Both grey and beige are warm tones. Both are also light enough as to be unobtrusive or neutral if your possessions and flooring are on the warm side.
However, the amount of light you get and the amount of darkness you require can impact which color will work best for you.
For the purposes of this review, we’ll be using Gracious Greige by Sherwin-Williams. This is a warm shade with a bit of soot that will make it an ideal choice for a bedroom or family room.
If you need the space to darken easily, this is a lovely neutral that will suit you well.
Greige also throws a terrific shadow color. If you’ve been considering adding sand to any paint, greige is a terrific option. Light this color from low on the wall and keep your light tones warm.
Blue lighting will muddy up this color. For those who want to experiment with adding picture rail, chair rail, or built-in shelving, go ahead and put greige on the walls first.
The trim will boost the depth of the color and add visual interest.
Do take care not to think of greige as a variation of grey. Greige is a separate neutral that leans warm. It will pair best with other warm tones, such as ivory cushions or pale yellow bedding.
Greige will also work well with dark shades such as rust throw or a rich brown leather sofa.
Greige has more personality than ivory. It’s a neutral, but it will push back if you pair it with anything that has a lot of red in it.
If you’re a fan of antiques or a variety of wood tones, be aware that this color may not lean back and let warm maple or red oak shine. In spaces where you want to show off a variety of warm tones, consider beige or ivory on the walls.
Take care when pairing this with primary colors. Greige has a lot of different shades in it and there’s no way that it can work and play well with all three bold primary colors.
A cherry red bedspread or a royal blue child’s poster could leave this color looking rather dowdy. Other blended shades, even cool colors such as a smoky purple or a rich teal, would read better against greige.
Do rely on greige if you’ve got a green thumb. Greens, from pale olive to rich pine to deep moss, will work well against this color. Bold pots in blended shades could also add a nice pop of color against greige.
Greige will also support luscious textures well. If you’ve got a smooth leather sofa and a couple of plush wing-back chairs, the glow off the leather and the sheen of the plush velvet could leave a flat wall paint in the dust.
Greige will hang onto a bit of personality, even if your furniture collection is bold enough to be a bit jarring.
Use a light touch when you choose your trim paint. You want another warm shade, but you want to keep it nicely balanced. Consider a “nearly white” that actually offers a bit of contrast, such as Chantilly Lace from Benjamin Moore.
By the numbers, this color is actually a very pale green. It would provide a nice boost to your chosen Greige without overpowering other colors in your home.
RGB: 214, 209, 198
Hex Code: #D6D1C6
Beige is generally a pale shade of brown. While it’s warm, beige tends to function very well as a light-reflective neutral that is unlikely to push back.
For the purposes of this comparison, we’re going to use Accessible Beige from Sherwin-Williams as our color selection.
Sadly, beige often gets abused as a dull color. This is not true; in fact, beige is an excellent foil for many blended shades, even cool colors.
For example, if you love the idea of an accent wall in deep blue, putting beige on the other walls in the space gives you a lot of options. You can use a smoky navy on the wall and it will hold its own.
You could use a teal or a purple and the warm tones in the beige will draw out the blue color. You could even push charcoal gray into reading blue with the right light.
Another nice feature of beige is that you can push the color by changing the sheen. If you need a beige that will fade in the family room as you watch movies after sunset, use a flat or sanded beige.
If you need a color that will brighten your thoughts and help you think, use a satin on the walls or bookshelves in your office.
Beige is a terrific foil for many different kinds of wood. It’s warm enough that an old red oak varnish will glow against it. Even pale maple colors will take on a clean look against a beige wall. For a real glow, try beige with dark mahogany wood or a rich cherry.
You can also pair beige with a wide variety of warm metal tones. Rubbed bronze, antique copper and even bright brass will look clean and crisp against beige walls.
Beige doesn’t throw a very interesting shadow color. If your walls are in rough shape, such as after removing wallpaper, try beige as your first topcoat.
If you want to add a different accent color wall, you will have an easier time finding dings that need repaired.
Using beige on walls that have intermittent texture is also a great way to save yourself some work. If your previously textured walls have been patched in the past, you may find that they previous texture was not well-matched.
A flat beige topcoat will help you hide these odd patches.
Additionally, beige is light enough that you can go ahead and paint walls and ceiling both in one color. This “envelope” of paint is a great choice if you’re trying to cover up the odor of cigarette smoke in a home.
Consider priming everything first and letting it cure completely before you add your topcoat of beige.
Do your best to use a lot of green against your beige. Beige is going to be very friendly to any tones that contain yellow, from orange to green to brown. It will also be more friendly to colors in the red family, such as cranberry and burgundy.
If your current decorating choices contain a wide variety of textures that don’t include bright white, beige walls should serve as an effective foil. Ivory canvas will be a bit paler than this shade of beige.
Don’t use colors lighter than ivory against this color as they may read blue.
The only real failure of beige tones is in sleeping spaces. Light paint tends to chalk, and beige is generally not a very saturated color.
Even if you use flat or eggshell and add a bit of sand to the mix, you’re probably going to get a lot of light bounce off of your beige walls. It only takes one digital clock or blinking phone charger to become a distraction.
If you need a really dark sleeping space, start with greige and add a dark accent color.
RGB: 209, 199, 183
Hex Code: #D1C7B7