Red-gray living room: approaches to design and decoration

The red color is very aggressive and dramatic, which makes it difficult to work with him in the living space, and the red-gray living room is an excellent way out.

Against a gray background, red loses its irrepressible fiery power and acquires a more calm, dignified appearance.

This color scheme is often used in the design of living rooms in high-tech styles, minimalism, constructivism, loft, as well as in classic interiors.

Red-gray living room: choose the shades

When choosing shades of gray and red, evaluate the real dimensions of your living room and its lighting.

In a living room of a small area, it is better to make light gray the dominant shade. Embed red as small accessories. And it is advisable to choose a calmer, more moderate red tone – for example:

  • brick red;
  • chinese red (cinnabar);
  • strawberry red;
  • coral red;
  • brown red;
  • salmon red;
  • raspberry red;
  • orient red;
  • persian red
  • tomato red.

A small room will also benefit from printed fabrics with gray-red or white-red patterns. Solid large objects in a small space will look somewhat defiant, and patterned fabrics, even with a bright color in the picture, are not so intrusive.

In a large living room with an area of more than 20 sq.m. you can take a moderate or dark gray shade for the dominant and experiment with passionate shades of red. In a spacious room, even a composition of several shades of red is allowed – from calm and solid to pretentious bright.

Also consider the lighting of the living room – it depends on the location of the room relative to the cardinal points.

In the southern room on the sunny side, the main role is often given to moderate or even dark gray. With an abundance of dark gray surfaces, you can even do without dense multilayer curtains, since dark gray absorbs excess daylight. There should be less red in the southern room, because it is perceived as a very hot color.

In the northern living room on the darkened side, the first violin is best conveyed in a light gray hue. And add more red – moderate, warm.

To avoid the harsh atmosphere in the living room, additionally use white or some shade of beige (cream, coffee with milk).

How to introduce the gray-red combination in the living room design

Working with a red-gray pair of colors is not so simple, but with proper planning, the result will not disappoint you. So when you complete the search for the right shades, make a plan for each component of the interior: base surfaces (walls, floor, ceiling), furniture, lamps, textiles and accessories.

Basic surfaces (walls, floors, ceilings)

The safest option for beginners who are engaged in interior decoration on their own are light gray walls.

In recent years, smooth plain surfaces have been increasingly replaced by decorative plaster. Due to the variety of textures and the effects created, the plaster won a significant share of the market for finishing materials.

It is also nice to paste one or two walls with gray-red wallpaper. All the walls in such wallpapers may look somewhat overloaded, so it is better to make a combined design that combines patterned and plain surfaces.

And the red accent wall remains a topical solution, while the rest of the walls become neutral gray. Do the red wall behind the sofa so that your eyes do not fall on it when you relax in front of the TV. The wall opposite the sofa should not be accented, since red distracts and prevents you from concentrating on watching TV.

But the original way of decoration is the bottom ⅓ in white and ⅔ in red. With this combined design, red in the wall decoration does not irritate the eye.

Those who have small children can do the opposite by filling out the lower third in a less soiled red color.

The second way of combined design is to finish the red walls with light moldings.

For finishing the floor, a golden wood or its imitation is suitable. Choose a shade depending on the chosen design style: light golden wood for a modern living room and dark with a deep honey tint for a classic setting.

In the decoration of the ceiling, it is worth starting from the height of the room. In a living room with low ceilings, we recommend ordering a white stretch canvas. And in a room with high ceilings, red is also allowed.


Furniture, as a rule, is selected by the alternation method: red to gray walls and gray to red. The exception is small living rooms, where you need to veil large furniture. In this case, there will be gray walls, a gray sofa and a red decor on the sofa (pillows, wraps).

Living rooms in red-gray color combinations welcome light wood furniture (pine, birch, beech, maple, ash).

Traditional dark brown furniture is also suitable for calm, moderate shades of red.


With a large amount of bright or dark gray-red tones, add more lamps: floor lamps, sconces, table lamps, decorative lamps, etc. As we have already said, dark tones absorb light, which is good in the daytime for the southern living rooms, but so that the room does not look like a crypt in the evening, it’s worth it to do the selection of lamps.


Red curtains go up to the gray walls, and gray to red wallpaper – the principle of alternation is also traced in textiles.

Also look at the assortment of red-gray curtains, while paying attention to what color dominates the design of the fabric. Red fabric with a gray pattern will fit the gray walls, and gray with red flowers or other patterns will fit the red walls.

If the red sofa is standing next to the window, then you should abandon the saturated red curtains and hang something gray with a simple red pattern.

In a small living room, it makes sense to adhere to the monochrome principle: gray curtains interspersed with red against the background of a gray wall.


The decoration of the living room in gray-red tones needs your special attention, since this combination is self-sufficient and rarely tolerates extraneous colors.

In principle, yellow and brown are suitable for a light gray shade: yellowness combines well with red, and brown is a good companion for gray.

Regarding orange and green accents, it is worth making a specification: objects in these colors should have a rough, soft, “cozy” texture – not glossy, otherwise there will be a sense of color bumps and disagreement.

Also, the red-gray tandem is ready to cooperate with the turquoise, blue and shade of the sea waves. With pure blue, be careful: it comes into strong conflict with red, which creates a sharp visual effect. So give preference to blue shades.

Yes, the selection of accessories will be a difficult process, but it should be brought to an end, because the “naked” gray-red living room looks boring and uncomfortable. Look for aesthetic and cute details that will catch your eye.

Just scattering red pillows on a gray sofa is not enough. Maybe the living room will look elegant, but in this case small details create the feeling of home. Just do not get too carried away and do not buy a bunch of the same type of accessories – the decorative composition should be thought out and verified. Let you decorate the living room with a small number of objects, but they have to be meaningful.

Ideas for the red-gray living room – Photos

When you have planned all the components of the interior of the living room, you should once again revise your plan and try to bring some fresh ideas into it. We hope that our selection of interesting design solutions will help you with this.

online interior design service
Give a new look to your room with our professional online interior design service
Most Anticipated Coffee Table Trends for 2024
FurnitureLiving roomTrends
Most Anticipated Coffee Table Trends for 2024

In modern open-plan homes, the living room space sets the tone for the entire interior. Even though the sofa plays…

10 Designer-Approved Living Room Trends for 2024
IdeasLiving roomTrends
10 Designer-Approved Living Room Trends for 2024

What trendsetters really like is forecasting upcoming trends and surprising designers and homeowners with new color, shape, and material combinations…

2024 Design Ideas for a Gray Bedroom: Tips and Inspiration
2024 Design Ideas for a Gray Bedroom: Tips and Inspiration

Looking for design ideas for a gray bedroom may seem unusual today when everything designers are talking about is expressive…