living room with christmas decorations

50 Shades of Beige

My husband and I moved into our first Army quarters in Fort Benning in October 2018. This quaint, ranch-style duplex is our first home as a married couple, and we could not be more thrilled. Our excitement at all the opportunities a house presented could not be contained. The neighborhood was also recently updated, making this house prime West Georgia real estate that any O1 would be thrilled to have.

One of the first things we noticed about the inside of the house was that eggshell-white paint had taken over. The walls, trim, vents, and even the ceiling were all this same shade of off-white. Housing was quick to let us know that we are more than welcome to paint, but there were guidelines we would need to follow. I was ecstatic to hear this and figured the guidelines would be common sense rules. I realized how wrong I was when we were handed an ombre pallet of approved colors we would be able to paint our quarters. The permitted colors were seemingly 50 shades of beige.

Despite being so limited in our choices, I was determined to make the mid-century modern house fit our cozy aesthetic. Here are some easy and inexpensive tips I discovered to help supplement the beige and boring:

  • Curtains are key. The color and patterns take your attention away from the wall and instantly add a warm feel to any decor. You can make your ceilings seem higher by hanging the curtain rod closer to your ceiling instead of just above the window.
  • Use all the throw pillows. Contrary to what your spouse may think, you can never have enough.
  • Utilize antique shops and yard sales. Explore your new town. Think outside the box – pieces can easily be revitalized and repurposed with some elbow grease. A dresser painted navy can be turned into a TV hutch, and a kitchen cart can be sprayed metallic and become a bar cart.
  • Frames are your friend. Print out your favorite photos in all sizes and make a collage of frames.
  • Try lamps instead of overhead lighting. Lamps add a warmer ambiance and allow you to direct light where you want it, and lamp shades are also a fun way to add texture and color.
  • Find peel-and-stick wallpaper. It is a great way to liven up small spaces, strange alcoves, or the tricky triangular wall underneath stairs. There are lots of great colors and patterns, and it comes off smoothly.

Regardless of how long you and your family will be at a duty station, it is always nice for your quarters to feel like home. Every new house is a new opportunity to express your personality. Every shade of beige is just a blank canvas waiting for you.

Nora Anderson
Written By Nora Anderson
Army Spouse

Nora became a brand-new milspouse in 2018. Her first lesson: 12 moves as an Army brat will never be enough preparation for this whirlwind life.

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  • Michelle Brito says:

    Fantastic, Nora!! LOVE your positive attitude! You’re off to great success in our crazy Army spouse life!

  • Kathy Moakler says:

    Way to bloom where you are planted, Nora. I know you will make the best of it!