You don’t want white but you don’t want “color” so you go with a beige, tan, off-white, etc. Whether you are putting your house up for sale or rent and want it to be as universally appealing as possible or whether you want to showcase the art and décor in your house, these six colors provide you with that understated neutral you’ve been looking for. Too many people have found that they thought they had the perfect beige only to get it on the wall and have it pull pink or purple – few things are worse if you are looking for a neutral. These are the kinds of colors that play well with others and blend flaws better than white.
Light: Benjamin Moore 967 Cloud White
This color is barely more than a tinted white and the name is very fitting for the color. It reminds me of the scene in Girl with the Pearl Earring where Vermeer asks his muse what color the clouds are, she says white of course, but looks again and sees all the color in the depths of the clouds: yellow ocher, violet, and blue. This is that off-white that lets those other colors shine.
Medium: Benjamin Moore 957 Papaya
Gerrie Bremermann says this color looks like “homemade vanilla ice cream with a little caramel in it” (House Beautiful). It is a warm neutral that is very soft, subtle, and sophisticated. The medium tone makes it more than a tinted white but still light enough to allow your décor to set the tone.
Dark: Sherwin Williams 6141 Softer Tan
This is a beautiful light tan, like a barely toasted almond. It has warmth but not the pink cast that so easily happens with tans. This tends towards the more golden cast that makes it a lovely counterpoint to white trim and brings out the richness in warm woods.
Gray: Benjamin Moore HC-172 Revere Pewter
This is muted beige looks silvery in some lights and taupe in others. It is an easy cool beige to do especially with its medium tone. Always a winning combination with a white trim and definitely sophisticated.
Unusual: Benjamin Moore 2142-60 November Rain
This is a great beige but also a little unusual because it is part of the “dry sage” family that got lightened to almost an off-white but then got a little extra cool brown added. The effect is as cool and refreshing as the brown, green, gray and white got mixed together in a unique combination that makes for a great neutral in a room with green accents.
Favorite: Sherwin Williams 6148 Wool Skein
This is my favorite beige because it is so neutral and versatile. It is in the khaki family and is so successful because it straddles the warm/cool fence by being a warm beige that got some grey mixed in. I love using this in cool pallets to prevent things from getting to cold and icy looking. It is an excellent background color and pops in a dark pallet without being loud.