Revealed: 2021's top sofa color – designers explain why it's the best choice

Gray remains dominant for a reason

Light gray sofa in neutral living room by Neptune
(Image credit: Neptune)

The most popular sofa color of 2021 has just been revealed – and we can't say we're surprised by the tone at the top of everybody's lust list. Gray, the most versatile of colors, has taken the crown as the most in-demand sofa color of the year, following an average of 67,971 monthly searches, recent reports * suggest. 

Beloved by decor enthusiasts, this versatile hue is the basis of all grey living room ideas and has set design trends across recent seasons – yet its treasured power shows no signs of wavering. 

Instead, John Lewis revealed their gray sofa sales have increased by 117% compared to last year, while Martin Waller, founder of Andrew Martin, announced the gray Truman (below) is the label's best-selling sofa. 

Gray sofa in dark red living room

(Image credit: Andrew Martin)

'Neutral and easy to style, gray works with all color palettes. Over the last year, our top two best-selling fabrics for the Togo sofa have changed from a rich yellow and red to two different tones of gray,' adds Asa Hirst, Commercial Director of Ligne Roset, talking about grey sofa living room ideas

Gray printed sofa in traditional living room

(Image credit: Harlequin / Sanderson)

But what exactly makes gray so irresistibly powerful? Here, designers share their interior design tips, so you can invest in the piece of the year in confidence. 

'A gray neutral-colored sofa provides the perfect foundation to create a colorful and interesting cushion arrangement. You won't be restricted to a certain palette and will be free to mix pattern, texture, and color as you wish,' explains designer Birdie Fortescue

Plus, as we approach cooler seasons, Birdie suggests you don't need to shy away from a gray sofa investment. Rather, this flexible color can evolve to accentuate your interiors across the seasons. 

'With a neutral-colored sofa, one that doesn't shout summer or winter, you can easily switch your cushions and throws according to the season,' Birdie says. She suggests reevaluating your living room ideas by changing your throw pillows to reflect the seasons – 'leaving you with a great result requiring minimal effort and expense'. 

Beyond its versatility, Furniture Buyer at Heal's, Hannah Armstrong, suggests that the gray sofa revolution stems from their relationship with the most stylish interior styles, including 'sophisticated Scandi-styling to monochrome maximalism and everything in between.' 

Gray sofa with gold pillow and printed curtains

(Image credit: Harlequin / Sanderson)

'Gray is a versatile shade that will always stay in fashion. With this in mind, it's not surprising that it often comes out on top as the most popular color choice for sofas,' Hannah explains. 

'Opting for gray means that you can always have the freedom to update your accessories and style choices whenever you feel like a refresh, rather than committing to an overall theme – it's much more of a smart than safe color choice, and will ensure your living room never feels out of date,' she adds. 

Will you succumb to the power of gray, or have you already fallen for its indisputable power? If not, it's only a matter of time, we promise. 

Gray sofa in neutral living room

(Image credit: NOOOR /MAC MAHON / photograph by Agathe Tissier)

*Study by

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.