“Taupe” is a French word that can be translated to “mole,” which already does an excellent job of explaining the color you can expect.
Taupe is a blend of gray and brown and usually has slight green or blue hints that take it from neutral to cool.
It is a color that is versatile enough to be used in tandem with many others and is a practical choice for anyone who wants to create an easygoing and neutral-feeling space.
Using Taupe in the Home
Wall paint isn’t the only option when you go with taupe—it can also be used for furniture, fabrics, or flooring.
Painting old furniture taupe and upcycling it can completely change the way the space looks and feels.
Choosing taupe for a furniture color also creates a timeless look that is amazing with just about anything else you choose to do with the space.
Moreover, you can add soft furnishings in taupe, which can be accessorized endlessly, if you get bored, with just about anything you would like.
In terms of flooring, taupe is a versatile, welcoming color that is nice and warm without being too rich. It can also easily hide stains and, guess what else—dirt!
Colors That Match Well with Taupe
Taupe is a phenomenal color due to its versatility, giving it a sort of timelessness.
Even if you anticipate getting bored with color later down the line and will most likely want to redecorate, taupe provides a nice foundation for whatever you want to do in the future.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best colors you can use with taupe to achieve different looks in your space:
Since taupe already contains quite a bit of gray, it, of course, makes sense that gray and taupe color schemes go well together.
Sometimes, taupe can feel a bit outdated, but by implementing some gray into the room using paint or accessories, you can instantly modernize it.
If you have an old taupe couch you want to update, you can toss a gray knitted blanket or some gray throw pillows on it to instantly modernize the look.
Taupe goes well with brown for a similar reason that gray meshes with it so well: taupe also contains heavy notes of brown.
Brown doesn’t have the same modern appeal as gray, but it does bring comfort and warmth to a space.
By pairing brown with taupe, you can create a space that is quite cozy and inviting.
Though brown isn’t so modern, you can still get a modern look with shades of it.
You’ll just need to pay more attention to the kinds of accessories and furniture you pair with it.
With this color scheme, go for subtle pieces and clean lines. Incorporate a bit of black to give the room more definition and contrast.
Black is another color that pairs well with the neutrality and slight coolness of the taupe.
It is a neutral hue that can make equally as neutral taupe edgy and unique.
You can paint the walls black and turn the taupe into a colorful contrast by adding soft furnishings.
In a room with taupe walls, finishing wood molding and trim in the same shade will bring out a trendy mid-century modern appearance.
4. Olive Green
When you pair taupe with olive green, it looks quite stylish and natural.
You can incorporate taupe Berber carpets into a space for casual yet warm style when paired with olive green walls.
Finish off with some taupe curtains, and your room will come together beautifully.
Because these are two colors commonly seen together in nature, they create a natural and effortless combination.
To further draw out the natural appeal, pick other earthy hues like chocolate brown or tan leather furnishings.
You could also go with black or white accents to make it look more sophisticated.
5. Light Mink
Mink is a brownish-gray shade similar to taupe though it has a bit more brown to it than gray.
It is a subtle, soft hue that will add dimension and depth to the room when layering it through a space in various ways.
This includes but is not limited to a mink rug with taupe carpeting, light mink curtains on taupe walls, or a mink sofa with taupe cushions.
The neutrality of taupe makes it superb for pairing with metallic hues.
The gray undertone in taupe looks great with the incorporation of silver metallic hues, but it looks exceptionally lavish when paired with gold.
Opt for glossy gold finishes like table legs to add some glamour to the space. You could use an antique gold finish instead if you prefer a vintage aesthetic.
Because gold brings out the warmth of taupe, it creates a rather comforting color combination.
You can use taupe on the walls and accessorize with an oversized gold-framed mirror for a nice feature near a bed or sofa.
7. Blush Pink
Gray and blush pink are beautiful together, but if you have a room that lacks natural light, it can appear quite gloomy.
In a room with minimal natural light, offset this issue by using taupe instead of gray.
A gray tone with strong brown vibes is especially beautiful against light pink.
Blush pink and taupe look great in a bedroom, be it adult or child, and it can be used in different amounts with modern or romantic spaces to give it its own spin.
8. Burnt Orange
This intense, warm color makes a room richer but can be overwhelming if you aren’t careful.
You can use taupe to tone it down a bit and give the space greater balance.
For instance, you can paint the walls taupe and add burnt orange curtains.
A taupe sofa looks stunning with burnt orange cushions.
The warmth of taupe makes it a comfortable companion to the orange, though its gray undertones do, too.
9. Navy Blue
A versatile and strong color, navy blue is often used for formal and coastal environments alike.
Pairing taupe with navy gives the space a breezy, airy feeling. It is also a great color combination for modern traditional homes.
Use taupe flooring with navy blue cabinets in a kitchen, for instance, to give the space a new lease on life.
You can incorporate some industrial flair by using it with an aged copper cabinet.
10. Clean White
If you want a simple space with gentle energy, pair taupe with white.
It creates a harmoniously earthy look to improve upon any space.
This is an excellent color combination for those who want a cleaner look with a touch of warmth.
Taupe and white also go well together because they are both neutral colors. Moreover, this color scheme can be enhanced by adding a touch of green.
Like burnt orange, teal is a loud color that can be toned down and pleasantly softened with the use of taupe, which brings a much-needed balance.
This color scheme would work well in any room, but it would be especially well-suited for a bedroom or a living room with colored couches or a sofa.
Most Popular Taupe Paint Colors
Designers and home decorators love taupe paint colors for their understated elegance.
The best thing about taupe paint is it can be used in any room to create a warm and sophisticated look, no matter what couch, rugs, curtains, walls, or other decorations you might have.
The most important thing to remember when choosing a taupe paint color is to make sure it doesn’t lean too far to either the brown or gray side.
You want to find a happy medium between the two colors; otherwise, your taupe paint might start to look slightly off.
Here are some of my favorite taupe paint colors (from top brands) to use in any room:
- Smokestack N220-3 by Behr
- Stony Ground by Farrow & Ball
- Poised Taupe by Sherwin-Williams
- Tony Taupe by Sherwin-Williams
- Truly Taupe by Sherwin-Williams
- Tavern Taupe by Sherwin-Williams
- Temperate Taupe by Sherwin-Williams
- Moth Wing SW 9174 by Sherwin-Williams
- Smokey Taupe 983 by Benjamin Moore
- Sparrow AF-720 by Benjamin Moore
- Upper West Side CSP-70 by Benjamin Moore
- Edgecomb Gray HC-173 by Benjamin Moore
- Smoke & Ash DET 514 by Dunn Edwards Paints
Remember that beige and taupe are two colors that are often mistaken for each other. While they may seem similar to some eyes, they are different.
The main difference between beige and taupe is that beige is a light brown color while taupe is a dark brown color.
Beige is considered a pale tint of yellow or brown, while taupe is created by mixing gray, brown, and white.
Beige can have a golden, yellow, pink, or orange undertone, while taupe is considered to be between brown and gray with pink or purple undertones.
Taupe Color – Home Decor Tips and Ideas
When decorating with taupe, the sky is the limit. This versatile color can be used in any room and with any type of embellishing style.
If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few tips and ideas to get you started:
1. Use taupe as an accent color:
Taupe is a great color to use as an accent. Try using it on one wall or in one corner of the room to create a focal point.
You could also use taupe accents in the form of throw pillows, rugs, lamps, or art.
If you want to go further and try the accent colors that go with taupe, you can choose from the classic combination of white/black or can go with options like turquoise, emerald, or even fuchsia.
2. Mix and match taupe with other colors:
Taupe goes well with just about any color, so don’t be afraid to mix and match.
For a cohesive look, choose two or three colors that complement each other and use them throughout the room.
3. Create a cozy and inviting space:
One of the best things about taupe is that it can make a rooms feel cozy and inviting.
To achieve this look, use warm tones of taupe combined with comfortable furnishings like plush couches and soft blankets.
4. Go for a sleek and modern look:
If you want to create an elegant and contemporary space, use taupe as a base color and add black, white, or silver accents.
Furnishings should be clean-lined and minimal.
5. Add interest with texture:
Another great way to decorate with taupe is to add interest with textures.
Mix and match different fabrics, elements, and materials to create a space that’s visually interesting and inviting.
6. Bring the outdoors in:
Taupe can also be used to create a nature-inspired space.
To achieve this look, use taupe combined with green or brown accents. Add in natural elements like wood furniture and greenery.
7. Go for a glamorous look:
If you’re looking for an enchanting space, use taupe as a base color and add in gold, champagne, or ivory accents – furnishings should be luxurious and chic.
8. Create a cozy reading nook:
One of the best ways to use taupe is to create a cozy reading nook.
Choose a warm shade of taupe for the walls and add in a comfortable chair, soft blankets, and plenty of pillows. Then just add in your favorite books, and you’re all set.
9. Use taupe in the kitchen/bathroom:
Taupe is also a great color to use in the kitchen and bathroom.
Try painting the walls or tiles taupe and adding accents of white or stainless steel. This will create a clean and modern look.
10. Give your bedroom a makeover:
If you’re looking for a way to give your bedroom a quick and easy makeover, paint the walls taupe.
This will instantly warm up the space and create a cozy and inviting atmosphere.
Then, add simple accents like throw pillows and blankets to complete the look.
The Bottom Line
Taupe is one of the most versatile colors you have to work with. It signifies practicality, intelligence, passivity, elegance, modesty, dignity, and maturity.
If you want to add a bit of excitement to your space decorating with shades of taupe walls and furniture is a great place to start with.
Get some ideas on combining taupe with other colors above, and I hope you will have a great time working with it!
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for over a decade serving customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, and Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.