While white has been the neutral of choice for years, light gray has quickly become popular with homeowners and designers alike, adding a dose of depth or a sense of serenity to any room. It provides just the right touch of color, while allowing furniture, art, and other decor to shine. It's the ideal choice for those wanting a versatile backdrop.
Greige, a mix of gray and beige, is warm and inviting, while cooler, crisp grays can offer a modern twist. It's all about sampling and finding the right undertones and shades that work for you.
To help you decide on the best light gray paint colors for your next project, we asked interior designers to share their favorite spaces.
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New York designer Crystal Sinclair infused sophisticated Parisian flair into this Manhattan Morningside Heights home for an avid traveler. A custom banquette, Restoration Hardware sofa, and bold black light fixtures are complemented by cool gray walls.
Paint used: Benjamin Moore MetropolitanContinue to 2 of 15 below.
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Warm and Inviting
Ashley Montgomery used one of her favorite light grays, Stony Ground by Farrow & Ball, a richly pigmented gray, for this Canadian kitchen makeover. With underlying red tones, this greige reads welcoming and classic, a great complement to the brass faucet, over-island pendants, and other accents in the kitchen.
Paint used: Farrow & Ball Stony GroundContinue to 3 of 15 below.
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The Crowd-Pleasing Gray
Benjamin Moore's Gray Owl is one of their best-selling neutrals, and for good reason. While it's classified as a warm gray, meaning it has warm undertones, it almost always appears cool on walls, with a softness that makes it a great alternative to off-white. Here, Gray Owl warms up a vibrant living space with a forest green velvet sofa and geometric patterned rug.
Paint used: Benjamin Moore Gray OwlContinue to 4 of 15 below.
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Molly Kidd of Oregon-based design firm Light and Dwell headed to Utah to take on the refresh of a family home. The palette, based around gray, beige, brass, and wood, couldn't be more serene. The light gray kitchen includes an arched stove cove, Carrara marble counters, and bar stools from Kathy Kuo Home.
Paint used: Farrow & Ball Drop Cloth
Continue to 5 of 15 below.
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A Layered Office
Australian firm Arent & Pyke went for light gray paint in this tranquil study. The historic home, which includes bright colors like a pink terrazzo kitchen and green-stained timber, is polished with impressive millwork, art, and period details.
Paint used: Porter's Paints Salt WattleContinue to 6 of 15 below.
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Gray and white are a simple yet effective combo in this flex room. Designed by Interior Impressions for a couple downsizing from their suburban home, this condo's guest bedroom also acts an office and makeshift gym.
Paint suggested: Backrop No CurfewContinue to 7 of 15 below.
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This summer waterside retreat in Southhampton, New York, was designed by Becca Interiors for ease of function and high style. Shiplap walls, blue-gray Shaker cabinets, a substantial island, aged brass hardware, and vintage decor make it a dreamy getaway.
Paint suggested: Benjamin Moore Beacon GrayContinue to 8 of 15 below.
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A Breath of Fresh Air
Mudrooms can often be hectic, a spot to drop kids' backpacks, shoes, and even the umbrellas on a rainy day but they don't have to be. New Jersey designer Andrea Pietragallo of Britt Design Studio loves this space because of its architectural details like the coffered ceiling, arched doorway, and oval window. Slate tile laid in a herringbone pattern and Shaker-style cabinetry keep the mess at bay.
Paint suggested: Clare Seize the GrayContinue to 9 of 15 below.
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A Neutral for Maximalists
Caitlin Higgins of Emily Henderson Design looked to Sherwin Williams' 2022 Color of the Year, Evergreen Fog, to liven up her hallway. The subtle gray-green is creamy and rich and as Higgins has said, the goldilocks of paint. Poppy artwork and even bolder wallpaper made picking the perfect pick quite the task.
Paint used: Sherwin Williams Evergreen FogContinue to 10 of 15 below.
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An Airy Suite
Light gray is a no-brainer when it comes to choosing a timeless paint color, especially in bathrooms. Erin Williamson Design transformed a historic home in Palo Alto, California, with relaxed and refined furnishings and custom millwork, while the bathroom is equally understated with light gray paint and gray tile.
Paint suggested: Farrow & Ball DimpseContinue to 11 of 15 below.
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This simple yet well-curated office space from Emily Henderson proves good design comes down to a handful of choices. The streamlined desk, green overhead sconces, and framed art are that much more effective because of the light wall color.
Paint suggested: Backdrop MoonstoneContinue to 12 of 15 below.
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Gray-on-Gray Primary Escape
Sticking to a unified palette in a bedroom is one way to provide a quiet, sleep-inducing design. Gray Space Interiors chose beige, white, and gray to accompany a grand four-poster bed and romantic curtains in this suburban revival.
Paint suggested: Farrow & Ball Skimming StoneContinue to 13 of 15 below.
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An Upgraded Classic
This East Grand Rapids, Michigan, flip from Hannah Tyler Designs incorporates three of her favorite kitchen must-haves: open shelves, a hood vent, and shiplap. Prefab light gray cabinets aren't too matchy-matchy against gray, beige, and white square tile, while natural light helps to keep the kitchen airy and vibrant.
Paint suggested: Behr HushContinue to 14 of 15 below.
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Greige and Cozy
Designer Jessica Nelson created a sophisticated Cascade Mountains retreat for an adventurous family of four. For this bedroom, which was inspired by the family's trip to New Zealand, an earthy palette felt like the right decision to accompany relaxed furnishings and framed windows.
Paint suggested: Backdrop Morning RitualContinue to 15 of 15 below.
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A Gallerist's Pick
Designer LeAnn Baker let the art take center stage in this Pacific Northwest home, A modern canvas and metal console table stand out against light gray walls.
Paint suggested: Backdrop West Coast Ghost