Grey dining room ideas – create a timeless colour scheme that captivates

These gorgeous grey dining room ideas will inspire you to use this much-loved neutral to create an ambient entertaining space

Grey is a versatile shade that works well in any room and it is still very much the colour of the moment. All grey dining room ideas, be it light and bright or brooding and dark, work perfectly well for a multifunctional entertaining space.

Thanks to its versatility, grey is the ideal hue to dictate what you want your dining room idea to say. Whether you want to create a calming colour scheme to host everyday family mealtimes, or create a more ambient space for hosting dinner parties – grey is a timeless colour choice.

Grey dining room ideas

Breathe new life into your dining space by choosing a grey combination to suit your style. From moody dark grey to light pastel grey, here we show you how to choose and update your dining room idea with grey.

1. Welcome accent grey on wall panelling

Dining room with light wooden table and chairs and grey walls

(Image credit: Brayer Design)

Adding an elegant wall panelling idea to a dining room is a fabulous way to add an air of sophistication, helping to make even everyday dining feel that little bit more special. While wall panelling benefits from a splash of colour, to accentuate the design, it doesn't have to be bold to be brilliant – as this mid-tone grey dining room from Bayer Design proves.

If your wall panelling is on one wall, the added colour helps to create a focal point. This sets the scene for the dining table to be placed centrally in front.

2. Pair cool grey with pops of bright colour

A white dining room with cobalt blue pendant light over wooden table and mirror mounted on wall

(Image credit: David Giles)

Inject a touch of vibrancy to your grey or white dining room by adding brightly coloured accessories. Cobalt blue is a dreamy accent colour to stand out against cool shades of grey, as are fuchsia pink and emerald green. The cool nature of the grey allows the accent colours to really pop.

3. Be expressive with paint effects

A dining area with wooden flooring, a wooden table, grey chair and grey and white mountain effect wall pattern with patterned floor

(Image credit: James French)

Grey dining room ideas can be more than just a blank canvas of colour with the addition of thoughtful paint effects. The trend for expressive paint effects has been going from strength to strength in recent years, as homeowners look to get more creative with their colour choices. Use a tonal grey palette to add decorative interest to your wall.

This fine example of dining room wall decor has chosen a dramatic mountain scape to set the scene for family dining. But you could tone it down slightly by simply creating a faux dado rail with the darker colour below and a lighter shade on top.

Add a further fun element by painting a stencilled rug design on the floor, to welcome pattern and colour to your grey scheme.

4. Add depth with strong saturations of grey

Grey dining room with wooden table and orange leather chairs and bird cage style hanging light

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

Add depth and warmth to your dining space by choosing a darker accent grey. Not only can darker shades help to add ambience, especially when dining by night. They can also help to make your dining room furniture choices stand out.

Take for instance how well this shade of Trilby by Earthborn paints helps to accentuate the lighter wood and honey leather tones found in the furniture and the decorative dining room lighting idea.

Creating an entertaining space with warm, gentle colours and honest materials will give your home a style and quality that transcends trends and creates a sense of calming wellbeing.

Stylist's tip: Create a foraged display for decoration. Dried stems are very of-the-moment. They are ideal for a dining room because they add natural drama without strong colours and don't require any maintenance.

5. Add another dimension to monochrome

A light grey dining space with large windows and glass doors and a monochrome patterned rug

(Image credit: Jo Henderson)

Make grey the third colourway in a black and white monochrome scheme. Here, grey wood panelling and a grey concrete floor provides the perfect backdrop for a monochrome patterned rug and dining furniture that mixes natural materials and black iron.

A soothing grey helps to add an effortlessly sophisticated feel to this laid-back Scandi style decor.

6. Match walls and floors in the same shade

A light grey dining room with log pile print wallpaper, a dark wooden table and white chairs

(Image credit: Chris Snook)

Create a cohesive look by matching the grey walls with the flooring. A pale grey parquet-style flooring can be reflected by a matching paint shade on the walls. The uniformed look can create a bigger sense of space, as the eye will be drawn seamlessly upwards from the floor.

To add a twist to the matching scheme why not try a statement dining room wallpaper idea, like the example shown above. The trompe l'oeil Andrew Martin woodpile wallpaper adds a rustic edge to this sophisticated grey dining room space.

7. Temper patterned floors with soft grey

A small dining area with a round table, sheepskin covered chair and stenciled flooring

(Image credit: Future PLC/Joanna Henderson)

If you have a patterned flooring idea the room will benefit from a neutral shade to dress the walls. A soft grey coordinated with the floor helps to add colour without overwhelming the space. The key to styling a room with busy flooring is to temper the rest fo the scheme to allow the flooring to be the dominant design feature.

The beauty of a pale grey means the walls are not too stark in contrast, such as if you were using brilliant white. This means the whole scheme feels a touch softer and more cohesive.

8. Create a contrast with rich shades of grey

Blue dining room with botanical Roman blinds and purple rug, wooden table and sitting benches

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Whitmore)

If your everyday dining room is large in size with plenty of natural light you can afford to go darker with the wall colour. Typically it's best to avoid too much dark in a small dining room with limited light, so this can make it feel restrictive and enclosing.

