How to Warm Up a Grey Room

There was a time when grey was the MOST popular paint color in interior design. Grey rooms have a modern and sophisticated feel.  Whether it was grey wall color, grey marble, grey tile or floors with grey tones, interior designers featured different tones of grey as a neutral color.  

In fact, when I bought my house in 2018 I painted every room Repose Grey by Sherwin Williams.  I still think that grey is a great neutral color, but in recent years the trends have shifted (as trends do) from the cool tones of a grey palette to warmer neutrals.  

Depending on how you decorate your room, grey can feel cold and lack warmth.  You may have grey walls or grey tile or countertops and these can be expensive and time consuming to replace.  There are other less expensive ways to warm up a space.  

If you find yourself longing for a cozy and inviting atmosphere in your grey room, fear not! In this post, we will explore the best ways to warm up a grey room using various design elements, colors and materials. By incorporating these tips, you can create a space that feels both stylish and inviting. 

Embrace Natural Light and Warm Lighting    

Natural light is a great way to add warmth to any room. If your grey room has windows, make sure to maximize the amount of natural light entering the space. Avoid heavy window treatments that block light and opt for sheer or light-colored curtains instead.

Allow the sunlight to flood the room, creating a warm and airy ambiance.  You can also warm up a grey room by using lighting (light bulbs) that are in the warm range as opposed to the bright or daylight color range. 

Here is an example of just how changing a light bulb can change the color of a room. This is one wall color lit using 4 different bulbs. You can see how much colder the higher Kelvin lights make the room look. The small number at the bottom of each space tells you the Kelvin.

Light bulb

Introduce Warm Colors in Fabrics and Decor

Another easy way to warm up a grey space is to incorporate warm colors with wood or natural materials. For example, you may want to add a natural wood coffee table, side table or dining table to bring warmer tones into your living space.   Another way to add warm accents to a space is through the use of baskets, wood bowls, or accent pieces in wood tones.

Use warm tones in fabric. You CAN mix warm colors with your cool paint. For example, warm colors for upholstery, drapes, throw pillows, rugs and throw blankets. Leather adds a really warm feeling to any space. Here’s an example.

grey walls

Grey mixes well with earthy browns, soft creams and oatmeal or inviting oranges. These warm hues will counterbalance the coolness of the grey walls, creating a more cozy color scheme. 

Layer with Soft Furnishing and Texture  

Soft furnishings like plush fabrics, cozy throws and comfortable pillows can instantly make a living space feel warmer and more inviting.  Choose fabrics in warm textures such as velvet, faux fur or chunky knits to add both visual interest and tactile warmth.  Drape a soft throw over your sofa and place cushions in warm tones for a snug and welcoming feel.  

You can add a layer of texture with an area rug, think jute or a highly textured, nubby wool rug.   I am a big fan of bamboo window shades (in my grey living room window above). Bamboo is also a great way to add organic elements that will provide a warm contrast to the cool undertones of grey.  

finished. curtain

Color Accents  

Adding warm tones is one of the best ways to make a room feel cozy, but if you are a fan of color adding accent decor can give your room a fresh look.  You may have a favorite picture or furniture piece that can serve as a focal point in an otherwise grey room.  

Add Greenery  

Adding green plants to a grey room can have a dramatic effect on the overall ambience.  Not only do plants bring a bit of nature indoors, but they also provide a pop of color.  Choose plants with lush green foliage to add vibrancy and a sense of freshness to the room.  

With the right approach, a grey room can be transformed from a cool and impersonal space into a warm and cozy haven. By incorporating elements such as natural light, warm colors, soft furnishings, and natural materials, you can create a visually appealing and inviting atmosphere.

If you enjoyed this post you might like how to choose a color palette for any room and tips for choosing interior paint colors.

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