E-Design Consultation & Colour Review: SW Accessible Beige
When you’ve got an open layout, it can be hard to find that PERFECT neutral to accommodate different spaces, functions AND exposures. So, when my E-design client was looking for a flexible, neutral colour for her open layout, I had three 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? Let’s take a closer look…
What is 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 considerably more relaxed. 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…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 photo below, the old colour felt a bit suffocating and clashed with the travertine fireplace surround.
After, a more subdued palette sets everything off nicely…
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. You can see a touch of it in a few of the above photos (ie: the tall wall above the kitchen area). You can also pick up a flash of green if you have green landscaping outside.
Which 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, Accessible Beige 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
- Cooler grays that are again, equal depth or darker
- It can also look awesome with creams 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…
Which colours DON’T look good with Accessible Beige?
Accessible Beige 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 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).
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.
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
- At $6.99, they’re more affordable than the samples pots/rollers/foam boards that are needing 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 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.
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 AB gains some visual depth and has a bit more of an ALMOST greige look to it – no yellow/orange to be found here!
The best white trim colour with Accessible Beige
When it comes to partnering Accessible Beige up with a white, I usually hit SW Pure White which is a soft, slightly warm white that isn’t overly cream NOR stark.
Not sure if Accessible Beige is right for you? I have a few more to check out!
- Paint Colour Review, Sherwin Williams Wool Skein
- Paint Colour Review: Benjamin Moore Ballet White
- The 5 Best Benjamin Moore Beige Paint Colours
Want 3 colours CUSTOM-PICKED for your room?
Check out my E-Design and Online Colour Consulting packages!
Kylie M Interiors E-design, Virtual and Online Decorating and Paint Colour Consultant Canada, USA, UK and More
Originally written in October 2017, updated December 2019