THE MOST POPULAR Beige Paint Colour: Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige
If you’d said the word beige to me a few years ago, I would’ve started twitchin’ and drinkin’ in the corner just thinking about all the ‘builder beiges’ from the early 2000s. But beige has come a LOOOONG way baby and Accessible Beige is one of my FAVE’s.
Why? Let’s take a closer look…
What type of paint colour is Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige?
Accessible Beige is a beige paint colour, making it a WARM paint colour. With its unique blend of undertones and LRV, it’s ALSO one of the more VERSATILE beige paint colours on the market!
Before, this beautiful foyer was heavy-looking and dated…
After, Accessible Beige offers a more modern approach to a traditional style…
What’s the LRV of Accessible Beige (Light Reflectance Value)?
Accessible Beige has an LRV of 58. Not quite at my magic number of 62, but getting there. Not sure what LRV is? You get three slaps with a wet noodle and should probably read this blog post – it might just save your paint lovin’ life!
In this next photo (before), my client’s walls flashed a murky goldy-green. This wasn’t doing ANYthing glorious for the home or its wood finishes and furnishings.
After (below), the LRV of Accessible Beige brightens the space considerably, while still keeping things soft and subtle. Everything came to life – not just the furniture, but the wood cabinets, flooring, and window trims.
With an LRV of 58, you’ll find that Accessible Beige is, generally speaking, a ‘light’ colour although it’s not on the HIGH end of the scale. In the above photo, you’ll see that on walls with an average amount of light, the colour holds itself QUITE well. However, where it gets direct hits of light, it washes out, which is natural for any colour with an LRV above 55 or so (and the sun WILL move its way along…or the earth will – whatever).
What are the undertones of Accessible Beige?
When you look at Accessible Beige what you’re really looking at is a beige with a grayish undertone. A lot of the more old-school beige paint colours can flash quite yellow or orange – not this one. Accessible Beige is more soft, subtle, and neutral as it leans a bit to the gray side. That being said, it’s not SO gray that it becomes a greige like its kissin’ cousin Agreeable Gray.
In the ODD light, Accessible Beige can pick up a weeee willy wink o’ green, most often with southern exposure. It’s subtle, but if you have an aversion, sample it carefully to see how it settles for you.
What paint colours look good with Accessible Beige?
Tim can only WISH I was as flexible as Accessible Beige. Oh honey, if you only knew me 20 years ago – toes to nose baby! Being a neutral with minimal undertones, Accessible Beige is pretty darn accommodating, so let’s look at the type of colours it loves the best:
- some warm grays that are darker than AB
- some cooler grays that are again, darker than AB
- it can also look awesome with cream paint colours as long as they aren’t overly yellow/orange
- earth-toned colours (colours with a decent degree of gray or brown in them)
I’m also a big fan of Sherwin Williams Balanced Beige, which is like the light-medium version of Accessible Beige…
Click on the above image for available packages…
What colours DON’T look good with Accessible Beige?
Accessible Beige doesn’t look AS good with gray and greige paint colours with LRVs the same as, or higher than itself (so 59+). It also doesn’t like colours that don’t have gray/brown in them. How do I know? It told me so whenever I tried different pairings. Because Accessible Beige is SUCH an earth-tone, it really prefers to stay in this family.
Accessible Beige in a south-facing room
In a south-facing room, you can expect AB to hold itself as a soft, neutral beige with just that wink of gray in it and more rarely, a nod towards green. It won’t become suffocatingly warm as it’s not going to pick up much yellow/orange from the sun coming in the windows. (BTW, I know suffocatingly isn’t really a word, I made it up).
Let’s take a quick break to talk about paint samples…
Undoubtedly, you’ll be heading out in the near future to grab paint samples – stop right there! I want you to check out SAMPLIZE. Samplize offers peel and stick paint samples that are more AFFORDABLE, EASIER and more ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY than traditional paint pots. Here are just a FEW reasons why I recommend Samplize to my clients…
- samples arrive ON YOUR DOORSTEP in 1-3 business days, depending on location
- they’re more affordable than the samples pots/rollers/foam boards that are needed for traditional paint sampling
- if you keep the samples on their white paper, you can move them around the room
Visit the SAMPLIZE website HERE
Accessible Beige in a north-facing room
Because of its wink o’ gray, you can expect AB to look slightly more grayed-out in a north-facing room.
When I have E-Design clients who like warm gray/greige paint colours, this one comes up quite often – even though it’s a beige. Why? Well, if a client has a north-facing room, they sometimes find Accessible Beige grays itself out just enough in this cooler light to hit their comfort zone – without falling cold and flat.
Before, that slightly creepy golden warmth was flashing through…
After (below), in this slightly more shaded entryway, see how Accessible Beige picks up a subtle gray cast, without becoming totally greige or flattening out. It also looks beautiful with the wood trim.
In a room with NO (or little) natural light
While I don’t have the perfect example of Accessible Beige in a low-light room, I have a sample photo to give you the general idea.
BTW -you should never lean samples, they should always be totally vertical
Natural Tan is on the left, Accessible Beige is on the right. See how Accessible Beige gains some depth in this low-light space and has an ALMOST greige look to it – no yellow/orange to be found here!
HOWEVER, generally speaking, Accessible Beige can fall a bit flat or drab in a darker room.
If your walls are Accessible Beige, which white paint colour is best for trim or cabinets?
Which paint colours are SIMILAR to Accessible Beige, for the comparison’s sake?
Accessible Beige left / Natural Tan right
Not sure if Accessible Beige is right for you? I have a few more to check out!
Want 3 colours CUSTOM-PICKED for your room?
Check out my E-Design and Online Colour Consulting packages!
Originally written in October 2017, updated December 2021