I'm not sure why the previous owners were so fond of beige and pale yellow. Not my favorite colors anyway, and together...not so charming together, is what. We have completely obliterated the pale yellow (except where we put it in the master bath where it was not before, but we had to do something with the fixtures we had). The master bedroom is currently beige, and so are the upstairs hall, the main floor hall, and the stairs in between them. And the back hall is beige-and-white pillow-ticking-style wallpaper. If there is anything less us than beige, it's beige-and-white pillow-ticking-style wallpaper. Uff da. The living room is also beige and will remain that way until we can agree on a color for it. (I didn't mean that to sound like a threat. On the other hand, I don't entirely mind if it does.)
I strongly suspect that the previous owners chose beige because they felt it was neutral. "It goes with anything." Bah. It goes with very little. If you hand me a specific beige and a rack of paint colors, I can find you three things it looks horrible with in less than twenty seconds. I am not at all convinced on the subject of neutrals. I think very few things are truly neutral, and in any case neutrality is not a very high aim if actual liking is available. If you like beige, go on ahead and like beige, but don't fall into beige because it feels uncontroversial. "Uncontroversial" is a terrible word for a room.
Don't get me wrong: we plunked our bedroom furniture down in this beige room nearly seven years ago and are only now getting around to changing it. I understand how this is not everybody's top priority, nor should it be. But I think that if we can get to something we will actively like and not just tolerate, it's worth some level of effort to get there.
Of course, in this case it's worth some level of my mom's effort. And I do appreciate that.