9. Introduce grey with soft furnishings

A white dining room with grey blinds, bunting and a small wooden table and chairs

(Image credit: Future PLC/Oliver Gordon)

Pair the palest grey on the walls with a more statement shade of grey for soft furnishings, to keep the look simple. A small dining room benefits from using the lightest colour on the walls to keep it airy and bright. Darker shades of grey on soft furnishings cement the dining room colour scheme.

There are many ways to dress windows, but the right window treatment for your space not only invites a splash of colour. It also welcomes a touch of privacy when using the dining area of an evening – creating a more intimate setting.

10. Pair grey with gold for glamour

A grey dining room with orange and black velvet chairs, a large wall clock, marble fireplace and patterned rug

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

Celebrate in a grey dining room that's smart and opulent. Dark charcoal grey makes a sophisticated backdrop, brought to life with gold accents such as upholstery, frames, furniture and a statement clock. This colour combination is ideal for a more formal dining room, where you want to create a 'special occasion' feel, rather than everyday use.

11. Create a bright, fresh feel

A grey dining room with light grey wicker chairs, wooden table and wooden chopping boards hanging on the wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

Frosty shades of pale blue lay beneath these calming, cool grey hues. Light greys are perfect for a small but sunny room where the light can make deeper colours too intense, while boosting its feeling of space.

Be inspired by Nordic country interiors and use warm mid-grey on the walls in small dining rooms as an alternative to white. Add natural rustic elements for texture and warmth, such as wooden candlesticks and a selection of hand-made tableware.

12. Balance shades of grey

A small grey dining space with a round table, grey chairs and a large wall clock

(Image credit: Rachael Smith)

For an off-white option, soft dove grey is an understated yet smart backdrop for other monochrome shades in a dining room. Team greys with plenty of natural wood and muted accessories for a smart, chic feel.

13. Go for a statement shade of grey

A grey dining space with a wooden table, grey chairs and a picture gallery hanging on the wall

(Image credit: Dominic Blackmore)

Grey is the perfect backdrop for a gallery of cool and quirky artwork. To recreate this look, fill empty wall space above a dining room cabinet with an arrangement of artwork.

Create a triangular display, lining up the bottom row with the top line of the furniture. Then fill in above with frames at staggered heights. A grey scheme works particularly well with a bright, punchy colour. Yellow is my personal favourite, as shown in this room.

14. Combine grey with wood

Kitchen with a long wooden table with chairs, grey cupboards and wooden chopping boards hanging on the wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/Adrian Briscoe)

We have seen the revival of grey in interiors over the last seasons but this time it's combined with earthy wood tones to instantly add warmth and depth.

This combination is especially popular in grey kitchen ideas, with a dining area present. Grey gives a calm and relaxed feel to the home, and is a fresh alternative to the classic neutral palette and acts as a great backdrop to introduce splashes of other colours.

15. Add a different dimension to a room

A grey dining room with a long wooden table, blue velvet chairs and lots of pictures on the wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/Robert Sanderson)

Grey, like white, changes in temperature depending on the natural light from outside and overhead lights. If your dining room is part of an open-plan kitchen with a glass roof lantern look for a grey that adds another dimension.

Different shades of grey offer different undertones depending on the positioning. Light-filled south-facing dining spaces benefit from grey tones with hints of blue to contrast the natural warmth of the light. While darker north-facing rooms will benefit more from using a warmer grey scale.

16. Pare it back

A grey dining room with wooden table and grey acrylic chairs on wooden floor

(Image credit: Colin Poole)

Opt for pared-back furniture and accessories, shown in this neutral dining room.

Grey dining room ideas teamed with wood creates a naturally Scandinavian feel, so select pieces that will complete the Nordic look. Choose simple, clean lines when mixing two contrasting tones for an elegant, unfussy look.

Is grey a good colour for a dining room?

Grey is a good colour for a dining room, providing the perfect neutral backdrop without being bland and cold. Choosing the best grey paint will welcome a warmth to the walls without having to overwhelm with a more statement colour, depending on which shade you choose.

Grey has many different undertones depending on the shade. Rooms that are south-facing are full of light throughout the day making them warmer in tone. To maximise the space you have, grey colours with hints of soft blue are a great way to accentuate the room even further as they contrast the natural warm tone.

North facing rooms have a slightly colder light throughout the rest of the day and as such, could benefit from using a warmer tone. Think about the placement of your room before you reach for the paint can as the overall look of one paint will be completely different in two rooms on opposing sides of the house.

How do you brighten a grey dining room?

Welcome an accent colour to instantly brighten a grey dining room. Grey is one of those shades that lends itself so perfectly with a whole range of accent colours, anything from bold cobalt blues to captivating corals or vivid greens.

Choosing one accent colour, in different saturations of the same shade, allows you to inject a brighter colour on soft furnishings, table linens, light shades and tableware – adding colour throughout on different levels.

Will you be giving the grey trend a go with these grey dining room ideas?

Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.