Any good designer knows that beige is anything but boring. It’s an essential building block of interior design and a neutral canvas on which to build quality room decor.
Ironically, the thing that makes accessible beige more interesting than other shades is its neutrality.
A good accessible beige is incredibly versatile and useful, and here’s why.
So, What Color is Accessible Beige, Exactly?
Though this may seem like a silly question, the answer is rather complicated. The term beige covers a wide range of colors and has many different undertones, ranging from warm to cool. Some are yellow-gray, while others contain little yellow and will appear brownish gray.
Accessible beige, with its hint of red, sits close to the color taupe, and many use it in place of a warm white. It is a truly neutral color that sits well with almost anything.
It has surprising green undertones. These are most obvious when the color is set against a color with the contrasting undertone of pink. However, it is subtle, and don't worry, it will not be a strong component of this shade.
The tone is definitively warm, marking a contrast from beige colors that are grayer and therefore cooler in tone. Although it is technically yellow, it lacks the yellow undertones that many ‘true’ beige colors have, creating a more interesting shade of color.
This can be heavily affected by the light that it sits under, and so the amount of lighting that will shine on your painted surface will heavily affect its appearance.
This is something to heavily consider when painting with accessible beige, and it is good to test what the color will look like throughout the day with different lighting.
How Does Lighting Affect Accessible Beige?
The level of lighting, both natural and artificial, in your home will give a different appearance to the color of paint you choose. The light changes in your home across the day and this will reveal different tones in the paint that you apply to your walls.
This is because each paint has a certain amount of light that it absorbs, and a certain amount of light that it reflects. This is known as the LRV, or ‘light reflective value.’ The LRV of accessible beige is 58, slightly above the midpoint of the scale which goes from 0 to 100.
This means that the paint does not need to have as much natural light as some paint with lower LRVs to stop it from appearing dull and gloomy on the walls of your home, but the light it does reflect will reveal different tones within the paint itself.
In very brightly lit rooms the beige will show through more of its green undertones and the color will appear predominantly like a creamy white. It will also look warmer. Against lower levels of light, the color will show through a little more gray and the color will appear cooler.
When painting your home, remember that north-facing rooms will receive less natural light and therefore appear a little grayer if you paint them in this color.
What Colors Pair Well With Accessible Beige?
Many design guides will tell you that accessible beige is versatile enough to match any shade. While this is almost true, the one shade I would advise against is pairing it alongside any surface with undertones of pink.
As mentioned above, accessible beige has slight green undertones and these are drawn out by shades with pink undertones. Especially avoid painting a room if the flooring has pink undertones, as many hardwood floors and tiles do.
Dark greys with green undertones themselves, however, match wonderfully with accessible beige and are highly recommended to use with this color. Dark blues, blacks, and bronze tones also pair well.
Another great match with accessible beige is a true white. If you have much experience in home decor, you likely know that white paints are rarely truly white and often have a tinge of gray, yellow, or beige in them.
True white tones sit perfectly with accessible beige though. One of the most popular options is to use it for the trim against walls painted in this color. You can also use it for counters, cabinets, floors, and other furnishings.
Where Should You Use Accessible Beige?
Accessible beige has the versatility to be used throughout the home and can be used in anything from the kitchen to a children’s nursery.
You can also use this tone on the exterior of the building. In fact, painting the exterior of your home in this tone will give it a wonderful sandstone appearance and a timeless charm.
As mentioned above, this paint can appear cooler in darker areas, and the gray and brown tones of the paint can come through more strongly. Whilst you can use the paint without reservation in a space with abundant light, use caution in areas of lower light.
If you are unsure of whether accessible beige will suit the space you are designing, you can use a peel-off sample to test the light in the room. Make sure you pay attention to the light at different times of the day and see if it has the look you want.
Never judge a tone by simply looking at it on a screen or in a catalog, as this will never replicate what the paint will look like on the wall of your home, set against different colors and in completely different lighting conditions.
This video by designer Jacob Owens will show you how the same paint can appear very different in different spaces.
What Colors Are Similar to Accessible Beige?
The most similar color to accessible beige is widely considered to be ‘Agreeable Gray‘. Colors can be expressed by a combination of three color values: red, blue, and green.
These two tones have the same red value, and very similar green and blue values. Their LRV value is also very similar, varying by just 2 points. These two tones can show just how much difference these small differences can make, as they both certainly have their own place in interior design.
Agreeable Gray is decidedly lighter than accessible beige. It has also just the tiniest touch, more yellow in it, and a touch grayer. Accessible Gray is what is known as a greige, a gray beige. Accessible beige is not considered greige.
Agreeable Gray is a great replacement for an accessible beige wall if you want to keep the level of neutrality that accessible beige gives but add a slightly cooler tone. This can be helpful if you are trying to match other fixed appliances, or for creating a different mood in the design.
Sherwin Williams Natural Tan also bears many similarities but has more tones of yellow within. This means it does not always carry the same depth as accessible beige. However, in smaller, darker rooms where accessible beige is falling flat, this can be a great choice to use instead.
Revere Pewter is another tone very like accessible beige. When next to each other, you’ll see that both colors have similar gray overtones, but Revere Pewter is a much cooler color. This is another great option if you want a cooler tone in your design.
Accessible beige is a truly neutral tone that will work well in almost any space that has a large amount of light and no surfaces with pink undertones.
If you want to use accessible beige in your home, make sure that you test it out first to get an accurate idea of how it will look.
Use this paint to create a great backdrop and complete the design with other neutral tones and splashes of color for a sophisticated design that will work for any room in the house.