September’s Beige Crush

Perhaps the beginning of this new season of Autumn calls for a toned down, neutral palette before the arrival of the rich, deep hues that Autumn brings. Beige bliss. A neutral palette that covers many variations of subdued hues that blanket our interiors and wardrobes. A fresh change in which a myriad of tones and textures can be brought in to our spaces or to our attire…

Beige can be described as a pale cream color, an off-tan color or an extremely pale yellowish brown color. Quite a vast expanse the term beige does cover! The term itself originates from ‘beige cloth’, a cotton fabric left un-dyed in its natural color. Beginning in the 1920’s, the meaning of the term beige expanded to the point where it is also used for pale yellow colors and a wide range of pale brown shades while also referring to a range of light, neutral tints with a pale, warm appearance. The tones and variations that this earthy hue have been given throughout history include: Cream, Unbleached Silk, Tuscan, Buff, Desert Sand, Ecru, Khaki, French Beige and Mode Beige and “Cosmic Latte” (I love that one!). The power of color and its variations of hues!! History stands behind each of these variations of this unpretentious and natural color…..
Unbleached silk refers to one of the Japanese traditional colors in use since 660 BC. Aged and timeless! Of interest, the color Cream was first recorded in 1590 and referred to the color of the cream produced by grazing cattle on natural pasture with plants that included a yellow pigment. Real cream, indeed! Desert sand (a very dark shade of beige also referred to as drab and sand dune) has been in use since 1686.Tuscan was first recorded as a color name in English in 1887. Buff, a pale yellow brown color took its name from buffed leather. Again, who knew? The first recorded English use of Khaki as a color occurred in 1948, French Beige in 1927, and Mode Beige in 1928. Interestingly, originally in the 19th century and up until 1930, it is said that the color “ecru” and beige where interchangeable. Ecru comes from the French word Ecru, which means ‘raw’ or ‘unbleached’. Since the 1950’s, perhaps to provide interior designers with a wider palette of colors to select from, the color ecru has been regarded as its own hue. In 2002 the term “Cosmic Latte” was assigned by a team of American astronomers to describe the average color of the universe. Yet again, who knew? The color beige certainly encompasses many shades of pure, natural pigments of classic and timeless color. Beige bliss, indeed.

Consider Beige to create a neutral retreat or palette in the interior or attire. Especially in between seasons, it seems so appropriate to add a neutral coating as nature changes around us. Whether muted shades of Cream or French Beige or deeper shades of Khaki or Desert Sand, there is certainly a hue within the tonal variations that will find us covering our world and ourselves in style. A classic shade that adheres to embellishments and textures. A perfect shade for September. And about that “Pop” of color? Beige is a perfect backdrop. Alas, it is so not boring! Who ever said “Boring Beige” in the first place? As always, personal style creates a stylish ability to successfully and favorably use these shades. Tone on tone of deep rich neutrals are simple, yet so sharp. I say, add a steaming cup of cafe latte, turn the pages of an inspiring book, and enjoy the changes of the world around you, while basking in the purely straightforward, uncomplicated and natural shades of beige…


“It’s my color-beige!” – Elise De Wolfe


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