Taupe is a neutral color, making it ideal as a foundation or accent color. It goes great with warm or cool undertones — from olive tones to pale lavender.
In interior design, this neutrality gives the room subtle strength and stability. On top of that, it shows good style and taste too.
You might be thinking: what color is taupe?
Well, taupe is an intermediate shade that can be described as being between dark brown and gray.
In this article, we’ll present ideas on how to incorporate this soft shade into your home.
What is Taupe?
Taupe is a neutral, earthy color that resides between gray and brown on the color spectrum. Originating from the French word “taupe,” which means “mole,” this versatile hue is inspired by the color of the European mole’s fur. Taupe can range from a cool, grayish-brown to a warmer, beige-brown, and its subtle nature makes it an excellent choice for various applications in interior design, fashion, and other creative fields. Its understated elegance and ability to harmonize with a wide array of colors have made taupe a popular choice for both modern and traditional design styles.
Some common hex codes for different shades of taupe include:
- Cool Taupe: #8B8589
- Warm Taupe: #B38B6D
- Classic Taupe: #918C88
A popular taupe interior paint shade from Benjamin Moore is “Revere Pewter” (HC-172), which is a blend of gray and beige, often chosen for its ability to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Its hex code is #A59B94.
The widespread popularity of taupe in interior design and fashion can be attributed to its versatility and compatibility with a broad range of colors. Taupe’s ability to serve as a neutral backdrop or a sophisticated accent in any space makes it a highly sought-after choice.
Taupe is an elegant and versatile color that goes well with pretty much everything. However, there are various shades that you can choose from.
As such, below are a few quick tips for choosing the right taupe shade for your room:
1. Familiarize Yourself With the Taupe Hex Code
First, you should really understand: what color is taupe exactly?
The RGB taupe color code is #483C32. The RGB taupe color code for the most saturated tone is #773803, while the least saturated tone is #3f3d3b.
Below are other more specific codes for taupe:
- Hex triplet: #483c32
- RGB Decimal: RGB (72,60,50)
- RGB Percent: RGB (28.2%,23.5%,19.6%)
- CMYK: 0, 17, 31, 72
- HSL: hsl (27.3,18%,23.9%)
2. Consider Room Size and Natural Light
You can get the right taupe shade by considering the following factors:
- Room size
- The direction the room is facing
- Amount of natural light the room gets
If your room is small and dark, light taupe will make it feel brighter and larger. Meanwhile, you should opt for dark taupe if you want a big room to feel smaller and cozier.
A north-facing room doesn’t get a lot of natural sunlight. As such, taupe with warmer tones can give the room a warm glow.
But with south-facing rooms, any shade of taupe can work. However, one with cool undertones can balance out the sun’s warmth.
Having east- and west-facing rooms is trickier since you’ll have to study the lighting yourself. This is to check how much light it gets when you use the space the most.
3. Think of a Theme
Do you want a rustic living room, a homely kitchen, or a cozy bedroom? Combine the color taupe with others to create the atmosphere you want for a room.
For a rustic living room, have taupe trims and walls in a light neutral shade or off-white.
Alternatively, you can have taupe walls as a base too. This is more calming than white (which can be too bright or stark) since it has a brown or gray base.
Meanwhile, for a homely kitchen, a mid-tone neutral taupe for the cabinets can add depth and richness without being too dark.
Bring the color out with a stone countertop and white subway tiles for the walls.
To make a cozy bedroom, dark taupe walls create an enveloping effect. Alternatively, you can use that dark shade on the curtains or furniture.
4. Try a Monochromatic Scheme
Instead of choosing just one shade of taupe, why not use multiple shades?
Utilizing a monochrome scheme is an easy way to instantly create an elegant, timeless, and tranquil room — especially if you incorporate a warm taupe in the palette.
Combine various shades and see how you can balance them in the room. Another is to layer different textures to add depth.
So, you can have matte taupe walls but have satin taupe on trims and cabinets.
5. Incorporate Taupe With Lively Colors
Taupe is a neutral hue, but it’s not boring. In fact, this is a great option if you want to make bold interior design choices!
You can pair taupe colors with more vibrant colors — like emerald green and fuschia. Any shade of blue is a sophisticated match for taupe too.
6. Use Dark Taupe as an Accent
Taupe is certainly great as a foundation. But it’s also an excellent option for an accent color — especially dark taupe.
Add warmth to and ground a cool color palette by adding an earthy taupe shade. Cerulean blue, for instance, has a beautiful green undertone that can be complemented by taupe.
