How to decorate with greige – 11 designer-approved tips for this versatile neutral

Designers explain how to decorate with greige in every room of your interior. Get ready for a greige masterclass...

How to decorate with greige
(Image credit: House Nine/Clare Garner Interiors/Urbanology)

Greige is one of those incredibly popular neutrals that can transform every room in the house. But how to decorate with greige for the best results? It's a versatile shade yes, and that's due to the fact it can lean both warm and cool. But that can also work to this color's detriment since it changes so much under different lights and when paired with different shades. 

So we ask designers who have tried and tested this shade, how best to decorate with greige? What rooms does it work best in? What lights? What colors should you pair it with? Here you will find all the tips on bringing this new neutral, timeless color trend, into your home.

Why Choose Greige?

beige shaker kitchen with warm beige walls and a pantry cupboard

(Image credit: British Standard by Plain English Design)

Greige it seems has certainly taken over from cooler grays which dominated the interiors landscape for so many years.;After a decade with gray being at the forefront of interior trends, this versatile tone has given way to an altogether warmer and more comforting hue – greige,; declares Helen Shaw, director of marketing at Benjamin Moore. 'If you love decorating with neutrals and gray tones, greige offers the best of both worlds. It still feels contemporary and harmonious but with an added warmth.'

Texas-based interior designer Kim Armstrong agrees: 'Greige blends well with both cool and warm tones and so doesn’t pigeonhole you into one tonal palette. This gives you a lot of flexibility with how you choose to decorate with it.'

Versatility is indeed a huge benefit of decorating with greige. It can work its magic in every room and every style of décor – from super minimalist spaces to English cottage style.

It’s also a timeless hue that works incredibly well in transitional interiors. Plus, greige is an ideal base color if you ever want to refresh your interior and add a few trend pieces later on. Decorating with greige – whether floor-to-ceiling paintwork or greige kitchen cabinets – sounds like a simple solution to all our decorating quandaries.

However, with so many different greige hues to choose from, it’s useful to get some expert insight to help your next decorating project. We’ve gone direct to the designers to find out how this warm gray beige can elevate every room in the house.

11 Greige Decorating Ideas From The Experts

It’s clear that greige is a popular and versatile color that will instill masses of design appeal in every room. 'Greige has surged in popularity within interior design for its versatility and timeless appeal,' agrees Claire Garner, creative director at Claire Garner Interiors. 'It’s a neutral hue offering a sophisticated backdrop that effortlessly complements a variety of décor styles, from modern and minimalist to rustic and traditional.'

And yet, there’s so much to know about decorating with the ever-expanding greige palette if you want to get it right. What are the best greige paints for example? And how does greige fit alongside other design elements in your home?

1. Pair with natural materials

Griege living room

(Image credit: Earthbourne)

Greige is a restful shade combining the best of beige and gray. Using natural materials alongside greige will increase the visual softness of your decor say the experts – whether that’s a minimal Scandinavian style or bold striking statement.

'The shade is soft and sophisticated, elevated by natural stone or wood surfaces, layered textures and woven fabrics to add depth,' says Bailey Oates, color expert at eco-conscious paint brand Earthborn.

In fact, Earthborn’s Color of the Year 2024, Hopscotch, is a chalky neutral greige that captures the soothing colors of the natural world. Use across walls, ceilings, woodwork, or furniture if you want a relaxed mood.

2. Enhance natural light with a greige room

Greige bedroom with pink curtains

(Image credit: Arsight)

With its balance of warm and cool tones, greige is a clever color that can also enhance natural light. So if you’re decorating a smaller room for instance, greige can make a space feel brighter and more open. Yes, greige can visually fool the eye, creating an inviting and airy ambiance all at once.

'Our goal was to create a serene atmosphere with a Scandinavian flair, using light rather than earthy tones,' says NYC interior designer Artem Kropovinsky of this Chelsea district apartment. 'We chose greige because we didn’t want to make the space too warm. Also, greige is a great backdrop, perfect for a luxury approach. It elevates the aesthetic of a space, making it look more timeless and curated.'

Artem Kropovinsky
Artem Kropovinsky

Founder of NYC-based interior design firm, Arsight, Artem Kropovinsky has a decade of extensive global design experience. The studio connects a collaborative team of passionate professionals who work on interior projects in the US and worldwide.

3. Layer greige for an inviting mood

Rustic greige living room with wooden beams

(Image credit: Clare Garner Interiors)

At the heart of the greige trend is its appeal to create an inviting and harmonious home. A simple way to maximize this, is by layering greige fabrics, furnishings, and paints. This way, you’ll be confident of creating a room that’s timeless but one that can also be adapted to suit your own decor and lifestyle.

'Unlike stark white paints or cool gray, greige provides a softer and more welcoming atmosphere, making it an ideal choice for both walls and furnishings,' says Claire Garner, creative director at Claire Garner Interiors. 'Greige provides an ideal foundation for layering texture and accent colors, offering endless potential for crafting personalized and harmonious interiors.'

4. Use greige for a comfortable and creative study

Greige home office with large windows

(Image credit: ILIV)

Greige might be the perfect color for a work zone says Debbie Leigh, design manager at interior textiles brand ILIV. 'In a home office, where focus and concentration are paramount, greige provides a serene backdrop that promotes productivity and concentration without feeling sterile,' says Debbie. #Additionally, greige pairs effortlessly with various décor styles and accent colors, allowing for personalized touches to enhance the study’s visual appeal.'

Pair with rich wood tones for a traditional feel or sleek metallic finishes for a modern mood – both looks that elevate a greige study space so simply.

