Is Beige Back in Style? Beige is THE new neutral!

8 Best LIGHT beige paint colors! (For those that don’t like white or cream)

Move over gray! Beige has made a comeback. Due to the pandemic where we all spent far too long in lockdown and isolation, the way we viewed our homes and lived in our homes changed more dramatically than any other period in history. Tired of the cool colors of gray that dominated the past decade we want warmer colors. And one of those warmer colors that have made a comeback is beige. Yes! Beige is back! Beige has finally made a comeback from the 1980’s!

For those of us that remember the pink beige from the 80’s that dominated our interiors everywhere, this may not be a pleasant thought. BUT the beige that is back is a warmer, muted beige than before. You will see a lighter beige, almost like a cream though slightly darker and without the yellow. That is great news for those that want a neutral interior paint color but don’t want white or cream! And yes, you will see warm bolder mid to dark bolder beiges for those that want some drama in their home – and we’re speaking of positive drama!! Not the drama that you’re thinking of.

With gray paint donning our walls for far too long, we rebelled and when into a white wall phase. So white walls became the go to neutral. Yes! White for our walls! But some of us don’t want white walls for many different reasons. We just may not like white walls. It may remind of us institutions like hospitals. It may not go with our furniture, or it may not suite the style of our home. Fortunately, there are other light neutrals that will work for our walls.

Fortunately, we left the all gray wall era behind us which was quickly replaced by all white walls. Although all white walls can look refreshing and give us a blank canvas, they can also give off the feeling of looking like primer and/or living in an institution if not chosen properly or if the room hasn’t been styled well. White walls, although, still popular, is now overrun in popularity by beige walls.

Best light beiges for your wall! For those of you that don’t like white or cream!!!

First of all, before we do a deep dive into the best light beige colors for your wall, lets define, what the heck “beige” is. There are so many neutrals floating around, it can be confusing when you hear terms like beige, cream, warm white, tan, greige, etc. etc. etc. Think of beige as a very light brown color. Beige is NOT a cream, which tends to have a wee bit of yellow in it. Nor is it a tan, which has a wee bit of orange in it.

Its warm, cozy and inviting. It can complement both transitional and traditional interior style and furniture. It will also work in contemporary & modern style interiors with the appropriate shade of beige. So a light beige may be a definite option instead of white walls.

If you’re not into the white walls phase that has taken over from our gray decade, a light beige paint color can be an alternative option for you. Its calming, soothing, cozy & warm. Depending on the shade, beige can work in all types of interiors. Transitional & traditional interiors work with the warmer beiges. Beige with a tiny hint of gray (before it becomes greige) works well with contemporary & modern style interiors.

What is LRV and why is this important in choosing a paint color?

LRV is light reflective value. There’s probably books written on LRV, lol, which we’re not going into here, but basically LRV, or Light Reflective Value, is how light or dark a color is on a scale of 1 being the darkest, black, to 100 being the lightest, white, and every color falls somewhere in-between these two colors.

For my recommendations of light beige paint colors, I am recommending beige paints with an LRV of 60 or higher. That’s not because there aren’t any beiges below an LRV that aren’t worth recommending, there are plenty. But here we’re discussing alternative whole house light beige paint colors that you could use instead of the current trending whites. Some of the popular beiges that have an LRV below 60 fall into the medium range on the LRV scale which some homeowners may find too dark to paint their whole house in a medium range LRV shade.

We focusing on light beiges that have an LRV between 60 – 80. If you want something darker or lighter than that, check out my online e-design services here.

What’s In a Name? Don’t judge a paint color by its name!

Before we go into our list of best light beige colors… have you ever wondered how they come up with names for paint colors? They should have done a Seinfeld episode on this topic! lol. Seriously though!!! There are a number of factors that go into coming up with these names, read more here But one thing you should know, that just because its called “white” “beige” “tan” etc, doesn’t mean its that color.

Just because a paint color is called white, beige or tan, doesn’t mean that its THAT color!

Here’s what I mean….

  • Shoiji White is …. beige
  • Indian White is …. beige
  • Moderate White is …. beige
  • Pure White is … not pure. It has a black of drop which gives it a gray undertone.
  • Bennington Gray is … tan.
  • Canvas Tan is … beige.
  • Grant Beige is … tan.
  • Bennington Gray is … beige.

I know, confusing right? But as we explore the best beige alternatives to white, don’t get hung up on the names with “white” in them. Because there are a few really nice “whites” listed here that are actually beige. The bottom line is… don’t judge a paint color by its name!

Benjamin Moore Navajo White OC-95

Photo: Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore’s Navajo White it a timeless and classic warm light beige that is in their off-white collection. Depending on the light and direction that the room is facing, it can look like a warm white or a beige. It’s LRV is 78.26 which makes it a warm off-white. The color adds depth and richness making this perfect as a light, bright, neutral is a warm off-white that adds depth and richness. This bright, light neutral is ideal for all-over color, making larger rooms feel airy and open, and lending small spaces a cozy warmth. As a trim color, it provides soft contrast for earth-toned walls. Its has a slight yellow undertone which will complement earth-tones furniture, accessories & fixed elements.

Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee OC-45

Photo: Benjamin

Benjamin Moore’s Swiss Coffee OC-45 is a warm white in their white paint color collection. With an LRV of 83.93, its far from a true white which would be 100. This warm white is slightly lighter than Navajo White. It has light gray, yellow, and green undertones which makes it warm and inviting. But as with any undertones, depending on the light, it can appear a bit yellow or slightly green so that’s why its always good to test, test, test before you paint an entire room. Natural earthy colors like tans, cognac, terra cotta goes well with Swiss Coffee as does gray and navy.

Benjamin Moore Albescent OC-40


Albescent is a warm beige with an LRV of 74.29 which makes it part of the off-white collection but nearing the white grouping as white paints have an LRV 80+. Its a light warm beige with peach undertones. This beige would work well with natural earth tone colors, particularly cognac that is trending, creams, and grays. This would be a nice color if you’re transitioning from the all gray phase that we were just into and you still have alot of gray furniture or accessories.

Benjamin Moore Muslin OC-12 | CC-110


Photo: Benjamin Moore

One of my favorite go to beiges that I recommended alot in both design & staging projects before the gray trend took over, was Benjamin Moore’s Muslin. Its a smooth mild beige, it doesn’t scream beige, but its a bit darker than all of the above very light beiges. Muslin’s LRV is 66.54 which means it has a bit more oomph than the previous beiges. It falls into the “light” category of the LRV scale and not in the white or off-white category. It has a slight pink undertone which is why its a warm shade of beige. Because of the slight pink undertone, its warm and inviting, but it will also not be a fit with some elements of your room with different undertones. That’s why testing & comparing is sooooo important!

Sherwin Williams Shoji White 7042


Photo: Welsh Design Studio

Sherwin Williams Shoji White is considered to be the equivalent to Benjamin Moore’s Swiss Coffee. Of course, the colors are not created equal but they are comparable both being a warm off-white. Shoji White has an LRV of 74 putting it in the off-white collection of Sherwin Williams making it a very light beige. Shoji White is a beautiful mix of cream and greige which makes it warm, but the greige tones it down therefore not making it too yellow. Its a nice light beige choice for those that want a color with a bit more warmth and depth than a white.

Sherwin Williams Natural Linen 9109


Photo: Kylie M Interiors

Sherwin Williams Natural Linen is a light beige color with an LRV of 66 which means it falls into the light category of color but not considered to be an off-white. This color is part of Sherwin William’s Dreamland collection and you can see why. Its subtle, warm and very versatile. Its a great choice if you’re looking for an alternative to white and want a light beige with warmth. It has a slight undertone of orange but not overpowering. It works well in the photo above with the wood having orange undertones and earth toned furniture.

Sherwin Williams Neutral Ground 7568


Sherwin Williams Neutral Ground is another warm beige that is not too creamy. It has an LRV of 72 which makes it a light beige but its not too light for northern states and colder regions where some of the lighter beiges can look washed out. Its a calm, inviting and cozy beige which is suitable for those tricky north & south facing rooms.

Sherwin Williams Wool Skein


Photo: Tobi Fairley Interior Design via Houzz

If you’re looking for a beige with a bit more oomph than Neutral Ground, Sherwin Williams Wool Skein might be the beige for you. Its another warm beige with slight yellow undertones. Its warm without being to yellow and its another versatile beige. It has an LRV of 63 which makes it a light color as opposed to a mid-tone or in the white collection. The only downside of Wool Skein is that is has a slight undertone of green which may or may not appear depending on the direction the room faces, and the time of day. That is why you want to always, always, always test your colors first before painting an entire room. The Wool Skein pares beautifully here in this kitchen with the lower cabinets in a shade of sage green.

So there you have a crash course on 8 light warm beiges that would be suitable for most interiors and styles. All of these beiges are considered light beiges with an LRV of 60 – 80 which means they’re darker than white, but lighter than a mid-tone beige. Perfect if you want warmth in your home but not the starkness of white but want to keep it lighter than a mid-tone beige.

How to Test Paint Colors the Right Way
What is a Good Warm White Paint Color?
Best Cool White Paint Colors
10 Best Benjamin Moore & Sherwin Williams Cream Paint Colors

Do you find picking a neutral overwhelming? Most people do!

Check out my online Consult services here!


Do 50 shades of grey, beige, greige, tan, warm white, cool white or cream overwhelm you?  Do you want to pick another color other than a neutral but are unsure what to pick? Windows with south exposure, east exposure, green undertones, blue undertones leave you feeling how can you pick a color that you will be happy with for years?

Choosing the right color(s) for your room(s) can be daunting but it doesn’t need to be.  I will take the guess work out of picking colors for your for a room. We will go over your design style, personal preferences and pictures of your room course, and I will provide you a personalized color plan for your room. I will show you how to test colors in your home, and will work with you until you’re happy with your color selection!

Hi! I’m Debi Collinson. Designer. Color Consultant & Real Estate Investor. 


I grew up looking at blue prints, going on construction sites and helping my dad, an Engineer|General Contractor and Co-Owner of a Design|Build|Engineering firm pick out paint colors for his buildings. Since 2006, I have been styling & staging hundreds of homes to make them look like they belong in a magazine page whether the client is styling to stay or staging to sell. 

In my spare time, LOL, I buy “fixer uppers” to fix up & either sell for a healthy profit or to rent. I’m currently looking for my 10th “fixer upper.” Sign up to receive my e-mails of how to make your home stunning, how to sell your house for top dollar AND how to become financially independent one fixer upper at a time! Read my full story including my design credentials here.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *