The Rooms In Your Home That Might Not Benefit From Cool Gray Paint Colors

Cool gray paint can give a room a sophisticated and refined look, making it a perfect color choice for areas like bedrooms and studies. However, it isn't suitable for every room, specifically rooms that don't receive a lot of sun exposure. This is because natural light will help to illuminate cool gray paint and give it life, whereas gray paint in a room that receives only a small amount of light runs the risk of looking dull and flat. Indoor lighting is fine, but it won't have the same illuminating effect as daylight.

In general, gray is a versatile paint color, but cool-toned grays could be on their way out. Speaking to The Spruce, designer Ami McKay shared, "Color is subjective — there will always be people who find gray to be classic, and it will continue to have a place as a useful neutral. It's all about balance and visual math. I'm not overly fond of too much gray because it can be listless, but layering it with warm sandy tones works." Nevertheless, you should always pick the paint color you like best, and we've gathered up the best ways to use gray in those rooms that aren't naturally flooded with light.

Opt for these gray paint alternatives instead

As established, gray paint often brings a naturally cooler energy to a room that natural light can help to offset. If you're still set on using gray paint in a room that doesn't get much natural light, simply opt for a tone with warm undertones instead. Via House Beautiful, interior designer Bailey Austin recommended "Alpaca" by Sherwin-Williams, a sandy gray shade that will infuse even the smallest of rooms with natural warmth and vitality. Not a fan of greige? Reach for something like "Silver Peony," also by Sherwin-Williams.

A little less beige but without the harsh blue that is often found in cool grays, "Silver Peony" features warm violet undertones that cause it to have an almost blush pink effect on some walls. It's ideal if you want to paint your bedroom gray due to its naturally soothing vibe, and it shouldn't look overly pinkish if not exposed to too much natural light. The trick to using gray in a room without much natural light is to try and ensure it won't look flat on the wall. Giving a room depth and dimension is key when picking out paint, but especially in a room where sunlight won't naturally add some life to your chosen color.

Use gray in other ways for rooms without much natural light

If you absolutely hate all warm gray paints and are determined to use cool gray in a room without much natural light, consider using it as an accent color. This could be only painting one wall, in which case we recommend choosing the wall opposite the window (if applicable). This is because even a small amount of natural light will help to give a gray wall dimension. However, using gray as an accent color could also involve foregoing the gray paint and opting instead for gray bedding in a bedroom or gray cushions in a living room. Small touches of gray will satisfy your gray kick without having the same potential negative effects as painting a wall fully gray.

Alternatively, use color to perk up a cool-toned gray wall. These splashes of color can be anything you want, but it's best to choose shades that will bring added warmth to a room. You could additionally add colorful patterns in the form of hanging artwork. Generally, we would advise against using cool-toned gray paint in rooms that don't get much natural light, but the above tips will help to make a room look less lifeless if you're intent on a particular paint shade.