A Study in Beige

beige: light brown colour
synonyms: camel, cream, khaki, off-white, tan, taupe, biscuit, buff, ecru, fawn, mushroom, neutral, oatmeal, sand, cafe au lait

I know it’s childish to object to a colour, but I don’t like beige. Maybe I can’t forgive it for looking so icky on me.

And yet, in other applications and in the right light, it’s quite delightful.

Gaggle of goslings with parent Canada Goose.

Dried heads of pampas-style grasses in warm morning light.

New leaves backlit by sun in forested area.

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13 Responses to A Study in Beige

  1. barbara carlson says:

    Those aren’t beige — they are cinnamon or better. Beige is is enervating.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Barbara – I wondered who’d be first to correct my colour sense, which is not good. I like cinnamon.

  2. Where do sunglasses fit into the photographer’s lifestyle? These photos are delightful but their colors range from crouton to Midas’ touch with Barbara’s cinnamon in the middle. Nary a glimpse of the lone and level silicones that stretch far away.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – It does seem that beige covers a wide range of sins. Certainly I have never seen sand the colour of a fawn, or a camel, for that matter.

  3. Tom Watson says:

    Did I hear that beige is, in today’s vernacular, “woke?”

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Tom – Not from me! I think I ran into this usage just last week. I guess I should stay woke.

  4. barbara carlson says:

    The last time John and I went car buying, the salesman steered us to a beige station wagon. John and I both slowed our pace, trudging towards the hideous car/colour. We didn’t buy it and agree later that we would never be happy again if we had. Beige is the colour of sadness and defeat. If you paint your rooms beige you have given up.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Barbara – I foresee a whole (new?) subset of psychological diagnostic tools, asking people about the paint in their homes. I remember moving to a new office where a designer had got loose, painting the walls two dark colours – eggplant and olive, or somesuch. Some of the women said it took them forever to get dressed in the AM, because they kept rejecting outfits based on how they’d look against those disturbing walls.

      • barbara carlson says:

        On a good colour note, paint your bathroom the colour of glycerine soap and your complexion looks great!

        • Isabel Gibson says:

          Barbara – Good beauty tip! I’m all for changing the world around me so I look better.

  5. Tom Watson says:

    Well, there is already a psychological diagnostic tool called the Lüscher color test—a psychological test invented by Dr. Max Lüscher in Basel, Switzerland. Max Lüscher believed that sensory perception of color is objective and universally shared by all, but that color preferences are subjective, and that this distinction allows subjective states to be objectively measured by using test colors. Lüscher believed that because the color selections are guided in an unconscious manner, they reveal the person as they really are, not as they perceive themselves or would like to be perceived.

    I copied that definition from Wikipedia, but for what it’s worth I’m not much of a beige guy either.

    When we, for a time, lived in manses, Janice would say, “The manse committee wants to paint. I suppose it will be parsonage beige again!”


    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Tom – I spent years with off-white (aka beige) walls. My father said it was the safest colour for selling your house, and that’s likely true. Of course, I guess you have to decide whether you’re decorating for yourself or for the next owner. My current foyer is dark red; my living room walls are gold; my office is a dark blue/grey.

    • barbara carlson says:

      Tom — YES! and the other colour I hate is gas station bathroom green.

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