If 'beige flags' have been sweeping your TikTok feed lately, you probably recognise them as the mundane, tedious characteristics of a person that can put potential partners off. But did you know that this concept exists within the world of home decor too, and you may even have some interior beige flags of your own?
A new twist on the dating red flags, beige flags are uninspiring personal qualities that are neither good nor bad. Apply this concept to your home and you have interior beige flags, which are a sure way to spoil any room's aesthetic, whether that's your living room, kitchen, or bedroom ideas.
'Beige dating flags have been trending on TikTok, but this is a trend that can apply to the interiors world as well, and is one I predict we will be seeing more of on our social feeds soon,' says Dayna Isom Johnson, Etsy Trend Expert.
Interior beige flags aren't just another home decor trend that will soon be gone though. They've always existed, we just didn't know it yet. We've asked the experts how to spot interior beige flags, and what to do to progress them from beige to green.
What are interior beige flags?
In the dating world, beige flags are the mundane, uninteresting characteristics of a person that don't quite sound alarm bells, but might still be enough to make you question your romantic compatibility. Apply this concept to the world of home decor and you have interior beige flags, the homeware and decorating choices someone makes that are just a bit 'meh'.
'What someone would consider to be a ‘beige interiors flag’ tends to be based on personal preference, but largely, it can be described as homewares that are lacking personality or imagination (and has nothing to do with the colour beige itself!)' says Dayna Isom Johnson. 'They’re interiors that wouldn’t stir up an opinion or reaction either way, whether it be good or bad.'
Interior beige flags
So we've established the concept behind interior beige flags, but what do these look like around the home? Here are the most common interior beige flags you should look out for, according to the experts.
1. Blindly following trends
'Blindly following design trends is a huge beige flag,' says Sam Greig, Senior Designer, Swoon . 'Just because a trend is taking the design world by storm, it doesn’t mean that it will suit your own space. Implementing every single trend you see into your home without considering the overall style is a huge mistake that we see all too often.'
Taking inspiration from the latest home decor trends can be great if you're making decisions that work for your home. But blindly following trends and switching out your decor too often can quickly make your interior lose any sense of individuality. It's the opposite of curating capsule decor, which a timeless homeware collection that suits your interior style.
2. Monotonous colour schemes
A rigid, single-toned colour scheme can quickly become uninspiring and boring. Whether it's your living room colour scheme or your bedroom colour ideas, picking every piece of decor and furniture in the same colour shows a lack of creativity, which is a definite beige flag.
'Choosing green walls, a green sofa, a green vase, green wall art, a green rug, and a green throw can look overly matchy, and maybe a little too green,' Sam says. 'It is all too simple to stick to a single colour scheme, but often the result is more dull and repetitive than stylish and sophisticated.'
It doesn't matter what colour you've chosen - even neutral living room ideas have the potential to be unique and stylish, but if there's no variety, it will look mundane.
3. An overstyled space
Decor choices that end up creating a showroom rather than a home is one of the most common interior beige flags. When everything looks a little too perfect, a lack of individuality and homeliness comes through, and it can feel a little like walking through a polished showroom.
'When your space begins to look more like a perfectly poised display cabinet than a living room, it’s time to take note and strip back a little,' says Sam. 'Curating a collection of accessories that you love can take time, and impulse purchasing to fill a space can often backfire a few months down the line.'
How to transform beige flags to green
Now that you know the tell-tale interior beige flags to look out for, you may have a prickle of concern creeping in if you recognise any of these characteristics in your own home. Don't worry, the experts have shared some simple ways to transform your beige flags to green, so you can create an interesting interior that reflects your style.
1. Opt for small design upgrades
You don't have to go for a full room makeover to elevate your beige flags. Subtle decorative details can take something from being a little lacklustre, to something more unique. This could be as simple as updating your living room sofa ideas to give your much-loved sofa a new look.
'Scalloped design is really having a moment across all kinds of different homewares,' says Etsy Trend Expert Dayna. 'If you’re looking to buy a new lampshade, duvet cover, or even a wine glass, try searching for some that have a scalloped edge rather than a straight one to effortlessly elevate the look.'
2. Mix the old with the new
'In a world where mass produced items are becoming so readily available, it’s easy to end up with interiors that look pretty similar to everyone else,' Dayna says. 'Try interspersing pre-loved items that tell a story within the high street pieces, as these will often be much more unique.'
