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BeigeUnderstanding Undertones

How to Disappear a Bad Beige

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  • Gilda says:

    My sitting room has been painted “Drum Beat” (not sure the manufacturer) for 12 years and it is enveloping and comfortable. There are 4 doors, 5 doorways,two large windows and a fireplace, all painted “white” as well as wide baseboard and two 3 1/2′ rads in this room all painted the “white” so there is enough contrast to prevent the gloom! I like it (but have been wanting to re-paint a warm Nutmeg (until I realized that this would be the Brown Trend!!!)…

  • Paula Van Hoogen says:

    Hey Maria, This seems so true—like having a beige pair of slacks you don’t especially love, a charcoal sweater makes it sing!! (Plus a few bling-y neck pieces too.)
    Haven’t been so able to get in on these conversations lately–our guest house is b-u-s-y! But that’s a good thing. Hope the workshop is going great!!!

  • Mariko says:

    I’m in the process of understanding undertones thanks to Color Me Happy ! I don’t dare go dark, because I’m trying to LIGHTEN UP a bedroom with reddish brown furniture and beige carpet with pink/red undertones so I just don’t want dark walls. I want the palest neutral with white trim, and have tried BM Winds Breath as it appears to have pink undertones but no beige blahs or fleshy color look! It’s still a little bit pink for my liking on the test wall, so where do I go now? Have BM tweak the Winds Breath a bit? BM Pale Oak looks too similar to test. Go with even paler like BM Seapearl? I tried BM Classic Gray, but it actually looks blue on the wall next to my carpet and furniture. Pretty, but I don’t really want blue.

    • Maria Killam says:

      If you want to coordinate sometimes a little pink is necessary but it’s not unbearable when it’s that light. Maria

    • Sheila says:

      I’m not Maria Killam but it sounds to me your room would look great with a greenish gray. Green is a complimentary color to all your red/pink and I think would make it work for your space. The Daryl Carter collection on the Benjamin Moore site has several green grays that might work for you.

  • sue houck says:

    Talk about a picture being worth a 1,000 words, these photos say it all and say it so well! A big help in understanding your message here. Great texture and detail of the guy with the hat set off by the metallic and reddish dried berries with the hint of white accent. The beautiful window and fireplace in the second photo are like magnets drawing me in. Would love to be in these rooms to experience them. I learned a lot here and am not a decorator. Thanks.

  • Love the dark color to make beige disappear and when the texture is rich and plenty of it that does help resolve the issue as well. For me it depends on how much light streams into the room as a balancer.

  • Good morning Maria,
    What a treat to open the paper this morning and see you smiling face…I hope you have a wonderful time at the home show.
    Regards, Marjorie

  • No I couldn’t go this dark…I’m a light/white lover. But there are ways to “erase” a bad beige with lighter colors too 😉

  • Denise says:

    Love those dark walls! I’m planning on painting one of my bedrooms bronze and using it as a sitting room.

  • I could. I have. I will. Love drama and this room makes me swoon.

  • Jody says:

    Hi Maria,

    I think this trick I learned goes along with your post. I once read that if you hate a color that you can’t easily get rid of, add more of that color to the space and the offensive color will disappear. I experimented with this method in a bathroom that had the 50’s pink tile on the lower half of all four walls. I removed the pink, blue, and white floral wallpaper above the tile and painted the walls the same pink as the tile. I added soft greens and beige accessories and it completely warmed the space. There is no denying it is pink but it is no longer offensive. 🙂

  • Celeste says:

    Please check the proper use of the word “disappear”. You cannot “disappear” something. You can make something disappear.

  • Maria – really struggling with color, surfing the web for best color to go with pinky beige tile, I found myself here at your blog.

    Hoping you can offer some advice -I recently purchased a new home and it came with the dreaded pinky-beige tile. The kitchen has bright cherry cabinets and I brought in my chestnut leather sofa and chair etc . . .

    I’m trying to downplay the pink as I’m finding it difficult to make my man cave with the pinky-beige tile.

    I have painted approximately10 different samples on the walls and what I am discovering in the process is I have been chooisng the wrong colors with the wrong undertones and am just about insane!!

    The latest color choice is Ben Moore’s “Peanut Shell” not sure if you are familiar with it, (

    Based on the colors I’m working with do you think Peanut shell might be a good choice? I should add I do like color so I prefer not to go too light. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated, and I know without seeing the cabinets, sofa etc… it may be difficult but I’m at my witts end . . .

    Thank you . . .

  • I like this a lot…I’d been thinking about a dark blue for our master bedroom. Since I have beige carpet, gold duvet and a weird pink gold curtains hehe. So for now we are reusing what we have but I think color will make it more interesting.

  • Sheila says:

    Hi Maria. I love your blog. Today I have come to you with a question. I know you get a lot of these requests but I am seriously stumped on choosing a color for my daughters room. We want a gray room with orange accents. The problem is I don’t know what gray to choose. The rooms natural light comes from the north and the east. The northern light makes almost everything look blue and the eastern light add more green. What type of gray could I use that would appear to be gray and not blue or green? Could you offer a few suggestions of samples to try. I would appreciate all your help. Thanks. Please email me at srodgers1969 at yahoo dot com. BTW. I love the dark and dramatic room. I’ve always wanted to try one but am too chicken.

  • Kylie says:


    I just moved into a brand new house and the walls are painted a beige with yellow undertones. I purchased a beige couch with green undertones and in the room all I see is a green couch. I am unable to return the couch. What can I do to neutralize the green undertone so my couch looks beige again and what color accessories will go best with this?

  • megeranski says:


    Why do we say ANY beige is wrong or bad or offensive?

    Combinations certainly deserve those descriptors, but not a single color.

    I have seen pinky-beige rooms that would knock your socks off, and have seen yellow-beige rooms that fill you with envy.

    What’s with the ‘diss-ing’ of a color?


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