Beige in a World of Gray

August 2, 2017

Decorators have long relied on the solid foundation of neutrals to provide a solid foundation in tasteful decor.  In the past few decades, palettes have trended toward palettes of gray.  Grey has since the late 90’s has edged out whites, browns, and beige.  Beige is once again gaining a little more time in the spotlight, offering decorators a chance to highlight metallic touches and splashes of bolder colored design touches.  

Beige offers a way to also support both brighter and deeper hues, helping them to ‘pop’ without being overwhelming. ( ) Color expert, Letrice “Lee” Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, suggests combining the unexpected with the familiar. ( . “We are all familiar with consumers’ constant desire to see something new, yet they still want, in many cases, to have somewhat of a familiar comfort level,” she said.

For many homeowners, that familiar comfort level can be found in revisiting the flexibility that beige offers. Kitchen cabinets painted a light almond or sandy color can both lighten and uplift the entire space. Beige cabinets or walls serve as the perfect base color and can really draw the eye to brightly colored kitchen appliances and accent pieces.  These give the kitchen a feeling of relaxed warmth and comfort.

In living rooms, furniture and accessory trends are now veering back toward a worldly mix of both design and color. It isn’t unusual to see modern art alongside throw blankets fashioned in Native American-style geometrics and combined with sophisticated paisley patterns like those found in Turkish kilim room-sized rugs. Each of these ethnic design elements can exist harmoniously together when set against a backdrop of walls and furnishings in shades of almond, ecru, sunbaked adobe, desert sand, or ivory.

The key for making beige work without it clashing with other accent colors and design elements is to pay close attention to the undertones that can be found within any given shade of beige. Because they can be difficult to discern, it’s a good idea when before you purchase your paint to bring along swatches or pictures of the fabrics and accent colors you intend to use.


Adding a splash of cobalt can work well with a beige that has a cooler undertone. You can make a small living room seem much larger as well as create designer looks by painting walls or choosing floor coverings in different yet related beiges.

For interiors that rely heavily on shabby chic or repurposed items, beige is both timeless and comforting. Vintage furniture can be given a whole new lease on life by giving them the lightest coat of beige milk paint.  This type of treatment gives a piece of furniture ta patina of being a well-loved antique. Add pillows and accessories of rich floral fabrics or occasional touches of legacy brocades and space can take on an aura of casual elegance.

If you find that you just can’t quite decide between gray or beige, take heart! It may be reassuring to know that today you can have the best of both worlds. One of the hottest new color trends combines both shades of gray and beige, or ‘Greige’,  This latest color trend offers, even more, color choices from both color spectrums for you to decorate your home.  

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