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What colors make beige?

Beige is a neutral, subtle, and versatile color that can be made by combining various hues. While there is no single formula for creating beige, some of the most common color combinations include browns, tans, whites, creams, peaches, and greys. The exact shades used and their proportions determine the warmth, depth, and tone of the resulting beige.

Browns and Tans

Two of the core components of beige are browns and tans. Rich browns like umber, chocolate, or chestnut added to creams and whites create a warmer, deeper beige. Lighter tans and browns like fawn, buff, or khaki make beige softer and more subtle. For example:

Color 1 Color 2 Resulting Beige
White Khaki Soft, light beige
Cream Chestnut brown Warm, deep beige

The brown family is incredibly diverse, ranging from reddish undertones to yellowish hues. Adjusting the exact brown used when mixing beige allows you to fine-tune everything from the undertone to the brightness. Soft muted browns result in more subtle beiges, while vivid and darker browns create bold, dramatic beiges with more contrast.

Whites and Creams

Pure white and off-whites like cream, eggshell, or ivory serve as base colors when creating beige paints or textiles. Adding just a touch of brown, peach, yellow, grey, or other colors transforms the white into a delicate beige. The lighter the base color, the more subdued the resulting beige.

For example, adding just 10% of tan to a white base results in an extremely soft beige. Increasing the proportion of tan to 30% yields a medium beige, while equal parts white and tan produce a bold sandy beige. Common white and off-white shades used to make beige include:

White/Cream Shade
Titanium white
Pearl white

The white undertones help give beige a soft, mellow look. Using brighter whites results in more vibrant, luminous beiges. Off-white bases like cream make for more muted, earthy beiges.


Grays are an incredibly versatile component of beige. They help tone down brighter shades and add subtle cool undertones. Light grays like silver mixed with small amounts of brown or peach make elegant beiges with just a touch of blue. Darker grays like charcoal, on the other hand, deepen beige into a dramatic neutral when combined with warm creams or tans.

Common grays used in making beige include:

Gray Shade
Cool gray
Silver gray
Ash gray
Smoke gray
Charcoal gray

The cool undertones of gray bring an inherent calm, subtlety, and versatility to beige. Gray lessens the warmth of tans and browns and results in more somber, elegant beiges.

Peaches and Yellows

While less common than browns, grays, and whites, peaches and yellows can add vibrant, sunny undertones to beige. Soft peach or light buttery yellow mixed with white or cream make beiges with a luminous, cheerful look. These work especially well in spring and summer color palettes.

Some example peaches and yellows used to produce lovely beiges include:

Peach/Yellow Shade
Golden yellow

Peach brings a lively vibrancy to soften beige, while touches of yellow create warmth. Use a delicate hand when adding these shades though, as too much can overpower.

Best Color Combos for Beige

Some popular combinations for creating beige paints, textiles, and other materials include:

Color 1 Color 2 Resulting Beige
Cream Mocha brown Rich, warm beige
Eggshell white Dove gray Soft, elegant beige
Ivory Peach Vibrant summer beige
Khaki Charcoal Deep, earthy beige

Feel free to experiment with different brown, gray, white, and accent shades to create your own signature beige. The proportions used will determine if it’s a light sandy beige versus a deep mocha beige.

Beige Color Harmony

One of beige’s biggest advantages is its versatility. Beige harmonizes well with a wide range of colors from neutral blacks and grays to bold hues like turquoise, terra cotta, and gold.

Complementary Color Example Color Scheme
Blue Beige with navy blue and silver accents
Green Beige with sage green and ivory
Red Beige with burgundy red and chocolate
Brown Beige with espresso brown and khaki
Yellow Beige with mustard yellow and cream

Beige works in traditional, elegant rooms but also pops in boho, eclectic, or modern spaces. Feel free to have fun and test out beige alongside vibrant oranges, pinks, purples, and teals to liven things up.

Uses for Beige

Thanks to its versatility, beige is a popular color for:

  • Walls – Adds a softened, welcoming look to any room
  • Furniture – Sofas, chairs, tables, cabinets in beige fit with any style
  • Bedding – Beige sheets, duvets, blankets have a natural, relaxed vibe
  • Accessories – Vases, pillows, rugs and more come in shades of beige
  • Apparel – Especially popular for neutral sweaters, jackets, pants and tops

Designers often recommend beige as a great wall color for open concept homes. The soft neutral can provide flow between kitchens, living rooms, and dining spaces. Beige is also extremely popular in bedrooms, acting as a soothing, peaceful backdrop for sleep.

Beige in Design Through History

Beige has been used in art, architecture, fashion, and design for centuries:

  • Art – Impressionist painters like Monet often used beiges to portray diffused, hazy light
  • 1970s Design – Beige, brown, and orange were staple colors of 1970s interior design
  • Mid-Century Modern – Many furnishings in the 40s/50s featured light wooden tones similar to beige
  • Today – Beige remains a popular wall color and furniture choice for 21st century homes

The neutral tone lets beige fit into designs from different eras. It works beautifully in both retro and contemporary spaces. Beige is able to adapt to changing tastes and color trends.

Beige Mood and Personality

What feelings and impressions does beige evoke? This versatile neutral can take on different moods depending on the exact shade and accompanying colors.

  • Soft – Light beiges evoke subtle, delicate impressions
  • Warm – Beiges with brown, peach, or yellow come across welcoming and friendly
  • Sophisticated – Deeper beiges give an elegant, refined feeling
  • Calming – The muted tone has a peaceful, relaxed effect
  • Practical – As a neutral, beige is a practical color choice for design
  • Timeless – Beige transcends changing color trends and styles

In summary, beige is one of those rare colors that can work in nearly any room and complement almost any accompanying hue. It manages to be soft yet versatile, delivering a practical and calming vibe no matter where it’s used. Experiment with warm browns, cool grays, and peach accents until you discover your perfect beige.


Beige is a versatile neutral created by combining shades like brown, gray, white, peach and yellow. The proportions and undertones determine the depth, warmth and personality of the beige. It pairs well with other neutrals and bold accent colors, making a timeless addition to any room. Beige delivers a soft, subtle and sophisticated effect.