Gray Bedrooms Done Right

gold chair

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Because gray can be sedate, a room primarily colored in this soothing hue can lack interest. But not to worry – all it takes is a few bold touches to liven up your gray bedroom. Look at how well it’s done in the bedroom shown here – the gold chair adds a bit of spice, but it’s the black-and-white printed ottoman and the geometric print wallpaper that really bring this bedroom to life. Takeaway: when decorating primarily in gray (or any other neutral), add a few punches of color or pattern to keep the look lively.

  • 01 of 08

    Contemporary Country

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    Although gray is a soothing, neutral tone, it has a contemporary vibe, making it the perfect color to bring a traditional style – like country – into the present day. This modern take on country hits all the high notes: four-poster bed, paneled walls, distressed wood and simple lines. But there’s nothing old-fashioned or even rustic about this country bedroom – using geometric prints instead of the expected florals and working plenty of gray into the mix gives country style  fresh, sophisticated appeal without losing the welcoming easiness that makes country a classic. Takeaway: you can update just about any decorating style with judicious use of gray.

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  • 02 of 08

    Warm Gray

    Eric Hernandez/Getty Images

    Worried that too much gray will make your bedroom look cold or cave-like? When you use a warmed, brownish-gray as in the bedroom here, you can set those fears aside. The putty-colored walls are quite contemporary, but not a bit harsh or cold. Mix in the grayish-brown floral curtains, the burnt orange area rug and the wonderful round mirrors hung over the headboard and you get a traditional bedroom with plenty of personality and charm. Takeaway: although too much pure gray can look chilly, by choosing warm, brownish-gray tones you can keep the look comfortable.

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  • 03 of 08

    Accent Wall

    Eric Hernandez/Getty Images

    If painting all four bedroom walls with strong color is too much for your tastes, but you still want to add a touch of drama, turn the wall at the head of your bed into an accent wall. A deep gray like the one shown here is a great choice. The gray bed skirt and patterned throw pillows add a bit of quiet elegance, while the small shelf with silver letters welcoming guests into the space adds a bit of whimsy. Takeaway: Dark gray is the perfect color for an accent wall – it’s bold enough to make a statement, but subdued enough to keep the bedroom tranquil.

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  • 04 of 08

    Gray Has Fun

    Eric Hernandez/Getty Images

    This isn’t a bedroom for the shy or timid, despite the simple palette of gray, white and yellow. The striped walls and ceiling are somewhat reminiscent of a circus tent, making this a great look for a children’s room. But don’t discount the power of stripes in the master bedroom as well – just keep them on either the walls or the ceiling, not both. The strong geometric pattern on the comforter helps balance the bedroom, and because the colors perfectly match the stripes, the overall effect is pleasing, not chaotic. Takeaway: just because gray is a sedate color doesn’t mean it can’t have fun.

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  • 05 of 08

    Gray in a Child's Bedroom

    Photo courtesy of Modern Home Interior Design Ideas

    Although gray isn’t usually the first color that comes to mind when decorating for a child, the bedroom shown here demonstrates how well it can work. What a great space that either a boy or girl would love. The deep gray accent wall sets off the touches of bright color perfectly. The gray stripes in the area rug, gray throw blanket, and gray toss pillow tie the room together beautifully while still letting the cheerful color shine. Takeaway: As long as you add in plenty of bright accents, gray works very well in a child’s bedroom.

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  • 06 of 08

    Modern Gray Bedroom

    Astronaut Images/Getty Images

    This gray, black and cream bedroom has plenty of modern appeal – it’s almost futuristic. But because texture is used to perfection throughout the space, the look is cozy, not overly cool. Notice the thick sweater-knit blankets, the leather-wrapped bed, the area rug layered over carpet and the touches of shine on the throw pillows and small accent tables. Takeaway: when using a lot of gray in the bedroom, add plenty of warm texture to prevent a chilly feel.

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  • 07 of 08

    Gray Gets Sophisticated

    The International Photo Co/Getty Images

    Wow. Here’s a bedroom that takes sophistication to new heights. The charcoal walls and curtains have a gothic appeal, but the unusual ceiling fixture, the clear Lucite nightstands, the sweater-knit throw blanket and the traditional bedside lamps keep the look from becoming morbid. The bed is a beautiful study in gray, from the wrap-around upholstered headboard to the all-gray bedding. The black-and-white throw pillows add just enough contrast to balance the style. Takeaway: When working with a very dark palette, add in a few unexpected light touches to prevent style overload.

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  • 08 of 08

    Add Bright Color

    Photo courtesy of Lucy and Company

    Are you sold on the idea of gray for your bedroom, but worried it might be a bit dull? Or maybe you have the opposite conundrum – you love bright color, but don’t want your bedroom to be too stimulating. Both problems have the same solution -- decorate your room in gray, white and your favorite bright color. In this bedroom, it’s orange that adds the zest, but any bright would work equally well. Notice how little it takes to liven up a space – touches of color on the valences, the artwork, the throw blanket and the toss pillows are just enough to cheer up the entire bedroom without taking over. Takeaway: Liven up your gray bedroom with a few accents of your favorite bright color.