Tags: greige

Office is Painted

Horray, it was painted yesterday.  The painter did an excellent job!   Now to move everything back in.


What did it look like before?  It was the builder’s beige (Kilim Beige).  See all the sample colors on the wall?


Ignore all that junk.  I just didn’t want to clean it all up prior to moving all of the furniture out.

Now, it’s a warm gray, BM’s Senora Gray.  Here it is in progress.


And, an after shot, one more time.  I loved the Ben Moore Regal paint.  Low VOC, paint and primer in one.  Costs a little more, but one gallon covered this whole room and it just took one coat!  Good stuff.  I bought a second can which I’ll now need to use in other rooms.  Bummer, huh?   Can’t wait.


If you aren’t convinced the color is that different, take a look from just outside the door where the beige is still on the wall (for the time being).

Office-016 Office-013

Can you see the faint greige strip on the builder’s beige in the first picture above?  That’s the color for the rest of the house’s main area.  Though I loved the BM paint, in the main area, I may end up having my custom mix done with Sherwin Williams HGTV line.  It’s a little less expensive and when you’re doing a large area, it adds up.  And, it’s no VOC.

I love the greige!  It’s softer, more soothing, more contemporary and brighter.  Can’t wait to do the rest of the house in a similar (custom) color.

What other plans do we have for the room?  Well, we’ll put the vintage mid-century modern L-shaped desk back in, towards the right side of the room.  Curtains will go up.  Perhaps some sort of rug.  A giant white board made from a sheet of acrylic on the wall shown to the right in the photo (back wall).   Antlers and such (hubby is a hunter) on the wall across from the window that is over the credenza portion of the desk.  A chair in that left corner that isn’t visible in the photos with a table next to it.  I’d love a tall bookshelf behind the chair, but there is a light switch there that would have to be relocated, so probably just art or a mirror behind the chair.

Colors?  I’m not sure other than his Red Rover dog.  But, definitely some blue since that’s the color that is consistent throughout the home.  One step at a time.

To keep you inspired, here are some finished offices that we love.  They are all over the map.  They have nothing to do with what we are doing in the space, but I love them.

image image

image image

This is one of those spaces where ultimately function always wins out over form since my husband works daily from this office.  So, it’s all about making sure it’s functional for him.  But, I’m convinced we can couple that with pretty, even if a few monitors and wires are showing!


Greige Week – Poster Board Tip – Does it Work?

The DIY Network (thank you for writing about my chair!) has a commercial running that suggests painting colors on a poster board and then moving them from room to room.  Sherry Hart  of Design Indulgence recommended a similar concept with foam board.  It is a great idea for sure.  I hear Sherwin Williams even has very large swatches that you can order if you call them.   This trick allows the colors to not mess up your pretty walls and makes them portable.  Let’s see how well it works.

I tried a few recommended Benjamin Moore paint colors in our office in the yesterday’s post and decided that I liked BM’s Senora Gray.  I also like Behr’s Sandstone Cliff.  It’s similar to Senora Gray that I liked in the last post, but a tiny bit more beige and maybe a hair lighter. It also has a very slight green undertone, like Senora Gray, but it’s not very visible.

Let’s take a closer look at it on the wall when compared to BM’s Senora Gray, but let’s try the poster board trick along with it.


The paint does make the poster board a little soggy, but not bad.

Can you see how the same color can look a tad different on the white poster board than on a wall that is painted a color other than white?  In person, the Sandstone Cliff looked more beige on the poster board and more gray on the actual wall.


The Senora Gray looked just a little different.  A tad more beige on poster board.

If you can’t tell, the Sandstone Cliff is basically just a lighter version of the Senora Gray.   They work very well together.  We may use both, in different rooms of the house.

We carried the poster board around the house to look at it in warm light, cool light and natural light. The color it was painted on (white poster board versus current wall color) made as much of an impact as the lighting!  In person, it’s a bigger difference than I was able to capture in these images.

Something to note for sure. So, though painting on poster board is a good idea, ultimately, you need to paint the sample color on your wall before you decide, unless you plan to prime the wall in white before painting.

