How to freshen up your gray color scheme


Gray. Oh, how I love thee. Especially for home decor.  Rockport Gray to Revere Pewter to Gray Owl, picking a favorite paint color is like choosing a favorite child (changes daily). And I’m not the only one – a quick search on Pinterest, Houzz or any shelter blog brings up more articles on “how to pick the perfect gray” than I can count. It’s so popular because it’s virtually the only color (aside from white, technically not a color) that looks great in any room from the kitchen to nursery. But it’s been around for a minute, and chances are your gray sofa or bathroom could use some new accessories to update the same-old. Its chameleon-like ability to pair well with so many colors is another reason it’s so ubiquitous – but here’s an unexpected color to pair with gray that looks so modern and fresh.

Did you guess? It’s mauve! Before you’re like, “OMG, 80s”, this isn’t a trip down Golden Girls lane. The key is using a mix of grays and little hits of that gorgeous, muted purpley-gray-blush. The result – totally modern, not totally 80s. And it’s the second most searched color on Pinterest, right after…gray. Check out these pinspo rooms to see mauve and gray done right.

Mauve & Gray Throw Pillows


Loving all of this – the clean lines, grayed-out wood floor, to-die-for gray couch and how the mauve pillows and lilies bring the space to life like rosy cheeks! The great thing about both gray and mauve is that they play so well with other neutrals – think navy, charcoal, dark brown (like the leather sofa totally weighing down my living room). Throw pillows are a perfectly safe way to play with the color combo without much commitment.


Mauve & Gray Room Accessories


This color scheme is so cool and relaxing, the perfect antidote to the blazing heatwave going on – this looks like an excellent room for napping. (But what room doesn’t when your toddler throws 3AM dance parties on the regular?) The soft greyish pink walls are a perfect background for the varying shades of mauve decor happening on the chair, rug, throw & leather pouf. Since there aren’t any jarring colors or patterns demanding attention, it’s such a soft, cozy look and the tons of different textures around the room keep it interesting. Incorporate some of these mauve accessories to get a similar serene look.


Mauve & Gray Art

gray nursery

This nursery color scheme is so pretty but in no way babyish – it’s sophisticated enough for any age through teens and beyond. (Granted, if I had an amazing antique Turkish rug it would not live in a kid’s room). The star of the show here is the amazing artwork that combines mauve and gray with warmer greens and yellows for a cheerful pop. I love these pieces of art (and I snuck in some kid-friendly sheets and blankets, too!) in any gray painted room.


Here are some more pretty picks, lots on sale!




  1. We have a predominately gray home interior, but a darker gray than in the photos you’ve shown here. I chose to accent it with pops of bright colors. I have a turquoise console table, orange and turquoise throw pillows, a sunny yellow throw and a funky brightly colored floral accent chair. We love how it brightens up the space and it’s quite a departure from the boring neutrals most people choose 😉

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