The Best Neutral Colors to Match With Gray Floors & White Walls

With a base of gray floors and white walls, you can create a variety of decorating styles and moods, all using neutral colors.

Clean, sharp and cool -- those are the feelings that gray floors and white walls evoke. It's a simple palette that invites every combination of color to share. Stay within the cool spectrum and use neutrals that complement the given colors, or move to the warm side and bring sunshine and subtle earth tones into your rooms. The key to this decor is to stay simple.

Urban Chic

A high-in-the-sky city loft or a suburban Colonial-style home can both feel cool and urban when the decor is gray and white. Stay within the cool side of the color wheel when creating an environment that depicts an urban feel. Shades of blue, ranging from cobalt to teal, keep the colors clean and simple. Paint a feature wall deep blue and hang black and white photographic artwork matted in white and framed in charcoal, tying your elements together. Accessories and tabletop pieces in pewter keep the tone quiet. Gray floors with an area rug in tones of white with a dash of blue add interest.

French Sophisticate

Think of the gray floors as a slate base and build a room that resonates with the French countryside. Sculpt the white walls in Venetian plaster to reflect white stucco French farmhouses, and add a feature wall in marigold or buttery-yellow to introduce a subtle neutral. Cover plush, round-armed furniture with toile fabric laced with saffron or another earthy color. Furniture should be wood-framed, adding to the warmth of the room. Gray lacquer lamp shades atop brass bases and a crewel woven rug with pale-yellow and saffron unite the elements of your French parlor.

Totally Neutral

Instead of creating a focal point by painting one wall a stand-out color, wrap your room in the total neutrals of creamy beige, mottled gray, muddy browns and various shades of white. Inset the white walls and woodwork with painted stripes of pale gray or taupe with a gray undertone. Natural linen upholstery fabric with gray piping looks smart, and sheer white curtain fabrics add to the lightness of the room. Distress the gray floor or add an area rug in latte, darker brown and beige. Accessorize in silver or pewter.

Subtle Color

French gray, or white with the slightest tinge of powder blue, adds color to the room without your knowing it. Sharp white trim highlights the color. Deep brown wood furniture upholstered in light latte or a giraffe print adds interest, and charcoal and white matted and framed artwork stand out, while adhering to the neutral theme. Choose a gray zebra-striped area rug and loosely-woven fabric or wood lampshades in honey.

About the Author

Jann Seal is published in magazines throughout the country and is noted for her design and decor articles and celebrity *in-home* interviews. An English degree from the University of Maryland and extensive travels and relocations to other countries have added to her decorating insight.