color and picture for a clay color wall and peppercorn drapes. Please help! Thank you!!

    • PK June 7, 2017 at 10:11 am #

      Hi Donna – Since brown and gray are both neutrals your options are almost limitless – what colors are you most drawn to?


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