Say Buh-Bye To The Camel Walls

Y’all may have noticed from some recent makeovers that I have been trying to slowly weed out my traditional red and gold decor, and have been adding some modern touches, yes?  I still do love the colors and have decorated with them ever since I moved out and got my first apartment.  But, I’m ready for a change. Shocking, I know. :)

I’ve discovered how much I love grey recently and what a great neutral it is.  And I want neutral walls so I can change out the other accessories more frequently. And, I want something lighter and brighter.  But how do you achieve getting the warm feel by using grey?  By choosing a greige!  I still think of grey not being cold but some do, but I think an overall greige would be best suited for us for this particular redo.

I asked my friend Brittany from Pretty Handy Girl if she could do some quick photoshop magic for me so I could see what our living room would look like in a greige, or a light taupey grey. I asked her to use something similar to Sherwin Williams’ Balanced Beige and Anew Grey. The color she used is also similar to Benjamin Moore’s Hot Springs Stone which she has used in her home as well.  FYI-the BM Hot Springs Stone and SW Balanced Beige are almost identical on the swatch.

Here is the living room as it is now with SW Baguette on the walls.

And after with Brittany’s handy work.

Now, I know it’s dramatic.  You just have to envision with me a slipcovered ottoman, some fun pillows for color, curtains, wainscoting, and hopefully a new rug if I sell mine. Can you see it?  And keep in mind this is just photoshop–not an exact color match by any means.  I will probably keep it pretty neutral in here and maybe even monochromatic with lots of white.  It’s what I’m diggin’ right now.

I think it’s really great to see a visual though of what your room could look like if you are thinking of making big changes.  Get in touch with Brittany for a quote if you’d like to see some photoshop magic in your own home.  I think it’s well worth it! And thanks again Brittany for your help!!

I’ve been putting swatches all over our walls the past few days. Specifically..

  • SW Balanced Beige
  • SW Tony Taupe
  • SW Anew Grey
  • BM Hot Spring Stones (color matched at Sherwin Williams)
  • BM Valley Forge Tan (color matched at Sherwin Williams)
  • BM Silver Fox (color matched at Sherwin Williams)
  • BM Revere Pewter (color matched at Sherwin Williams)

These were all grey colors that have brown undertones.  Well, they are supposed to.  Grey, even greige, is so hard!!  Several of them took on a blue tint which still baffles me.  But we get so much light in here so I guess that’s why.

Here are most of the areas I’ve swiped around the house and they can all look different in certain areas.  I even used a pen on the wall to write the names of the colors so I wouldn’t mix them up. It looks pretty artistic in here!

Isn’t it crazy how blue some of those look??  But I think the winner is SW Balanced Beige which is the 3rd one from the right with the brown underline below it in the above pic.  It stays the most consistent throughout the day, doesn’t turn blue, and is still a warm enough grey.

So basically, the whole downstairs area and staircase, with the exception of the office and the kitchen are getting repainted. Yippee!!  I’m ready for some change. Some people get a new hair style when they want a change, and me, I just paint. :)

What do you think? You think I’m crazy don’t you?  Do you have any last minute favorite greige’s to alert me of before the house gets painted?  If so let me know! :)



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  1. Altho I love the color of your walls as is, I think the new color is fab! I wish I were as methodical. I never paint small samples, because I am a lazy woman – I picked our new wall color totally in Home Depot looking at the swatch, but it’s “Tobacco Leaf” and I think it will be great. Now, if the weather would stay mild a few days I could git er done.

  2. I think the new wall color will look fabulous! We used 3 different hues of the same color for most of our home, very neutral, and I love it because I can change the accessories very easily and even swap them from room to room.

    • Awesome. I can’t wait to have all neutral instead of color blocks everywhere. :)

      • Painted my family room SW Balanced Beig and trim in creamy white. Love it! Struggling now deciding on color for light switch plates. Any advice? White, nickle or color of the walls.

