Vancouver Colour Expert reveals What Everyone should know about Beige!

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:




It’s pink beige and yellow beige that DO NOT WORK in the same room. I have had many women say to me “Please come and help me pick a beige, I ALWAYS end up with pink on the walls”. Perfect example of this was the decor at Spa Utopia in North Vancouver where I snapped some photos to show you:




See the tile in this change room? It’s yellowy, creamy beige, not a spec of the wall colour in it. The wall colour looks mostly brown and warm to everyone. How you know you’re about to choose a shade similar to this for your tile or wall-to-wall carpeting is it looks warmer than the rest of the beige tones. And it is, but this shade of beige is also very limiting, here is a closer view:

BM HC-77 Alexandria Beige

BM HC-77 Alexandria Beige (wall colour)

In the photo the floor tile looks cream and innocuous but it actually is quite yellow. As I’ve said in a previous post, beige is either yellow, green or pink. See the yellow in the ottoman above? That’s how you can tell the wall colour has a red undertone, because it’s not green is it? Nor is it yellow. My guess is this wall colour is close to Benjamin Moore’s HC-77 Alexandria Beige as shown above.

BM HC-48 Bradstreet Beige

BM HC-48 Bradstreet Beige

If it was any lighter, such as HC-48 Bradstreet Beige, it would have really looked bad with the yellow tile. Why? Yellow beige, next to pinky beige looks dirty. If you have ever painted the walls in your house a colour you KNEW looked wrong but couldn’t figure out why? Your new furniture arrived and it looked old? This is one of the reasons why.

BM HC-95 Sag Harbour Gray

BM HC-95 Sag Harbour Gray

By the way the grout had a green undertone (not so obvious in the photo) but it was something close to HC-95 Sag Harbour Gray:

The colour that would have been closer to the tile is HC-26 Monroe Bisque which would have been a better choice to coordinate with the undertones in the tile:

BM HC-26 Monroe Bisque

BM HC-26 Monroe Bisque

You can see it now right? If you look at all three of them at once it’s easy. And I’ve given you the most obvious comparison.

By the way, I don’t think the whole spa should have matched the tile, (that would have been way too monochromatic) I think the tile could have been a better match to the wall colour.
I have a student in my current colour theory class this semester 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 taking one of my workshops!


Trick question? 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?