Light gray is a wonderful base color that provides a terrific foil for art, display pieces and other furniture. We know that gray is a mix of black and white.
However, it should be noted that both black and white can have either a blue base or a yellow base.
If your gray walls are a bit on the smoky side, carpet with a yellow base will work beautifully. If your gray walls are quite crisp and pair well with white, it likely has a blue base.
The Light Option
Pale smoky gray pairs beautifully with beige. If you’ve got a full and busy household, go for a warmer beige with a variegated pattern in a loop pile carpet.
Carefully check all of the colors in the variegation; if your beige carpet has a dark caramel in the color blend, you will eventually just see brown carpet. You want the darkest color in your variegation to read gray, not brown.
If your walls have more blue in them, consider using another light gray carpet as well. Because gray walls and gray carpet can get a bit blah, look for a sculptured or patterned carpet for more visual appeal. Make sure you check your traffic areas.
Patterned carpet can crush if you invest in plush pile carpet and that will change the color of the carpet over time. It will appear dirty, which you can fix with a steam cleaner, but if it’s crushed, raising the fibers will be tough.
A point on carpet cleaning: If you like to clean your own carpets and rent or own a DIY unit, give yourself the extra time to rinse the rugs after you clean.
The soap you use to clean your carpet is formulated to grab dirt from the rug as it’s sucked out of the carpet. If you don’t rinse and soap stays in the carpet, that grabbing quality will just leave your rugs sticky and dirtier over time.
Once you’ve rinsed, run the cleaner across one more time without adding any more water to get as much water out as possible. Stay off the carpets until they’re dry.
If your walls are smoky gray and you need a richer color on the floor, lean towards caramel and rust. For those who love a darker tone, a patterned olive can also look terrific with gray walls. Again, traffic matters.
If you’re dealing with pets, kids and a house where nobody takes off their shoes when they get in the door, consider a Berber weave for more durability. You may also want to look for a plush, wet sand color if you’re interested in just one shade of yarn in your carpet.
A mid-tone plush carpet will be less likely to suffer discoloration as it wears; do be ready to get into a pretty steady vacuum habit to keep the nap in good shape. If your walls are closer to a blue gray, carefully consider your traffic patterns.
Blue gray is not friendly against a solid brown. A warm beige, variegated to include some gray, will hold its own against blue gray walls. Bring home a sample and put a chunk of it on the floor right beside the trim.
If the carpet has a lot of cream and brown and your wall color includes blue, the wall color will “read” or appear blue and your carpet will look tired and dirty, even if it’s brand new. Look for a variegated pattern that features two gray tones and a beige or cream for more variety.
If your home would benefit from dark-colored carpets, light gray walls will offer a lot of flexibility. Charcoal will work with most any gray, as will burgundy or rust. Look for a deep teal or a dark navy in the bedrooms if you are interested in getting away from wall-to-wall carpet.
When considering anything in the brown family, do make sure that there’s not too much red in the mix. Rust and copper are terrific colors, but gray walls can quickly turn blue if you have a lot of red on the floor. Strong carpet colors will create a steady contrast with your wall paint.
Dark blue carpet will turn smoky gray walls beige, which is nice, but isn’t gray anymore to the eye depending on the amount of light the room gets.
If your family is young and you’re thinking about dark carpets as a way to keep things looking fresher, I strongly recommend middle-of-the-road colors. As soon as you put down dark carpets, someone will bring home a white pet.
If you’re going room by room with your carpet choices, have some fun. Gray goes beautifully with raspberry. Go darker than you think you need when using anything in the purple spectrum.
These colors are opulent in nature, but if you go too light, raspberry will read Barney Purple. Nice color for a playroom but not a comfy color for a grown-up bedroom.
Mint green is a new and fun color that is quite popular in the world of carpet color. Generally, this is a variegated shade; blended with a beige that will serve as a foil for the green can actually create a wonderfully soothing combination with your gray wall.
If you’re going to put in mint green carpeting, be very specific about your trim paint color. Cream will be kinder than white. Again, white boosts the blue tint in your gray wall paint and your green variegated carpet. Too much blue coming forward will push your carpet towards aqua. You will lose the mint.
Don’t forget pink. Admittedly, you may not want pink carpet in your living room. You may never want people in shoes to visit your pink bedroom or office. However, pink is a very soothing color and can add warmth to a small room.
One room at a time is a great way to carpet and match up with your light gray walls. Talk to your installer about their willingness to change up colors and make sure you invest in the extra thresholds and tacks you may need to make these changes.