Understanding Beige Undertones

May 17, 2011

One of the main reasons I wanted to go to Maria Killam’s True Color Expert Training  was to learn how to distinguish and ‘see’ the undertones of color.

I wanted to understand the difference between the various beiges and how they all work together.  After taking Maria’s class, I can now ‘see’ the pink, yellow and green undertones in both paint color and furnishing and how they relate/respond to each other when they are together in a room.


Yellow Undertones                                         Pink Undertones

Green Undertones

I had on online color consultation yesterday that I was able to use my newly acquired ‘expert’ training.  She had written to me asking for help because she just could not figure out what the problem in the room was, just something was not working. She is keeping the carpet. Here are a few pictures she sent to me:

Den (1)

AprilMay 2011 118

Do you see the wall color compared to the carpet? I see a lot of pink in the wall beige color. Can you see that?  And what undertone do you see in the carpet?

AprilMay 2011 120

Green undertones! My first suggestion I told her was to take a sample of Huntington Beige HC 21 and lay it down on the carpet and see how that worked together.

Huntington Beige HC-21

“Perfect!” she said.  I did have her look at other color samples but she said that the first choice was best.  Yay!

Den (7)

Even her beautiful artwork will look better with the greeny Huntington Beige behind it on the wall.  I told her the art works well with the rug, it is the wall color throwing off the room. Are you recognizing the undertones when I am pointing them out?  It is hard I know.

The best advice I can give you when trying to determine an undertone of a color is to compare them together. Put your beige samples right up next to each other to help you see the differences between them. Try laying a couple different samples out on your bathroom tile.  Which color sample looks best?  Same with your kitchen granite, which undertone is obvious when you sample other beiges next to it?  It takes practice.  If you want to learn to be an expert on undertones, take Maria’s color training.  You will be an expert like me! 🙂

Comments?  Questions?

If you need help choosing the right colors for your home, contact me today!



  1. Hi, I am hoping you could help me. I am having trouble seeing the undertone in the paint color on my living room & dining room walls. It is Benjamin Moore Coyote trail 1224. With lots of white moulding. We need to paint the foyer that is in the middle of the 2 rooms. It is presently BM Alexandria Beige. I would like to brighten it up with a light color of tan or beige. The floor is a multi shades of brown marble. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you, Diane

  2. I took a long time to pick a neutral color for my kitchen, but it has to match the living and dining rooms that it is now opened up to with our presently ongoing remodel. It feels off and although I tried to consider undertone, I obviously have a lot to learn. My living and dining rooms are Behr’s Ryegrass which I believe has a yellow undertone. The color I am having an issue with is Sherman Williams Malabar. I looked up the color composition just now so I am thinking it has a red undertone. So frustrated. I really wanted a shade of taupe in the kitchen but felt that the green with what I believe is the yellow undertone in the surrounding rooms didn’t match with it at all. Please advise!

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