White walls have a few competitors for the most popular interior color these days. Gray is having an undeniable moment, but we can’t gloss over the fact that there’s an ecru shade that’s caught our design-savvy eye—we’ve gone totally nuts for taupe. While having similar characteristics to creams (pairing well with just about anything), it wears much more gracefully. It also has the ability to add a dash of warmth to any décor style in just a few coats.
- Color Family: Brown
- Complementary Colors: Blue
- Pairs Well With: All colors
- Mood: Sophisticated, earthy, romantic, soothing
- Where to Use: Great for walls and trim
We tapped a few designers to figure out the best taupe paint colors for your walls. After these tips, any loyal white paint user may just be a convert.
Farrow & Ball Stony Ground
According to interior designer Ginny Macdonald, taupes can be a hard color to nail down. While some run red-ish, others have the tendency to turn out murky. But fear not, she’s found a happy medium: Stony Ground by Farrow & Ball, a classic neutral smack in the middle. “Used in the right way a taupe can really elevate a space and add a warm depth of sophistication,” says Macdonald.
Benjamin Moore Vintage Taupe
Taupes are having “a bit of a moment,” Jennifer Wallenstein of September Workshop tells us, as we begin to opt for warmer tones over cool. One to look out for is Vintage Taupe by Benjamin Moore, which plays nicely with just about any accent color.
Farrow & Ball Elephant's Breath
Emma Beryl swears by Farrow & Ball’s Elephant Breath. “It brings a rich sense of warmth to a space, but its gray undertones feel totally new and fresh,” she says. Renowned for its original inception by sought after British designer John Fowler, this taupe has made its way to bedrooms the world over. “It is the most perfect neutral taupe with a magenta undertone,” adds Decorist designer Jessica McCarthy, noting its earthy, yet romantic impact.
Sherwin-Williams Eider White
Part of the Coastal Cool family by Sherwin-Williams, Wallenstein also offers us Eider White, a taupe that scales almost gray. Soothing and laid back, it can play the charming supporting role to a whimsical space. If your style runs on the wild side, this is the perfect color to tame it.
Farrow & Ball School House White
Just barely bridging the space between taupe and cream, this shade was designed to be used as effortlessly as you would a white. Wallenstein tends to lean towards “softer and lighter hues,” when picking a taupe, and School House White satisfies just that task.
Benjamin Moore Baby Fawn
Christine Markatos Lowe of Christine Markatos Design thinks that in a space with wood and brick elements, Baby Fawn by Benjamin Moore could be just the refresher you need. “Taupe paint is a great way to give warmth to a more contemporary design scheme, as opposed to the starkness of white paint.” As a shade rich with grey undertones, it adapts to earth-tones nicely.
Sherwin-Williams Perfect Greige
If you’re looking for a color that pairs well with just about anything, Decorist Elite Designer Becky Leu leads us to Perfect Greige, an almost plum-hued paint choice. Subtle yet warm, it evokes the comfort of a log cabin. Leu swears by it: “I've used it in entire home projects before because if its versatility."
Benjamin Moore White Dove
The lightest of the taupe family is Benjamin Moore’s White Dove, a warm, luminous tone. According to Markatos Lowe, this paint job will “perfectly complement the fresh pastel colors of a feminine space, creating a calm and welcoming room for entertaining.”
Try keeping the walls minimal while saving the “wow-moment” for fabrics and accessories.