What color is taupe? How to use it in your decor

A warming shade that sits between gray and brown, we discuss the question, what color is taupe?

What color is taupe? Dining room with bamboo taupe wallpaper design by dado wallpaper, dark wood rectangular dining table with dark wood dining chairs with upholstered seats, striped rug in muted pink, gray and beige colorways, light, yellow stone fireplace, black painted wooden flooring, large white windows, decorative basket style accessories on walls
Dado Wallpaper - Bamboo - Taupe
(Image credit: Dado Wallpaper)

Subtle and sophisticated, taupe is a warming color that represents a spectrum of different shades that mainly combine elements of gray and brown.

Soft and inviting, this versatile color is part of a resurgence of decorating with neutrals in the home, creating a grounded, calming atmosphere with references to nature.

A truly versatile shade, taupe can be paired with a variety of other neutrals and bright accent colors, making it a great choice for both understated and bold interior designs.

With many different taupe shades to choose from, we examine the question, what color is taupe?

What color is taupe? We explore how to decorate with taupe

most popular color of the month

(Image credit: Crown)

Taupe has been ever-present in interior design, from flooring, to soft furnishings and paint, the color is hugely versatile. With a palette of different shades available, using the color wheel when planning your taupe designs can ensure that you're creating long-lasting, stylish color combinations for your home. 

Voted as a color of the month for January 2022, when considering room color ideas, taupe is an easy color to decorate with, it can both blend in and stand out, effortlessly integrating into both classic and contemporary schemes.

Sue Wadden, Director of Color Marketing at Sherwin-Williams  states, 'taupe breathes life into a neutral space without overpowering it. Its earthy tones help create a sense of calm, making it ideal for places of relaxation, like bedrooms and living rooms. Poised Taupe SW 6039 is a warm hue that envelops you in comfort. Add greenery and wood tones to taupe spaces to really make the space feel like an escape.'

Is taupe a neutral color?

most popular Color of the month taupe

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Taupe belongs to a family of neutral colors that do not sit on the traditional color wheel, these neutral shades are instead created through a mix of complementary colors. 

A great option for neutral room ideas, taupe comes in both light and dark shades, some with underlying elements of purple and pink, and others with darker properties closer to gray and brown.

Neutral schemes can create a calming, relaxed environment, and many shades bring a sense of the outdoors inside, with this reference to nature creating a timeless and tranquil atmosphere in the home. Using a neutral paint color on the walls such as taupe can grow with an interior space over time, allowing you to make color and style changes through furnishings and accessories.

What colors look good with taupe?

living room with neutral colors gray curved sectional sofa marble fireplace

(Image credit: Stephen Karlisch)

Taupe creates an inviting platform for both soft and bold color combinations, and as it is a neutral shade, it can coordinate with pretty much any other color out there.

Justyna Korczynska, Senior Designer at Crown Paints states, 'if you are choosing two colors that go together for the first time, one simple way is to choose a soft and stronger color that have a similar underlying hue, for example, a warm taupe with soft terracotta'.

Taupe works well with other neutral shades, as well as other stronger, brighter colors – think pink room ideas, or turquoise or mustard yellow.

Is taupe beige or gray?

View across a marble topped kitchen island with shelves in the background with dishes and baskets, taupe painted kitchen cupboards

(Image credit: Jan Baldwin)

Taupe combines elements of both beige and gray. As discussed it is mainly a mix of brown and gray, with many different shades available. 

Patrick O’Donnell, Farrow & Ball Brand Ambassador states, 'true taupe sits somewhere between gray and brown – but is often perceived as lighter – the beauty is everyone will have a version of a taupe.'

Whether you pick a shade closer to beige or brown, there are a variety of color options out there to choose from, with taupe today representing an array of neutral finishes rather that just one true color.

Zara Stacey
Managing Editor

Zara is the Managing Editor at Homes & Gardens. She joined the brand in February 2022 as an Interiors Content Editor, specializing in writing content on interior color trends, decorating ideas and design inspiration. After studying English Literature at University, she worked as an Ecommerce Website Editor, Content Writer and Buying Intern at multiple independent businesses within the luxury retail and lifestyle sectors. She enjoys nothing more than discovering new trends, brands and products, whether that be in fashion, interior design or lifestyle.