  3. I love your color choice. I think you will love it. I have my whole house neutral and it is so nice to just have pops of color through pillows and other accessories. Can’t wait to see it all. Hugs, Marty

  4. Awesome update. Gray is the new beige! I went with Benjie Moore’s Iced Cube Silver and love it. It’s a little more blue than I wanted, but I still like it a lot. A lot in my house had to change when I went neutral yellow-beige to gray, but it all feels so much lighter and hipper. I love it.

  5. Oh this is too funny. I have been trying to talk my family into painting our beige walls a gray color. Now that you have given me a lesson in greige, I may go get me some paint :) Question: I have a tiny bathroom, that my daughter would like to be grey and pink, there is no natural light. Any ideas on colors?

    • Hmm, I would try SW Mindful Grey and Anew Grey and see if they turn blue. I have used both of those colors and they are a true grey (when they don’t turn blue :) Just depends on how dark of grey your daughter wants?

  6. Have you checked out Martha Stewart’s Potter’s Clay? It may be more beige than what you are looking for but I love Martha’s paint colors. I think I am going with Potter’s Clay for the main areas of our new house. Good luck finding the perfect color. Can’t wait to see it finished!

    • Jess Harris says:

      I absolutely love this color!! I used it in our old house just before we ended up moving, and took the rest of the can with for projects. I’m now thinking I will end up using it again… It looks truly beautiful in any light!!

  7. We are doing the exact same thing. New home… painting most of the walls (save the kids’ rooms) tans and grays. Our dining room is the darkest at a medium brown. I love the fact that the accessories can pop and be interchanged then. Valentines’ colors won’t clash… Christmas colors won’t clash… etc.

  8. Can’t wait to see it! I have a similar color in my bedroom and I am dying to paint it a greigish color. :o)

  9. When we had our house built 11 years ago, I left all the walls Swiss Coffee because I wanted to “live-with-the-light-for-awhile-to-see-what-colors-to-choose” and never got around (able to afford) to doing anything but paint the boys’ rooms in blues. Every time my interior designer friend brought her kids over she would roll her eyes at my boring walls & tell me which wall should get which bright color… Now I’m glad to see I’m finally “with it” for having neutral walls! I’m looking through my new Ballard catalog, however, and don’t see that they have walls with grey smudges about little boy hand height… *sigh*

  10. I’m so glad you posted this!!! we have the same camel color and I want to go LIGHT! It’s so hard picking out the perfect shade though!! I love the new color. It’s so amazing how paint can completely transform how a room feels!

  11. I love it. I just picked out Glidden’s Seal Gray for our purple and gray bedroom. I love it so much I want to do a variation in my office. I too live in TX with the walls all beige/light tan and envision something different.

  12. I have a crazy question. What do you have on the small accent windows above your larger windows in your living room? We have one of those oh-so-lovely accent windows in our family room that is loooonnnng. The previous owners had… wait for it… vertical blinds custom made to fit it. We’ve lived with this for about 9 1/2 years like this due to the hot as heck Texas sun streaming in during the day. The family room may as well be a toaster during the summer if we didn’t cover the windows. So, long question long. Just curious what you have up there. Looks 10x better than what I’ve got going on.


    • Hey Robyn, we covered all of our living room windows with solar screens on the outside. They helped SO much. I’d highly recommend doing that to yours, especially in the Texas summers. It got so hot in here with the sun blaring down in the LR all day. BUT, to answer your question, those little windows are actually totally covered up…when we had our patio built, you would have been able to see the wood beams and stuff from the patio ceiling, so we just had those little windows totally covered.

      Are you in Houston area? The company I used was really cheap and they are great. Lifetime warranty too. And with the solar screens, you can still see outside, but you can’t see inside the house when you are outside so it’s a good privacy feature as well.