And, now, let’s look at the poster boards in my family room, on the mantle so we can see it in a different light and what difference that makes.


The Senora Gray is on the left and the Sandstone Cliff is on the right. The Sandstone Cliff (Behr) looks very beige in here. So, lighting also matters.

And, below, with the front poster board (Sandstone Cliff) just moved behind the candlestick holder, it already looks more gray!  So, lighting, folks… even slight changes can make an impact.

Photo Aug 05, 10 05 09 AM (HDR)

It’s subtle, but the color is a little different on the white poster board (and paint swatch) than on the wall when it’s painted over the current beige wall color.  .

So, in conclusion, the poster board worked great, though you will want to consider the color you are painting over on your walls and if it’s not white, try the paint on it first, before deciding.

Within a couple of hours, I purchased paint samples to try, had paint on the wall, paint on poster boards and was able to determine the best shades for my home.  Hopefully with this series, you can too!  I posted a list of paint colors suggested by design bloggers (by brand) a couple of days ago to get you started on choosing a greige.  Check it out!

What greiges are you trying?  Do you have any tips?  Does the poster board trick work well for you?


Greige Week – Ben Moore On My Wall

I talked about greiges all week and ended the week with a list of go-to greiges from various design bloggers.  The colors are listed alphabetically by brand.

I thought I would sacrifice our office wall in order to show you some of the suggested choices.  Nah, really I needed to choose a greige for that room anyway and thought I’d try some of these.  And, since I am not as familiar with Benjamin Moore colors being that the closest store that sells Benjamin Moore is half an hour away, I thought I’d try some Benjamin Moore paint suggestions out.

I went to Ace and got 1 free quart of Clark Kensington paint (it’s a special today, so go get your free quart if you haven’t), then I used a coupon for two free pint sizes of Benjamin Moore paint.    Yay.


I had the quart mixed as Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter since that had been recommended so many times lately.  You also see the white acrylic craft paint there because they can’t do 50% mixtures in the pint size.  So, I made my own 50% mixture of one of these.


Thought you may want to see some Benjamin Moore colors together on a wall, right next to each other.

Paint colors don’t always look just like the swatch does in the store (with the flourescent lighting there), of course.  They vary from home to home, room to room.   It depends on lighting (how much and cool or warm), surrounding colors, and even what color you are painting over.  Are you priming or painting over an existing color?

What did we think about these colors?

All were good greiges.  None were bad.  But, it depends on what you are looking for in your space.  So, we had to determine which was right for us.

We thought Gray Owl read a little blue in person, though you cannot tell here.

Revere Pewter didn’t have any obvious undertones showing, but it read cooler and grayer than we wanted.  It was nice, though.

Edgecomb Gray actually read almost white in person.  Darn it, I cannot get the photo colors just right, but if you look close, it’s not too far from the chair rail molding.

Rockport Gray was nice and very warm, almost brown.  A slight hint of a purple undertone, but not much.  Very nice, but too dark.

So, we tried Rockport Gray at 50% or approximated that by mixing in white.  Better, but still a tad of a purplish undertone to it and a little cooler than we wanted.

Senora Gray has a slight green undertone, but read as a nice warm gray.  Still very neutral.  Remember, we talked about in the first post on greiges how green grays tend to read best in rooms (it’s under the summary numbered 1-3, gray, beige and greige).

We like Senora Gray the best out of these.  Thank you, Dana (Make Them Wonder), for the great suggestion.

What do you think of these Benjamin Moore colors?   Of the Behr color?  Have you already tried some of the great suggestions?  If you haven’t, check the list out here.


Greige Week – Favorite Greiges Summary By Brand

This week we talked about greige undertones and had three days of designers and bloggers sharing their go-to greiges.


Today, I will sum it all up in one post so you have a quick reference.  I definitely encourage you to bookmark or pin this.  It’s guaranteed to come in handy some time.

The colors that were suggested this week are listed below by brand, paint color and the blogger who suggested it.  Those with links will link to images of the color used in rooms.  To get to the blogs of the person suggesting the color, simply go to the link for the color, then click on their blog banner.

