Neutral beige goes with just about any color or design scheme imaginable, as long as you match or complement its undertones first. As a neutral light color, beige on the walls can open up the space, but if you fail to dress it up with other colors, it takes on a drab, boring appearance. If you're stuck with beige on the wall because you're not ready to paint or you're in a rental, add colors and decor that take your scheme from boring to bold.

Modern living-room with fireplace.
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A beige wall is surrounded by gray molding and cabinetry for an elegant look.

Warm and Cool Undertones

Beige comes in more than one color. As a catchall name for colors that could be tan, cream, buff or more, examine the underlying hints in the beige to find colors that match well with it. Put a white piece of paper in a sunlight area next to the wall covered with beige. Compare and examine the undertones to figure out if they would work better with a warm or cool palette. Warm beige works well with warm or cool color schemes, depending on the underlying color. For example, a warm beige with hints of red is offset by rusty reds, earthy browns and touches of black, while certain blues complete a yellow beige. You can also pair a cool beige with pastels that include lavender, pale silver and muted gray-blues for a soothing effect.

Sand and Sea

For pleasant beige color combinations, look to nature's palette by imagining a long stretch of a sandy beach, chunks of dark brown rocks, and driftwood with the contrast of the sea against the sand. Warm yellow beige offset by sea green, teal or turquoise creates a relaxed, calming effect in any room. Add a chocolate brown couch and chair with throw pillows in a darker shade of teal, sea green or light gray.

Black, White and Gray

Paint baseboard, door and window trim white, if you can, to create a crisp feel in the room. Add a white rug with black stripes to a conversation area defined by two beige chairs on one side, a beige couch on the opposite side and a black-and-white couch between them to form a U-shape. A white square coffee table on the rug centered between the couches and chairs creates a backdrop for coffee-table books and a clear bowl vase filled with winter white lilies. Tall, yellow-beige candles shrouded in clear tubular hurricane glass line the top of a console table behind the beige couch.

Contemporary Scheme

When you combine neutrals together correctly, they can create a sense of elegance and sophistication in a room. Metallics and glass mixed with beige creates a contemporary color scheme. Add hand-carved African ebony figurines to provide a contrasting punch on a wall shelf, bookcase or end table. Include a chair and couch set covered in a subtle striped fabric in beige and silver. Silver and glass coffee and end tables add a modern touch, while live or silk plants add a hint of color. Casually drape a knobby woven throw across the couch with copper metallic threads running through it make the room a little less austere. Finish the decor scheme with two copper-based floor lamps on either side of the couch.

Check Before Decorating

First, verify that your color combinations work together; set swatches of colors you plan to use in the scheme up against the beige in a place where you can watch it as the light changes in the room. Beige with a hint of gray beneath works well with khaki tan, dove gray, white and light brown, but these colors wouldn't look as good next to red-tinted beige. For pink beige, choose colors in salmon, mango and soft mint for a relaxing effect.