How to Break Free from Grey: Color is the New Black

Many of us have enjoyed the “grey & beige train” for several years now. I admit it…I’ve had beige and grey walls in my house to warm it up. And I’ve even used grey fabrics primarily because I liked them. But every few years I get the itch to change everything up and get a different look. You might have read my previous blog about my entryway and stairwell where the walls went from a golden yellow to pale pink. Well, a few weeks ago I painted over the beige walls in my living room. Bye bye beige! It had a good run. 

The instigator for this change came about because I purchased a purple and fuchsia Persian over-dyed rug online. I knew that the beige walls just would not do it justice. Here’s the night that the rug arrived…actually I arrived home from being out of town and was overjoyed to find the rug delivered. It was midnight!

And I also had a set of chairs that I wanted to showcase and they needed the beige to go away. 

Hold on to your horses, I painted my walls white! You might be wondering why I would go white when I want to add color. The answer? I needed a clean backdrop so that the colors could show off in the best fashion. These vibrant chairs provide amazing color for my room. I still have my black sofa and black and white striped chairs, which I will get tired of long before they ever go out of style. I also brought in bold floral pillows. 

Then, I hung an embroidered blanket from the Middle East on my big wall. The colors just bounce off those white walls. I love the new look and feel as though I’ve acquired all new stuff, even though not everything is new.

You don’t have to have to go with white walls, bold paint colors work well too. But beige was not going to be an option for these vibrant colors. I can tell you that the white walls allowed me to use color in a way that I wasn’t able to with beige. Designing is a process, so I’m not done. I’ll be adding more color in other ways over in the next few months. 

Color is the new black. It’s the thing now. So, if you find yourself wanting to add in some colorful chairs, rugs, or wall art, do it!  It takes a bit of bravery to say goodbye to grey and beige, but I’ve found that it’s worth it. How do you feel about saying goodbye to neutrals in favor of color? I would love to hear about it in the comments. 


I'm Wendy Conklin, The Chair Stylist.

What brings me joy is helping others live more creatively. I design antique-inspired, boutique chairs, and I teach others how to do what I do. Check out my shop, services, and courses to bring more whimsy into your home and life!

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