Natural Gray by Behr Ultra Plus Premier – Michaela Noelle Designs
Sandstone Cliff – Hyphen Interiors
Ultra Mineral – A Place For Us

Benjamin Moore - Rockport Gray  – Young House Love

Benjamin Moore
Classic Gray – OC-23 – Shannon Berrey Design
Cosmopolitan CSP-100 – Design Indulgence, The Design Pages
Grant Beige HC 83 – Design Indulgence
Edgecomb Gray HC-173 – Spicer and Bank
Elmira White – HC-84 – Shannon Berrey Design
Hazy Skies – 6th Street Design School
Halo – OC-56 – Shannon Berrey Design
London Fog 1541 – Design Sponge
Manchester Tan – View Along The Way
Museum Piece CSP-40 – Design Indulgence
Pashmina – Simple Details
Revere Pewter HC 172 – View Along the Way, Design Indulgence, Crazy Wonderful
Rockport Gray – Young House Love
Senora Gray 1530 – Make Them Wonder
Silver Sage – View Along The Way
Stonington Gray HC-170 – Spicer and Bank
Thunder – The Design Pages
Weimaraner AF-155 – Make Them Wonder

Sherwin Williams – Agreeable Gray – A Thoughtful Place

Farrow and Ball
Hardwick White – Shannon Berrey Design
Light Gray 17 – Design Indulgence
Mouse’s Back 40- Design Indulgence

Martha Stewart
Cobblestone MSL 241 – Design Indulgence
Flagstone MSL 247 – Design Indulgence
Nimbus Cloud – Crazy Wonderful
Sharkey Gray MSL 230 – Design Indulgence

Vapspar – Wild Hawk – Hyphen Interiors

Pratt and Lambert
Lambswool 2269 – Design Indulgence
Seed Pearl- Shannon Berrey Design

Ralph Lauren
Cymric Silver – Simple Details

Restoration Hardware
Stone – Amanda Carol At Home

Sherwin Williams – Zircon 

Sherwin Williams
Agreeable Gray – A Thoughtful Place
Alpaca – Cre8tive Designs Inc
Amazing Gray – My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Black Fox – Happy Roost
Dorian Gray 7017 – The Mustard Ceiling, Happy Roost
Dovetail Gray 7017 – The Mustard Ceiling, Happy Roost
Gauntlet Gray – Happy Roost
Keystone Gray 7504 – Design Indulgence
Mindful Gray – Happy Roost
Perfect Greige SW6073 – Spicer and Bank
Realist Beige – A Place For Us
Repose Grey – Happy Roost
Worldly Gray – Emily A Clark

Benjamin Moore – Hazy Skies – 6th Street Design School

Oatbran – A Place For Us
Wild Hawk – Hyphen Interiors

And, if it’s not shown or linked to here, and you want to see a color in a room, check this site (thanks Sherry Hart!), as it shows many paint colors as they look in actual spaces.

I hope that is a helpful resource.  Thank you again to all the participating bloggers/ designers!


P.S.  I tried a few of the Benjamin Moore suggestions on my wall.

P.S.S. – I just did a complete list of paint color suggestions, by color here (not just greiges).   However, greiges are on here listed by light greiges, medium to dark greiges, while grays are listed separately.

Greige Week – Go-To Greiges – Part 3

Tuesday and Wednesday we had bloggers sharing their favorite greige(s). (Links to the other two days at the bottom.) Today, we have more!



Agreeable Gray by Sherwin Williams

My go to greige is undoubtedly Agreeable Gray by Sherwin Williams. It’s such a fantastic neutral that seems to read well in almost any light or space. It is probably the most used color by my clients as well. I have used it in formal livings rooms, master bedrooms, and most recently in a coastal bathroom. Here is a look at it in a client’s family friendly living room. Megan, from Honey We’re Home, is also a huge fan and has used it in many of her spaces.