  13. Grays are so hard to get right! I did a taupy gray called mochatini, which was a Wal-Mart Kilz color on my walls. I would suggest that you paint a whole wall before you totally commit because a whole wall versus a little sample strip can look A LOT different I have found. Do it on a wall that gets lots of sun to see how it changes throughout the day when the sun goes down, etc. While I love my color I choose, in the early morning it has a pinkish/purple cast that is really bothering me, but in the late afternoon it is perfect and I love it at night, turns more brown, but I am debating on making a change because of the pinky/purply thing. I do get compliments on this color though every time someone comes over. Good luck! I will be checking back to see what you end up with!

  14. Hahaha..your walls look like mine! My den walls are Asian Jute, which is a gold color. It’s been like that for 5 years, which is way past my 3yr ‘change wall paint’ limit. I’m like you, trying to get out of the gold/red/green, and go more neutral so I can accessorize more.

    And to make it worse, hubby put those new halogen (sp?) light bulbs in the den, and it has made the pale gold so bright! aaack! I’ve got to cool that room down!!

    • Judith,
      I also have Asian Jute ( Gold) paint on my walls. I am trying to find out the manufacturer of trhe paint since my husband took our old piant to recycle and I need to touch up. Was it MAB? Any help is appreciated.

      • Sharon,
        I got it at Farrell-Calhoun here in TN. Not sure if you have that paint store in your parts?

        Best of luck…

  15. Very nice change!! Hurry and buy your paint. It is all 25% off wit ha coupon from their facebook page

  16. Very nice change!! Hurry and buy your paint. It is all 25% off with a coupon from their facebook page

  17. I love the color! Just that subtle change has changed the feel of your living room, but it is still just as warm. When we moved into our house I painted the main areas Stony Mountain by Ralph Lauren. It has just enough beige to keep it from feeling cold. Can’t wait to see what you end up with.

  18. I recently painted my living room and dining room greige. I used Ben Moore Natural Elements #1515 and I am thrilled with the result. You can search my blog and check it out.

  19. I have BM’s Silver Fox in my master bathroom and I absolutely love it. I think any of the greys you’ve shown would work. I have a few pictures of my master bath posted on my blog at

  20. I just did my basement in tones of gray and I have to say, I have totally love it. Can’t wait to see what you choose and how it turns out!

  21. As for other great grays, I really like Montpelier Ashlar Gray, but it would be a bit dark for your living room. Classic Gray by Ben Moore may be too light, but it is really nice as an alternative to white.

  22. I’m not generally a grey fan, but the photoshopped version looks nice.

  23. I am loving gray too and am in the process of changing our yellow family to a Martha Stewart gray that has more of a blue background. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.

  24. I love how you looked at your options with photoshop. That’s so clever!

  25. You’ve inspired me. I can’t wait to see how things turn out – I love gray too!

  26. How funny, I was just really wanting to change some of our walls (they are a tan color-Fig Cookie). But I’m afraid to because of all the other things I would have to change (valances, lamp shades, rugs,etc.) I’m sure I will though soon! Can’t wait to see how yours looks when its finished! :)

  27. I think it’s LOTS better = ) I love it! Photoshop and all! haha
    Good luck w/it. Looking forward to seeing the real thing.

  28. was going to suggest this earlier but didn’t want to offend! I don’t think you need the wainscoting or want it in that room just a new paint color! I love the new paint color idea!!! way better! love! can’t wait to see! :)

  29. I’ve been loving gray lately too!!!! I say, GO FOR IT! I’m hoping to change a red dining room into a grayish office (a little nervous), but can’t wait! Last year, we changed tan walls to a light taupey gray, and I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!! Love your blog!!!!!

  30. oh emily! I love it! that’s so funny because when you showed a recent pick with your new white accessories, I was secretly thinking to myself, hmm…I wonder if she is gonna go gray in there too. Although I have nothing against the current color, it just felt to rich for the space and vision you have been moving towards. I secretly wanted to run over and start painting gray in your room too! ;) I can’t wait to see when it’s done!!!

