12 Living Room Design Ideas for the Gray Sectional Owner

Learn how to make your sectional shine like the rock star it is.

The classic gray sectional holds a special place in my heart. Besides being ultra-versatile and investment-worthy from a design standpoint, it was the first piece of furniture my husband and I bought for our first home. Since then, I’ve designed and redesigned our living room around that lovely gray sectional more times than I’ll admit.

Along the way, I’ve spent countless hours searching for living room inspiration. In hopes of sparing my fellow silver fox owners (or aspiring owners!) a few hours of searching, I’m sharing some of my favorite living room design ideas.

Accent with muted pinks or purples and metallics.

Soft pinks and purples, like dusty rose and blush pink, pair beautifully with gray. The muted hues add a touch of femininity without overpowering the design. Metallics often complete this color palette, adding a chic touch of glamour to the overall look.

Choose a cozy area rug.

Don’t underestimate the power of a comfy area rug. Sometimes a little fluff underfoot is the difference between a brilliant design that’s welcoming and lived-in and an almost-brilliant design that’s cold and lifeless. Rugs in soft, neutral tones, like cream and white, work well with gray sectionals.

Mix patterns.

If you’re a fan of pattern play, go for it! Gray is a super-friendly neutral, after all. High-contrast patterns, like the black-and-white wallpaper pictured here, will help to bring out the dark and light tones in your sofa’s shade of gray. Just be sure to stick to a general color palette when mixing patterns so your look doesn’t feel too chaotic.

Embrace warm wood tones.

The warmth of wood helps to balance out the cool tones often found in gray, so embrace wood where you have it. If you have wood paneling or wood beams overhead, install an eye-catching light fixture to draw the eye upward. If you have wood built-ins, style them with colorful, curated accessories to ensure they’re a focal point.

Add vibrant splashes of color.

As I mentioned earlier, gray is an all-star neutral. It serves as the perfect backdrop for bold, vibrant color. Just be sure to balance loud color with understated pieces, like the acrylic coffee table pictured here.

Buy a houseplant.

Nothing will bring your gray sectional to life quite like a leafy houseplant. A potted tree — like the ever-popular fiddle-leaf fig — is a great way to bring height and texture to an empty corner.

Choose a powerful backdrop for a low-profile sectional.

A sleek, low-profile sectional calls for a striking backdrop. Scan your living space before situating your clean-lined stunner, and choose according to background options. An interesting accent wall or exposed brick does the trick, as does a sweeping view.

Pair a charcoal-hued sectional with white.

If you own a charcoal gray sectional, opt for a high-contrast look by surrounding it with bright whites. White walls or crisp, white shelving will achieve the look.

Incorporate modern shapes.

Love a modern aesthetic? Pair your sleek sectional with other sculptural pieces. Search for chairs, ottomans, coffee tables or light fixtures in interesting, modern shapes. By focusing on one or two statement pieces, you’ll keep the look clean and fresh.

Design with you in mind.

Make sure you’re designing a space that feels homey and comfortable for you and your family. Whether that means kitschy art, funky knickknacks or your favorite throw, stay true to yourself and your lifestyle.

Get creative with lighting.

Thanks to its larger size and corner or L-shape, the sectional can balance different types of light fixtures. Below, clustered pendant lights visually fill the gap carved out by a corner sectional. Consider installing a statement light fixture above your sectional.

Contemporary Great Room With Gray Sectional

Contemporary Great Room With Gray Sectional

A wooden ceiling adds warmth to this open concept great room with gray floors and tall ceilings. Mismatched glass pendant lights add an eclectic element. The upholstered sectional helps to define the living space.

Photo by: Dawson Design Group, Inc.

Dawson Design Group, Inc.

Opt for meaningful artwork.

A gray sectional can serve as the clean backdrop you need to display meaningful artwork or family treasures. The living room, which is often the hub of family gatherings, is a great place to do that.

Contemporary Living Room With Large Gray Sectional, Shag Rug, Framed Dress Artwork and Shades of Gray

Contemporary Living Room With Large Gray Sectional, Shag Rug, Framed Dress Artwork and Shades of Gray

A gray shag rug adds texture to this sleek contemporary design. A large sectional is topped with a mix of throw pillows featuring gray hues and a touch of pattern. Roman shades let in natural light from the windows. Framed dresses add unique decoration and a pop of color to the room.

