The first time I asked the question, “What is greige color?” was when we were selling a home a few years ago. This was our house at the New Jersey shore. We knew that the whole interior of the home needed a fresh paint job.
The house, built in 1972, probably hadn’t been painted in a couple of decades. When we asked our Realtor for a paint color suggestio, he replied, “What about a greige color?” To which I responded, “What is greige?”
What is greige color
Turns out greige is a portmanteau for beige and grey. Basically, it’s a beige color that looks more like gray. So when you combine the words “beige” and “gray,” you get greige.
We’ve sold enough homes to understand the importance of painting the interior of your home a neutral color. But this was the first time that we’d heard of or considered the color greige.
Modern Family blue paint color
In the house that had us asking, “What is greige,” there were five rooms that did not need to be painted in greige. They were the living room, the kitchen, the den and two powder rooms. (This house had four bathrooms.)
I’d painted the living room what I call the “Modern Family” blue. If you ever watched the TV show “Modern Family” then you knew that the Dunphy family sat in front of blue wall when they did their talking-to-the-camera interviews in the episodes.
I became obsessed with the “Modern Family” blue paint color. Lo and behold it is Benjamin Moore Labrador Blue. Just a little bit of Pinterest sleuthing gave me the color I needed to get from my local paint store.
What is greige? Not our yellow kitchen and green den
Not surprisingly, I’d also painted the kitchen yellow. As you learned in my post about colors that can help you sell a house faster, yellow kitchens do sell. So, when it came time to paint the kitchen in this house–which we did after renovating it–yellow was my choice.
Now, this kitchen opened right up into a den. Sadly, that den was covered in 1970s wood paneling. But, it had an awesome red brick fireplace.
No problem about the paneling. I painted it. I could have continued the yellow but I went with a soothing green instead. Painted, the paneling looked more like beadboard. Plus, the green color complemented the red brick hearth and fireplace beautifully.
What is greige and what it looks like
So that left the rest of the house, which had five bedrooms and two remaining full bathrooms, needing to be painted. We quickly discovered that this color palette would “read” various shades of beige or gray–or even blue–depending on the room you’re painting.
Greige color can look blue
For example, in the en suite of the main bedroom, there was a blue fleck in the tiled flooring. I never noticed it before we painted the walls greige. Suddenly, the blue stood out. And, if you asked anyone that toured that bathroom what color the walls were, my guess is they would have said light blue.
Downstairs in the dining room, which was adjacent to the “Modern Family” blue living room, the walls looked a true grey.
Greige color can look tan
Contrast that with the full bathroom for the guest bedrooms upstairs. There, the tiled flooring had brown and black flecks in it. Once painted the room read closer to tan than grey or blue.
Because of different lighting, furnishings and other colors in or near the room, it was like the greige color was a chameleon. It would “change” its colors to match the surroundings.
We were actually sad to leave the house, now that it looked so pretty with the greige color. Ironically, a few years later we bought a new house in Maine. Before putting it on the market, the sellers had the entire interior of the house painted.
Can you guess what color they ended up choosing? Why greige, of course. Now, finally, I can live in and enjoy a home painted in a greige color.
How to determine the right greige to use
Now that I’ve told you that greige can read blue or tan or another color, you may be even more confused about which greige to choose. I’ve got a solution for your confusion.
I just learned about this company called Samplize. It sends you 12 inch by 12 inch “sticky notes” of various paint colors. So, rather than taping up those little paint tabs that you can get in a paint store, you can use the Samplize samples in a big area on your walls.
Right now, Samplize has paint samples from four paint companies:
- Benjamin Moore
- Sherwin Williams
- Farrow and Ball
We’re thinking of painting our house soon, and I’d love to go with greige again. But I cannot remember which Sherwin Williams greige we used. So I ordered three different greige samples from Samplize. This will help me determine which one I like the best.
Full disclosure: Samplize is not free. You’ll pay $5.95 for each sticky note of color. However, that’s way cheaper than buying a small can of custom-mixed paint to test on the walls.
What comes in greige besides paint
So, if you love the greige color as much as I do, I’ve got great new. Greige isn’t just for paint. There are plenty of housewares and other home furnishings in a greige color. Below, you can find some neat ones I’ve found and am considering adding to my new home with the greige walls.