  31. HI I’m your newest follower, Just love all your posts! I read so much last night I went to bed and told my husband we were doing some upgrading to the house. He asked me to stop reading blogs LOL. I also want to do chair rails with wainscotting for my stairs and change my front formal living room to a formal dining…oh so many wishes!
    I also want to do Grey in a room, just loving grey right now.

  32. Wow! I love the future transformation!!! Thank you soooo very much for sharing the colors with us! I also get my paints at SW and thank you so much for doing the paint test!!! My whole house is painted in a very similar color yours is, I am sooo sick of it!!! The only room I have been brave enough to do is the nursery. Uh…I really want to redo but am sooo dreading the whole painting process!!! I think I’d gonna have to pull an all nigher!!

    Thank you for inspiring the world! You are amazing!!! I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!


  33. I’m looking for a gray for my son’s bathroom. So I hear ya loud and clear. Love the idea for your family room and Brittney did a great job so you could see what it looks like.

    Can you tell me what the bottom right shade is on the close up of your light switch? And is it the same as the far left on the shot of your handrail? That’s pretty close to what I’m envisioning for the bath!

    • You’re good Anita! Yes, those are the same colors. SW Tony Taupe–It’s one shade darker than the Balanced Beige which is what I’m going with. I know you are smart and will test it first though. :) That one was a close contender with the BB, but decided with the lighter one although we could get away using the TT because of the light in here. It is a pretty color though!

      • I will check out both of them! At least they are in the same family so either one might work. There is a skylight in the bath so lots of light in there too. I can’t wait to see yours finished.

  34. I have gray walls, that are kind of a brown gray. Studio Taupe Behr All in One. I love a warm gray wall!!! Especially with white and pops of color too!! Have fun painting!

  35. So glad to see this today. We are in the process of changing from a cream beige to a silvery gray. Haven’t chosen a color yet but it does need to look a little blue as we have curtains with red, cream and a hint of a denim blue. Had I known gray would be SO huge a year after we moved into this house… well, I like to paint so it’s no big deal. I found colourmehappy and she had great suggestions about transitioning to gray when you have a brown couch. And this may be a terrible idea but, what would it look like if you painted the wainscotting a really dark color? I know, gasp! You just did all that, didn’t you? Might be worth a photoshop tryout just to see. Can’t wait to see how it turns out!

    • I’ve never seen a dark wainscoting, but I’d imagine it would work in some spaces. But I love the crisp white part of it for the contrast. And a dark one wouldn’t work right here because of the dark leather sofa. I have seen wainscoting where it’s the same color as the wall paint, and that looks great too! Glad you love grey too! :)

  36. I think your choice will be lovely! I wanted to point out though, that a couple of things might be affecting your vision of seeing the tones of the colors correctly. Putting the small swatches of samples directly on the paint can affect how they’ll really end up unless you do 2-3 coats of the samples. Also, putting them with the existing paint as a background is going to skew how you see them. You need a white backdrop to see them against. You won’t be having the paint with the existing paint when all is said and done so it need to be against a white. I know it really helped me to paint large samples on paint boards with white around the perimeter and tack them to the wall. That way the new paint had a white border instead of the existing paint that kept thowing the eye off. Good luck!! Paint is so hard to choose!

  37. I’m obsessed with gray recently (: It’s going to look great and I learned in color theory class that it will make the space look larger, because it’s a cooler color!

  38. OMG, I have the exact same issue, even have considered Balanced Beige very strongly. I never thought it would be hard to pick a beige, some look blue, some too PINK, ugh. Here’s the formula I created, which is (I think) a great greige. It’s SW custom color, and you have to read it like its four columns across:

    BAC Colorant 0Z 32 64 128
    B1-Black: — 31 — 1
    R2- Maroon: — 5 1 —
    Y3 Deep Gold: — 62 — —

    Let me know if you try it out:)

    • @Michelle,
      That is totally funny because when I painted our living room Mindful Grey, it was totally lilac lol. So, when the lady told me the breakdown of the colors I knew that darn maroon was to blame. So, they customized it and left out all but a tiny bit of the maroon and it worked like a charm. it is grey with no other tones. The fun of paint colors.

