Interior Designer Kelly Hoppen shares her secret to styling a beige color palette

Embrace the beige renaissance, with queen of neutrals Kelly Hoppen's beige 'rule of four'

Kelly Hoppen's rule of four in a dark gray living room with cream furniture and wooden floor
(Image credit: Kelly Hoppen X Lick by Toby Mitchell)

We're on the verge of a beige revolution – while it might be making a comeback, for queen of neutrals Kelly Hoppen the shade never went far from her color schemes. 

Despite these natural colors falling out of fashion in favor of kaleidoscopic trends, beige is officially back. However, this new beige has had a makeover, one which Kelly is passionate will rewrite modern living room color ideas.

The interior designer sat down with Livingetc to share her beige painting tips, including her failsafe 'rule of four' that make beige living room ideas or creating a neutral color scheme in any other room effortless.

Beige painted walls in a traditional bathroom

(Image credit: Little Greene)

Kelly Hoppen's 'rule of four' 

'The key to creating a modern beige space is all about texture...My main tip is to go for three or four different tones in a space, each a different texture, such as a bouclé with a satin, a linen, and a calico,' Kelly begins. 

Beige may be enjoying its summer in style, but Kelly's rule is somewhat timeless, as she used the same layering method since starting her career.

'I loved simple fabrics like calico, ticking, and hessian, which would traditionally go underneath upholstery – I used them as textiles in their own right, focusing on juxtaposing them with expensive fabrics like Fortuny silks, and that's how my signature style of neutrals with layers of texture began.' 

Combining four beige tones can be tricky, however, Kelly reveals that to simplify things there are some surfaces that should remain the same hue.

Dining room with white walls and monochromatic furniture

(Image credit: Kelly Hoppen X Lick by Toby Mitchell)

Kelly Hoppen painting tips

'For beige walls, make sure you paint your skirting boards, architraves, and ceiling in the same color, not in white. I've just launched my ultimate six neutral paint shades in collaboration with Lick if you need a starting point,' she explains. 

However, before deciding on your four hues, Kelly suggests experimenting with colors thoroughly as they differ in different lights. 

'Always make sure to check your tones carefully – be they paint, fabric, or flooring – in natural daylight as it's the only way to see color properly. Otherwise, it's like doing your makeup in a dark room – you go outside, and you look like a clown,' she says. Kelly Hoppen's paint sample tip will also help the testing process. 

Brown and beige living room with white fireplace and green sofa

(Image credit: Little Greene)

While color trends come and go, Kelly explains that these neutral tones no matter what fashions say will always remain a mainstay of many color schemes. 'What I like the most about this beige renaissance is the realization by many that it has stood the test of time. It has evolved, and I definitely think it's here to stay.'

'Simple, soft, and soothing, it's what people want and need right now. You can knock it until you're blue in the face, but I will always stand by beige,' Kelly adds. 

Home office with cream and beige walls and floral artwork

(Image credit: Little Greene)

Whether you're looking how to use color in a small living room, a large bedroom, or kitchen, Kelly's rule of four will help you navigate the beige revolution in your homes with a flawless and contemporary scheme.

Megan Slack

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team.

Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US whilst studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site.

Megan currently lives in London, where she relocated from her hometown in Yorkshire. In her home, she experiments with interior design trends and draws inspiration from the home decor ideas she observes in her everyday work life. Her favorite pieces include her antique typewriter and her expansive collection of houseplants. When she isn’t writing, she is browsing London’s coffee shops and bookstores to add to her ever-growing library, taking over the open shelving in her apartment.