Curating a beautifully beige bedroom palette
7 min read
Last Modified 6 December 2023 First Added 20 September 2023
Beloved for its versatility and easy-going hue, beige is a staple of interior design.
From the terracotta vases of the Ancient Greeks to laid-back modern interiors, this earthy neutral has long remained a design classic. With its variety of shades, it’s ideal for both warming up white spaces and adding depth to moodier palettes.
Yet, despite its history and flexibility, there are risks attached. When used without intent, it’s easy to end up with an unflattering sea of earth tones that struggle to inspire. To avoid this faux pas, join us as we explore beige colour theory and the best colours to pair with this iconic shade.
As a neutral, beige can come across bland and overly-muted. However, when used with precision, it brings unexpected richness and warmth to living spaces.
Beige is a mix of white, brown, and yellow. But it’s the levels of each infusion that provide beige’s personality. Darker hues – think taupe, cocoa, and hazelnut – add richness and depth to a space, while the lighter end of the spectrum adds balance and refinement. These lighter tones, such as ivory and coconut, are also great for letting brighter primary colours shine.
Whichever hue, beige evokes a sense of the natural world. This can be seen in the word’s origins “from [the] Old French bege [meaning] the natural color of wool and cotton.”
And, of course, it occurs much more widely than this. Here’s what thecolorpsychology.com had to say:
Beige is a naturally occurring color. You can see its tinctures in the shimmering desert sands, as well as the colors of plants or animals. Its appearance is similar to that of human skin [and] is a harmonious foundation color for interiors.
Despite its warm and natural undertones, beige lies outside of the typical colour wheel and therefore doesn’t really have any opposing colours. This is why it’s so easy to pair with a wide variety of tones and shades.
While it can be considered non-commital because of its closeness to other neutrals like white, grey, and brown, there are many ways to bring the shade to life. Let’s explore…
Effortlessly adaptable, using the full spectrum of beige creates a cohesive palette full of character and charm.
When designing a monochrome palette, contrast between shades is key. Use darker hues of beige like biscuit and taupe alongside soft creamy tones like sand or buff. This will create movement in the space, drawing the eye around the room and allowing each shade its time to shine.
In a bedroom or living room, opt for darker furniture to create a focal point and accessorise with lighter shades of white and brown. This layering system will ensure your room looks considered, rather than a bland concoction of muted colours. If you prefer a cooler tone, try a grey bed or sofa and bring in fresh colours of blue and silver with accessories.
Highlights and lowlights are essential in creating a palette with depth and maturity.
Starkly opposing colours are always a fantastic way to create drama and add personality to your design. Beige is typically a light, warm shade, which makes it the perfect companion against nightshade black.
Colour experts from Farrow and Ball are also in favour of this adventurous pairing:
[Consider] intense dark greys and just-off-blacks that, rather than feeling claustrophobic, blur the boundaries of a room, creating instant depth and a cocooning feel.
The bedroom is the perfect space for darker walls or flooring as you want to encourage a more peaceful atmosphere. Cosy up with inviting beige blankets and throw pillows, and use warm-toned lighting, which is softer on the eye. It’s wise to consider how much natural light comes into the space too. If it’s limited, use mirrors and metallic detailing to move sunlight around the room and create the illusion of extra space.
The perfect background colour for vibrant blues, purples, and greens.
Even when taking a more regal approach to your interior design, beige can seamlessly support richer tones and make them shine. The main focal point of your room should be saturated, complementary colours such as blue and orange, green and burgundy, and purple and yellow.
Given these are such rich combinations, a creamy beige will provide a subtle anchor point, bringing harmony to the palette.
Use sumptuous fabrics like velvet or satin for the furniture and curtains, and finish with gold or copper accents to truly indulge in a more maximalist design.
Add a spring to your step with bright, invigorating yellow undertones.
This is the perfect approach for a space that has a lot of natural light, as it will make the room feel much bigger and really highlight the golden hues in your decor. Beige already has touches of yellow, so it’s a harmonious transition into purer shades of lemon, corn, and saffron.
To round out this palette, consider a mustard or ochre statement wall, which will bring a contrasting brown. Yellow is also a great colour to play with patterns – try a floral motif or stripes for added personality.
Embrace beige’s roots by using tones and materials found across the natural world – from wicker lampshades to terracotta floors, the possibilities are endless.
The ultimate homage to the diverse palette found on our doorstep, beige is a fundamental colour in nature. It can be found in extreme environments, from sandy deserts, leafy woodlands, and rocky wildernesses, lending itself to all manner of aesthetics and atmospheres.
With this approach, you have some wonderful textures available to add vibrancy to your design. For fabrics, look to natural wool, linen, faux fur, and even silk, while sandstone or zellige tiles add a rough, one-of-a-kind finish to the space. When using mirrors or prints, try to find abstract shapes and patterns to evoke an organic motif.
Analogous red and yellow undertones make it easy to blend beige and pink, allowing a harmonious palette from the softest pastels to dusky rose.
Balance the careful beige with playful pink for a surprisingly amicable pairing that brings both sophistication and creativity to a space. Whether you choose a timeless, neutral base or go bolder with dominant pink, they work concordantly. Accessorise with rusty shades of red, mauve, and brown to create a developed palette.
Enjoy slower living with a lush green palette that brings the outside in.
With so many unique shades of green to centre your design around, beige is an ideal pairing, whichever direction you take. For a natural approach, try earthy sage and sandy beige, both gentle hues that have opposing undertones which match seamlessly. Alternatively, cooler greens like teal and veridian will introduce the fresh, tranquil properties of blue into your space. As in the above moodboard by Hunters Homemade, the earthiness of these two tones pairs well with natural materials like wicker and bamboo.
Thery’re also great for combining with a domestic jungle of vibrant indoor plants. Take a look at the top bedroom plants to help you sleep and bring the outdoors into the bedroom. Maximise vertical space with taller options like mature Rubber Plants or add intrigue through hanging pots of Golden Pothos and Devil’s Ivy.