Is Grey the new Beige in Home Décor?

In the early 2000’s beige became the ultimate neutral color for home décor. If you weren’t sure what color to paint your home…beige. Selling your home, your realtor would tell you paint it…beige. There was good logic to this.

  • Beige is a warm color, a very homely feeling
  • It’s a gender-neutral color
  • It isn’t an overpower color so it won’t distract future buyers from other, more sell-able, features of the home
  • It’s easy for a home buyer to see their furniture in a space that has a neutral backdrop

Over the last 5 years or so there has been a shift – We are starting to see less beige and more grey tones in home décor. Question is, why the change?

Beige on Beige on…

Beige can be a great base. It’s warm; its neutral…but it does have some limitations. With the primarily yellow base of beige it can look dated, dirty and tired. Three things you don’t want your home to look!

You won’t find as many undertones in beiges either. Undertones are used to tie together different elements in the room. This could be tying your sofa with your wall color or your kitchen cabinets with your countertop or backsplash. You want these pieces to have a coherent look, look like they belong together. You do this by utilizing and pulling out their undertones to create a harmony around these pieces.

Undertones that are usually found in beige include:

  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Red/Orange

Grey does it better

Grey on the other hand gives you more options. Grey is an achromatic color, meaning it is a color without color – truly neutral ground here, made by mixing white and black (shocking I know!!).

With black you have a color that is great as an accent and goes with ANYTHING. The white in a grey color is (most often) the predominate color that makes up your grey tone. Because of this, you also get all the benefits of using white without the sometime starkness of white – it reflects light and makes the room feel bigger to name a few. To learn more about the effects of white, check out Small Spaces Blog.

Most common undertones that are found in grey are:

  • Blue
  • Purple
  • Green

The characteristics of the color grey allows it to absorb a wider range of undertones and it compliments more colors than beige. As mentioned above, you want to utilize undertones and emphasize the undertones in your key pieces. With grey, you have more options and can choose something that really speaks to you. Being an achromatic color, it will also compliment pretty much any accent you choose. If you have a color that you are just dying to use, use it as your pop of color against a pure grey (white and black mix) base.  Try your using your pop as a bold wall, accent pillows, rug or a statement piece of furniture. The best part is that with a grey as your base, no matter what your pop of color is, the room will still seem neutral. Any potential home buyer will be able to envision themselves and their belonging in this space, just like beige does but with a little more character. Which means no repainting if you decide to sell!

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