Photo by: Alex Kotolik

Alex Kotolik

Add Instant Warmth and Luxury to Your Living Room

See All Photos
You don't have to break the bank to achieve a luxurious living room. These simple tips will help make your space look like a million bucks.

Plush Pillows Accent a Sectional

Bring on the pillows! Adding or swapping out pillows in your winter home decor can really add texture and warmth. Pile them on sofas, ottomans and chairs for a quick way to create a sense of richness.

Tags: 
  1. neutral photos

Photo By: Red Arrow Industries

A Great Starting Point

Before: This neutral living room is a great backdrop for an entertaining-ready winter space. With the right luxurious details and designer touches, it can be inexpensively transformed into a welcoming gathering place for friends and family.

Photo By: Red Arrow Industries

Before: Pared Back Style

This living room has all the essentials but lacks a sense of grandeur and atmosphere. By adding affordable accessories, plants and employing thoughtful design an ordinary space becomes extraordinary.

Photo By: Red Arrow Industries

This living room in a historic home is nicely furnished but lacks the glamour and magic needed for a season of entertaining and inside time. Thinks of ways this winter to work with what you have but add small decorative touches: new glassware, a metallic bar cart, richer curtains and throws and pillows to bring warmth and luxury to your space.

Photo By: Red Arrow Industries

Gold Details Amp up the Glamour

Want to add instant luster to your living room this winter? Metallic tables and chairs warmed up with candles and a cozy metallic pillow offer the best of both worlds: industrial chic and comfort.

Tags: 
  1. metallic photos

Photo By: Red Arrow Industries

Bring On the Pillows!

There is no better way to instantly add a sense of luxury and comfort to your space, perfect for winter, than with pillows and throws. They are an affordable option and you can remove them or change them out for lighter, sunnier colors come spring and summer.

Photo By: Red Arrow Industries

Before: A Functional Desk

This useful desk is also an ideal piece of furniture to transform into a buffet for casual dinners and big parties when the holiday season gears up.

Tags: 
  1. blue photos

Photo By: Red Arrow Industries

Light It Up!

Even if you are hosting a big group for a living room buffet dinner, don't forget that ambiance is key. A table lamp adds needed light, but also warmth to the room and can be moved from another location in your home.

Photo By: Red Arrow Industries

Easy Buffet

This desk transforms into the perfect buffet table beautifully accented by a striking piece of wall art and a pretty lamp. Remember that each corner of your room can be both utilitarian and attractive with the right decorative touches.

Photo By: Red Arrow Industries

That utilitarian desk does elegant double duty (and saves the expense of buying a new piece of furniture) as a welcoming buffet perfect for holiday parties and gatherings. Use pretty trays to keep utensils and plates organized.

Photo By: Red Arrow Industries

Before: This drink cart is being used as a glorified bookshelf in this living room. Why not tap into the true entertaining potential of an elegant cart like this one, and set it up for winter entertaining with a selection of beautiful bottles of liquor, your favorite wines—nicely displayed—and some gorgeous, light-catching glassware?

Photo By: Red Arrow Industries

Luxurious Bar Cart Accessories

Kit out your bar cart for the busy holiday season. A gleaming gold wine holder adds verticality. Crystal decanters are a more glamorous alternative to liquor bottles. Crystal pieces reflect light and add glamour and sparkle to your winter room with relatively little investment.

Photo By: Red Arrow Industries

Soup Up Your Bar Cart

What's the perfect vehicle for winter entertaining? A bar cart of course! This affordable, glamorous piece of furniture takes your party to where ever you need it in your living room, dining room or even bedroom.

Photo By: Red Arrow Industries

Before: A fabric ottoman is a great way to bring warmth to a space, especially when properly accessorized.

Tags: 
  1. white photos

Photo By: Red Arrow Industries

Glamorous Gold Tray

An affordable way to turn up the glitz factor in your home: gold details like this beautiful gold and glass tray used on an ottoman in place of a coffee table for a warmer, more luxurious feel.

Tags: 
  1. white photos

Photo By: Red Arrow Industries

Set the Mood: Add Candles

Nothing adds mood and warmth as easily and inexpensively as flameless candles. Displayed on a stylish gold and glass tray to enhance the candlelit ambiance, this small touch transforms a room.

