I have never been one to be brave with colors. Some would define me as pretty basic or maybe even boring. One of my dear friends said the title, “Mrs. 50 Shades of Beige” was bestowed to her by one of her family members, but out of love and maybe, teasingly, encouraging her to think bigger than beige.
When my friend shared this comment with me, my immediate (and nerd-like) response was to share with her that Jackie Kennedy’s mother (Janet Auchincloss) loved beige and she wore the color well and constantly. She was a woman of great taste and class. Take that title and run with it!
When building our new house, I will definitely be told that I overused the colors grey and white too much. Grey and white is my main color palette for most of the house and I am pretty excited about it! So call me 50 shades of grey (I have not read the books) but I think having a basic color palette that you love, is versatile and works well with your home is the key.
Why so much white?
I have kids. Two boys and they are messy at times (and don’t forget a dog) but when I stated on this journey of building a home and creating space(s) that my family would use and love, I was pretty determined on keeping the colors simple. We have a tremendous amount of windows and wanted to use natural lighting as much as possible. Having strong or bold colors would have taken away from this factor. We also have a great view of the county-side which is a focal point and bright colors would have taken away from the view. I want people to walk into my house and be drawn into spaces by the view and the natural light.
Grey and white are basic, easy to change (or fix) and update and I can add an accent color seasonally to provide color. Items like pillows, picture frames, table runners, throws, etc. all can provide easy and transitional color that doesn’t include me adding paint to my walls.
How will I keep this clean you may ask? I may regret all the white walls someday but you know what, I can paint them (like grey or beige). My furniture will not be white (side-note, I am fearless but not silly). Also to break-up the whiteness of the house, I decided to add some shiplap which I know is trendy but I thought the texture would help break-up the white walls and create a focal point or interest for visitors. Who doesn’t love shiplap on the “Fixer Upper” and I never knew what it was until the show but there is a lot to be said for adding elements of texture that create diverse visual elements. There will be a future blog post that focuses on texture!
50 Shades of Grey (literally)
When I say grey, you know there is close to 50 shades of grey (or more). Actually, a computer screen can show up to 256 shades of grey via the RGB color model. Picking the right greys and sticking with the same undertone color was hard. All greys have an undertone such as brown, blue or green. So some greys will appear to more of a blueish grey or greenish grey and all the stone work, siding, etc. all need to follow that same undertone color. Then the same, for inside the house. Just go to the Sherman Williams paint app (which is pretty awesome) and you will see the array of grey paints. Grey just isn’t grey anymore.
To all the 50 shades of white, beige, greys, whatever color it may be, hold your head up high and use that color palette to your advantage. There are no boring colors! They are all exciting and useful, depending on how you choose to use them. Study those undertone colors, explore some textures, and remember, if Janet Auchincloss can rock the color beige 7 days a week with her wardrobe, then you can too in your home!