E-Design Consultation / Colour Review: SW Accessible Beige
When you’ve got an open layout, it can be tricky to find that PERFECT neutral that accommodates different spaces, functions AND exposures. So, when my e-design client was looking for a flexible, warm neutral colour for her open layout, I came up with 3 gorgeous options for her to choose from. And based on her WANTS and her home’s NEEDS, Accessible Beige was the winner winner chicken dinner.
Before, my client’s living space was a bit too golden as the south facing light GLORIFIED her warm paint colour…
After, everything took a DEEEEP breath and relaxed…
Now if you’d said the word beige to me a few years ago, I might’ve started twitchin’ and drinkin’ in the corner just thinking about all of the ‘builder beiges’ that flooded the market in the early 2000’s. But beige has come a LOOOONG way baby and Accessible Beige in particular is one of my FAVE’s.
Why? Well, let’s take a closer look…
The LRV of Accessible Beige (Light Reflectance Value)
As you’ll see in this next photo, with the southern exposure, the old paint colour picked up a warm kind of murky goldy-green undertone. This wasn’t doing ANYthing glorious for the home or its wood/furnishings.
After (below), with Accessible Beige on the walls, the room looks and feels more welcoming. Everything came to life, not just the furniture, but the wood cabinets, flooring and window trims.
At 58, you’ll find that Accessible is generally speaking, a ‘light’ colour. In the photo above, you can see that on walls that get an average amount of light, the colour holds itself QUITE well (and this is a pretty bright room). Where it gets direct hits of light, it washes out, but that is quite natural for any colour above an LRV of 50 or so (and the sun WILL move its way along…).
Read more: The Best Paint Colours for Southern Exposure
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 in that 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 photo below, the old colour felt a bit suffocating and clashed with the travertine fireplace surround.
After, a more clean and bright palette sets everything off nicely…
What paint colours look good with Accessible Beige?
Tim can only WISH that I was as flexible as Accessible Beige. Oh honey, if you only knew me 20 years ago – toes to nose! Being a neutral with minimal undertones it is pretty darned accommodating, so let’s look at the type of colours that it loves the best:
- Warm grays that are equal depth or darker than AB – read more here
- Cooler grays that are again, equal depth or darker – read more here
- It can also look awesome with creamy tones as long as they aren’t overly yellow/orange
- Earth toned colours (colours with a decent degree of gray or brown in them)
Click on above images for available packages…
What colours DON’T look good with Accessible Beige?
AB doesn’t look AS good with grays and greiges that are lighter in depth than it (so an LRV higher than 58). 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.
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 weeee willy wink of gray in it. 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).
And speaking of suffocatingly warm, this was my client’s dining area before…
After, the floor just came to LIFE as the paint colour took a bit more of a backseat.
Accessible Beige in a north facing room
Because of it’s wink o’ gray, you can expect AB to become 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 my client has a north facing room, they sometimes find that AB grays itself out just enough in this cooler exposure to hit their comfort zone – without falling cold and flat.
Before, that slightly creepy golden warmth was flashing through…
After, in this slightly more shaded area, see how AB picks up a subtle gray cast, without becoming totally greige or flattening out.
Accessible Beige in a room with NO (or little) natural light
While I don’t have the perfect example from the above client’s home, I have some photos to give you the idea from a different E-Design project.
Natural Tan is on the left, Accessible Beige is on the right. See how AB gains some visual depth and has a bit more of the ALMOST greige look to it – no yellow/orange to be found here!
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Kylie M Interiors E-design, Virtual and Online Decorating and Paint Colour Consultant Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams colour expert Decorating Blog