What You Should Know About The Color Beige

Do you think beige is a too safe boring color? Think again! Beige is one of the most versatile colors that plays beautifully with almost any color scheme. It’s restful and friendly and can work in any room! See why you should think about using beige in your home.


The color beige often gets a bad rap! And it is totally undeserved! Beige is a color you should know about! It’s classic and restful and pretty, and beige color palettes come in so many tones and shades! Beige exudes warmth! Beige is complex! And it is an easy color to live with. Let’s get to know the color beige a bit better!

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If you understand even the basics when it comes to color and color theory, decorating your home will be so much easier! And your home will show the fruits of your knowledge and labor!

I’ve done a few posts on color (see some at the bottom of this post), and they have been so popular I decided to do an entire series on this very important subject!

So today’s post is all about beige.

I can just hear some of you saying, “Oh, beige… boring”!

Well, friend, I’m so glad you continued reading this post because the various shades of beige are anything but boring. And it is a very good place to begin! Actually, beige is a very complicated color! It really is not only one color! There is a myriad of colors that can be classified as beige.

What Is Beige?

a beige coffee table with a plant on it and caramel colored pillows in the background

A Brief History

Beige is a French word meaning the color of natural wool. Not washed, bleached, or dyed, but natural. This makes me think of a sheep in a field. And if you have seen sheep in a field, their wool is nothing like white! It is full of beige color combinations.

Look at all the different variations of beige in this fluffy sheep’s wool!


Beige has also taken on the meaning of the color of a bleached bone.

Let’s just say, for time’s sake and to have a working definition, beige is a neutral color that, in its purest form, is a light creamy off-white! It is a neutral shade in the neutral color family.

French Beige

Beige probably has thousands of variations from the slightest and warmest white, cream, ecru, buff, linen, tan, cafe au lait, and khaki to the toasty, almost brown shades!

Beige and all other beige tones are created by adding brown and white pigments together and/or the addition of gray and yellow. The result is beautiful earthy tones and shades of brown.

Brown is created by mixing the primary colors blue, yellow, and red. See where I am going with this? It’s just not that easy! Beige can be a subtle color like cream or a moodier depth of color like greige or taupe. It’s all about the other colors mixed with white and brown.

So let’s make it easy and say basic beige is a mix of white and a touch of brown.

It’s also important to know that beige, in its most elemental form, is a warm color. We will discuss that further down in the post. But no color can be described without describing its undertone!


Neutrals are the most complicated and complex of all colors! Beige is so nuanced, and that is what makes it so beautiful!

Remember I said that basically (and very, very basically) beige is a mixture of lots of white pigment with a bit of brown? Well, that is true, but when we talk about beige, we are probably discussing that beige is also made up of small amounts of other colors too.


And these other colors have a big effect on basic beige.

The infographic I made shows you just what a small amount of another color can create when added to a basic beige.

Let’s call the top color basic beige.


I’ve slipped just a hint of color under our basic beige, and look how that hint of color changes beige. The new colors are still beige, but they are all variations of beige.

An undertone is a color that is under or mixed into a color like beige, changing the original color.

How Undertones Affect Beige

So what do the undertones in a beige color have to do with anything? It has everything to do with beige! You see, there is never just one beige color. There are thousands because of the undertones!

Knowing the undertones in a color like beige will help you know what other colors to use when decorating with your favorite beige!

Finding Undertones In Beige

It can be a bit like being a detective. I still struggle to see many undertones! Experimenting by putting the beige in question next to a white piece of paper can help. Compare the two, and the undertones just might show up! And if the beige in question is a paint color, you are in luck! Paint companies provide information on undertones and hex numbers for their paint.

When you know the undertones in your favorite beige, you will have a good idea about the colors that will work with the beige you have in your home!

Warm Or Cool

Not All Beiges Play Well Together

We painted the walls of our StoneGable home in my favorite beige paint color, Benjamin Moore Sonnett.


