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An earthy neutral like beige, whether it verges on stone, putty, plaster or sand, is easy to coordinate with, though the trick is in matching the tone of the beige to colors you surround it with.
Decorating with beige is, however, pretty easy, since it is one of those base neutrals that works brilliantly to show off the colors you choose to match with it. Accent colors for beige range from other naturals to cobalt blue and red, but there are subtler color combinations, too.
Below, we've talked to color experts for their take on which colors to match with beige.
Colors that go with beige, according to experts
Using the color wheel is the easiest way to define the best colors that go with beige, but our experts can help you find great matches, too. First, you might want to define what color is beige according to the shades you're considering and considering matching it with, since it can range from near beige-gray to much warmer, spicier shades.
1. Beige and blue-gray
Recently, we asked interior designers what color is replacing gray, and the answer was: beige. Happily, if you love both colors, they are the perfect match, with beige bringing warmth to a cool gray scheme, and gray making beige feel grown up and elegant.
'We chose a neutral linen wallpaper to act as a backdrop against the scalloped headboard of the bed in this principal bedroom. The darker putty shade makes the headboard pop and removes the need for artwork,' says Louise Wicksteed, Creative Director, Sims Hilditch.
2. Beige and yellow
'Beige and yellow is a wonderful color combination if you are considering beige living room ideas but don't want it to be too safe, nor too stand-offish,' says Jo Bailey, Editor, Homes & Gardens magazine.
'The more mustardy the yellow, so that it complements the earthy tones of the beige, the better, and you can either add in more spice shades, such as terracotta for a really warm look, or temper it a little with greens and blues that can match the strength of the beige tones.'
Jo Bailey is Deputy Editor of Homes & Gardens, overseeing all features for the print edition. Before joining Future PLC, she worked as an interior stylist for over ten years, specializing in commercial photo shoots for luxury clients such as; Design Centre Chelsea Harbour, Christopher Farr Cloth and Heal's. She has worked with Homes & Gardens for over a decade, having styled and produced editorial shoots and events over the years.
3. Beige and red
'Neutral doesn't mean bland and the use of stony hues is not about a return to beige, but a new way of using natural shades in both interior and exterior spaces to create homes with longevity,' says Ruth Mottershead, Creative Director at Little Greene.
'Ruth is right,' says Lucy Searle, Editor in Chief of Homes & Gardens, 'beige does give any scheme longevity, and the opportunity to layer in stronger colors, such as primary colors, to enliven it. Here, a tiny splash of red has been brought into the scheme through wall art; decorating with red can be tricky, but it's the perfect match for beige.'
Lucy Searle has written about interiors, property and gardens for over 30 years, starting within the interiors departments of women's magazines before switching to interiors-only titles in the mid-1990s. In 2018, Lucy took on the role of Global Editor in Chief for Realhomes.com, taking the site from a small magazine add-on to a global success. She was asked to repeat that success at Homes & Gardens, where she has also taken on the editorship of the magazine, which is the UK's oldest interiors magazine at 103 years old. Lucy is a serial renovator and also owns rental properties in the UK and Europe, so brings first-hand knowledge to the subjects she oversees.
4. Beige and green
Some greens work in a complementary way with beige, but if you vary the tone slightly, perhaps to a more acid green with overtones of yellow, you can create wonderful contrast, as in the room above.
'Here the walls are upholstered in a silk velvet, which has a wonderful lightness, yet at the same time an incredible richness, a silvery taupe,' says Natasha Greig, Director, Veere Grenney Associates. 'The slash of acid green in the Fontana painting provides the tension needed.'
5. Beige and orange
'If you think beige is boring, think again,' says Jen Ebert, Digital Editor, Homes & Gardens. 'In fact, it's the perfect base shade to show off accessories in bright orange, and, as you can see in the room above, bright pink works with beige, too.
'Decorating with orange and beige is just like matching beige with terracotta decor, though you'll need to adjust the tones: lighter beige works best with orange, while earthier, darker beiges work really well with terracotta.'
Jen is the Deputy Editor (Digital) of Homes & Gardens online. Before starting this position, she had completed various interior design courses at KLC Design School, as well as working across Ideal Home, LivingEtc, 25 Beautiful Homes and Country Homes & Interiors as an interiors writer.
6. Beige and terracotta
Terracotta is, of course, a natural partner for beige, bringing warmth, depth and richness to an otherwise muted scheme.
'Terracotta allows you to create a space offering a soft, warm light which captures the enveloping sensation of a sunset,' says Damien Langlois-Meurinne, interior designer and founder of Damien Langlois-Meurinne Studio Paris.
What paint color looks good with beige furniture?
Beige goes well with many colors and as furniture can be set against a range of shades to great effect. For a natural scheme, use bright white, just off white or the palest of warm grays; for bolder schemes, consider blues and greens with tones that match the beige you've chosen in intensity; and for bright rooms, you could venture to terracotta very effectively to create a warm, cozy glow.
Do gray and beige go together?
Yes, gray and beige do go together, but you must choose a gray with warm undertones (in other words, hints of yellow or brown, rather than cool tones, such as purple or blue).
The most complementary color to match with beige is any other natural shade, from other earth tones, such as terracotta or paprika; beyond that, look to nature for inspiration, which means greens and blues. Despite that, beige is such an easy color to match, so it will also work with bold shades, such as navy blue and red.
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Lucy Searle has written about interiors, property and gardens since 1990, working her way around the interiors departments of women's magazines before switching to interiors-only titles in the mid-nineties. She was Associate Editor on Ideal Home, and Launch Editor of 4Homes magazine, before moving into digital in 2007, launching Channel 4's flagship website, Channel4.com/4homes. In 2018, Lucy took on the role of Global Editor in Chief for Realhomes.com, taking the site from a small magazine add-on to a global success. She was asked to repeat that success at Homes & Gardens, where she has also taken on the editorship of the magazine.
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