Pratt and Lambert Seed Pearl and Farrow and Ball’s Hardwick White

I am a huge fan of the greige trend as it lends itself so beautifully to be completely serene or a soft neutral background for punchy furnishings and fabrics. I tend to lean towards a warm greige {less blue} and some of my favorites are Elmira White {HC-84}, Classic Gray OC-23, and Halo OC-56 {all Benjamin Moore}. Southern Living featured one of my favorite cottages which used 2 great greige colors: Pratt and Lambert Seed Pearl and Farrow and Ball’s Hardwick White.


The greige provides a soft, classic and calm kitchen but offers a beautiful balance to the opposite side of the breakfast nook. Here it combined with dark brown and white zig-zag chairs, a coral sofa and artwork and traditional draperies.





Natural Gray by Behr Ultra Plus Premier

When designing my room, I wanted something that was subtle and still popped the white accents I had throughout the bedroom. I knew I was incorporating lavender accents, so a gray with a purpley undertone was key. This greige color I went with has just the right amount! Warm light makes it appear more gray, and cool light made it look a bit more lavender.

Here’s the color on my walls!




DIY Show Off

Sherwin Williams SW 7044 Amazing Gray

I absolutely love this color and used it in the downstairs bathroom.

It’s perfect when paired with bright white trim it and gives the room the perfect amount of sophistication.




Benjamnin Moore’s Weimaraner AF-155
Weimaraner is my favorite greige to offer clients who are switching from a brown color palette to gray. It has strong brown undertones so it’s not as shocking when passing into the gray movement. Often people are afraid of painting their homes gray for fear of it looking “sterile.” Weimaraner is a great color to use if this is your fear. It’s kind of like the training bra of the gray family!


Another gray I’m a bit partial to is Benjamin Moore’s Senora Gray 1530. This gray has a slight green undertone and is the backdrop of the majority of my own house.

{Make Them Wonder Blog}



Behr Sandstone Cliff

This is the most recent greige I used.  I used it in a staging project.  It’s a very light and airy greige that reads more beige in warm lights and more gray in daylight.  It’s a fabulous color if you like a lighter greige.  And, since not many have given a Home Depot greige, I thought I would!   This home was staged on a massively tight budget and crazy turn around time, so don’t judge.  But worked out well and one of my favorite parts was the wall color!   No one undertone stood out too much which is hard to find.


And, though it is just a phone photo also, I wanted to show the bedroom (like the other room – as much of the room as I could fit in one image on my phone) to show the color in dimmer night lighting.  And, the paint swatch is on the right.

Phone Cam-070 image

Other greiges that I’ve liked include Valspar’s Wild Hawk (more on the beige side) and Colonial Woodlawn (more on the gray side).  I don’t have any greiges in my new house YET.  But, now I know of a lot of colors that I plan to try – starting with my husband’s office.  He’s working from home again and that means we are making his office our next project. 

Below is Valspar’s Wild Hawk in our old family room.



I hope all of you very much enjoyed this series on greige.  If you haven’t be sure to check the first post to truly understand the concept of undertones and what it can mean for how a color appears on your walls.  Thank you so much to all the bloggers that participated and generously shared their favorite greiges.

If you missed them, here are the other posts where other bloggers share their favorite greiges:
Part 1
Part 2
Favorite Greiges by Brand
- Tried Some Ben Moore Greiges on My Wall
- Paint Color Suggestions, Listed By Color  (greiges are on here listed by light greiges, medium to dark greiges and grays are listed separately)

I encourage you to pin your favorites for future reference.


Greige Week – Greige Week – Go-To Greiges – Part 2

Yesterday we had bloggers sharing their favorite greige(s).  Today, we have more!  So, save these for when you need a go-to greige.



Benjamin Moore Hazy Skies

I have used this color in my own home and in a recent model home project. It’s for sure my go to greige! It has a real slight green undertone that I mostly notice at night when my house gets darker.





I totally agree about “greige” being a tough color to get just right. One of the reasons is that paint reflects things like floor and furniture color. And then there is that other problem….what kind of light is in a room. My best recommendation is to paint a piece of core board with 2 coats [very important] let it dry and then put it in the room for a couple of days. Another trick I use it to put it up against white. You can really get a true read when you do that.

So….Here are a few of my favorites.