In our home, this beige paint read about as beige or bone as you could get in daylight.

But here’s how it looked on the paint chip…


Woah! No wonder it’s so important to paint several walls with a color you are thinking about using, right?

But here’s what the paint chip told me that I could not tell from my Sonnet painted walls. Sonnet’s beige has yellow undertone that is very close to the peach spectrum. So close you could say it had the tiniest and slight bit of peach or pink in it. Even less than a drop can change beige!


All of the trim in our StoneGable home was painted Atrium White.


I loved Sonnet with Atrium White, and no wonder! Atrium White has the tiniest undertone of pink in it too! The undertones in the Sonnet loved playing with the undertones in the Atrium White! They were happy together!


Undertones are important! They must get along with the decor of other undertones in your home. Some undertone love being together and look amazing! And some undertones fight like cats and dogs and can make a whole room look off.

Knowing undertones is essentially important for knowing what colors will and won’t work with beige. And for knowing with beiges will work together.

Here’s a rule of thumb. Warm undertones like to play with other warm undertones. And cool undertones like to play with cool undertones. If you know the undertones in a beige color you are considering,


Just think about a color combination we love from nature. Sand and sea!


Beautiful colors, right? There are both warm and cool colors in this image. Lots of warm darker beige!

Why do the warm sand and the cool ocean look so pretty together? Because there are a lot more warm tones in this image than cool!

Warm colors love the company of other warm colors. If you want to mix warm and cool colors together, choose 80% of one and 20 % of the other.

Warm colors bring out the best in beige!

But beige needs a bit of contrast because

All Warm Or Cool Colors In a Room Look Boring

So we add some interest by adding a small amount of cool color.

Beige likes a little bit of cool company

A little bit of warmed-up cool hues in a neutral room make it come alive.


The pillow above is a blend of muddy blue, white, and beiges, fusing cool and warm hues. The blue is a distinctive muddy, yet warmer blue shade, which harmonizes seamlessly within this room.

white chair with two pillows on it

The tension of the blue brings a bit of life and excitement to the beige room.

Beauty And Versatility

When it comes to beauty and versatility, you can’t beat beautiful beige in all of its shades and tones! It’s calm and sophisticated and such a hard-working color that will add a timeless look to your home.

Beige is easy to live with and plays well with so many other colors and neutrals!

There is probably no other color that has gotten such a bad rap and deserves it less! I say, Vive le beige!

So now you know, and I hope this has helped you to understand the elegance and understated color called beige!

It is my passion and pleasure to help you learn interior design concepts in an easy and understandable way so you can incorporate these tricks of the trade as you decorate your home!

Click On The Video Below For More Inspiration

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  1. Wow – what a great lesson. Thank you!

    1. I’m so glad you liked it and I hope this help you when you decorate your home!

  2. Carolyn Rice says:

    Enjoyed this post so much. Sheetrock was just finished in our home so my mind is now concentrated on picking just the right neutral to paint our home. Thank you so much for this informative post. Also, what color did you use on your kitchen cabinets when you remodeled your kitchen.

    1. Congratulations on your new home! The kitchen is Simply White by Benjamin Moore.

  3. Thank you for explaining color theory so that even I can understand! I have been admiring the basket tray that is on your coffee table. Would you mind sharing where you bought it or sources for similar trays?

  4. Susan Butler says:

    Thank you. I have been rethinking my decision to paint all of the walls in our house a beige color, since most websites promote white walls. Now I am content to leave them beige.
    Where did you purchase your drapes that are in the picture above? They are taupe with dots.
    I would also be interested in a good source for trays for tables.
    Thanks again,

  5. Catherine Homoly says:

    Would you mind sharing a link for the rug in this room? Thank you!

  6. Mary formerly of the boondocks says:

    Yvonne thank you for another great post explaining color theory. It can get overwhelming sometimes without any direction. Pinning!!

  7. Hello. I’ve followed you a long while and love your home! I’m currently replacing our sectional and looking forward a white/beige color like yours can you share where u got your sofas? Thank you mucho!?

