In its simplest description, greige is the color between (or involving the combination of) beige and grey. Greige has grown in popularity in interior design over the past few years, even being called “the hottest neutral”. While grey itself is an extremely popular neutral these days, greige’s appeal lies in its capacity to warm up true grey without reading as a full-blown brown; in other words, it reads as a warm grey, which feels like the best of both worlds.
What is Greige? An official explanation.
Greige is black plus beige with yellow or blue undertones. (This is slightly different from taupe, which is black plus beige with red or green undertones.) In fact, the undertones are the number one key to telling greige apart from taupe.
Red undertones are the warmest of all, so because greige has yellow or blue undertones, it will appear relatively cool next to taupe. The bluer the undertones, the cooler greige will be. So, essentially, a light brown with grey and yellow or blue = greige. Remember amidst all of this that grey itself is not a color; it is a true neutral (along with white and black).
Again, generally speaking, when one compares greige with taupe (which can look similar on the small squares that are paint chips but have hugely different looks in larger areas), greige is cooler than taupe. It should be noted, though, that both are greyer than beige.
History(ish) of Greige.
Greige as a word is a perfect hybrid of grey and beige, although the word itself comes from old Italian and French words that mean “raw silk”. As a physical noun, greige refers to any fabric that is in its undyed state. As a color, of course, it combines the sophistication of grey with the organic feel of beige.
Greige has been around in the fashion world for decades, although many people are just barely learning what the color is called. In the 1980s, Giorgio Armani used the color so much in his designs that he was sometimes referred to as “the king of greige”.The color is now used for anything from magazine photo backgrounds to nail polish. And it most definitely has a home in the world of interior design.
Greige in Interior Designs.
Below is a variety of examples of greige being used in home décor and interior design. It is easy to see why this particular hue is such a trendy neutral.
In layman’s terms, greige is also known as either warm grey or cool beige, and neither of these references is far from the truth. Greige appears in nature in wildlife and stone. Like other neutrals whose roots lie in nature, greige is organic, elegant, and aesthetically appealing.
Greige + Monochromatic.
In a monochromatic space or a space with similar analogous colors, greige serves to emphasize the monochromatic score. Furthermore, the color provides an excellent backdrop on the walls or point of visual depth within the monochromatic spectrum.
Greige Highlights Great Furniture.
Greige provides the perfect foundation against which great furniture and other pieces can (and will!) pop. The tint doesn’t detract from furnishings, and it infuses the space overall with a sort of powerfully organic and sophisticated vibe wherein all solid design and décor can shine.
It should come as no surprise, based upon its parentage, that greige looks well in just about any space, with any style, and with any other color(s). It provides the best of all the neutral worlds, which is not surprising when you consider just how popular the color is right now.
Greige + Natural Stone.
Greige not only works well with natural stone in interior design; it also IS the color of some natural stone in interior design. Using greige stone or tile in a contemporary space brings out an innate minimalism, as the material looks and feels to be in its most fundamental form.
Cozy Dark Greige.
Although most people are familiar the lighter tinted versions of greige, there are in fact darker shades of the hue as well. Even in these darker tones, greige continues to exude a charming inviting and warm feel. Like many colors in their darker tones, the aesthetic is cozy.
Soothing Soft Greige.
Lighter tints of greige, such as what we see in this bedroom setup, are the perfect choice to create a relaxing, restful space. The color allows textures to be emphasized, further deepening the overarching feel of comfort and calm that is so desirable in a bedroom.
You are probably aware that not all neutrals are created equal. Greige is one of the best hues at serving as a background element while bringing out the best in the forefront pieces. Subtle greige walls allow the focus to rest on the true focal points in any space.
Greige + Wood.
Not surprisingly, due to its inherent blend of naturally appearing neutrals, greige is a harmonious team player in any space that emphasizes wood pieces. Whether this means wood furniture, flooring, trim, or even ceiling beams, any and all of these elements will be shown to their advantage with greige as the neutral foundation.
The greige walls of this contemporary art display are an excellent example of industrial warmth. The wall color emphasizes the urban feel of the art and works with the pieces to create a display that feels edgy yet warm.
Greige + Leather.
When naturalleather is combined with greige in a space, the result is a highly covetous blend of comfortable, understated elegance. The cheerful yet rich warmth of this caramel colored leather sofa, for example, brings out the warmth of the greige itself.
Because greige is neither beige nor grey, it can be used with either of those other neutrals in a geometric pattern with a unique and beautiful effect. The greige + beige or greige + grey pattern will be an energetic version of neutral (pairing well with bolder hues), but it will still read as decidedly neutral and, therefore, not too crazy or busy.