How To

Designers’ Guide to Styling a Grey Couch

A sofa is the centrepiece of the living room, so it’s only natural that whatever colour you choose will really dictate how the space looks and feels. From clean, calming white to striking dark brown or black, or even a vibrant pop of colour, there are so many options – but one that never fails, no matter your style, is grey.

Grey couches are classic, timeless, and packed full of potential. While some might construe a grey sofa as a boring choice, we think they’re actually the opposite – grey provides the ideal foundation to let your aesthetic run wild. Learn how to style your grey couch to perfection with these ideas from our Brosa stylists – AKA, the pros.

How to style a grey sofa

Turn an unassuming grey couch into the perfect cosy spot that faultlessly embodies your style. From selecting the right colours and adorning your sofa with decor, to envisioning the living room on the whole, we’ve got you covered from start to finish. Let’s get started…

Keeping the colour scheme achromatic using just black, white and varying shades of grey.
Keeping the colour scheme achromatic using just black, white and varying shades of grey.
Keeping the colour scheme achromatic using just black, white and varying shades of grey.
Keeping the colour scheme achromatic using just black, white and varying shades of grey.

Start with your colour scheme

Many say grey is the absence of colour, and technically, they’re not wrong – but grey has endless, often untapped, potential in the design world, so it’s nothing to be scoffed at. When you’re styling up your grey sofa, the first thing to establish is the tone you’re working with. Although you might not pick it, dark grey couch styling is very different to light grey couch styling (more on that in a minute!). Then, determine the kind of mood you’re going for. Are you trying to create a space that’s cool, modern and chic, or light, bright and minimal? Once you’ve got an idea, follow these cues to pick out a colour palette.

Lean into cool tones

If you love the look of a modern, super sleek living room, lean into cool tones. You could keep things totally achromatic using just black, white and varying shades of grey – this will really hammer home that contemporary look. If you want to add a bit of colour, choose from a palette that includes dusky blue, olive green or taupey purple, and use these as accents throughout the space. Silver will also be a go-to to add some depth and shine.

Add warmth with brights

On the flip side, if you’d say your style is more aligned with the bright, inviting colour palettes of mid century modern or Art Deco style, warm up the sofa by accenting with hues like orange, red and pink. Gold and brass should be your metals of choice if this colour scheme appeals to you. When it comes to colour, and in particular, bold colour, a good rule of thumb is to increase your saturation the darker the grey is. A pale grey sofa won’t handle fire engine red or sunny yellow in the same way that a dark grey one will – it’s all about the right kind of contrast.

Creating comfort with neutral pillows and throws.
Creating comfort with neutral pillows and throws.
Creating comfort with neutral pillows and throws.
Creating comfort with neutral pillows and throws.

The fundamental elements of sofa styling

When you’re tackling grey couch styling, the first thing to think about is what’s on the sofa itself, such as pillows and throws. Iron out these non-negotiables before you move onto thinking about the rest of the living room.

Create comfort with cushions

Styling sofas can be easy if you’ve got the right cushions at your disposal, and thankfully, the throw pillow game is truly booming. From tassels to boucle to tufting, there are so many beautiful textures out there – and that’s not to mention all the stunning colours and patterns on offer, too! Cushions are an easy way to elevate a grey sofa lounge, providing colour, variety and a nice little nook to snuggle into.

When it comes to cushion styling, having a range of options is key. Try to select a couple of basic pieces in a neutral colour such as black, white or (depending on whether you’re going for warm or cool) brown or taupe. Then, layer up with a textured piece in a similar shade, and then one or two colourful throw pillows to finish everything off. You can also switch up your size and shape to your heart’s content – the more variety, the better, so lumbar pillows and cute circular cushions are welcome.

Cosy things up with blankets

Throws and blankets are another incredible way to change up the textures on your couch, and to add visual depth and warmth to this big grey piece. Your throw is where you’ll have more freedom to incorporate texture, and it’s totally up to you how far you lean into this. A chunky, wide knit blanket in a coordinating colour like your accent shade will draw the eye, whereas a thinner knit or something with a subtle texture can tie everything together without being too overwhelming. When you’ve found the perfect blanket or throw for your grey sofa, drape it elegantly over one of the arms, or if you prefer a clean and organised look, pop it into a cute basket that’ll sit nearby.

Styling with an ultra-modern approach using our Drake Sofa.
Styling with an ultra-modern approach using our Drake Sofa.
Styling with an ultra-modern approach using our Drake Sofa.
Styling with an ultra-modern approach using our Drake Sofa.

Styling your surrounds

The other side to styling your grey sofa is tailoring the furniture and decor in your living room to show off your colour choice to its full potential. There are so many great ways to do grey – here are a few things to keep in mind.

Select complementary furniture

Grey is super versatile, as we’re sure you know by now. So, when you’re picking out furniture pieces for the living room, such as your coffee table, TV unit and side tables, it’s pretty hard to go wrong. But, if you’re in need of a little inspiration, there are definitely tried-and-true styles that compliment grey.