    1. Hi Cynthia, this sofa came from a local store. However the sofa brand is a national one called Smith Brother’s. It is amazingly comfortable and constructed so well. Check out stores that have Smith Brother sofas in your area.

  8. I love this discussion and have learned from it. I love beige for a neutral background to build upon in any room. Thanks Yvonne.

  9. There isn’t a post of yours that I don’t thoroughly enjoy and appreciate. And I love your honesty about your faith and love for Christ.

    In this article on the color beige, you have pictures of beautiful rugs in two rooms (family room & dining room) — do you recall where they were purchased? Thank you.

  10. Gail Gove says:

    Hi Yvonne,

    I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now and it’s time I say thank you for all your wonderful decorating tips !! You have helped me more than you can possibly know. I also love that you live in Lancaster county. My dad grew up in Millersville and I have so many wonderful memories visiting my grandparents back in the 60’s and 70’s !! Thanks again!! Gail

    1. Hi Gail, I am thrilled that StoneGable has helped you! That is my passion and goal!!! We live about 10 miles outside Millersville. And I’m there often.

  11. Teresa Snipes says:


    Thank you for doing this in such a fun way! Our daughter said color theory in her art class in college was some of the hardest for her to understand so I’m passing it onto her. I think it’s so much easier to understand when you’re applying something like this to something you love…your home. It makes so much more sense then.

    I’ve been busy over the last 3 years making our home, especially our great room, more beige, through fabric of all beige color range, texture, etc., and I still love it every time I walk in there. I was afraid I would get bored, but with all the texture and adding seasonal pillows, it’s like I have a new room every few months!


    1. Hi Teresa! Beige is like an “overview word” it encompasses so many colors. I’m so glad you are loving the changes in your home!

  12. I love your wall and trim colors! Hoping they’ll look similar in our home — I’m planning to paint the entire downstairs beige with white trim but have been struggling with color selection! Right now the walls are greige, and I don’t like that gray undertone! Thanks for the help, Yvonne!

  13. This blog was a lot of work and I appreciate it. Lots of information.

  14. I love beige! In fact today I just purchased spray paint in Smokey Beige to redo my lawn chairs. So true about importance of undertones. The beige walls in my bedroom have a pink undertone that I didn’t see in the paint chip. I actually like it because it warms up my cold north facing room & makes it more cozy. But it was definitely a little surprise.

  15. I think Ben Moore in US has different names for their Colors than Can.

    1. I’m not sure, Sharon. You might want to look that up online or call your Benjamin Moore store.

    2. Benjamin Moore colours are the same whether in the US or Canada.

  16. Hi, loved the article about beige. I am tryin to choose a color for our beach house & thought I wanted a light crisp gray.
    I currently have 13 different shades of gray on 4 different walls/ areas throughout the downstairs & up the stairway.
    Now I am worried that gray will be out of style or I will tire of it.
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Sharon, first always use what you love! And gray although not the new trendy color is a classic and will always look nice. Hope this is helpful

  17. Donna zoltanski says:

    Love! I enjoy ALL your decor! Merry Christmas!

  18. Diane Noe says:

    This is a fantastic post!!! Thank you

  19. Whether beige is trending or not it is my go to colour. Beige runs the gamut from a very light shade of brown to cream. White walls are not for every home. My daughter had her three story home painted white this summer. In her case, it doesn’t suit the style of home , nor her furniture choices. I’m having my home painted now. I tried a few complex creams swatches painted on the walls of an East facing room. They looked white – one had a green undertone and the other a pink. I realized I needed more tint and went with BM Fossil. It’s a lovely, soft, warm cream on my walls. I’m in love.

    1. Paint is all about the undertones! I’m so happy you found your perfect color

  20. Joanne Lattrell says:

    Thank you for this insightful post and a welcome change from seeing everything gray. We live in northern VT where winter is 6 months long with snow on the ground. The last thing I want in my house is white or gray walls. Warm beige is my staple color with natural wood. Warm and inviting.

