Taupe is a trending color this year, and it looks fabulous in the home! How can you incorporate this hue into your living or work space for a sophisticated, timeless appeal? Many apartments and condos come primed in taupe, and the color has become popular in both floorings and furnishings. There are many ways to stylishly incorporate taupe into your décor.
The word “Taupe” is French in origin and means “mole.” The French mole, like the color taupe, is a dark gray-brown. Taupe, the color, lies in between dark brown and gray. Voted one of the top trending colors of 2022, its neutrality makes it both comforting yet versatile to work with.
Is Taupe the Same as Beige?
While taupe and beige may look similar, they are actually quite different. Taupe has pink, purple, or even green undertones (seen in the image above) while beige has gold, yellow, and orange undertones. Taupe classically falls between beige and gray, and is slightly cooler than your average beige. Still, there is much deliberation about the true color of taupe.
“I think the reason that taupes are so big right now,” says design assistant Tricia Firmaniuk, “is that with the gray trend in full swing, many people look to ‘warm’ grays instead of beige and so wind up choosing taupe. Taupes are after all grayer than beige, but warmer than ‘blue’ or cool grays with their pink or violet undertones.” Due to the complexity of underlying shades within taupe, interior designers suggest working with the underlying shades of the specific taupe you’ve chosen when deciding what colors to add for contrast.
Benefits of Styling in Taupe
Because taupe is neutral, it can be paired with nearly any other color and will look great. It is also good for hiding dirt and stains, which makes it an excellent shade to use if you have children in the house. Walls painted in eggshell or high gloss paint are easiest to clean.
Meaning and Colors Within Taupe
Taupe is known to create an atmosphere of calm, comfort, and sophistication, making it a great starting point to decorate or style any room. Warmer shades of taupe add a sense of comfort, while darker shades appear more professional and confident.
Light taupes are closer to khaki or tan, but there are countless other varieties. Popular in England during the 1920s was “mauve taupe,” which, like a light purple rose, emits a pastoral vibe. There are varying shades of rose taupe and darker purple taupe. Other taupes are emboldened through their earthiness, from clay to the gray-browns of darker taupes.
Since taupe can look drab when overdone, make sure to add some color alongside it. If you have chosen a warm taupe, consider pairing it with pastels or reds and purples. If the taupe is cooler in vibration, then pair it with other cool colors, such as green, blue or purple.
How to Make Taupe Pop In a Room
If you plan to paint your walls taupe, there are many tricks to add life and dimension to your room. This includes painting an offsetting trim, creating accent walls, or adding texture.
After your walls have been painted, consider finishing with a bright trim color like electric blue or royal blue. This color combination not only looks great for interiors but also works for painting the exterior or outside of your home.
One interesting interior design method is to utilize different shades of taupe within a single room. This could be done in a variety of ways, but one creative method is to paint some walls one shade and some another. By painting each wall a varying shade of taupe, the neutrality of the shade is maintained while creating an artistic effect that adds more dimension to the room and emphasizes the specific furniture and décor you’ve added.
Lastly, using taupe for a textured painting effect is another way to use taupe in an innovative way. The textured wall effect can be created a few ways; by using wallpaper created in that style or by hand painting the room with tools and coloring to add texture to the walls. The layered effect looks beautiful and adds much personality to an otherwise regular room.
While any type of taupe works, for smaller rooms it is best to use a lighter shade of taupe to add size and dimension to the look of the room. Larger rooms are fine with darker shades of color.
Embrace Warmer Shades of Taupe
If you want to draw out the calm, soothing nature of taupe, then consider pairing décor with pastels and softer colors such as yellow and light pink. This creates a romantic atmosphere for meditation or relaxation. Specialists recommend choosing neutral colors for larger walls if you’re trying to create a soothing ambiance. For decoration, add upholstery or artwork with bold patterns to liven up the vibe.
Dive Into Bright, Colorful Furniture and Decor
Whether you have the resources to paint your walls, there are other ways to incorporate taupe into your home. Playing with color through furniture and décor is a great way to incorporate taupe. A dark red bookcase or a royal blue nightstand stand will appear regal next to a taupe couch. Consider getting a centerpiece or selection of taupe furniture, such as a couch, hutch, or table, then add varying elements of color through throw blankets, rugs, and wall art.
Taupe and White in Scandinavian Interior Design
A popular avenue of interior design is Scandinavian design, which pairs textures and hues to create modern rooms that are warm and cozy yet have utility and function as well. Remember hygge? Taupe, black and white are popular colors within this style of décor. Scandinavian interior design is praised for its minimalism and effortlessly boho chic appeal and utilizes shades of taupe to achieve an earthy, bold balance.
Taupe and Gold
One last signature look to incorporate taupe into your home is to pair it with gold. This bright, bold, and beautiful look adds a touch of godliness to any living space. The warming nature of gold will draw out the underlying colors within taupe to tie the room together. Gold-painted furniture, lamps, or mirrors are subtle ways to bring gold into any room. If you want to maintain a sense of minimalism, consider gold-framed or gold-based art and other smaller additions like gold candlesticks, bowls, and decorative elements.
Now that you know everything there is to know about taupe go forward in confidence! If you want to paint with taupe but are unsure what hue to choose, ask your local hardware store for some paint samples, or try mixing a small batch of taupe paint and painting a single wall to see how it looks. Once you figure out what shades work best for you, your home will quickly begin to look modern and sophisticated!
Lindsey Rae is a freelance writer, videographer, and medium format photographer with a background in economics, documentary filmmaking, and human rights. In past lives she covered the arts scene in Seattle and LA before morphing into a finance journalist, reporting from the NYSE for German news media. When not writing about culture & lifestyle she can be found studying herbalism and traditional healing techniques. She enjoys running, yoga, and world travel. You can find her at www.linerae.com or IG @hunteressthompson