Photo By: Red Arrow Industries

Conversation Starter

This gorgeous geode table is the perfect place to perch a drink, in addition to being a stunning conversation piece. Organic materials including stones, crystals and corals add unique style to your living room.

Photo By: Red Arrow Industries

Plain Jane Mantel

Before: simple accessories may work for this mantel in spring and summer, but for the winter and holiday season you will want to amp up your design and add warmth to every nook and cranny of your space.

Photo By: Red Arrow Industries

Add Metallics

Want a very inexpensive way to add luxury to your home? Add a small metallic detail like this vase for an instant dose of elegance.

Photo By: Red Arrow Industries

Candles, plants and groupings of favorite personal objects add character and style to a mantel. Mix in new store-bought elements with existing objects to create a brand-new tableau without breaking the bank.

Photo By: Red Arrow Industries

Slam Dunk: Metallic Basket

Baskets of any kind are a great way to corral clutter, but a stylish metal basket offers a little more interest and keep items visible.

Tags: 
  1. metallic photos

Photo By: Red Arrow Industries

Ottomans on the Move

The great thing about ottomans is their versatility. They can be moved around the room. A plush fabric like this blue velvet adds richness. Tucked into a corner with a complement of pillows, this ottoman becomes the perfect cozy conversation spot. Pillows with metallic details, metal chairs and side tables and a mirror reflect candlelight and make the room glow come evening.

Photo By: Red Arrow Industries

Think Curated Objects

You don't need clutter to add warmth. This well-curated selection of objects offers just the right amount of texture and personality to this room. Baskets, including for plants, always add a sense of comfort; a selection of hardback books offers reading material for guests and candles and plants instantly create ambiance. Little things mean a lot in this nicely-balanced room.

Photo By: Red Arrow Industries

Double Duty

Two identical chairs add symmetry to a room. With the whirl of holiday parties and entertaining, pushing these cozy cloth chairs together and adding a small side table for snacks or cocktails invites conversation and opens up your living room space to even more people.

Photo By: Red Arrow Industries

Swap Out Fabrics by Season

Don't just refresh your pillows for winter: you can replace lighter curtains with darker ones to add even more warmth.

Tags: 
  1. gray photos

Photo By: Red Arrow Industries

Plants Add Warmth

Plants are an easy and inexpensive way to add warmth and style to your home. They add a touch of green and brightness on dark winter days. Select a cozy woven basket to add even more allure to your indoor plant. Baskets like this one are also a great way to hide an inexpensive plastic container.

Photo By: Red Arrow Industries

Great Together: Plants and Candles

Two instant ways to add warmth to a winter space? Plants and candles, whether flameless or standard (just make sure you keep them away from fabrics and other flammables and attended at all times).

Photo By: Red Arrow Industries

Keep Reading

Next Up

11 On-Trend Velvet Sofas to Refresh Your Living Room

Velvet is quickly becoming the fabric of the season. Here's how you can bring it home.

This Luxury Basement Was Custom-Designed for Savoring Football, Beer and Wine

See an elegant basement design featuring a kitchen and living area perfect for watching movies or the big game.

9 Kitchen Color Ideas That Aren't White

Believe it or not, there are other options out there.

Bracket Busted? Pick Winning Living Room Designs Instead

If you’re like the HGTV bloggers and care more about winning designs than winning NCAA basketball teams, take our quiz to see if you can spot top living room trends.

Staycationing? Update Your Living Room on the Cheap

Breath new life into your living room with these budget-friendly update ideas.

Update Your Living Room With These Cozy Rugs Under $200

Winter is coming, and these rugs will keep your feet warm.

Not Sure How to Decorate Your Living Room? Here's How to Get Started

Don’t let decorating your living room turn into a disaster. Turn it into a space you love with these expert tips.

13 Coastal-Cool Living Rooms We're Ready to Call Home

You don't have to live on the beach to bring coastal style home.

10 Gorgeous Gray Couches Under $1000

Add these silver foxes to your wish list.

What's Your Design Spirit Animal? Find Your Style Twin + Take Our Poll

Are you more of a speedy cheetah thriving on a fast-paced life or a retreat-loving crab?

Meet the Team

Get to know the talented writers and editors of HGTV's show and design blog. 

Go Behind the Blog

From the Archives

Take a look back at our past posts, from entertaining and design trends to up-and-coming HGTV shows.  

Read All Our Past Posts