Lupita Nyong'o's calming living room color scheme puts a playful twist on classic cool neutrals

The Oscar winner's living room is a masterclass in making gray more interesting – here's how she upgrades the classic look

lupita nyong'o on a silver background
(Image credit: Amy Sussman/WireImage for Parkwood via Getty Images)

Though gray is calming and neutral, it isn't always the most exciting scheme. Lupita Nyong'o's living room color scheme puts this assumption to the test.

The Oscar-winning actress's living room has cream walls and a gray sofa. Though this scheme sounds plain, details like a large mirror and a bamboo plant add visual interest. A blue pillow and a pink pillow add a bright pop to the simple color scheme.

Experts love the stylish, but rarely seen living room color combination. Nina Lichtenstein, a Westchester-based interior designer, says: 'Combining gray, blue, and pink may seem atypical, but it is a sophisticated albeit playful choice for decorating a living room. This color palette offers flexibility in the overall design scheme while conveying elegance, tranquility, and warmth.'

Nina Lichtenstein
Nina Lichtenstein

Nina Lichtenstein is the founder and principal home designer at her eponymous design studio, based in Westchester, NY. Nina believes that home design should capture a family’s unique spirit by how it serves the family's daily needs while nourishing the soul. She has been celebrated for designing, renovating, and building elegant living spaces. 

She continues, 'There are numerous benefits to a gray, blue, and pink color scheme. First, gray serves as a neutral base in this color scheme, providing a refined backdrop that allows blue and pink accents to stand out. Therefore, this stylish and modern combination comes across as thoughtful and sophisticated.'

'A blue living room, on the other hand, is known for its calming effect and association with serenity,' adds Lichtenstein. 'Just think of the peaceful feeling that washes over you when gazing at clear blue skies. When paired with soft pink tones, it creates a soothing and inviting atmosphere that promotes relaxation and comfort in your living room.'

However, it's when the colors are put together in a neutral living room that they work their magic. Lichtenstein tells Homes & Gardens: 'Furthermore, the interplay of gray, blue, and pink achieves a perfect balance between cool and warm tones. The three colors together add depth and dimension to the room, making it visually appealing and well-coordinated. 

She goes on, 'Moreover, gray, blue, and pink are versatile colors that can be adapted to various design styles, making the combo a great choice for custom designs. Whether you prefer a contemporary, minimalist look, a modern farmhouse aesthetic, or a cozy, eclectic vibe, there are endless possibilities for personalization.'

Lichtenstein also believes this color scheme could become an interior design trend. She says, 'The gray, blue, and pink color scheme has the potential to gain popularity and become a sought-after look for modern living rooms for a variety of reasons. First, the timeless elegance of this color combination ensures its longevity regardless of fleeting interior design trends. It is also a gender-neutral aesthetic, striking the perfect balance between masculine and feminine elements. This makes it appealing to a wide range of tastes and preferences as does the fact that is suitable for both formal and casual living spaces.'

Shop the edit

If you're looking to spice up a cool neutral color scheme, pink and blue can be excellent additions. Just take it from Lupita Nyong'o.

News Editor

I am a London-based News Editor at Homes & Gardens. My interests lie at the intersection of design and popular culture focusing on trends and celebrity homes. Before joining Future, I worked as a Content Writer and Communications Lead for Fig Linens and Home, a luxury linens and home interiors brand. I have a BA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and an MSc from the Oxford University Department of Anthropology.