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

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