HD Boutique: When Beige Attacks

HD Boutique: When Beige Attacks

posted on 10/11/2011 by Debbie Designer

On the morning of September 12, a dark force descended upon the rows and aisles of HD Boutique, rendering hospitality manufacturers virtually powerless.

It was: The Beige.

Like a mysterious otherworldly mist, it settled in on upholstery and carpeting, seeped through wallpaper and drapery, absorbed into tile and stone. The Beige, it seemed, could not be stopped.

I took a few photos for posterity. May this be a lesson for future victims, and a reminder of what people have suffered before.


There was even a beige monkey—wearing a beige diaper, sitting on the beige-covered shoulders of a woman with beige hair. The Beige stops nowhere.


 Please note all logos have been left out.  I’m starting to feel a little bad about naming names, you know? These people are, after all, helpless victims of the powerful, deadening force that is The Beige.

Like children flailing through a pit of quicksand, they struggle against its grip, making claims of new texture, interesting pattern, and the impact of a good tone-on-tone design.

“Shhh,” I tried to tell them. “Be still, young grasshoppers, and let yourself float above those shades of brown.”

But they didn’t listen.

By day two I looked down and found—to my horror—that I, too, was wearing The Beige. But this was a lace pattern! There were gold flecks!

“No,” I told myself with stern stoicism. “This is The Beige.”

What is this bland, enveloping creature? Where did it come from? And how have we all grown so accustomed to accepting it?

Perhaps it’s because we all love our grandparents, and our grandparents all love beige.  It’s only right that we should find some strange comfort and satisfaction in surrounding ourselves with the color of granny’s kisses and cupcakes.

But no!

That’s just The Beige sneaking in, embedding itself in our genetic code. One must go further and ask, “How did our grandparents come to love The Beige?”

The Beige represents safety, longevity, perhaps serenity—though that only comes in the form of a total snooze fest.

When a room is set up in so many bland neutrals it says, “I’m here to stay, because I’m not making a strong enough statement to ever lose relevance!”

As of late, people have been trying to play that off as a good thing. They did it during the last economic decline too—hence the grandparents latching on.

But the only way something can never lose relevance is if it never had any to begin with. Pragmatism is great, in small doses. Specify a beige carpet, a beige couch, a beige wallcovering—but for God sakes don’t do all three. Our nerves have made us fall back to truly basé design.

I just hope we’ll see something better in New York in November.