  21. Surface Maximus says:

    This was so interesting! Thank you!

  22. Cynthia Smith says:

    Oh, thank you for this, I am a beige person. Using the different tones of beige was so helpful. Thank you, thank you for this article.

  23. Betty Gibbs says:

    I cannot remember how I landed on your site, but oh so glad I did. I’ve spent hours today reading “colorful” content. 🙂 As a former graphic designer and Photoshop color specialist, I felt at home and giddy. Your explanations are clear and easy to understand. The photos perfectly illustrated each concept. Moving from color in desktop layout design to interior design was initially daunting. I have yet to master it all but am well beyond the beginning stage. Thank you for taking the hours necessary to write a magnificent blog.

    1. Thanks so much Betty! There is more to know about color than any of us have time to learn!

  24. I am so glad you talked about beige. I have been Blessed with being able to see and understand colors. I did a bedroom with tone on tone beige and added muted colors with pillows and throws. My bedroom was so warm cozy, it just made me feel good every time I walked into that room.

    1. Hi Cynthia, beige is a beautiful and complex color and it is very popular right now. Color is complicated. You are blessed to be able to understand it.

  25. Nana Diana says:

    Wonderful post. I do think beige has taken a ‘hit’ since grey has become such an important color in homes. I do believe that grey will ‘see its time’ and at one point we will say–Oh! That was the color of the teen/twenties of this century.
    I love BM and my go to color with them is Dove White and I have it used it on my trim for years (and 5 houses)…lol
    Have a wonderful week.

    1. Hi Nana Diana, that is a great question.
      Beige is a classic that is having a resurgence of popularity.Gray is on its way out. Thank goodness. I think gray is depressing.

  26. Love love love the muddy blue print pillow! Where did you get it?!

      1. Thank you! I ordered 2 pillows. Now the hard part is waiting for them! Thank you for all your inspiration and help.

        1. You are so welcome Sue. Enjoy the pillows. They are so much prettier in real life.

  27. Shelly Bartz says:

    Love this post ! Do you have a link for that blue and beige pillow? I love it!

    1. Roni Wilbur says:

      I love that pillow too…the blue and beige on the chair…please where did you purchase?
      I love this sight and read it everyday for inspiration…Thank you Yvonne….you are such a blessing to me! And i love youe Love for Jesus, Hes my Savior too.
      Roni Wilbur

        1. Roni Wilbur says:

          Thank you…just ordered them!!

  28. So very informative, thank you! Can you link the pillow behind the blue one?

  29. Sherrie McIver says:

    Thank you so much for this wonderful post. I love beige and the warm neutrals and they certainly have had a bad rap. I have never loved the gray scheme; just too cold.

    You explain things so well and your style is fabulous!!
    Thank you.
    Blessings ~

  30. Brenda watson says:

    On one of your posts, you had a beautiful spa green throw on the bed. They’re also was a very lightweight looking beige brown bedskirt. I would love to know where you found that and where I may be able to check it out. Thank you so much. I love so many of your ideas and would like to take and get more of them. Thank you again.

  31. Teresa Talbert-Denton says:

    What color of beige are your walls. I love them.

    1. My walls in StoneGable were Benjamin Moore Sonnet and at the Tanglewood House they are Simply White.

  32. Irene Madrid says:

    I recently remodeled/redecorated my home. And yes, I thought I would never use beige because that is all my mother used. But guess what? My wraparound cabinets ( with pink/gold/ivory pulls ceramic from Etsy ) are awesome with my swirled brown granite and NEW handcrafted mermaid tail backsplash. It is also the color of my blackout bedroom soft floral print curtains which blend beautifully with my watercolor blows magnolia wallpaper in pinks, greens with touches of gold. Still the rest of my wallpapers ( EVERY room) connects with every room in soft teals, pinks, greens and whites. Maximalist, romantic, whimsical elegant ME!