12 Color Taupe Ideas and Best Practices: A Complete Guide

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When it comes to interior design and home decor, your color choices can make or break the feel of any room. Certain shades give off a cool and crisp feeling while others create an ambiance that is warm and inviting. So the first thing to consider when choosing the color palette is the mood you want to set. Also, keep in mind that it's simple to pick complementary hues for certain colors, but others can be harder to match.

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Taupe is generally one of the more challenging shades, in part, because the undertones are harder to determine. Originally, the French word "taupe" referred only to the color of a mole — which, given that animal's pigmentation, reduced the range to a limited amount of grays and browns.

The definition has expanded, however, to include most warm grays, lavender-browns, or any warm mixture of gray or brown with a soft pastel — especially pink, yellow, or occasionally, green. Some people confuse taupe with greige, which is a beige and grayish color. However, while they might look similar, taupe and greige have different undertones that put them into different color categories. Now, if you're ready to explore the versatility of this neutral color and learn how to pick hues that work beautifully with taupe, let's dive in.

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Warm Colors That Work With Taupe

If you're looking to create a cozy and inviting living room, bedroom, or dining room using warm taupe accent colors, play up all the tan-brown tones. Those earthy notes tend to pair well with other similar hues. And furniture made of natural wood or pieces with light to medium stains, for example, work well with this color scheme.

Soft Yellow

Placing a warm, buttery yellow sofa in a room filled with neutral hues and taupe decor will inject life into your space. Heidi Caillier does it perfectly here, and the living room stills feels cozy.

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Pink and Rose

Follow the lead of Three Birds Renovation, and bring in a pop of soft pink or rose with either a sofa or throw pillows to brighten up your neutral paradise. Keep the walls and rug a soft taupe, and go with more color elsewhere

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Olive Green

Olive green accents create a rich and lovely effect when showcased in a taupe bedroom. Try combining a textured taupe wallcovering with a green upholstered bench for a soothing design idea.

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Cool Colors That Work With Taupe

Unlike other colors that are generally locked into either a warm or cool palette, taupe can easily accommodate both. For taupes that have more gray or violet hues, choose cooler tones.

Sky Blue

Sky blue is a fantastic shade to pair with taupes that are a little more on the gray end of the spectrum. The light and bright shade works in both modern and farmhouse settings, but we especially love it in a dining room like this one from Chango & Co. The taupe floors feel grounding while the azure walls are energizing in the best way.

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Light Green

Lighter green shades like mint and sage, or even greens with a touch of turquoise, work beautifully with taupes that have blue or violet tones. Try this color combo out by going for a sage wallpaper and taupe carpet. And don't shy away from pattern mixing either. The layered look is always in.

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Cool Lavender

Lavender is a surprisingly good choice in a bedroom with soft taupe bedding. Add a few coats of calming lavender paint to the walls, and you'll create a relaxing space that's perfect for catching Z's.

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Neutral and Modern Colors That Work With Taupe

There's nothing wrong with combining multiple neutral tones if too much color isn't for you. Taupe looks just as stunning alongside simple palettes. If you go this route, however, we recommend focusing on texture to keep your space from falling flat.

Black

Black cabinets are the perfect partner to taupe walls in the kitchen. The combination of these classic neutrals creates a rich and sophisticated space that's not too stuffy. And just look how the copper accents pop in the background of this cooking area from deVOL.

Bright White

White walls or furniture paired with taupe textiles — in this case, an upholstered headboard from Three Birds Renovation — makes for a gorgeous dynamic. The two colors combined will make any bedroom feel crisp and timeless.

Silver

Don't think metallic shades work with taupe? Think again. Make a subtle color choice by painting your walls taupe and going with sleek steel accents. Unsurprisingly, this combo works perfectly in the kitchen because you can layer in stainless steel appliances that are both gorgous and functional.

Bold Colors That Work With Taupe

Though taupe shades work incredibly with neutral paint colors and decor, no interior designer will question you for choosing a more vibrant look. In fact, if you want to take a bolder approach, you don't have to leave the taupe behind.

Deep Mustard

Bold shades of mustard pair beautifully with either light or deep taupe. Try rich yellow walls with taupe cabinets in your kitchen for an unexpected combo that your dinner guests will love.

Rich Plum and Purple

This color combo is one of our favorites. Pop a piece of deep plum or purple furniture on top of a lighter taupe rug, and watch the design magic happen.

Teal

Ready to bring a fun twist to your taupe decor? Go for wallpaper, upholstery, and rugs that feature the color with fun patterns and texture. Here, Heidi Caillier layered a taupe sofa, striped throw pillows with a teal built-in bookcase for a fresh take on traditional.

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references & resources

As an Emmy Award winning creative director, writer and producer I have worked on content for brands like Disney, BravoTV, TBS, Universal, E! and MTV. But I mostly love rearranging furniture and repotting plants at home.