Beige living room ideas: 14 ways to decorate with beige
Beige living room ideas may on the surface seem a little dull. However, it’s actually the opposite, as Ruth Mottershead, Creative Director at Little Greene explains:
‘More than ever, we’ve seen that there is a greater need to surround ourselves with comforting, soothing colors that are not only easy to live with but provide warmth and serenity within our living environments.’
‘This has been reflected in the increasing popularity of warmer, natural neutrals, in a clear shift away from the cooler, blue-toned grays that have been so popular in recent years. Instead, consumers have been opting for earthier tones that have an inherent warmth.’
Neutrals give you a fabulous base to start with, and you can layer more color and textures on top to create a grounding, light and airy space that’s also elegant – beige living room ideas really are the gift that keeps on giving. And Lindye Galloway, founder & chief creative officer of Lindye Galloway Studio + Shop (opens in new tab) agrees:
‘Beige is a timeless color that is easy to dress up with decor and furniture. It allows you to go bold on accent pieces if you choose, without the room feeling too busy.’
1. Consider a stone hue for a warm beige living room
‘Timeless living room schemes are all about using soft, natural colors such as stone-based hues and neutrals to create an elegant, calming space,’ says Ruth Mottershead, Creative Director at Little Greene (opens in new tab)
‘Remember ‘neutral’ does not mean bland and the use of stone colors is not a return to beige, greige or even magnolia. It’s about incorporating warming, natural shades to create subtle schemes with a sense of longevity and timelessness.’
2. Use a pastel green with beige
Beige is so flexible as it really does go with most colors – take this pastel green as an example, it’s restful and elegant whilst adding a contemporary edge.
Black has been used as a strong accent with the side and black coffee table, but because they’re both glass-topped with minimal stylish coffee table decor they don’t distract from the rest of the scheme. The Finnala sofa from IKEA (opens in new tab) is the key to this living room as it holds the scheme together.
3. Use beige as a blank canvas for pattern
What’s fabulous about beige is that it acts as the most perfect plain starting point if you want to use print and pattern in your living room. When it comes to window treatment ideas, ditch the bland blinds and opt for a stylized floral instead, it will give your space a punchy look and you can use the same design for cushions too.
Clashing patterns have been a trend for the last few years, and to make them work you need to link them by one single color, in the case of this ILIV (opens in new tab) living room, the background is off-white in all of the prints, so that’s the common thread.
4. Light it up with ecru
Ecru is a yellowish-beige that will lighten up a dark living room. Team with crisp white woodwork and you’ll have a lovely fresh and airy space.
‘These warmer neutrals can be incorporated into both contemporary and traditional homes, with the option to go quite bold or to keep a soft, pared-back design. The use of stone is not a return to beige, greige, or even magnolia, but a new way of using warmer, natural shades in the home to create schemes with longevity.’
‘You can create focal points through color blocking and use neutrals to frame bolder colors or zone a space by using interesting color proportions,’ says Mottershead.
5. Use blush as your main color
‘Blush is the color everyone is talking about right now – from sofas, to bed linen and decorative accessories. In addition to individual pieces, blush as a base color is increasing in popularity, with many homeowners now looking to pair their beige upholstery, natural wood furniture and neutral accessories with this versatile and on-trend hue,’ explains Rob Ellis, head of design at dwell (opens in new tab).
Also, note the lovely boucle armchair – another on-trend addition to your living room and it fits perfectly into a beige scheme.
6. A patterned rug makes a great focal point
‘The most efficient way to add color to a beige living space is to bring in some color with the rug. Adding color in the rug helps balance the space since the rug covers a larger area than, say, smaller doses of color from accent elements like pillows or art- which can fall flat in a larger space,’ says Janelle Burns, lead interior designer at Maestri Studio (opens in new tab).
Keep the rest of the scheme neutral so the rug stands out – a white living room idea is ideal teamed with a stone couch, it’s a good way to use beige without it being the main color.
7. Earthy and natural for a grounded look
This living room is painted in Mylands Egerton Place No.297 (opens in new tab), it’s a mushroom shade that includes umber and a hint of red. It’s very earthy which gives it a warm cozy feel.
For a more modern look paint the architectural details in the same shade as the walls plus the bookcase, then use white for the ceiling, skirtings and accessories. We love the pop of the Dino floor lamp (opens in new tab) by Gong that looks striking against the wall color, use beige drapes for contrast and pick a matching rug.
8. Add a cool grey and beige living room mix
If you want to introduce a couple of secondary colors then opt for a pale gray and coral. In this Lindye Galloway (opens in new tab)– designed living room, beige is the mainstay – the armchairs and side table, though don’t forget the tones of the hardwood floor and coffee table, they count too.