Martha Stewart
Flagstone MSL 247…..gray with a shot of green
Cobblestone MSL 241….gray with a hint of pink
Sharkey Gray MSL 230….almost perfect!

Martha Stewart Flagstone

Benjamin Moore
Museum Piece CSP-40 from their new Color Stories deck. The samples are actually painted on.
Cosmopolitan CSP-100….Pretty true gray
Grant Beige HC 83
Revere Pewter HC 172

Pratt & Lambert
Lambswool 2269….more of a beige with a hint of gray.

Farrow & Ball
2 of my all time favorite colors are below!
Mouse’s Back #40…rich and dark…great back drob for any color

image  image
Farrow and Ball Mouse’s Back

Light Gray #17….another perfect color.

Sherwin Willams
Keystone Gray 7504….hint of green



Sherwin Williams, SW7017 Dorian Gray

My go-to greige is Sherwin Williams, Dorian Gray. I prefer grays/greiges that have warm undertones and this one is just right. It is soft, warm and inviting.

We painted our living room Dorian Gray and after 3.5 years of living with it I still love it! Almost every other room in our home has been painted multiple times, but I have never grown tired of the living room color.

I have used gray/greige in many of the rooms in our home. A couple of my other favorites are: Olympic Brand color: Quill and Sherwin Williams, SW7018 Dovetail Gray.



Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter

My *favorite* greige is Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter. I painted this color in my master bedroom, and left it that way for all of about twelve seconds before I realized the yellow tones in my carpet were turning my world upside down and I’d have to change it.

But for that twelve seconds? It was pure, unadulterated love and devotion. It’s such a soft, serene greige that changes colors in different lights: revealing the faintest tones of blue and green depending on the time of day. It’s absolute perfection. Please, someone use this paint in memory of my master bedroom, which is now a beautiful soft grey-green: Benjamin Moore Silver Sage. (See it here.)


My master bedroom was also Benjamin Moore Manchester Tan for a brief period just prior to its Silver Sage phase. It’s another beautiful soft greige which leans more beige than gray. (Clearly, I like to completely paint my rooms a minimum of 3.6 times before committing to a color. My husband just loves this habit of mine!)



Anything on this strip at Sherwin Williams – SW7015- SW7020, or Repose Grey to Black Fox

I love these greys because they are true greys; without leaning towards an awkward baby blue or an annoying twinge of green. The black fox is a great color for adding drama to a space. I love that its dark but it has a brown undertone keeping it very warm and cozy. I painted the area above my fireplace with the black fox and I love how my white accents really pop against it!




Thunder (AF-685) by Benjamin Moore

I chose this for a client at a recent colour consultation expecting it to be a greige. Once the painter was finished I realized that this is probably the perfect, elusive gray that we are all looking for. There are no obvious undertones that take over as there normally are with gray. It’s deceiving on the chip though because it looks more greige than gray.

image_thumb18 image_thumb19

If you’re not in love yet then you can also consider my second go-to which is Cosmopolitan (CSP-100) by Benjamin Moore and their new Colour Stories line of paint.


I hope you enjoyed this series on greiges.  Tomorrow, we’ll hear from a few more bloggers!  So, be sure to check back.

What is your favorite greige?

Part 1
Part 3
Favorite Greiges by Brand
Tried Some Ben Moore Greiges on My Wall
Paint Color Suggestions, Listed By Color (greiges are on here listed by light greiges, medium to dark greiges and grays are listed separately)



Greige Week – Go-To Greiges – Part 1

On Sunday, we talked about greiges and undertones.  And, the explanation of what composes a greige helped explain why it can be so hard it can be to find that perfect greige.  I highly encourage you to read that post if you haven’t.

“Greige” is a term coined that represents a mix of gray and beige.  Essentially, it is a warm gray.   This week, I’ll have bloggers share their favorite greige(s) with my readers.  Today, we have six awesome bloggers sharing!  And, more will share on Wednesday and Thursday!



Benjamin Moore’s Rockport Gray

It’s a darker moodier greige, so because it’s not as light and airy, it’s a little more smoky and sophisticated – especially when paired with crisp white trim, and accented with some happy pops of color to keep things interesting




Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter

I just completed the search for the perfect greige for my living room. It can be a challenge, I practically cleaned out the paint stores of their gray swatches. In the end, I chose Revere Pewter.


