Your Best Decor Bets for Battling Beige Walls

published Aug 10, 2015
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(Image credit: Elizabeth Giorgi)

Living in a home with beige walls that have to stay beige, for whatever reason? Beige walls do not have to mean boring. In fact, beige can look downright delightful when complemented by the right furnishings. If you’re struggling with a beige wall you don’t love, here are some decor ideas you can try to help make your space go from beige to bold.

But before you start: know your beige. Really study your beige in many lights to determine what its undertone is. Is it a warm, yellow-y beige? A cool, grayish beige? A barely-there beige? Or a deep, khaki-colored beige? Knowing which direction your beige is already headed in will help.

Use pattern to complement and add interest

Nothing quiets the boring-ness of beige like pattern — and a large amount of it. Experiment with temporary fabric wallpaper on an accent wall to help punch up a room bathed in beige, or invest in really bold, patterned curtains if you have a lot of windows. The punctuation of pattern in a beige room will help distract — just take the advice above about being sure to find the right colors that will complement your beige and not make it feel dirty or drab.

Make sure your light is right and bright

Because beige can go dingy when a lot of shadows are involved, make sure your room’s light — natural and artificial — is as bright as it can be and that the color of your artificial light complements your beige’s tones (and doesn’t make it feel like an office building).

Let your furniture do the coloring

It’s the best advice for any home that needs color when the walls can’t be colored: let your furniture carry the color torch. Just be sure to create balance with art or other design elements so it doesn’t look like a lot of great, colorful furniture in a beige box.

→ Who Says Neutral Is Best?: Rooms Featuring Sofas in Every Color

(Image credit: Elissa Crowe)

Go with gray and other organic neutrals

If your beige is warm enough, you can really create a sophisticated space by incorporating a lot of warm grays and other cream and beige neutrals in the space, being sure to invest in a lot of textures. Going with a beige that’s lighter or darker than your wall’s beige in other parts of the room will make your wall color feel intentional.

Use them like gallery walls for show-stopping art

If they were a clean, crisp white, how would you treat your walls? You might find inspiration in bold art, bringing large canvases or maybe creating a gallery wall with so many pieces it becomes the focal point in a room. The trick with mixing beige walls with art is making sure the colors in your art don’t have beiges in them or colors that will fight with your beige.

You’ll have to explore your beige in particular to know what it likes and what it doesn’t like— some colors will make it seem more drab while others will brighten it up. You can get some paint chip samples of cool and warm colors from the hardware store to tape up on your wall in different lights to see which ones make your beige walls feel more palatable. Then you can use the paint chips that work to find or DIY art in the same colors.