Vancouver Colour Expert reveals What Everyone should know about Beige!

Understanding Undertones Color Wheel - Maria Killam

There are 5 undertones of beige (shown above). And the three that are most common are pink beige, yellow beige and green beige.

Here are the ones that don’t work together.

When can you decorate with pink and yellow?? In nature, with flowers. Inside of interior design, this means, clean fresh palettes only if you are combining pink and yellow:

The House that Lars Built

It’s pink beige and yellow beige that don’t work in the same room.

During the beige trend (way before grey arrived on the scene) I had so many people say to me “Please come and help me choose a beige, I ALWAYS end up with pink on the walls”.

Here’s a great example of pink beige walls and drapes with a yellow sofa that perfectly illustrates what I’ve just said.

When you combine yellow and pink beige or yellow beige and pink beige, it often creates a clean and dirty combination.


Here’s an example from the Tuscan brown trend that was a really common installation.

Yellow beige glazed cabinets with pink beige travertine and yellow beige and gold granite (below).


Here you can see that pink beige backsplash looks dirty when compared to the yellow beige cabinets.

Granite mostly just looks good with plain subway tile. Cream would have worked perfectly here since that would have been the shade of white that would have related to both the countertop and the cabinets.

Elle Decor

Here the two loves seats are yellow beige and the sofa is green beige. They don’t clash but it looks like someone didn’t want to commit to a colour so they just kept choosing another neutral undertone.

I had a student in my colour theory class who was worried I spent too much time talking about beige and the undertones of beige in our first class. However, as a designer or  DIY homeowner, you must be able to see the difference while the samples are small otherwise it’s too late once your flooring or drapery has been installed.

If you would like to learn the difference so that you can walk into any space and know what is not working and how to fix it, become a True Colour Expert by attending one of my live workshops!

What’s the undertone of the sofa in this interior by Jamie Drake? Now you’ll know!

Download my eBook, How to Choose Paint Colours: It’s All in the Undertones to learn how to get colour to do what you want.

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

To make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!

If you would like to learn to how choose the right colours for your home or for your clients, become a True Colour Expert.

Related posts:

What everyone should know about Gray

Clean vs. Dirty Colours

Three ways to describe Colour


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  1. Would you say Paris Rain, Porter Paints, a grayish green, is a “sage” green. Love this color, but is it now dated…it coming back?

  2. Oh My! I feel like I am doomed! We have travertine floors with our cabinets, built ins and stairs all in maple (yellow). Can any wall color bring these two No No’s together.

  3. Hello Maria! I have enjoyed reading your blog, especially the articles regarding trends and de-tuscanizing a home. My home was built in 2014 and is Mediterranean architecture. Not sure if I have a question maybe a statement. I think the exterior and interior of a home should be complimentary. While my home is brighter due to furnishings it does have many Mediterranean throughout
    which makes sense given the exterior.