Now I think it’s fair to say that of all the 2019 interiors trends I wrote about the other day, the one that caused most consternation was beige. So I thought we’d have a look at that in more detail today and see if we can make anyone feel a little better about it.
Firstly, I think we should deal with the name. Beige isn’t good, I appreciate that. It also has connotations of being old fashioned, boring, dull, blah. But when you rebrand it, which, after all, is what most trends basically are – a rebranding of an old favourite to make it seem more up to date and, crucially, desirable, it sounds a little more interesting.
So how about stone, ecru, paper, old white, new white, jute, rattan, linen to name but a few? And yes I think the key thing is that, as one reader wrote despairingly the other day, keep it off the walls for now. At least in its purest form. We’re not quite ready for, what my mother called the 1970s spare room – Cafe au Lait yet.
But what this is about, talking of pure forms, is a return to pale warm colours replacing the cooler shades of grey that have dominated for the last few years. So by all means paint your walls in the new Farrow & Ball Schoolhouse White, or Paper by Paint and Paper Library. It’s less stark than white and gives you a warm base from which to add in everything else. Just be careful that it’s not too yellow or you’ll be running into Magnolia territory and we’re not quite back there yet either.
The easiest way to do it is with the accessories. Or the odd piece of furniture. And fear not – it works with grey and all the other colours so you don’t need to redecorate. As many of you know, last year I reupholstered my Great Granny’s old sofa in a natural ecru linen and it sits perfectly with my chocolate brown walls and blush pink chaise. It’s like living in a Neopolitan ice cream and who wouldn’t want that?
If you’re still at toddlers and sticky finger stage then this might not be the colour for you, although an increasing number of companies are now offering stain resistant fabrics. But consider, instead, a cushion – the more textured the better so think knitted, fringed, corduroy if you want to really get ahead.
Or a couple of jute baskets for storage and a chunky throw for the rest of the winter evenings, which always seem so much longer after Christmas. And don’t forget you can run the whole range of the colour spectrum from cream, through blush and through to caramel. When the weather improves add a paler rug. Or add one now to counterbalance the long dark days.
Add it to forest green and dark navy or charcoal, mix it with all the pinks and oranges and burgundies or use it to warm a pale grey. It likes brass and it loves black. Now, as with all trends, this is one to ignore if you don’t like it but you’re going to be seeing a lot of it in the shops so it doesn’t hurt to approach it with an open mind.