When it comes to interior design, color palettes have the ability to transform the look and feel of any room. Certain shades give off a cool and refreshing vibe while others result in a warm and cozy ambiance. The color taupe would fall into the latter category. Defined as a gray-brown hue, taupe can be a bit of a shapeshifter due to its many different shades.
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Taupe is a warm neutral that imparts an enviable earthy vibe. It's subtle enough to work as the foundation of a room and bold enough to play a supporting role as an accent shade. These traits make it quite easy to coordinate with any number of colors including greens, blues, and pinks. Not to be confused with greige — a grayish-beige color — taupe tends to be a little warmer.
There are endless ways to incorporate the mellow hue into a design scheme, the most obvious of which is paint, followed by less predictable yet equally stunning options like tile, wallpaper, furniture, and accessories. "Taupe is the new neutral everyone is craving. It is just as versatile as gray with a slight sophisticated nod to the past," says Larisa Barton, founder Soeur Interiors. "To bring it into your space, play off the softness with whites and ivories and a pop of black or brass accents."
Intrigued? You're not the only one. Scroll ahead for 23 color combinations that will undoubtedly inspire your next room makeover.
23 Taupe Color Combinations
1. Taupe and Yellow
Yellow and taupe might seem like an unlikely pair, but believe it or not, it works. The team over at Jessica Helgerson Design demonstrates the idea perfectly in this living room, complete with a buttery yellow, curved sofa, warm taupe walls, and neutral accents. Despite the vibrant pop of color, the setup stills feels cozy and sophisticated.
2. Taupe and Tan
Create a rich and lovely effect with tan accents as witnessed in this taupe bedroom by Heidi Caillier Design. Follow her lead and dress up the neutral scheme with a mix of textures and patterns. The end result? A soothing retreat that has no shortage of visual interest.
3. Taupe and Sky Blue
Light blue is a fantastic shade to pair with taupe, especially when it leans a bit more gray, as witnessed by this cozy living room by Camilla of @camillas_casa. The taupe walls act as the perfect backdrop for the light cerulean sofa. Black pieces of home decor punctuate the space, and inject a modern edge.
4. Taupe and Olive Green
Deeper shades like olive green also work beautifully with taupe colors. The creatives behind Chris Loves Julia successfully pulled off the look in this office by pairing a verdant sofa and wallpaper design with taupe cabinetry. The use of different patterns throughout the space imparts a layered effect that's always in style.
5. Taupe and Lavender
Looking for ways to make your bedroom as calming as possible? Paint the walls with a soothing shade of lavender, layer on cozy taupe textiles, and voilà! Now you have an incredibly relaxing refuge that's perfect for catching zzz's. If you really want to go all-in on the color idea, take a page out of Behr's design handbook and carry the purple hue up to the ceiling, too.
6. Taupe and Black
High contrast is the name of the game in this kitchen by deVOL. The black cabinets add a bold and modern twist to the country-inspired design, while the rich taupe-colored walls act as a nice balance. A healthy dose of wood and copper accents add to the overall warmth and rustic charm.
"I really like taupe on kitchen cabinets as a neutral alternative to a basic white kitchen. It's a color that tends to change with the light so it's great in kitchens with a lot of natural light, paired with a striking stone countertop with a lot of veining," says Hema Persad. "It's also great on an upholstered headboard in a neutral-toned bedroom. Think layers of creams and shades of tan for a multi-dimensional neutral look."
7. Taupe and White
White walls or furniture paired with taupe textiles — in the case of this bedroom by Three Birds Renovation, an upholstered headboard — makes for a gorgeous dynamic. Here, the grayish-brown hue adds just enough warmth, without taking anything away from the light and airy scheme. We feel more relaxed just looking at it.
8. Taupe and Light Gray
Dreaming of something a bit moodier? Opt for a taupe and gray color scheme, like the one spotted on Farrow & Ball. In this Parisian-inspired living room, a warm shade of taupe acts as the backdrop for a light gray tufted sofa. The white ceiling and intricate crown molding keep the space from feeling too dark, while the dark gray flooring grounds the romantic scene.
9. Taupe and Pink
Don't be afraid to pair taupe with a bright pop of color. It's actually an ideal base for energetic hues, such as pink. Bring in a dash (or more) of the rosy shade, and maybe a hint of orange, with the help of throw pillows, accent furniture, and artwork. This living room spotted on Maker & Son shows us how it's done. Keep the rest of your home decor neutral so as not to overwhelm your space.
10. Taupe and Teal
Ready to bring a fun and creative twist to your neutral color scheme? The team over at Agathe Convert opted for teal, pink, and taupe tile and color blocking in two different paint finishes to liven up this stylish bathroom. And even though the cool, blue-green hue is used sparingly, it's just enough to temper the warmth of the walls.
11. Taupe and Mauve
As warm neutrals, mauve and taupe are a cohesive pairing that will impart a richness and depth to just about any space. The design team over at Studio Life/Style used the duo in this edited dining room, and the result is nothing short of serene with a pleasing tonal quality to boot.