LOVE how the color turned out. It’s the perfect gray for our home. It has more of a brown undertone to it which warms it up and keeps it from looking blue, green or pink when up on the wall. The paper swatch can be a bit deceiving so I definitely recommend purchasing a small paint sample and seeing it up on a couple different walls. Also (I’d recommend this with any paint sample) watch how it changes throughout the day based on the amount of sunlight the room gets before you make a decision.

Another gray I’ve used in our home is Martha Stewart Nimbus Cloud.


This gray has a blue undertone to it. It works really well in my daughter’s room with the turquoise and pink accents. I gave it a shot in our living room and it ended up being too cold against the black and yellow, so I’d recommend using it in a room that has other cooler colors in it.



Restoration Hardware Stone

My go-to greige is Restoration Hardware’s Stone. It is the perfect blend of gray/beige and makes a great backdrop for any room in your home. I have used it in my personal home as well as homes of my clients.




Benjamin Moore’s Edgecomb Gray #HC-173

I used it in a project in Brooklyn and we were thrilled with the results – the color adds warmth and atmosphere but is not too strong. One of my favorite paint tips is using the same color twice or more in a home, but cut it with Ben Moore Super White in some spaces. Here we used Edgecomb Gray at full strength for the entry and then again in the nearby dining room, but mixed 75% Edgecomb Gray with 25% white. That way the rooms flow beautifully together but you can have more intensity of color where you want it!

image image

I also really love Stonington Gray #HC-170 by Benjamin Moore for a gray that has a bit cooler hue but still works with sand and beige tones and Perfect Greige #SW6073 by Sherwin Williams, an obvious name I know but it’s true!


Simple Details

Cymric Silver by Ralph Lauren

My favorite Greige is Cymric Silver by Ralph Lauren, and almost identical, but more widely used Benjamin Moore’s Pashmina. I used Cymric Silver in my son’s room and just repainted after seven years (definitely a record), and all I could think of while I was covering it up was, “I love this color, where else can I use it?”

Both are warm grays, almost a light taupe.

This dining room is grasscloth, Cymric Silver is just beyond in the foyer.

This photo from Traditional Home reads more cool.

Ralph Lauren Cymric Silver TH09 Amy Bergman   Traditional Home Mag  Gorgeous dining room design with gray grasscloth wallpaper, white wire chandelier, arched doorway, glossy black round dining table, white Tissage Chandelier, Urban Electric Co. Olga Sconces, baker turquoise blue tufted chairs with nailhead trim, gray & blue circles window panels curtains and vine rug.  Ralph Lauren Cymric Silver

A truer representation in my home.

Another greige that I like is Pashmina by Benjamin Moore


Paint Color- Benjamin Moore Pashmina, Curtains - Ikea
houzz.com and projectnursery.com


Oatbran by Valspar

I love this color in my home because it makes my space super light and fresh. I have a lot of windows downstairs and when the light hits this wall color is makes for the perfect neutral backdrop! As you can see in the photos below, sometimes it’s a gray and sometimes its more beige. Which makes it the PERFECT griege in my book!!  You can check out more here on my projects page!

Oatbran by Valspar

Other favorite grieges…Sherwin Williams Realist Beige and Behr Ultra Mineral!

I hope that gives you a few good places to start when finding that perfect color for your home.  What is your favorite greige?

Time to confess – how many paint samples have you gone through when choosing that just right greige?

More go-to greiges tomorrow!

Part 2
Part 3
Favorite Greiges by Brand
Tried Some Ben Moore Greiges on My Wall
Paint Color Suggestions, Listed By Color  (greiges are on here listed by light greiges, medium to dark greiges and grays are listed separately)



Greige Week – Greiges and Undertones

This week is greige week around here.

What is “greige”?   According to the dictionary, it means unfinished or raw.  In the decorating world, it refers to the range of colors that encompass all the variations of grey mixed with beige.  Greige can be very elegant and serves as a great neutral backdrop.  It is the “it” neutral right now.


