With Jessica Baucom
Q: My walls are dark beige, my carpet is dark beige. I have alder floor boards and alder doors. We’re not investing in paint because we’re going to eventually sell the house. In the meantime, I need color! Especially in our bedroom. What are some colors that work with beige? How can I modernize a space that’s far from it? Headboard? Bedspread? Furniture? — Sarah
A: Oh, beige. How did you come to take over our lives? You’re our safety zone. You’re warm, homey, comfortable, and let’s be honest, a bit boring. Snooze.
Sarah, the good news is that with a neutral background, you have a lot of flexibility for spicing things up. If a modern twist is what you’re looking for, I would focus on adding lights and brights. Crisp white will give beige some life. From there, don’t be afraid to mix in some color. If I know beige like I think I do, you’re definitely needing it.
Art: Whatever art you choose—whether it’s photos of the kiddies, a colorful print by Joseph Albers or a lovely drawing like this one from local artist Gheybin Comish—try using a crisp, white square frame with a white matt to make a beige background pop. (For tips on locating art, see here.)
Left to right: Ribba frames from IKEA, baby image from Jim Franco Photography, Joseph Albers print from Room & Board, and sketch by Gheybin Comish.
Bedding: Again, when it comes to bedding, go for contrast. Adding white will help freshen up your space. This bedding by Dwell adds both color and a crisp quality. Or, try a solid white bedspread and let the pillows do the talking. The key here is brighter equals better.
DwellStudio “Chinnoiserie” bedding from Layla Grace, Hayward Pillows from Crate & Barrel.
Furniture: Let furniture be the dark, sturdy contrast to your poppy accessories. A clean design like this headboard from West Elm will give balance and structure to a modern look. If you’re looking for something a bit more traditional, try a canopy bed like this one from Pottery Barn.
Left to right: Platform Headboard and Nesting Hexagons from West Elm, Farmhouse Canopy Bed from Pottery Barn.
Basically, it’s not so hard to keep beige from bringing you down. A balanced combination of whites and colors will keep your bedroom (and you) healthy.
Send design and decorating questions for Jessica to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Interior Motives” in the subject line.