Do's and Don'ts of Decorating With Beige

Decorating With Beige | Benjamin Moore Cotswold
Decorating With Beige | Benjamin Moore Cotswold. ©Benjamin Moore

It's not always easy to choose the perfect neutral color. Beige is the most popular neutral, and yet it's one of the hardest to get right in decorating. Because of those pesky color undertones, your beige can become a color you don't even recognize anymore, once it's up on your walls. Armed with these tips, you can choose beige like a pro.

DO understand, first and foremost, that beige is a difficult color to choose. With the incredible amount of beige colors out there, it can be overwhelming. It's not your fault if you are having trouble finding that beige needle in a haystack. 

DO consider similar colors like taupe or greige. Perhaps you're not really looking for beige after all, but you just weren't sure what to call what you wanted. If you add a touch of gray to beige, you'll get greige for a warm and rich look. If you like your beige a little more on the pink or cool side, try taupe. Even neutral green can be a great substitute if you can't find the beige you're looking for.

DON’T be afraid to pair your newfound beige with unexpected colors. There is no rule that you have to pair beige with other neutrals. Beige can look elegant with pale blue, rust, or even gold. Choose the colors you really love first, then find the right beige to complement them.


DO watch your undertones. You really need to learn about undertones before you choose a neutral like beige, confidently. Undertones are the number one reason why neutral color schemes go awry. Recognizing the pink or yellow undertone of your favorite beige means that you can choose the rest of the palette confidently. 

DON’T forget that beige works very well in beach-inspired color schemes, and any scheme that is inspired by natural beauty. Beige can be the sand of the beach, or mountain peaks; let nature be your beige inspiration.

DON’T forget that your beige will be competing with similar colors in the room that you see every day and yet don't see. Your carpets may be beige, or the wood of your cabinets, or your window treatments. Be sure to take them into consideration when choosing beige. This is where sampling colors becomes essential. Don't skip that step when combining similar colors.

DO be careful with the white colors you pair that beige with. Yes, white can have undertones, just as beige does. Pairing a warm beige with a white color with gray or blue undertones will look "off." You may not be able to recognize the problem at first, but if your beige and white don't work together, it's most likely the problem.

DON'T get caught up in thinking that beige is boring or tired. If you keep your color scheme neutral, then have fun with accents or with artwork. The right beige can create the perfect backdrop for any style of decorating you might love.

DON'T forget that choosing colors isn't about hard and fast rules. The most important aspect of choosing any color is how you feel about that color. Learn the undertones, sample your paint, and order fabric swatches to make sure your favorite color works your space.