A dark taupe accent can also stop white interiors from feeling too clinical.
There are many ways to incorporate this dark gray-brown shade, such as:
- Upholstered furniture
- Throw pillows
- Textured woven blankets
- Trim work
What Are the Different Shades of Taupe?
Benjamin Moore & Co., a manufacturer of paints, stains, and other architectural coatings, released their top six shades of taupe.
But there are more beautiful shades that we’d like you to know about.
So, below, we’ve listed a few shades of taupe, alongside their RGB and CMYK codes to help you find them if you wish to use them:
Mauve Taupe Color
This warm taupe is sometimes considered a shade of pink because of its pink undertones. It has a darker reddish-gray appearance.
Mauve taupe is a good contrast to lime green.
- Taupe hex code: #915f6d
- CMYK taupe color code: 0, 34, 25, 43
- RGB taupe color code: 145, 95, 109
Dark Taupe Color
This is the shade that A Dictionary of Color describes. You can call it the “standard shade of taupe” — though it’s darker than other taupe shades.
- Taupe hex code: #483c32
- CMYK taupe color code: 0, 17, 31, 72
- RGB taupe color code: 72, 60, 50
Light Taupe Color
Light taupe looks like a dark tan and is used for Crayola’s taupe pencils. As a light color, it makes a room more inviting than a very dark shade.
Lighter shades of taupe work well with pastel colors — like pastel pink.
Contrary to what you might think, olive green is one of the warmer shades of green due to the yellow undertone. So, light taupe complements it.
- Taupe hex code: #b38B6d
- CMYK taupe color code: 0, 22, 39, 30
- RGB taupe color code: 0, 22, 39, 30
Rose Taupe Color
Rose taupe is also considered a shade of red since it can be described as a desaturated dark red.
It works well with any muted shade of brown and red. It contrasts nicely with a dark desaturated cyan too.
- Taupe hex code: #905d5d
- CMYK taupe color code: 0, 35, 35, 44
- RGB taupe color code: 144, 93, 93
Purple Taupe Color
Purple taupe is a deeper and darker grayish-magenta that makes a good contrast for dark grayish-green colors.
- Taupe hex code: #50404d
- CMYK taupe color code: 0, 20, 4, 69
- RGB taupe color code: 80, 64, 77
Gray Taupe Color
Gray taupe is a darker shade of taupe that’s gray-brown. This pairs well with other gray shades and warm colors.
Gray taupe also looks good with sky blue.
- Taupe hex code: #8b8589
- CMYK taupe color code: 0, 4, 1, 45
- RGB taupe color code: 139, 133, 137
Various Taupe Color FAQs
Taupe colors are certainly very easy to work with — especially if you have a good grasp of the color wheel.
Below, we’ve answered some questions to help you understand this grayish-brown color more:
The color taupe is a combination of black or red with yellow and green undertones. To change the shade or saturation, adjust those mixed colors.
If you’re using paint colors, it’s better to use a palette knife than a paintbrush to mix them together.
Taupe is a pale brownish-gray.
Interior designers say that perfect taupe walls become great backdrops for brighter shades, warm woods, and brass or gold accents.
Taupe is somewhere in between. You can control the shade depending on what colors you’ll be adding to it.
If you put in more gray, then your taupe can appear as a very warm gray.
Beige and taupe are both universal colors, so they go well with anything — including each other.
Beige and taupe are a great combination if you want a monochromatic modern farmhouse vibe.
Taupe best fits its complementary colors on the color wheel, which are blue and purple — but you can pair it with pretty much anything. However, you’ll have to consider shades.
For instance, darker shades of taupe go beautifully with darker shades of blue, like navy blue. Meanwhile, a light taupe color goes well with lighter shades of yellow, such as buttery and creamy yellows.
These balance warm and cool tones to make a room more cohesive.
Flesh tones are also good to combine with taupe.
This versatile color can represent many things in color psychology. Some of them include the following:
No, taupe and khaki are not the same color.
Khaki, coming from the Urdu word meaning “dusty,” is a light brownish green that’s normally connected to military uniforms.
Khaki is also called khaki green.
Meanwhile, the word taupe comes from the French word taupe and the Latin word Talpa, which was used to describe moleskin.
It’s a gray-brown color, also described as pale brownish gray.
From the name itself, greige is a gray-beige that’s grayer — so it’s a cooler color. Meanwhile, taupe is a warmer color.
However, some people say that greige is actually a shade of taupe, while others say they’re different.
