Shades of grey walls

Using grey in your interior decoration is very on trend at the moment.  Sophisticated and sumptuous, a warmer alternative to white, grey is an extremely versatile neutral.  From very pale dove grey to much darker charcoal, it will suit any room in your house.  But which shade of grey to pick, and what should you then choose to hang on your newly painted gorgeous grey wall?  Here are a few things to think about and some suggestions…


Toning greys, blues and purples

There are many different shades of grey, from cool (with blue undertones) to warm (with warmer red or yellow undertones), all ranging from very pale to a much stronger colour.  One option for your wall art is to match your grey walls within the picture you hang on them, use similar toning shades of grey and its neighbouring blues and purples.  

View of a tree and field on a frosty morning, photo by Jane Mucklow Photography

Above: Frosty Lone Tree.  Lots of shades of grey in this one – maybe hang on a warmer grey wall so it doesn’t make you feel too cold! It would suit a white frame on a pale to darker grey wall, a black frame on a pale grey wall, and could also go perfectly well in an oak frame to add a bit of warmth to the room.

Or how about the bluey-greys and purples of this one of the lavender farm at sunset below:

Photograph of a sunset sky over a lavender farm by Jane Mucklow Photography

The pale pinky-whites of this apple blossom (below), on its dark grey background would go well with a lighter grey wall, so the dark grey around the blossom helps the petals stand out even more.  The yellow or the pink could be picked out in other accessories in the room too, so that the picture ties it all together.

Pinky white apple blossom photo by Jane Mucklow Photography

A bit of coastal style will go well with your grey.  If you fancy a calm seaside vibe, try this Pebble Tower (above) for some pale beach blues and greys, or have a look in the Coastal Style gallery for more ideas (coming soon).  


 A contrasting colour

Alternatively if you’re feeling a little bolder, you could add a total contrast with your wall art, with or without the grey of your walls included in the picture… Grey goes with a vast range of other colours, that you may have already added to your room in the curtains/blinds, rugs/carpet, cushions etc., so if you’ve already chosen other colours for the room, then try matching or toning with these in your wall art.  

Ideally though, choose your favourite photograph first, and then take the colours from that to use in other accessories.

A photograph of a mass of red poppies in a green field, by Jane Mucklow Photography

Above: Red and grey suit each other well, so try adding a bright pop of red like this Sea of Poppies, to a strong dark grey for a bold look, or with a paler grey to brighten up your room? 


Photograph of a lavender field by Jane Mucklow

Or likewise as mentioned above, so does purple.  Wouldn’t this field of lavender for example, look amazing teamed up with pretty much any shade of grey wall.


Fluffy yellow and grey pussy willow photo by Jane Mucklow Photography

Above: Yellows are a lovely contrast with grey, and with the bonus of being a very on-trend combination!  This fluffy pussy willow image perfectly combines the two.  Use your favourite shade of yellow as the accent colour in a room of varying greys, and add a big canvas of this on a wall to bring it all together.


Turquoise waves lapping on a sandy beach, photo by Jane Mucklow Photography

Turquoise and grey: just picture this beautiful sea photograph on your lovely pale grey wall, wouldn’t it look fantastic?  On a cool or warm grey, light or dark.  Plus it gives you a gorgeous colour to add to the room in other accessories too.


Dark or light grey?

If you have the luxury of choosing a grey to go with a picture, rather than the other way around, then as with any paint colour choice, consider the room’s light, aspect, and the mood you want to feel when you will be in there.  A dark charcoal, either just on one wall or throughout the room will be modern and exciting, or go for a more classic look with a mid to pale grey.  Whichever shade, brighten up the room with bright white woodwork to add crispness.  Think about the style of the room too, as that could help decide the colour(s) you choose, for example orange would be the colour to add to a mid grey for a 50s vibe!  Then for your wall art – paler pictures will stand out more against a darker grey wall, and darker/brighter pictures will stand out more against a paler grey wall.  Or stick to all pale tones for a more serene feel, or to keep the room as light as possible.

Above: A splash of pale pink, like this peony above, would be beautiful hanging on nearly any shade of grey.


Westminster and the London Eye, sunset colours in the sky, photo by Jane Mucklow Photography

This London photograph, with its pops of bright blue and orange, would also look fantastic displayed on grey walls.



You may not wish to add colour to your room, but prefer to pair your grey walls with black, white and grey furniture, accessories and wall art, so here are a couple of suggestions for this classic look.  (More black and white photographs to choose from can be found in the Black and White gallery, with advice in this blog post on decorating with black and white wall art).

Above: These snowdrops look stunning in black and white, or below: maybe this handsome stag (taken in Knole Park, Sevenoaks) is more your thing?

Black and white photo of a stag standing under the silhouette of a tree, photo by Jane Mucklow Photography


So, lovely landscape or fabulous flower?

If you haven’t spotted anything you want yet, think about what sort of picture(s) you would prefer to add to your room, and what will suit it – a more abstract floral close up or fine-art image, or a local landscape or view that means something to you?  Either way, take a look through my gallery pages and find a picture that you love, that will suit your grey walls (and as you can see there are plenty that will).  Or ideally, choose your favourite picture first and then pick a grey that goes with it!

So what do you think, are you inspired to update a room with a new picture, or even redecorate with a trendy grey?!  Go on, brighten up those walls!

If you’d like more inspiration, check out my pinterest board of grey walls for some whole room ideas.

All the photographs shown here are available as prints or canvases, and most of the examples above link straight through to further info on their shop entry.  Do contact me if you have any queries, or would like to order one that isn’t yet in the shop, thank you 🙂 

This post was inspired by a customer query at a fair – if you would like some inspiration for your colour walls, have any other queries, or would like some suggestions for photo wall art, just let me knowSign up to my newsletter to get more tips, news, and see new images first, straight into your inbox.

How to choose wall art for grey decor

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