12. Taupe and Brown
Introduce warmth and an organic quality to your space with taupe and a chocolatey shade of brown. That's exactly what interior designer Phoebe Nicol did in this moody bedroom, where dark taupe walls frame an espresso headboard. The brown flooring and throw pillows complete the dramatic tone-on-tone scheme.
13. Taupe and Magenta
Despite the inclusion of a jewel-toned eggplant sofa, this sitting room by A New Day maintains a peaceful energy in part due to the grounding nature of taupe. The painted ceiling and subtly patterned rug (on top of flooring in a similar hue) add a neutral layer of softness that isn't visually disruptive and allows the bold upholstery to take center stage. Complete the scene with a marble coffee table flaunting blush-colored veining.
14. Taupe and Cream
Taupe looks timeless and sophisticated when layered with other neutrals, but in order to keep the look from falling flat, be sure to incorporate plenty of texture and vary the tone. This monochromatic space by Chango & Co. is full of interest and dimension thanks to the thoughtful mix of materials — leather, travertine, wood — and the range of employed earth tones like white, cream, taupe, and brown.
15. Taupe and Gold
Infuse a taupe-dominant living room with even more elegance and a touch of glam by pairing it with gold fixtures, à la this calming setup spotted on Workstead. We're particularly fond of how the loveseat in the corner is upholstered with gold fabric to match the lustrous light fixtures used throughout.
With its soothing properties and inherent warmth, taupe is prime for cozy spaces like bedrooms. Pair it with navy blue to introduce visual weight and contrast that isn't austere. A New Day anchored this bedroom with an upholstered dark blue bed along with a matching area rug flaunting pops of teal. Note the rose-colored bedding that acts as a gentle transition from one shade to the next.
17. Taupe and Hunter Green
Rooted in nature, green and taupe impart a quiet earthiness that works so well in vintage-inspired spaces. Take notes on this charming seating area by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design and complement the scheme with landscapes hanging on the wall and vases full of lush foliage and fresh flowers. Traditional details such as the window trim and coffered ceiling adds a sense of history.
18. Taupe and Blush
In an effort to maximize impact, limit the color taupe to a single architectural feature, such as the door in this dining room by Jenna Sue Design. Layer accents in a subdued color to add a dash of contrast. Here, the blush dining chairs make a subtle statement, drawing all eyes to the center of the room.
19. Taupe and Charcoal Gray
Taupe is a non-competing shade that works beautifully in adjoining rooms. For example, Studio Laloc selected a warm neutral paint color for the walls and shelving in this ancillary kitchen because it works seamlessly with the scheme in the main cook space. The charcoal gray cabinetry and matching cabinet curtain ground the look.
20. Taupe and Greige
A mashup of gray and beige, greige continues to be a popular shade thanks to its versatility and sophistication. When paired side by side, as seen in this living room by Cortney Bishop, it's easy to discern the differences between the two hues. Although taupe is warmer and has more brown, they complement each other beautifully.
21. Taupe and Bleached Wood
For a refined yet rustic vibe in the kitchen, pair natural wood tones with an earthy shade of taupe flaunting olive green undertones. In this timeless setup by Jean Stoffer, wood-clad walls and matching cabinets add warmth and a pleasing organic quality. When paired with contrasting taupe cabinetry, a soaring ceiling, and high-end details like marble countertops, brass hardware, and luxe pendant lights the result is a culinary masterpiece.
22. Taupe and Sage Green
Sage green is a muted shade that is bold enough to make an impression yet quiet enough not to overwhelm a room. The design team over at Sandra Tarruella Interioristas made good use of the verdant hue, in a guestroom at the Hotel Chiqui Santander, by pairing it with an equally subtle shade such as taupe. Here, the green color feels right at home with the rest of the neutral scheme, resulting in a stylish and relaxing getaway.
23. Taupe and Scarlet
If you really want to heat things up, pair a warm shade of taupe with scarlet red. We love the bold combination used in this bedroom, spotted on Paint and Paper Library. The taupe linens and wall color temper the intensity of the wainscoting. On the other hand, the wall paneling really draws out the reddish undertones of the wall paint, resulting in a cohesive and tonal scheme that's not for the faint of heart.
Colors That Go With Taupe
As a member of the neutral family, it isn't surprising that the color taupe works with so many different colors. It imparts a unique warmth that other calming hues like beige, gray, and white don't always have. That being said, each shade of taupe does come with its fair share of undertones, so be sure to consider that fact when selecting accent colors. Additionally, be sure to think about how the lighting in your space will change your scheme throughout the day.
Now that you're ready to finalize your palette, here's a recap of some of the colors we love seeing next to taupe:
- Sky blue
- Olive green
- Light gray
- Navy blue
- Hunter green
- Charcoal gray
- Bleached wood
- Sage green