Taupe Home Interior Ideas
Taupe colors are some of the easiest to incorporate into any color palette — whether for acrylic paint projects or interior design.
Below are 20 easy ways to use this versatile color in any room:
1. Plush Taupe Curtains
Taupe curtains — especially full and plush — can highlight any room beautifully. That’s because curtains are a feminine and classy way to display any shade of taupe.
This makes taupe curtains an easy but stylish addition to any room.
Taupe won’t overwhelm a room. Instead, it can even add some airiness and lightness to the space. You can also add accents of the same shade to your furniture.
2. Silky Taupe Paint Walls
There are many shades of taupe. As such, it’s a matter of what atmosphere you want your room to have.
For something more relaxing, you can have a mid-tone shade complemented with lighter curtains and furniture. A good combination is dark taupe walls and white and rose gold neutrals.
3. Romantic Sofas Taupe Upholstered
Taupe is great for large rooms.
It’s especially perfect for soft furniture, giving it a warm and cozy look that will invite anyone to sit down.
You can have taupe sofas and throw pillows on accent chairs. Pair taupe with lighter and brighter cream tones to further create that romantic element.
4. Contrasting Finishes
Rather than worrying about how to blend taupe into your room, you can work with contrasting finishes.
For instance, you can have an ivory room and add some taupe here and there — such as a corner chair, throw pillows, and accent outlines of a 3D wall.
Check the color wheel to see which paint colors can contrast with taupe.
5. Taupe With Plum
Taupe with a purple undertone can be paired with plum to create a sultry or expensive-looking space.
6. Victorian Essence Bedroom Decor
If you want a Victorian theme (even in terms of just color), layer shades of taupe, gray, and white tones.
7. Taupe Shades
Why not decorate a room with all shades of taupe? Taupe isn’t overwhelming and comes in varying shades, so it’s a good color for creating a modern-looking room.
The different shades look like different colors too, easily adding texture to the room.
8. Posh Nursery Decor
If you use the taupe color right, you can make a stylish and modern nursery.
The neutral tone lets you adjust the style as your child grows.
For instance, you can add colorful decorations for the baby, then switch out the crib for furniture in the future and change the decorations and accent colors.
9. Orange Blast Decor
As a soft and subtle color, taupe also works well with bold colors and prints.
But if a strong orange isn’t to your liking, you can choose a more muted orange — or a different color altogether, like cool lavender or light green.
10. Slight Furniture
A slight taupe on the furniture blends well in a room with a gold and mustard theme. Taupe makes the room brighter and can also act as a point of reference.
11. Taupe Luxurious Bathroom
Taupe is the perfect base for a calming and sophisticated bathroom. It makes the space seem cleaner too.
Taupe color is especially great to pair with white bathroom fixtures and towels.
12. Creative Place
Use taupe as a base to make a space that inspires you to be creative and focus on tasks that need to be done. This will also be a space where you’ll enjoy spending time.
Add some pops of color or other accents to give some more character to the space.
13. Taupe Undertone
Rather than use taupe with undertones, why not try a color with taupe undertones? For instance, gray with strong taupe undertones give a muted but sophisticated atmosphere.
14. Color Bursts
Pair the taupe color with another neutral shade, like gray or white. Then, sprinkle some color (like yellow or green) into the room to create points of reference.
15. Bucolic Comfort
You can add taupe to an already-existing rustic theme. Place some taupe accents on throw pillows, stools, or other decors.
16. Taupe Accents
While taupe looks good in a modern room, it also looks beautiful in more traditional settings. It helps create a cozier and homelier atmosphere.
17. Framed Light
Use darker taupe curtains in a room with a lot of natural light. This will frame the light nicely, giving the room more contrast and warmth.
18. Ultra Contemporary
For a very contemporary look, keep your color scheme (and even decor and furniture, if you can) minimalist.
For instance, use taupe for your accent wall and furniture, then pair that with white for everything else.
19. Subtle Foundation
Sometimes, you just need a color that can tie the whole room together. Taupe can do that for you.
Have taupe walls or a taupe floor for a warm, subtle foundation that will support your color scheme.
20. Rustic Taupe Bedroom
If your rustic room has planked walls or warm wooden flooring, taupe textiles will be perfect for it. It adds to the rustic feel, making the room homelier and more inviting.
The color taupe is very versatile, thanks to its various shades. It’s a neutral color that goes very well with anything — from soft yellow to ultramarine blue.
You can use taupe as a foundation or as an accent.
It might take some getting used to, but when you understand the color wheel, mixing and matching a palette with any taupe shade will be much easier.