gray laminate
Are you kidding me. Read more.

A top commenting rule on the blog is, “No one can be made to feel bad for their choices.” So I am breaking my own rule and will probably regret it. However, I can no longer contain my rant against “greige” — that drab, virtually colorless, gray-green-brown-beige — that has begun to permeate the contemporary interior design world. Above: from Restoration Hardware. This is their second season, at least, deep into the doo doo (pun intended) of greige. I know times are really tough, and that a somber mood, on many occasions, is called for. But, this palette (can you even call the absence of color a palette?) … makes me depressed. I encourage the secret society of people who plan the “hot colors” for years forward to, instead, consider promoting a palette that reminds us to smile… that lifts us up… that gives us some hope! We Americans are an optimistic, extroverted, hard-working bunch, and we’ll pull out of this malaise. We are Not a Greige Nation. Oh and one more thing: Please remember that the Marketing Machine wants to convince you to throw out everything you bought five years ago for whatever is new today. Train your own eye, surround yourself with what makes You happy, and ignore what any trend pundits — including me-ish — say.

  1. Jackie Toye says:

    Yes, you have to be careful to guard against the marketing machine. Updating is costly and sometimes it’s not necessary. Home should be HOME. A trend is too flighty … Mix some in, but don’t let a trend consume you.

  2. Tera says:

    EWWWWWWWW Greige and AHHHH new word of the day. I promise, no, I SWEAR to you I will never use GREIGE. I have escaped it so far mostly because it doesn’t match 1950’s turquoise anyway.

  3. M Head says:

    Greige = neutral and neutral seems boring to me. I follow real estate listings and it breaks my heart when I see an older home with character listed as needing “updating” and then see the same home bought and resold neutralized and advertised as completely remodeled with granite everywhere and listed at a huge markup. All that beautiful old tile in a landfill somewhere. I like color, my kitchen is green, my living room is creamy orange and my bathroom is pink. I love it and I think I will pass on the greiging trend.

  4. nina462 says:

    Hey – just to let you know – “greige” is an actual color….see below from the Good Housekeeping Good Hints (about fall nail polish colors) – at least some other colors were mentioned as well:

    “Greige” (Gray and Beige)
    Although this hybrid color made its debut last fall, the surface of its popularity was barely scratched. Used on the Tracy Reese F/W runway, this hue channels the super-soft and lush fabrics worn in the show.

    Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Fedora, $7; mass retailers

    Lets hope it doesn’t catch on –

  5. Kate says:

    THIS! Thank you! When we bought our 1941 ranch house 2 years ago everything was painted blah-blah greige. Even the curtains were greige! First thing we did: painted our bedroom a cheery yellow. I don’t know how people can stand to be surrounded by bland neutrals.

  6. Diane says:

    When we moved into our 1957 ranch 4 yrs.ago, the previous owners had everything in the house painted white or beige, & the kitchen had beige appliances, beige countertop, & beige walls. We have finally done away with all that beige this year with the Formica Atomic Turf countertop, daffodil yellow walls & tile backsplash. I have added white appliances & accent pieces in aqua, turquoise, & pink. Thank you Retro Renovation for your inspiration to those of us who now know better, & to those out there who have yet to learn.

  7. Betty Roth says:

    Thank you for your site and thank you for this rant! It’s nice to know I’m not insane! Every design show/home improvement program and Real Estate flipper on HGTV insists on neutral colors and now everyone is following suit. Those colors are meant to be inoffensive as in boring, bland and devoid of personality. Unless you’re selling in the next 3 months for the love of Russel Wright paint your surroundings in colors that speak to YOU! My kitchen is lipstick red (soon to be turquoise) and the rest of my apt. is purple! It’s my space and it makes me happy. PS. I’ve converted my DH to a lover of all things 1920s to early 1960s. We haven’t bought a “new” item in years!

  8. Joe Felice says:

    Mid-century modern/space age encompassed many colors. They were bright pastels and primaries. Of all the colors, the gray palette was NOT used, except for, perhaps, in counter tops. So I think it’s safe to say that this is one movement that will never take hold. I always love those folks who have to be revisionists and reinventionists.

  9. RetroHousewifeGlamour says:

    Malvina Reynolds’ “Little Boxes” is still relevant today, except for color. Instead of “there’s a pink one and a green one and a blue one and a yellow one,” today it is more like “there’s a grey one and a beige one and greige one and another one.” “…and they’re all made out of ticky tacky and they all look just the same.” Color gives us individuality. People used to make the best out of tract housing by using different paint colors. People find the idea of Levittown suburbia to be scary, but could you imagine if every identical house was painted the same color greige. There are subdivisions basically like that going up everyday. I’m not sure why people are more scared than ever to think outside the little box.

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