For years (forever?) beige has been synonymous with all things dull and boring, so if you’ve heard inklings of a resurgence of this unassuming hue, you’re probably asking yourself: is being coming back?
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I can confirm that the rumor is true. Beige is back. This warm neutral, which ranges from sandy cream tones, to bone colors, to nearly tan shades is replacing cooler gray as the versatile neutral of the moment. In fact, a 2019 survey if interior designers by Sherwin Williams declared that beige was the new gray, and paint brand PPG named a trio of beige shades their 2021 colors of the year, and things have only escalated from there.
To take a look at why beige is so popular right now, we must first look to the past. This is because trends (all trends, not just home decor trends) come in cycles. We love one thing for a while and then we get sick of it, and we look for something new. Usually that something new is the opposite of what we were previously obsessed with, or a reaction to it in some way.
Because gray was so popular in the 2010s, warmer tones, like beige, are the natural, neutral of choice in the 2020s. We got sick of the cold, industrial feeling grays and started searching for a cozier, more inviting alternative, and bingo: beige.
Shades of beige also complement today’s biggest interior design trends. The organic California look, popularized by designers like Amber Interiors, and the modernized traditional styles by Studio McGee all lend themselves toward warmer neutrals.
So then gray is out and beige is back?
Gray is a neutral, which means it’ll always show up in interior design in some form. That said, gray is definitely not as popular as it was a few years ago, and cool-toned, silvery grays are falling out of fashion when it comes to things like wall paint colors and sofa upholstery.
But, gray isn’t totally out of style. Instead of cool grays, designers and trend-setters are turning toward warm grays that complement an overall warmer palette. Grayed versions of colors like blue and green will also always be popular choices.
I recently used two “gray” tones in my home renovation, Benjamin Moore Smoke, a blue-gray, and Benjamin Moore Finnie Gray, a warm greige. Both are chameleon grays, which means they look like different colors depending on the light.
Is greige still popular?
If you’re not quite ready to get rid of gray, and you’re still a little scarred by the bad beige of the 2000s, or your home simply lends itself better to gray tones, then worry not. Greige is still in style.
Gray paint colors that border on greige or taupe are still very popular for both walls and cabinets, and are a richer, deeper alternative to standard cool grays that were everywhere over the last ten years. If you’re looking for a beautiful greige, I love Sherwin Williams Repose Gray and Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter.
Greige is also a lovely choice for furniture and upholstery, because it still feels more modern than tan shades of beige (I’m still on the fence about a straight up tan sofa) and it can be more practical that pale beige tones or creams (those are my favorite, I just have too many kids and pets living in my house).
What are the best beige paint colors?
If you’re looking for a neutral paint color are are considering beige/greige tones, there are some tried-and-true shades that won’t do you wrong.
Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige
This might be the go-to beige paint color and is one of SW’s most popular hues. It’s taken Instagram by storm, so you’ve probably seen it on your scrolls (Even if you didn’t know it at the time). Accessible Beige borders on tan, though, so it’s best if you’re looking for a richer tone.
Sherwin Williams Aesthetic White
Aesthetic White isn’t really a white, per se. It reads more like a pale greige, that can look pale gray or pale beige depending on the light in your home.
Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee
So some might argue that Swiss Coffee is a white color, and it is. But! It’s also a very, very pale shade of beige. It’s a few shades darker than a true white, which adds warmth and depth to a room, and has a noticeable creamy tone that reads beige in rooms that get less natural light.
Farrow & Ball Blanc de Treillage
Another more muted shade of beige, Blanc de Trillage is a creamy white tone with a touch of tan. It’s a gorgeous classic perfect for a bedroom, great room, or hallways.