What Contrasting Color Goes With Gray

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Whether you're decorating a wall or putting together a new outfit, combining a contrasting color with gray depends on the shade and value of the original color. Although gray is a neutral color, and therefore goes well with all shades, its tone places it on the cooler end of the color scale.

You can brighten a gray wall with a spot of red.
You can brighten a gray wall with a spot of red. (Image: Mike Kiev/iStock/Getty Images)

Red

Contrast a warm color, such as red, with several different shades of gray. A rich, vibrant, red color becomes dominant in the design and will draw the eye when you place it next to a deep, dark, gray, such as slate or slate. Placing the same color next to a lighter or paler shade of gray, such as dove or ash grey, reduces the heat of the red while adding a touch of warmth to the design.

A warm color like red can be contrasted with several different shades of gray.
A warm color like red can be contrasted with several different shades of gray. (Image: Wilm Ihlenfeld/iStock/Getty Images)

Yellow

Combine a bright cheerful yellow with various gray tones for a contrasting design. Bold yellow brings the heat of the sun into your design and commands attention, especially if you wear it as your tie color next to a charcoal suit, or you paint it on the wall and place a steel gray sofa against it. Or combine a pale yellow shirt with dove gray tie for a similar effect, but in a muted palate.

Yellow will brighten up a gray room.
Yellow will brighten up a gray room. (Image: archideaphoto/iStock/Getty Images)

Pink

Bring in the many shades of pink to contrast the cooler gray. A conservative steel gray pencil skirt transforms into a nighttime outfit when you offset it with a bold neon pink top. You can brighten up a pale gray room décor with a vase containing bright fuchsia flower blooms and a couple of fuchsia-colored throw pillows. A dusty pink comforter contrasts nicely against a metallic silver bed frame, while a gray and pink patterned tile display in the bathroom provides an interesting design.

Pink nicely contrasts gray.
Pink nicely contrasts gray. (Image: KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock/Getty Images)

Cream

Similar to the classic black and white, but in a more muted and conservative tone, cream and gray creates a stunning contrast combination. Whether you pair the cream with deep metallic pewter gray or a dove gray bears on the complexities of the design. For example, pairing a cream sweater with a pewter gray suit provides a sense of timelessness and authority, while the same cream sweater with a dove gray suit gives a sophisticated feel.

Cream and gray create a stunning contrast combination.
Cream and gray create a stunning contrast combination. (Image: mihalis_a/iStock/Getty Images)

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