a bedroom done in light brown taupe walls and light grey taupe accents

Taupe

Originally contributed by Jeff Butler • last updated 3/10/2021

Neutral paint schemes are definitely not new, but they are currently a hot trend in bedroom makeovers. However, when choosing a neutral paint scheme, identifying and distinguishing between hues, tints, and tones can be challenging for even the most experienced designer. It can get even more complicated when similar groups of colors are referred to with unfamiliar terms like taupe.

Definition

The term taupe refers to an array of colors belonging to the gray/brown family. They range in tones from something similar to a light tan all the way to a darker mushroom color. The word comes from the French for mole, a small animal with a distinct gray/brown color. It is often used to describe paint colors in various shades, hues, tints, and tones of gray/brown, such as Smokey and Cherry Taupe. However, paint that falls into this color range doesn’t always have taupe in the paint name, as with Driftwood and Jute. This amazing color is considered to be a complex yet versatile neutral tone. It can either be used subtly in the background or as the color for a bold design element.

What Color Looks Good With Taupe

Taupe is known to be an incredibly versatile neutral color. It not only has a reputation for having the ability to settle comfortably in the background, it can also boldly stand up front as a design choice. One major factor that will have a dramatic result on the final look is how you use this sophisticated color with your other color choices and design elements:

  • If you’re looking to use it to warm up a space, you may want to try pairing it with soft shades of yellow, pink or olive. Keep the accessories and decorations to a minimum and go for a more natural woodsy or sophisticated antique look. Don’t forget to keep it bright and cozy with chic pendant lighting and shaggy throw rugs.
  • Taupe doesn’t have to sit in the background and always stay neutral. Give it the opportunity to stand proud up front with extremes. Go with darker and deeper shades of this neutral beauty and bring it to life with some deep yellows and oranges. Or keep a pale shade on edge with a basic black and white stripe décor.
beta