The coral pillows add an extra color layer and tie in beautifully with the wood that’s used throughout this contemporary space.
9. Create contrasts with dark details
For a modern living room idea use paint in a contemporary way. Don’t paint your skirtings in classic white, use charcoal instead, and while you’re at it – switch things up with a jet black painted floor too. Then, lighten up your walls with a pinky beige to create a fabulous contrast, and use your accessories like this striking shaped Flute trio floor lamp by Gong (opens in new tab) to carry on the light and dark theme.
10. Use artwork as an accent color
‘Adding color through a gallery wall idea is a fun way to spice up a beige living room. It also provides an easy way to switch up the accent colors in your space whenever you want to switch the space up!’ says Joshua Smith, principal designer and founder of Joshua Smith Inc (opens in new tab).
Other colors to consider that would work with beige living room ideas are turmeric, blush, sage green, and other neutral shades like ochre and tan.
11. Team with multiple colors
‘Beige living rooms provide the perfect canvas for a bold personality to shine in a way that isn’t overwhelming. Pillows with bright pops of color and other bold furniture like side tables and lamps don’t feel crowded or overpowering in the space. Pair the decor with a fun patterned living room rug to make it more modern and interesting,’ says Jessica Davis, owner and principal designer at JL Design (opens in new tab).
Multiple colors look great in one space and be brave – bold prints and patterns work really well within beige living rooms.
12. Use a mixture of materials for texture
‘For small space living, be more daring. Don’t be afraid of dark and rich colors, like coffee or dark grey, or try teal or even orange, for a braver burst of color. These hues bring intimacy and depth whilst also allowing you to show personality and flair,’ advises Martin Waller, founder of Andrew Martin (opens in new tab).
‘The layering of materials, colors, and shapes all amount to give your interiors an overall texture which can define the look and feel of a space. Glossy surfaces like polished chrome, shiny marble, and smooth leather all in tonal shades give a room a sleek, modern texture.’
‘For a more multi-layered look, tactile weaves look amazing when layered against the luxurious feel of faux shagreen or rough-hewn timber to give a room some depth and sense of history.’
13. Yellow and beige – a combo to consider
Perhaps not an obvious choice as far as beige living room ideas go, however, it can work brilliantly if you get it right. The key is balance, have plain walls, and choose a carpet in a shade of beige – oatmeal or fawn for example, and then add in some pattern with an upholstered couch, pillows, and artwork.
Use some plains that are textured to create balance, like this rug, drapes, and side table, and mix in some apple green as it looks great with beige tones and yellow.
‘A color trend that will be popular this year are natural shades. Colors of nature, such as earthly beige and warm clay and all shades of green have been a firm favorite for the last seasons, however, over the past year nature has become even more important.
The outdoors has been an escape, somewhere to go to recharge our batteries or even just take a break from everything. We now want to channel that feeling in our home too, with warm, cozy shades inspired by the natural world,’ says Justyna Korczynska, senior designer at Crown (opens in new tab).
You can add an extra element by using a beige metallic, it will still tick all of the natural shade trend boxes, but give your living room an extra special finish. Shown here is Crown’s Entice (opens in new tab) metallic emulsion.
How do I add color to my beige living room?
‘Pillows, throws, and rugs are great ways to inject color into beige living rooms,’ says Lindye Galloway, founder, and chief creative officer at Lindye Galloway Studio + Shop (opens in new tab). ‘It’s also an easy way to customize the space throughout the seasons or as your personal preference changes.’
‘A tonal palette consisting of a spectrum of tan and off white can be greatly enhanced by the unique pairing of materials. Or, if you are using furniture in lots of organic materials use brightly colored cushions to bring areas of light and shade into the room and contribute to the overall texture of a room,’ adds Martin Waller, founder of Andrew Martin (opens in new tab).
Is beige good for living rooms?
‘It can be! It really depends on the feeling you’re going for and the statement you wish to make….beige is great if you want a calming space, or if you want to balance really strong elements that you want to stand out- like bold statement art or a vibrant and heavily-patterned rug,’ says Janelle Burns, lead interior designer at Maestri Studio (opens in new tab).
‘Beige is a timeless color that is easy to dress up with decor and furniture! It allows you to go bold on accent pieces if you choose, without the room feeling too busy,’ adds Lindye.
How do you modernize a beige living room?
‘Adding in pattern or contemporary lamps and art can take a beige space from blah to thoughtfully curated,’ advises Janelle.
Joshua Smith, principal designer and founder of Joshua Smith Inc concludes:
‘To modernize a beige living room you can incorporate greenery to continue the neutral and natural feeling for a peaceful space.’