    • Thanks Michelle, I just may try it out!

  39. s. christian says:

    try Bleeker Beige at Ben Moore…..I used it throughout my house and had them mix 50% color of the same color to paint hallways and areas that don’t get natural light…worked like a charm and I think it could be considered “greige”….not sure…but check it out

  40. How fun! I like your choice. We are in the process of doing the same thing. The khaki/beige/caramel castle is outta here. We’re just trying to find the perfect color…thanks for the inspiration!

    Blessings to you and Happy Valentine’s Day,

  41. Good luck with your new paint. I have almost my whole house done in a greige by Sherwin Williams. It’s called Estate Greige. I love, love, love it. It is cool and has that grey look, but is still taupe. Let me know if you need the formula numbers. Can’t wait to see your transformation!!!

  42. Anonymous says:

    Hi there! I am not familiar with grey paint colors, but thought I would mention about a blog I read called Back Porch Musings. She just repainted her house with grey. I believe it is SW Sticks and Stones. Take a look at her blog in January 2011 archives to see the photos of her lovely home painted grey.
    Thought you might enjoy taking a look. Best of luck choosing your new paint color. I’m sure it will look lovely!

  43. Emily I adore all of your paint colors now. I understand wanting a change though. It’s going to be fabulous! You have the designers touch.

    Warmly, ~Melissa

  44. We had balanced beige on our walls (when we first built the house) then I decided to paint over it with warmer colors. It’s just too taupe gray for me. But I do have to say, it really depends on your space. It looks great on your walls (and while I didn’t think it looked bad on mine) it’s just not working for mine;) Can’t wait to see the change! Happy painting!

  45. You are too funny. I giggle only because my walls looked exactly the same as of last week and I was having the same turmoil deciding on a gray. I stumbled upon the perfect color (for me) by accident. It is a cross between Valspar’s “Gravity” and “Silver leaf”, custom mixed in a Behr premium paint at HD. You can see some shots of it in our bedroom on my blog at (check the Master Bedroom Makeover Reveal post from 2/14)

    I think you may like the color. I love the idea to lighten up the room, it will look fantastic!

  46. Emily~it will be so lovely with the new color. Can’t wait to see!! Happy painting~

  47. I love your poem! My parents have been repainting their home and they have “swatches on the wall, swatches on the wall” as well! I think the balanced beige has more red/pink undertones and will be a warmer color.
    The Windsor Greige has more yellowish undertones.
    Both are nice!

    PS- I think Anew Gray is going to have a bluish undertone.
    Also: I just used revere pewter (BM) it is really a great neutral taupey gray (yellow and the slightest bit of pink undertones) in my home- Love it!

  48. Your home is beautiful! I was considering SW Baguette for our family room. I know you are considering a change, but did you like it while you had it? It looks beautiful in your photos!

  49. Could you please give the name of the original color….I would actually like to usw that color in my house…you described it as camel but i was wondering if you knew the exact name of the shade? If you could respond asap that would be great. thanks

  50. Bobbie Frazier says:

    We just painted our living room and hallway to the bedrooms BM Bleek Beige on top, swiss coffe bottom of chair rail. One bedroom is BM Grey Owl, one is BM White Dove and third is BM Jute. The carpet was laid yesterday, and after staring at it am confused as to what color sofa, chairs and accent to put down. I would say the color is greige, creamy beige during the day and a gray look in the evening. It is a textured Triexta. I seem unable to chose the right colors. Can you help? Thank you

  51. Can you tell me which of the paint sample swipes on your wall is revere pewter? I’m thinking of going with that color but have tons of light shining in throughout the entire house and didn’t know if it would look blue. Thanks!

  52. Although this post is super old, thought you might be able to help with the source of the rug in these photos? I’ve been looking for something similar, but am just not having luck! Thanks!


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