One of our favourite aesthetics with a grey couch is an ultra-modern approach. Select furniture pieces with sharp edges and sleek frames, and lean on colours like black and white, as well as accents of silver and/or gold. Marble will be your best friend, as will glass. Try this style out in your home with pieces like the Pentagon Coffee Table and the Hertz Entertainment Unit.

Another stunning style to consider in your living room is what we’re calling the ‘soft grey aesthetic’. Pair lighter grey tones (such as our beautiful Cloud Grey Signature Premium fabric) with blond and mid-toned wood and lightweight, fuss-free frames for a laid-back and minimal look. This ties in excellently with Scandinavian style, but could also pair well with a chilled coastal vibe. The Shamal Round Side Table and the Olsen Coffee Table with Shelf are must-haves for bringing this look to life.

Incorporate coordinating decor pieces

The very last piece of the puzzle when you’re styling a grey sofa is your surrounding decor and homewares. Use your homewares – which could include rugs, plants and plant pots, artwork, lighting, vases, candles and candle holders, and other trinkets – to highlight the grey tones in your space and reflect them back in a way that’s cohesive and charming.

Our top choice for making your grey sofa feel at home in the living room is adding a textured, cosy rug underfoot. Select a neutral-toned rug that appears white or cream, but has lots of variation in its weave and includes some grey threads – this will help to tie your sofa selection into the space with ease. The pick of the moment is the gorgeous Jericho Fawn Ivory Plush Rug, the perfect complement to any grey couch.

Artwork is another great way to subtly incorporate some grey tones into the living room, highlighting the shades of your sofa. Rather than leaning right in with black and white prints or photography, take a slightly more off-centre approach and select artwork that features an abundance of cool-toned or washed-out colours. This will liven up your walls without taking the colour palette too far down the achromatic path – the Lavender Print is a beautiful floral choice.

Don’t forget to top everything off with some plants or flowers – greenery and bright floral tones will breathe life into the space, ensuring that your choice of grey never feels dull or lifeless, but rather, is the ultimate neutral canvas for your favourite colours and textures.

Is this the most stylish sofa bed ever? We think so!
Is this the most stylish sofa bed ever? We think so!
Is this the most stylish sofa bed ever? We think so!
Is this the most stylish sofa bed ever? We think so!

Our favourite grey sofas

Still looking for the perfect grey sofa to turn into a standout focal piece in your living room? Here are some of our current favourites, all hand-selected by our world-class Brosa stylists.

Grey 2 and 3 seater sofas

For a modest two seater sofa, our top pick is definitely the Palermo 2 Seater Sofa in our Cloud Grey Signature Premium. This overstuffed, beachy, linen-look couch is totally on trend and would be the ideal addition to a coastal, Hamptons or Scandinavian-inspired living room. Its ample grey sofa cushions mean you don’t even need to add throw pillows if you prefer the pared-back look. Check out all of the beautiful pieces in our Palermo collection.

Create a little more room for guests and your household to comfortably relax with the Como Motion 3 Seater Sofa, a sleek yet welcoming couch that will suit any number of styles. You’ve got three choices of grey fabric with Como Motion – Gainsboro Grey (a soft, light grey) and Nickel Grey (a darker charcoal shade) in our Premium Tweed, or Cosmic Anthracite (a mid-to-dark grey with warmer undertones) in our Premium Velvet. Browse the collection for other configurations.

Grey modulars

Grey is a hugely popular colour choice for modular sofas, so it’s no wonder there are tonnes of stunning options on offer here at Brosa. For an uber-cool modern look that takes inspiration from low profile 1980s furniture, we adore the Drake 4 Seater Modular Sofa with Chaise and Ottoman. Available in two grey fabrics – Gainsboro Grey and Nickel Grey in Premium Tweed – Drake in any of its configurations serves as an ideal spot to lounge. Explore the full collection.

Another favourite is the Bosco 5 Seater Modular Corner Sofa. This is a fantastic option for anyone with a big family (it even comes in a 6 seater version if you need more room!), plus it has traditional appeal and could slot easily in with any style. Bring it into your home in gorgeous mid-toned Stone Grey or feathery light Cloud Grey, both in our Signature Premium. Discover more Bosco here.

Grey sofa beds

Finally, if you’re looking for a little functionality with your grey flair, a sofa bed will be right up your alley. Many of our traditional couch styles also have sofa bed options, meaning you won’t have to compromise any of your aesthetic to add practicality to the living room. We’re currently loving the Camden Chesterfield 3 Seater Sofa Bed, which is oozing with quirky yet traditional personality, but also provides a super comfy place to sleep. Grab it in beautiful Cloud Grey, and explore the rest of the Camden range.

Incorporate some grey into your living space with a gorgeous sofa in this ultra-chic shade. Don’t forget, grey is a versatile base for almost any style, so whatever takes your fancy, there are ways to pair it with grey. Shop stunning living room furniture from Brosa today, including 2 seater and 3 seater sofas, modular sofas and sofa beds.