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Is Elephant’s Breath beige?

Elephant’s Breath is a popular paint color by Farrow & Ball that is described as a light grayish beige tone. But is it technically considered a beige shade? Let’s take a closer look at the color and its undertones to determine if Elephant’s Breath is truly a beige.

Defining Beige

Beige is generally considered a pale, light brown color that has strong yellow or cream undertones. It falls within the neutral color family and is often used in interior design for walls, furniture, and accessories. True beige colors are warm, soft, and understated.

Some examples of popular beige paint colors include:

  • Accessible Beige by Benjamin Moore
  • Balboa Mist by Sherwin-Williams
  • Navajo White by Glidden

These paint colors clearly fall within the beige family, featuring soft yellow and cream undertones. So in order to determine if Elephant’s Breath fits into the beige color category, we need to take a closer look at its undertones.

Analyzing Elephant’s Breath Undertones

At first glance, Elephant’s Breath reads as a light tan or greige color. But the undertones reveal a different story.

Farrow & Ball describes the undertones of Elephant’s Breath as:

  • Pale grey
  • Hint of lilac
  • Warm peach

While Elephant’s Breath does have hints of warm peach undertones, the dominant pigments lean cooler and grayer. The pale grey and lilac notes are not typical of a warm, yellow-based beige. So the peach undertones appear slightly muted.

Elephant’s Breath Color Coordinates

Another way to determine whether Elephant’s Breath fits into the beige color family is to look at its recommended coordinating colors.

Farrow & Ball suggests coordinating Elephant’s Breath with these colors:

Color Name Color Family
Ammonite Cool gray
Pointing Warm white
Brinjal Aubergine purple

Note that the suggested coordinating colors are either gray, white, or purple based. There are no warm beige, tan, cream, or brown shades recommended. This provides further evidence that Elephant’s Breath has primarily cool undertones vs warm beige undertones.

Light Reflecting Value

The light reflecting value (LRV) of a paint color also gives insight into its undertones. LRV is a measure of how much light a color reflects, on a scale of 0 (black) to 100 (white).

The LRV of Elephant’s Breath is 63. This means it reflects a moderate amount of light. For reference, true beige colors often have a slightly lower LRV in the 50-60 range.

The moderately high LRV of Elephant’s Breath is another signal that its undertones are more on the grey and cool side vs warm and yellow.

Visual Comparison

Comparing Elephant’s Breath to a few true beige paint colors also gives us visual confirmation:

Paint Color LRV Undertones
Accessible Beige 58 Cream, yellow
Elephant’s Breath 63 Grey, lilac
Modest White 68 Warm white

When viewed next to a true beige like Accessible Beige, we can see Elephant’s Breath looks noticeably cooler and grayer in comparison.


Based on an analysis of its undertones, coordinating colors, LRV, and visual comparison, Elephant’s Breath by Farrow & Ball is not technically considered a true beige color. While it has very subtle warm peach undertones, the dominant pigments skew cooler and grayer.

Elephant’s Breath sits in more of a greige territory between gray and beige. But it ultimately reads as more of a soft, cool-toned greige vs a warm authentic beige. So while Elephant’s Breath is a beautiful and popular paint color, it does not fit neatly into the beige color category.