Rather than buying all of your home decor from a select number of big-name brands, try shopping at some local independent retailers as well. You can look in charity shops, or browse through Etsy’s offering of thousands of vintage homewares. Incorporating decor from a mixture of places is a sure way to steer your interiors away from beige flag territory, so we recommend interspersing homeware from your favourite quiet luxury brands with items from small businesses.
3. Try the rule of three
The rule of three is a tried and tested method that many interior designers swear by, and it will help you steer clear of creating a monotonous colour scheme. And even though interior beige flags usually come from sticking to rigid structures and rules, there's still a lot of room for creativity with the 60:30:10 method.
Choose three colours to create your colour scheme. Around 60% of your decor should be occupied by your main colour, 30% by a secondary complementary colour and 10% in an accent colour. Use this as a rough guideline, and don't worry about it being exact - in fact, imperfections and irregularities are welcome!
'Once you’ve picked your main colour which your paint and wallpaper adhere to, weave in your secondary colour,' says Paula Taylor, Head Stylist, Graham & Brown. 'This should appear about half as much and can be tied in in the form of larger furniture pieces, rugs and light fittings. Inject your accent colour into a room by using cushions, throws or artwork.’
Turn the functional into decorative with this fun scalloped lamp shade in dusty pink. Gorgeous velvet adds a touch of luxury, and both the colour and design are a far cry from beige flag territory. The pink is soft enough to complement a range of other colours, and it's 36cm in length, so it's big enough to make a statement without overpowering the room.
Most of us are guilty of playing it safe when it comes to curtains, but patterned curtains are a nice way to inject some personality into your decor. Hillarys' Anika Golden Curtains are stunningly unique, but subtle enough to not overwhelm a room. There's green, grey and silver colour choices in the same beautiful ornate pattern.
Nothing says individuality like this stunning vase from Sara Miller for Portmeirion. The unique bird and flower pattern makes a statement, but it still has the ability to complement a range of colour schemes and aesthetics. You could match different elements of your decor with other pieces from the range, like wine glasses and serving bowls.
4. Adorn bare walls
You don't have to be an expert to spot a blank wall and register it as an interior beige flag. It's uninspiring, uncreative, and put simply, boring. Living room wall art ideas are the perfect way to counter this, as you can choose prints that appeal to your taste and style directly.
'A big blank wall can be quite intimidating at first when it comes to decorating, and some feel stuck about how to bring it to life,' says Dayna. 'Not every wall needs to be covered in art, but it’s definitely a great way to show your personality by mounting some prints or photos.'
There are other ways to bring your walls to life. Try experimenting with bathroom wallpaper ideas, or pick an interesting colour for a feature wall in the bedroom. The key is to move away from playing it safe and inject some fun and personality.
5. Add personal touches
'A key beige flag is not having any personal touches in the home,' says Emma Deterding, Founder and Creative Director, Kelling Designs. 'Whether it be family photos, mementoes from travel or bits and bobs you've collected along the years, be them handed down from family members, a home is not a home without them.'
Making your home a reflection of the people that live there is the easiest way to avoid interior beige flags. Framed photos are a lovely way to do this, and you could even print them in black and white to add a stylish flair. Incorporate items that are individual to you in your coffee table decor, whether it's a souvenir from a trip or something quirky that's caught your eye.
Now that you know how to avoid interior beige flags, will you be jazzing up any of your home decor?
What are beige flags in interiors?
Beige flags are the interior design choices you make that stick to a safe middle road of neither good nor bad. Home decor that is uncreative, uninspiring, and boring would be considered beige flag territory.
Beige flags are a rising TikTok trend that users have applied to the world of dating, but interior design experts have been quick to point out that they're as much a thing in home decor too.
'When it comes to interior design, there are some key beige flags that often spring to mind,' says Emma from Kelling Designs. 'For instance, using an all-neutral colour palette is often considered quite boring, and although this look is on-trend, it leads to cookie-cutter-like homes where there is no personality or individuality.'
Interiors lacking in individuality will likely have a few beige flags that you'll be able to spot. Don't make the mistake of thinking that beige living room ideas themselves are a beige flag - they don't have to be as long as they are interesting and unique in some way.
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Katie Sims has been writing for Ideal Homes since spring 2022. She qualified from her Master’s in Media and Journalism in 2021 and has been writing freelance since. She has worked on Ideal Home’s ecommerce team where she researched the best home products on the market, and on the news team, researching the latest trends for feature pieces.
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