If you're looking for a color with gravitas, but that won't overwhelm your living space, you can turn to charcoal. The shade is considered darker than gray, yet lighter than black. For this reason, it provides a stately backdrop to home decor.
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Charcoal also works in many color combinations, making it a versatile decorating tool. Some tried, and true pairings for dark gray living rooms include:
- Charcoal and red
- Charcoal, black, and white
- Charcoal, blue, and mustard yellow
- Charcoal and green
- Charcoal and tan
Though the color is versatile, don't mistake charcoal for an effortless way to imbue your home with elegance. Using it takes a certain amount of finesse. That's why you might want to check out our exploration of what color pillows pair best with a charcoal couch. And while you're looking for ways to accentuate the focal points in the space, you can also read our list of things to do with a large wall in your living room.
When it comes to such a dark color, the proper balance must be struck. Let us get you inspired to work with charcoal by showing you what we mean.
A great way to incorporate charcoal into your living room is via the walls. Pull off this look by pairing the paint with bright colors. Notice the amount of white in this particular room.
2. Framing the Fireplace
If your living room has a built-in focal point, accentuate it! Here, the wall art continues the color palette from the fireplace, while the red couch offers an eye-catching counterpoint to the charcoal.
3. Regency Elegance
Who says you can't sit at the writing desk in your living room and compose letters to your family and friends? This living room certainly endorses it. Since charcoal lends a touch of elegance to a room, it pairs naturally with classic-style furnishings.
You can get this look in your living room easily. Consider this piece:
4. A Touch of Rustic
Since rustic is all about colors found in nature, charcoal is not a go-to for the style. However, wood-grain browns and leafy greens give the shade a pleasant stormy feel. Notice here how the backdrop of charcoal brings out the warmth of the wooden pieces.
5. Electric Yellow
Yellow is one of the best colors to pair with charcoal, and this living room is an excellent example! The bright, electric, and eye-catching nature of yellow perfectly offset brooding charcoal.
Achieve the same look for yourself with these accent pillows.
You can also experiment with art. This triptych makes an excellent case for the color combination.
6. Rustic Minimalism
You don't need an entire forest of plants to achieve the charcoal and rustic look. As demonstrated by this living room, sometimes less truly is more. The clean lines and wide-open spaces let the simple aesthetic breathe.
7. Tickle Me Pink
Bubblegum pink can be an overbearing color to work with in home decor. Of course, its effusive nature perfectly complements the gravitas of charcoal.
Be sure to use it sparingly, though! Notice how there's only one additional accent piece to carry the color palette over from the couch and create visual cohesion.
8. Jade Wonders
Though they're both dark colors, jade and charcoal work well together, as you can see. Especially with the inclusion of the decorative teapot, using this combo easily evokes Eastern aesthetics. Add a bamboo accent to bring home the motif.
9. Baby Blues
Want to take advantage of a light and dark color contrast but find white too hard to maintain? Consider adding some baby blue centerpieces to your charcoal living room. The undemanding shade achieves the same effect while offsetting the base color nicely.
10. Classic Colors
Nothing pairs better than black, white, and gray. Play with the balance between the three colors all you want, but don't forget to add a pop of color to bring the space to life.
To get the look found in this living room, consider these decorative florals:
11.Charcoal on Charcoal
Sometimes, you don't need pops of accent colors, shades of the base color will do just fine. Notice how the lighter gray accent pillows stand out in this charcoal living room.
12. Toasty Warm
The warmth of tan instantly creates a welcoming atmosphere. It also contrasts perfectly with the cool, stormy charcoal.
13. Making Texture Work for You
The exposed brick wall acts as the centerpiece of this living room. To create visual intrigue, use sleek lines and a smoothly textured couch.
14. Attention-Grabbing Rugs
This living room design is simple. While the charcoal and white color pairing remain understated, the loud pattern of the rug steals the show.
Want to try it in your own home? Try this rug:
Or, if that's a touch too busy for you, this one:
15. Shape Up
At first glance, this living room is made up of simple elements: two chairs and an accent table. However, the unique shape of the table, as well as the lighting fixtures, catches the eye. Play with the lines of your furniture to achieve a similar look.
16. Cream, Tan, and Charcoal
The combination of cream and tan does not work especially well on its own, but when paired with charcoal, the colors all work in harmony. Notice here the way the cream is the focal point, charcoal is the base color, and tan comes out in many of the accent pieces.
17. Stylish Shelves
Making a shelf the centerpiece of your living room allows you to show off all kinds of curiosities. Pairing the shelf with a charcoal accent chair calls attention to the dark gray pieces found on various levels of the shelf.
If you want a funky and fun look in your living room, try this unit.
For something more understated, go with these.
18. Playing with Dark and Light
You can group dark pieces and light pieces to catch the eye, as demonstrated here. Notice the way the left side of the picture has a lot of charcoal and dark brown while moving to the right incorporates lighter colors.
White provides the perfect counterpoint to charcoal. To avoid overwhelming the eye with too much of it, though, you can mix the two for a marbled effect. Take note of the accent wall in this living room.
20. Something Blue
Between the charcoal walls and the gray sofa, this living room design could easily feel too dark. However, the blue accents provide the perfect pop of color without disrupting the cohesive vibe of the room.
Add one of these to your living room to get the same effect.
Or scatter these throughout your room to intrigue the eye.
21. Mustard Yellow
If you don't care for electric yellow but still enjoy the general color palette, mustard yellow is the answer to all your problems. The shade pops against charcoal, as you can see in this living room.
22. Charcoal and Gray
Incorporating a lighter shade of gray into your charcoal living room provides visual cohesion and depth. The colors pair naturally well together but offer a light and dark contrast that keeps the eye interested.