In Praise of (Latte) Pink Beige

Anyone who regularly reads my blog knows how I feel about pink beige (and now the 17 True Colour Experts from my class these past 3 days can see it a mile away as well) you’ll never find it in any of my interiors. And it’s because it’s the most limiting undertone to work with.  It completely cancels out any shade of yellow or orange and was big in the 80’s paired with teal and burgundy.  So if you inherited it in your house (or want to update what you have), here are some images that will help you turn it from dirty into  happy:

The pink beige carpet in this living room has not been repeated in the decorating (and I think it should be) it looks a little like it’s being ignored right now but it still looks good with the blue furniture and dark walls).
Here (above) it’s paired with turquoise and red. Red is in the family of pink so it works, and almost any shade of blue goes with it.
Here it’s the chaise and pattern in the chair but again blue is the colour it works with the best.
In this bedroom above, it looks great with cream and here (below) again with blue and white:
And below with purple and blue (in the rug).
By the way I have taupe (which I think is a mixture of gray and beige) in a different category than pinky beige, but most people call this colour taupe or mushroom.
Having my course at Gregory’s Paint & Flooring in John’s Creek, Atlanta this weekend was perfect because we spent some time looking at tile and carpet talking about which colours worked with certain undertones.  Rebecca (owner of the store) brought over a common tile in pinky beige and said it was in many homes locally.


The conclusion I have come to over the years is that on first glance a small square of tile, paint or wood stain (above) looks warm and neutral.  People think, it kind of looks light brown–that has to be the most neutral colour right? But then when it’s all over your floors, you notice (with dismay) that what you actually have is a pink beige floor or wall or sofa.
So if it’s in your carpet or tile, fixtures in your bathroom and it’s bossing you around, either go so dark with the wall colour that it starts to look indistinguishable or bring in the blue, cream, and/or red so that it looks current.

If you want to make sure you get your undertones right, download my ebook here.

If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, contact me.

To make sure you get your colours right in your next consultation, get some large samples!

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leave aREPLY

  1. True…that's an ugly color..I used to have all these color rules…Now I simply think all colors can be rescued by mixing it with another. Perhaps there's beauty in all of them?

  2. Maria,

    It's funny how a certain color can set us off. We are more complex than we realize and our whole existence relies on colors and feelings. Color relationships tone a room up or down.


  3. Brillante Interiors

    No taupe in my past, present, future life, but for clients as you said sometimes you have to work around it.

  4. Hi Anonymous,
    The reason I don't list the list of beige's on my blog is then it wouldn't be the same 'aha moment' for anyone doing my course. When I would clip them out individually and give them to my students in college to assemble they would have it done in 5 minutes and it was no big deal.

    Now I just throw the unclipped chips in an envelope and it takes almost an hour for my participants to cut and paste them and it's a really great learning experience inside the context of my course.

    Which is why they have to stay there.

  5. love your blog! amazing layouts. keep up the incredible work! – your style is beautiful. definitely following 🙂

    please check out my brand new blog if you get a chance & follow!


  6. Hello Maria,
    You have shown me that I could live with Pinky-Beige, I just need a colourist with your eye to match it up! Thanks.

  7. Maria,
    I have learned so much from your blog (after I found it I went back and read ALL your old posts—loved them all!!). I took the list of your favorite go-to colors (from your newsletter) to my BM paint store to get an idea of the different undertones of beige.

    Unfortunately most of the colors that you listed are no longer available here in the US.

    Do you have a current Pinky Beige /Greeny Beige /Yellow Beige that we could get at the paint store?


  8. Hi Maggie,
    yes they are in this post and if you go into back issues of my Newsletter I wrote one about the Insider Secrets to beige.

    If you look up the names of the CC colours I've listed in my go-to colours, most of them are in the US Classic deck under a different number.
    Hope this helps,

  9. I was confused by the title of this post!!! )))) great info – thank you again for imparting your expertise with us this week in Atlanta

  10. Interesting… you know, my boss flips houses as a second income and he says that beige with a slight pink undertone is "the" color to paint the walls. Now, these are not high-dollar houses by any means, but they have been selling!

  11. I have never had an issue with pinky beige but I LOVE ur examples above. I thought the blue was my favorite until I saw the pink!

  12. Hi Maria
    I stumbled upon your blog when I googled ‘how to downplay beige’. Even though it looks like this post is over a year old, I just had to tell you that your pics are fabulous! You’ve inspired me with rich blues to downplay beige.

    Just a question, though, would you apply the same colour palattes to toning down builders beige bathroom tile? I have beige tiles in my new home’s shower stall, espresso-coloured cabinetry and Pure White Caesarstone countertops. The beige was a poor choice, and now I want to paint the walls something to make it appear less beige.

    Any advice would be so appreciated !!

  13. Hello,
    I just stumbled upon this post quite by accident, but it’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one who has trouble with pink-beige. We purchased a sofa and arm chair in that color–it’s actually pretty nice 🙂 I didn’t realize at the time that it wouldn’t mix well with the neutral paint. (BM 1038) which was already on the walls. What neutral would you choose to go with the pinky beige? I’d like to keep it neutral to complement the plum-colored leather armchair, and I’ll pull colors from the adjoining rooms, using drapes pillows throw rug.

  14. I love scouring your blog, I always learn something new. The current issue I am having is my house is fully drenched in Latte {or, as I know it now, Pink-Beige} It is all well coordinated, but since it is due for repaint, I wanted to try to go grey. I have been pouring over paint decks for days, is taupe the best way to bring this grey trend into my home?

  15. The pink-beige carpeting of picture number two looks about the same as my kitchen tile floor and counter tops! Maple wood custom cabinets. And now finally a solution that I understand to make it work. Have to find a blue that looks good! Thank you so very much for all your time and effort.

  16. Hi! I just wanted you to know how much I love your thoughts and ideas. I began reading your blog when I was building my new home and struggling over which white to choose. You make so much sense and are so down to earth. Just wanted to know I appreciate you and your work. God bless you!