Do you like to paint your living room in a shade of gray but are not sure? Unlike the negative connotations associated with gray in the past, today, it is considered to be quite chic and sophisticated, to say the least.
That is exactly why it is a great choice when selecting modern gray paint colors for living rooms. Having said that, it is not an easy job. You definitely want to go in for neutral shades, leaving the white and beiges behind since the color offers a fresh backdrop to your living room decor.
The challenge is the variations in shades, from light silver to almost black. Which of these gray shades is the color for your space? The good part is that almost all spaces in your home look good and attractive in gray.
To top it off, there is always a shade that will befit your space. You have to apply a bit of science and logic to get to the best modern gray paint color for your living room.
Without further ado, let’s delve deep into the tips to pick the right shade for your living room.
Tips For Picking the Ideal Gray Shade for Your Living Room
1. Acquainting With the Top Gray Shades<
As I mentioned before, choosing the right gray shade can be tough because there are so many options for the modern gray paint color for the living room. Here is a list of the top 10 favorites of interior designers:
Worldly Gray Sherwin Williams, SW 7043: With a beige undertone, SW 7043 is one of the gray shades that’s fast catching up on the popularity scale. It has a yellowish feel to it in east-facing rooms, and with a middle-of-the-spectrum LRV (Light Reflective Value), it brings a purplish tint in south-facing rooms.
Agreeable Gray Sherwin Williams, SW 7029: One of the most popular gray colors, Agreeable Gray has a neutral essence to it. It has a distinctly warmer tone that gels well with other warm colors, including beige.
Classic Gray Benjamin Moore, OC-23: The best part about OC-23 is that it is pretty adaptable, with no purples or pinks as undertones. The basic gray color blends well with many other warmer hues, making it easy for you to do up the living room.
Gray Owl Benjamin Moore, 2137-60: One of the few shades of gray that is perfectly balanced between cool and warm undertones, Gray Owl is a shade that features a monochromatic display of creamish gray.
Mantra Sherwin Williams, SW9631: You will love this modern gray paint color for the living room due to its unconventional look and feel. Mantra Gray has a bluish tone, which is quite calming. It will surely remind you and your guests about the softness and the vastness of the sky!
Naturel Sherwin Williams, SW 7542: The Naturel shade is neither too brown nor too blue. It has a warm undertone and naturally blends with many other hues and tints for a holistic look.
Silver Chain Benjamin Moore, 1472: The unique aspect of this modern gray paint color for the living room is that it has a changing undertone depending on the time of the day. During daylight, Silver Chain has a lighter feel to it, while after sunset, it looks warmer and cozier.
Englewood Cliffs Benjamin Moore, 1607: Englewood Cliffs is one of the darkest gray shades with incredible depth and dimension. If you have a living room with lots of velvety furniture and antique fixtures, this color can be a good choice for the living room walls.
2. Understand Room Direction & the Effect on Wall Paint
Before choosing any modern gray paint color for the living room, you must gather some details about the significance of light, natural and artificial, on the wall. The placement of the window is the one that affects the most.
North-facing rooms usually do not get much light. Windows in this room use natural light to give a cool bluish tint all day through. The use of gray shades with a cooler undertone is not advisable. The gray will look too blue in this case.
South-facing rooms are exposed to natural sunlight all through the day. The direct light works well with warm and cool gray shades.
West-facing rooms get more light during the afternoon and way less during the early morning. The yellow tint of the afternoon sunlight brings in lots of warmth to the gray paint on the wall. Use cooler shades of gray for a living room facing West and one that is used mostly during the afternoon and evening.
East-facing rooms are just the opposite of west-facing rooms. These get more of the yellow natural light in the morning, and as the day passes, the room thrives in the cooler undertones. If the living room faces East and is used mostly during the morning hours, go in for gray shades with warmer tones. However, if it has to be used throughout the day, a neutral gray without many undertones is more advisable.
3. Effect of Artificial Lights on The Modern Gray Paint Color for Living Room
Just like natural light, the light from bulbs also makes a difference to the wall paint color. If you are using LED lights at home, you must have some information about how the color temperature, listed by manufacturers on the packaging, can impact the wall color. Bulls used at homes usually produce either white/ cool white light or soft/ warm white light. While the latter highlights the warm undertones, the former is more on the neutral side, sometimes producing a bluish tint.
It means that if you wish to accentuate the warmer tones of the gray paint, you should use soft/warm white lights. To keep it neutral or towards the cooler undertone, you need to fit white/cool white light.
4. Try Paint Swatches At Home
One of the best ways to ensure that you are picking the right modern gray paint color for the living room is to try swatches at your home. You cannot choose the right color while at the store. Since you want the gray shade, bring home quite a few swatches of the shade. Ensure that you have a good mix of cool and warm shades.
The next step is to take the colors to the living room and observe them during the day and night. You will get a feel of the undertones in natural light and artificial light. Mark the shades that look the best during the day and the night.
Next, compare the colors to get a feel of the undertones. You should also compare the shades with the existing decor, the colors, and the finishes already present in the living room, for example, the color of the couch, rugs, furniture, artifacts, etc. This will help avoid a probable mismatch of hues later on.
Consider this example. If your room already has a lot of reds, you should opt for a cooler shade of gray. This will balance the bright and the dull, warm and cool tones.
5. Prepare Sample Boards
Another excellent way of checking if the modern gray paint color for the living room is fine or not is to prepare sample boards. In this case, you typically need to use a paintbrush to color a whiteboard and leave it hanging in the room. Look at the sample board at different times of the day to see how the gray shade looks.
6. Other Handy Tips
Consider these points, too, when selecting a modern gray paint color for your living room.
- If you live in an apartment that is stylish and equipped with contemporary features, go in for sleek gray shades.
- If the living room is small, try brighter shades of gray.
- If the room is big and huge, go in for lighter grays. It will give an airy feel to the place.
- To accentuate the gray shade, it is always best to use accents and patterns to spruce up the look.
- Consider the different textures present in the living room when picking a modern gray paint color for your living room. If the place has features like marble, concrete, or weathered wood, you can use them to make your gray walls even more color-driven.
Gray is an extremely versatile color. The assortment available for this hue helps realize every homeowner’s dream. From crispy cool undertones to warm, bold shades, there is no dearth of choices. However, working with gray paint can be daunting. Often the results vary as green or blue undertones appear after the paint has been applied. Remember, the color is quite sensitive to natural light.
All said, there is no beating the classic pure beauty of gray walls with white trim on the ceiling. When this modern gray paint color in the living room is applied top-to-bottom, the result is fabulous.
If you have any other ideas and tips for picking the right gray shade for your living room, please do share them in the comments below. Also, let us know if any of our ideas did the trick.