Interior Color Inspirations: The Subtle Elegance of Neutral Beige

Warm Shades With  Distinction:  Beige Within The Interior
Warm Shades With Distinction: Beige Within The Interior

Beige. That creamy and soothing color that emulates nature. A neutral shade commonly used as a “default” color within interiors, “Beige” certainly deserves our full attention with it’s natural and calming appeal. Perhaps with the pending arrival of the Fall season, the neutral palette becomes even more appealing. A season that perhaps calls for a toned down, neutral palette before the arrival of the rich, deep hues that Autumn brings. Beige bliss. The neutral shades of beige cover many variations and depths of subdued hues which can blanket our interiors. A fresh change in which a myriad of tones and textures can be brought in to our interior world…

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. “unbleached silk” refers to one of the Japanese traditional colors in use since 660 BC. Aged and timeless! 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 of 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 adore that one!). The power of color and its variations of hues!!

History stands behind each of these variations of this subtle, natural color
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 which 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.

Subtle & Luxurious Beige
Subtle & Luxurious Beige
The Natural Hue Of Beige:  Understated Style
The Natural Hue Of Beige: Understated Style

Earth tones and various shades of the hue that is referred to as “Beige” are certain to be appreciated by all. The glory of beige is perhaps in its ability to pay homage to the decor that surrounds it. Rich and warm, the color beige beautifully coats traditional and modern spaces. With its elegance and richness, the layers upon layers of beige are certainly a calming visual delight. Without doubt, the neutral palette brings the focus onto the lines of the furniture as well as the decoration and details of embellishment within a space.

Consider Beige to create a neutral retreat within the interior. Especially in between seasons, it seems so appropriate to add a neutral coating as nature begins to change the world 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 in interior style. A classic shade that adheres to embellishments and textures. A seasonless hue, for certain. And if there remains a need for a “Pop” of color? Beige is a perfect backdrop. Alas, beige is never common. Rather, personal style creates a stylish ability to successfully and favorably use these neutral shades within the interior. A personal statement of style against a backdrop of natural and soothing beige. Tone on tone of deep rich neutrals are simple, yet so sharp. Consider basking in the purely straightforward, uncomplicated and natural shades of beige. Saturated style of natural appeal. Whether paired with contrasting embellishments of striking style or monochromatic saturation in beige bliss, there is a shade of beige tone of personal choice. Distinction of a natural and subtly elegant hue, indeed…


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


2 thoughts on “Interior Color Inspirations: The Subtle Elegance of Neutral Beige

  1. Love the last photo of the rumpled bed with the moody art, rustic side table and the bright leafy branches! Great mix and contrast with the formal architecture. Beige is so soft and calming in this bedroom!

    1. Thank you for sharing, Allison! I, too, love that image. Understated style paired with contrasting details. Beige truly is soft and calming- and stunning against the architectural details it is layered within, indeed…

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