The home of inspiration

7 Grey and Brown Living Room Ideas

Grey and brown is one of the best colour combinations you can choose for your living room. On its own, grey is very popular right now – relaxed, subtle and versatile. Brown, on the other hand, brings more warmth, and with both colours belonging to a neutral category, they are easy to pair together. Here are our top 7 styling tips for mixing grey with brown in your living room.
Design Inspiration Hints & Tips
Grey classic back sofa with soft fabric upholstery

1. Grey and brown with textured fabrics

Planning a grey and brown living room will naturally get you thinking about the materials and textures that lend themselves to both colours. Fabric might be something up for consideration, with a sofa or chairs in a textured or suede-like fabric. Here, you could opt for grey or brown, or both.

A fabric with an interesting texture can introduce a modern, subtle look that oozes comfort, yet feels less imposing than leather. Consider matching a grey fabric sofa with a brown ottoman footstool, and vice-versa, or go for two sofas next to or facing each other – one in either colour.

Look for material shades that carry a warm undertone, helping to boost the welcoming feel of the room. Grey paint with a brown undertone on the walls makes the perfect backdrop, and try to pitch the lighting of the room just right – not too harsh, but enough to feel cosy and inviting.


Brown leather sofa with cushions.

2. Grey and brown with leather

Leather is a natural choice for your brown and grey living room. Picture a rich tan or dark brown leather sofa, or a couple of leather armchairs, and the space is given an automatic focal point, with softer, lighter pieces all around it. Walls painted in a subtle grey will help the characterful seating stand out more.

There is something both timeless and classic about leather seating, with a choice of designs available, from corner sofas to recliners, each adding a touch of elegance. Something with a strong look, such as a leather Chesterfield sofa, perhaps makes the boldest statement.

Contemporary grey leather recliner armchair
Roomy brown leather snuggler chair

But even with leather seating, you don’t have to worry about it taking over your room completely. Soften the look with cushions and throws in your chosen accents, or purchase two leather armchairs, rather than a sofa, which will appear less bulky. Also try matching your leather seating with lighter, softer chairs that make use of subtler materials and colours.


3. Mixing in wood and stone

When considering a grey and brown living room, natural materials that call out to be included are wood, stone, slate and marble. These can be worked into the space in a number of ways, instantly bolstering the presence of grey or brown, while adding more depth and warmth.

In terms of brown wood, think panelling not only for the floors but the walls and ceiling as well. Create a wood accent wall, for example, by using high quality flooring material. Deep brown hues would look particularly effective when a subtle greige tone is used on the other walls.

If looking to introduce natural stone, you will find that a range of colours, mainly different shades of grey, are available. A grey or brown marble topped sideboard or console table is a sophisticated touch. Natural stone or slate looks particularly striking as a fireplace surround – particularly when topped with reclaimed timber.

Marble topped curved wooden sideboard

4. Grey and brown with coloured accents

A good way to break up your brown and grey living room, and not having it seem to dark or heavy, is with coloured accents – using accessories such as lamps, cushions, rugs and throws. Teal is a vibrant, on-trend colour that works well with grey and brown.

Another colour that complements grey and brown beautifully is green – particularly if you have used a grey colour on the walls. Introduce green patterned cushions to your seating area as a bright, fresh element. You can also invoke stronger feelings of warmth using red, yellow or orange. Try gold too for a touch of luxe.

Brightly coloured cushions

If you have introduced a lot of dark browns and greys, perhaps by including a leather sofa, lighter accent colours will help to give the room a lift. Also try contemporary print cushion covers, curtains and fabrics, as these tend to work well against a brown or grey backdrop. Geometric prints in bright colours add interest to a contemporary living room.

5. Grey and brown with black or white accents

If you’re not keen on introducing coloured accents into your grey and brown living room, black and white can work just as well. If you have lights greys and browns throughout, try using black to create balance and add a touch of boldness to the overall look.

Black can be used to boost the strength of existing brown and grey tones. Some black scatter cushions on a grey or brown sofa, for example, adds definition, yet the overall effect is still feel warm and inviting. White cushions, a white coffee table and a white rug can work in a similar fashion.

Of course, black and white can combine too, and still work with brown and grey. Perhaps try a monochrome rug, or cushions with a zebra animal print design. Or match your brown and grey sofas with two armchairs in black and white.

White marble topped round coffee table
Grey sofa against brown feature wall

6. Painting the walls brown or grey (or both)

An easy way to set the tone for your brown and grey living room is to paint the walls to match the scheme, or having a feature wall clad in wood or stone, or another material in either colour. You can buy wood or stone effect wallpaper that’s very effective. A grey sofa against and brown wall, or vice-versa, will certainly stand out.

Brown walls add warmth to any room, irrespective of how dark you decide to go with it. Or if you have a mix of both brown and grey furniture and accessories, a grey paint with a brown undertone might be the right direction.

In rooms where the majority of the furniture is a subtle grey, perhaps with some light wood detailing, you can shake things up with one dark accent wall in chocolate brown. The effect is both contemporary and minimalist, and does not make the room feel too dark.

Also consider using both grey and brown on the same accent wall, creating a decorative mural pattern. It makes clear the nature of the theme, with an elegant design on a deep brown background a solid yet elegant choice.


7. Letting nature in

A grey and brown living room is perfect in spaces that let in a lot of natural light, perhaps with big windows offering up a view of the garden, or trees and lush greenery outside. In these circumstances, the grey and brown scheme can be used to usher these feelings of nature into the home.

The trick is to pair a single soft grey or multiple light tones with a brown colour similar to the one you can see outside. You don’t want a grey that is too bold or bright that it detracts from the brown, affecting the flow from exterior to interior.

Give these feelings of nature a boost by incorporating natural materials, such as wood flooring and a stone fireplace. Ornaments and other accessories sourced from nature and vases of flowers, as well as plants (real or artificial), make the perfect final touch.


Home accessories including clocks and cushions

We hope that you feel inspired by our ideas for grey and brown living room décor. For more home styling tips, visit our Home of Inspiration.


Design Inspiration
The modern glam living room and dining room look has arrived in style. Sophisticated, elegant and understated, today’s version of glam is all about subtle neutrals, luxurious textures and classic style details. Our interior design experts show you how.
Design Inspiration Hints & Tips Lifestyle
Mark Reynolds is our upholstery buyer here at Furniture Village. Read on for his favourite sofas of the summer, with suggestions on how you could style them to create a fresh new look you’ll love.
Design Inspiration Look Books Lifestyle
It’s warm, it’s vibrant and it’s one of the hottest trends this summer. Read all about coral home décor and the Californian inspired Desert Garden trend at Furniture Village.