5. Swap stark white for greige in the bathroom

Griege bathroom with built in cabinets

(Image credit: MBC Interior Design)

You might not expect to find a greige color scheme in the bathroom. But switching from stark white to a greige backdrop has so many benefits for your spa at home sanctuary.

This bathroom by California-based designer Mary Beth Christopher, founder of MBC Interior Design is a great alternative to an all-white space. 'Greige has become one of our favorite neutrals because it balances both warm and cool tones," adds Mary Beth. 'It tends to look good with almost anything you pair with it.'

Greige effortlessly complements a wide range of materials commonly used in bathrooms such as marble, stone, and wood.

'Greige is a relaxing and serene color that’s perfect for a bathroom,' agrees Alice Chiu, principal of San Francisco-based interior design studio Miss Alice Designs. 'It’s a versatile color that works well with any neutral and pairs nicely with subway tiles, subtle patterns, and wood for texture and visual interest.'

6. Test out greige colors first

Benjamin Moore greige paint

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

To make sure you pick the perfect greige to suit the light and proportions of your room, it’s key to try out color swatches and samples before you buy. 

'As with every part of the color spectrum, greige colors are influenced by light so it's always important to try a color in your space before taking the plunge,' explains Helen Shaw. 'Greiges on the green-gray end of the scale may read cool in a north-facing room yet may be perfectly balanced in south or east-facing rooms.'

7. Make use of greige's versatility

White living room with dark wooden beams

(Image credit: Micheal Hunter)

'Greige is a great color because it universally can be taken in any direction – it’s like white with a little more depth,' says Texas-based interior designer Kim Armstrong. 'It’s a great neutral to use in furniture, mixed with colorful cushions, drapes and an area rug. Likewise, greige is a great wall shade if you have a colorful, patterned chair fabric and you need a quieter moment.'

'When you need to cover a lot of ground, greige is a great neutralizer. It’s not too strong and yet it’s not too weak a color in that it layers and supports the stronger design elements very well.”

In this living room, Kim used a greige Moire pattern from Romo for the drapes and greige sheers. The neutral tone balances the Morris and Co velvet upholstered chair and custom floral magnolia rug from The Rug Company.

'The trick is to group color families together,' adds Helen Shaw. 'Combine warm grays such as greige with reds and oranges and cooler grays with blues and mauves.'

Kim Armstrong
Kim Armstrong

Kim Armstrong is a leading designer who is renowned for her colorful, eclectic, livable and luxury spaces. She heads up her boutique design firm and serves clients in North Texas and beyond with her colorful, eclectic designs.

8. Play around with greige pattern

Little Green greige wallpaper

(Image credit: Little Greene)

'Greige works particularly for patterns, such as wall coverings, tiles, and soft furnishings, and helps to create a softer look when decorating,' explains Chelsea Clark, head of brand at Lucie Annabel wallpapers. 

'Opt for a pattern in varying shades of greige to add texture to an overall interior scheme and help create a layered look. This will also make any greige-toned room feel warmer and more inviting. For a more traditional look, opt for painted paneling with patterned wallpaper.'

9. Choose lighting carefully

Greige kitchen with island

(Image credit: Audrey Scheck)

Experts agree that greige is one of the most adaptable colors for the home as it sits well with most other hues and changes according to the available light.

'Because greige is neither grey nor beige, it sits between warm and cool and can be used in rooms of any aspect or light quality,' explains Simon Temprell, interior design lead at Neptune. 'Be careful when you choose light bulbs as the temperature of the light will change the way your paint color looks. Blue light will increase the cooler grays while amber light will bring forward the warmer beige tones.'

10. Mix greige with earthy colors

Griege living room with brown couch

(Image credit: House Nine)

Greige pairs seamlessly with soft earthy colors like terracotta, sage green and rich brown as shown in this restful and welcoming living space by London-based design studio House Nine.

'Incorporating greige with an earthy color palette transforms a living space into a welcoming retreat, perfect for relaxation and unwinding,' explains JoJo Barr, founder and lead designer at House Nine.

Texas-based interior designer Audrey Scheck agrees, 'Adding accents in other warm neutrals such as caramel, mustard yellow, burnt orange, or sandy beige injects a playful yet balanced touch of color without overwhelming the space.

Audrey Scheck
Audrey Scheck

With more than a half-dozen years of experience in remodels and renovations, Audrey Scheck leads Audrey Scheck Design, a full-service interior design firm based in Austin, Texas.

11. Accent greige with strong black

Griege living room with dark fireplace

(Image credit: Urbanology)

Using accents of ink, charcoal and black in a greige decorating project will help ground the space and add definition to certain areas of the room.

Part of a luxurious family home in Dallas, this greige and black living space is a masterclass in relaxed modern elegance. Designed by Texas-based, Urbanology Designs, it showcases the beauty of greige and how this versatile neutral can be elevated with punctuations of bold black.

Decorating with greige is almost risk-free, it's such a versatile shade there's very little you can do wrong. However, order samples and swatching the color in situ is key to this color's success. It's such a chameleon shade that can change drastically under different lights and when paired with different tones. So take your time, test out plenty of tones of greige before you commit. 

Contributing Editor

Lara has worked in the ever-changing world of interiors and lifestyle journalism for many years. She cut her teeth in a busy newsroom of a kitchen and bathroom business title where she gained vast product knowledge and industry contacts that would prove invaluable. She now freelances for a variety of magazines, newspapers and online blogs and relishes the changing landscape of the interiors world