Dancing With Tootsie

Friday, July 21, 2006

What Color is Taupe Anyway?

How many kinds of "taupe" are there and what is that color anyway? There must be dozens of different taupes. I hereby call for standardization of the color "taupe". Just try to describe to someone over the phone what a taupe shoe looks like. Taupe to one person is quite different than taupe to the next person. I have several pairs of taupe shoes, none of which are the same color. When does "taupe" become "dark ivory" or some sort of ugly tan? And what's the difference between tan and taupe? I am sure I know. Tan is tan. Taupe isn't tan.
It seems there are a lot of others who have the same problem. I searched for some examples of taupe.

Here's taupe that's tan.



And then there's one that's kind of green.



And there is one that's taupe the way I think of it.

But it turns out that the real taupe is....

12 Comments:

At 10/26/2007 10:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

taupe is one of the most CRAZY word AND colors. Not only could I not spell it but i had NO idea what it looked like. That is craaaazy!

 
At 3/15/2008 6:59 PM, Blogger mjbauer said...

I just painted my kitchen with some color called "taupe" and let me tell you, when the sun hits the wall my taupe looks pink! I have oak cabinets with a reddish tint, so my "pink" walls look terrible with the cabinets. I now have to find another color- one that doesn't say "TAUPE!

 
At 5/15/2008 7:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too find "taupe" most frustrating! I looked it up, and some definitions state it's "grayish brown" and some say it's "brownish gray". Eh??

 
At 10/22/2008 12:58 PM, Blogger ad hoogenboezem said...

I think its grayish brown with a little touch of pale pink.
Schematic Red 188
Green 152
Blue 126
To make it pale use white

 
At 8/23/2009 10:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Taupe comes from the hebrew word
towb which translated fair in the
King James bible. It is most likely
a very light or pale tan if you use
it from the ancient perspective of
the original sense of the word.

 
At 10/25/2009 12:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wikipedia has a very good article on Taupe. It's named for the European mole (which itself is variable in color); it can range from grayish brown to brownish gray to a "warm" gray to a gray pink, and be dark, medium, or light; it's vague-- in short, everything that everyone has already said. :)

 
At 12/26/2009 11:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

MY WALLS ARE PINK TOO!!! AAARRRCCHHH !!! I asked the store for a warm beige, brown color and they suggested something called turning taupe... MY EYES SEE PINK!!!! :-(

 
At 1/12/2010 2:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you see red, do you see a cherry red or an vermillion? When you see green do you see lime or khaki?
All colours are in a spectrum. I agree with Tootsie, your example is what I think of as Taupe. Somethink like a soft rabbit biege handing in the grey direction.
Taupe - greyish brown to pinkish brown, heads off down the muted tones chanel. As soon as you put pink in you could be in trouble. To keep it greyish stick to the green end! As the others have said, beware of the pink undertones it creates a colour most unsatisfactory, especially in large quantities, ie A WALL!
Don't know why I felt the need to add my ten peneth! Hope it helps... =)

 
At 8/13/2010 10:58 AM, Blogger Renaud said...

Hi Everybody !

I'm french and I think I can help here.
"Taupe" is called because of the french word for the Mole. But to be honest... the real Mole here is really brown. Taupe is a grayed brown when we're talking about the color.
You SHOULDN'T have any kind of pink, with "taupe", if the components are well balanced.

In Europe, Taupe is clearly the most common modern looking color for paintings or fabric color. In some way, when you want to be sure to have a fancy look for your house, without thinking too much : use Taupe :-)

 
At 9/11/2010 8:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you even pronounce that word?!? Is it like "towp" or "tope" or "toop" or "taw-pay"? Everytime I see it my brain wants to EXPLODE!

 
At 9/16/2010 8:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This conversation is hilarious. I always thought taupe was a very muted semi-dark blue green or gray green. So now I think it is a warm grey. I sent message to ebay seller of a skirt and wanted to verify color as per the pics. One pic showed it as a warm pale beige. Most of the others showed it as warm grey. So I asked how it can best be described and she said....you guessed it, "taupe." So I wrote back, "So, it's a warm grey?"

Anyway, I'm all for standardizing it. How do interior designers communicate if they don't have their swatches?!

 
At 7/14/2012 11:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok so my mom got this new skirt and the color on it said taupe. And she needs a shirt to match it so she asked me to figure out exactly what color taupe is. So I decided to google it. When I googled it I found this web page and this hysterical conversation about the color taupe. Well since everyone is struggling because of this dumb color they call TAUPE, why not discontinue it around the world!? Hahahahah. I still don't know what the color taupe really is...

 

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