Grays and greiges are now synonymous with style, sophistication and elegance.

image image
Gray Horse 2140-50 by Benjamin Moore

Today we will break the color greige down.  Then, Tuesday through Thursday, we’ll be hearing from a number of awesome bloggers about their go-to greiges.

Stone Harbor 2111-50 by Benjamin Moore

Let’s talk about gray and then beige.  Gray is any mixture of black and white.


That said, most grays include more than just black and white.

What’s with all this undertone talk, then?

Color can be added to a mixture of black and white (gray), and the undertone of the added color(s) may be almost indistinguishable to the eye, thus still appearing gray, as long as they are not the dominant color.


The more of the other color you add (above, that color is blue), the more obvious the undertone becomes.

The undertone can be any color, but to stay on the gray side of the scale, the color needs to remain cool, so that means the dominant color needs to be either purple, green or blue, like the original black and white had.   Most of the time, in the end, though, multiple colors are added, with one being the main undertone, keeping it on the cool side.

Remember greige is a mix of gray and beige, right?  So, let’s talk about beige next.

Now that we covered gray as being black and white, maybe with a cool undertone.  Beige is basically any version of light brown which has a warm undertone naturally.

To make brown you simply add complements from the color wheel.  It’s all based on the primary colors red, yellow and blue being mixed with something across the color wheel from itself.  Remember, in the example below, purple is still a mix of two primaries (red and blue).


Adding any two complementary colors together always makes a brown.  But, adding different combinations of those complements is what creates different undertones that can be predominantly yellow, red, or orange.


What else is in beige?  White.  White serves to lighten up the brown to a beige.


Beige has white plus red and/or yellow plus blue, in general.

Now about greige…  It’s simply a mix of the gray that we talked about earlier with beige.

Since we have all the other colors already in the beige mixture, to get greige, you simply add black to a beige mixture (the white part of gray is already present).


So in a nutshell, greige is white, black and some combination of the primary colors that dominate on the warm side (brown).

And, now, all that undertone crap starts to all makes sense, huh?  It all depends on what colors are being added to it and in what quantities.

To review:

1.  Gray.  Cool with a blue, purple, or green tint.


As discussed above, gray contains one of three undertones – purple, green or blue.  Green based blues generally appear the most neutral on walls.

Blue based greys are most commonly used and are the coolest.  Many start here and end up using a gray that is less blue as these undertones can quickly come out making a room read blue rather than the intended silver.

Purple toned grays are used least frequently as they easily clash with other tones such as wood tones.

2.  Beige.  Warm, with a red, orange or yellow undertone.


3.  Greige.  Warm but contains black.


When you are looking at a color, you need to look at the subtle undertones to determine how well it will play with other things in the room.

Now you can see what makes up a greige.  And, due to all the colors that can be involved, that’s why it’s so tricky when choosing grays, beiges and greiges.  Darn undertones.  They have to go with the other elements in the room and the undertones need to not be too dominant so the color still appears neutral.

Ask what the predominant colors are when you have them mixed.  And, try holding the color up to a pure white and a blue.

Zircon 7667 by Sherwin-Williams

And, be sure to also consider the saturation.  If you like a color, but want it lighter, you can have it diluted.  How dark do you want your greige?  I like mid-tones as they contrast trim work, show in photos, but don’t overpower a room.  You?

What else is there to consider when choosing a paint color?

Lighting. The lighting in the room – are the bulbs warm or cool?   The lighting from the windows – natural light doesn’t cast yellow tones like a bulb would.  Yet, flourescent lighting casts cool blue tones.

What are you placing with it?  If you have a blue ceiling like I do, that will also affect how other colors appear in the room.

For these reasons colors can read very different in one house to the next as well as from one room to the next. And, it can get frustrating.

How do you determine undertones of paint colors?

Did that help in understanding greiges and undertones?  Was this boring?

On Tuesday and Wednesday we’ll have some of our favorite bloggers sharing what their go-to greige is!  May give you a good place to start!

Have you embraced greige?


Thank you to 10 rooms for the Color Theory information that I tried to re-iterate for my readers.