Skip to Content

What color is mauve and taupe?

What color is mauve and taupe?

Mauve and taupe are neutral colors that can work well together in interior decorating schemes. While they are in the same color family, they have distinct shades and undertones that set them apart. Understanding the unique characteristics of mauve and taupe will help visualize how they can be combined in your home.

Defining Mauve

Mauve is a pale purple or lilac shade. It is a soft, muted color that has a grayish-purple tone. When decorating with mauve, it provides a sense of nostalgia or vintage feel.

The name “mauve” comes from the French word for the mallow flower. Mauve gets its purple-gray color from the petals of the mallow. In 1856, mauve became the first aniline dye which made the synthetic production of the color possible. This allowed mauve fabric to become widely available.

Queen Victoria wore mauve to her daughter’s wedding in 1858, which kicked off a mauve craze. Mauve remained a popular decorating color in the Victorian era. It continues to be employed in shabby chic, vintage, and romantic style interiors today.

Defining Taupe

Taupe is an earthy neutral shade. It’s a combination of gray, brown, and tan hues. The color gets its name from the French word for mole, as in the burrowing animal.

Taupe has undertones of brown-gray and can range from a dark tan to a lighter beige. It’s a versatile neutral that pairs well with other colors. Taupe provides a cohesive background and can add a sense of sophistication to a space.

The first use of “taupe” as a color name in English was in the early 1800s. It became more widespread by the 1840s. Taupe played a major role in the muted, organic color palettes of the Arts and Crafts movement. It remains a staple neutral today.

Comparing Mauve and Taupe

While both are soft neutrals, mauve and taupe have distinct appearances:


– Purple-gray tone
– Subtle, muted shade
– Hints of pink
– Soft, romantic feeling
– Associated with spring flowers


– Brown-gray tone
– Understated and adaptable
– Hints of tan or beige
– Sophisticated, organic look
– Associated with mammals like moles

Mauve has a lighter, cooler, more feminine identity. Taupe is darker, warmer, and more unisex. When used together, mauve’s purple grays contrast nicely with taupe’s brown-tinged neutrals.

Complementary Colors

Mauve and taupe complement each other nicely because of their shared soft, muted qualities. They are both quiet neutrals that don’t fight for attention.

Other colors that pair well with mauve and taupe include:

Mauve Taupe
Pale blues Cream
Dusty pinks Beige
Seafoam greens Warm grays
Butter yellow Khaki
Lavender Mushroom

These colors help enhance the muted vibes of mauve and taupe. Cool pastels bring out mauve’s softness, while earth tones complement taupe’s neutrality.

Using Mauve and Taupe in Decor

When using mauve and taupe together, it helps to have one take the lead. Select mauve as the dominant color with taupe accents or vice versa.

Some ways to incorporate both into home decor include:

Mauve Accent Wall with Taupe Trim

Paint one wall mauve and use taupe on the remaining walls or for the door/window trim. The mauve pops while the taupe grounds the space.

Taupe Sofa with Mauve Throw Pillows

A taupe couch allows flexibility in changing up pillows and blankets. Mauve pillows provide a subtle pop of color.

Mauve Area Rug in Taupe Room

Layer a mauve shag or patterned area rug in a taupe living room or bedroom to warm up the neutrals.

Floral Wallpaper with Mauve and Taupe

A floral wallpaper with mauve and taupe flowers and greenery marries the colors nicely. Use it to cover a whole accent wall or framed area.

Mauve Bedding in Taupe Bedroom

Make a taupe bedroom feel more lively with mauve bedding. Mix in taupe pillows and curtains to ground the space.

Vintage Prints with Mauve and Taupe

Vintage botanical or architectural prints in mauve and taupe frames make excellent wall art. Cluster them in gallery style displays.

Benefits of Combining Mauve and Taupe

Using mauve and taupe together provides many advantages when decorating. A few top benefits include:

Neutral Backdrop

As soft neutrals, mauve and taupe create a quiet, neutral backdrop that allows other colors to pop.

Soothing Palette

The muted tones provide a soothing environment. They promote relaxation in bedrooms or spas.

Vintage Vibes

Mauve and taupe nod to vintage styles like cottagecore or shabby chic design. They evoke nostalgia.

Easy to Coordinate

As neutrals, mauve and taupe coordinate seamlessly with each other and other colors. They are easy to incorporate.

Adaptable Scheme

You can build a variety of looks on a mauve and taupe base. Easily change the mood with accent colors.

Choosing Paint Colors

When selecting mauve and taupe paints, lighter, softer shades tend to work best together. Here are some specific shades to consider:

Mauve Paint Colors

– Whispering Violet
– Wisteria
– Thistle
– Lavender Blush
– Sweet Lilac

Taupe Paint Colors

– Graycash
– Weathered Stone
– Mushroom
– Clay Beige
– Putty

Look for paints labeled as “blush”, “heather”, “stone”, or “latte” for soft taupe options. For mauve, seek out “lilac”, “wisteria”, or “lavender” shades.

Incorporating Mauve and Taupe Furniture

When selecting furniture, upholstered pieces provide lots of opportunity to integrate mauve and taupe. Some ways to bring in the colors include:

Mauve Couches or Chairs

A mauve couch makes a statement. Or use a mauve accent chair beside a taupe sofa.

Taupe Sofa with Mauve Pillows

As mentioned, a taupe couch with mauve pillows ties the palette together.

Mauve or Taupe Armchairs

Armchairs in either shade add pops of color and comfy seating.

Mauve Headboard

An upholstered mauve headboard provides an instant focal point in a bedroom.

Taupe or Mauve Ottoman

Ottomans are a fun way to sneak in color. They can also pull double duty as a coffee table.

Beyond upholstery, look for mauve and taupe hues in area rugs and throw blankets to help unite a room through soft layers.

Tips for Decorating with Mauve and Taupe

To make the most of decorating with mauve and taupe, keep these tips in mind:

Use Neutrals Purposefully

Be intentional about where taupe acts as the anchor and where mauve provides the pop of color. Don’t evenly disperse them or the contrast will be lost.

Add Interest with Texture

Incorporate cozy textures like velvet, wool, or soft linen that complement the muted color palette.

Layer Lighting

Employ different lighting elements, like pendants, sconces, and table lamps, to create a warm glow.

Repeat Colors Throughout

Pull the mauve and taupe colors into adjacent rooms for a coordinated feel.

Mix and Match Patterns

Don’t be afraid to pair mauve and taupe patterns. Florals, stripes, geometrics give depth.

Display Collections

Show off collected items, like books or art, to add personality. Keep frames and storage neutral.

Mauve and Taupe Room Ideas

To see how mauve and taupe work together, here are some stylish room ideas:

Mauve and Taupe Living Room

A mauve sofa or accent chairs add pops of color to a taupe living room alongside mauve pillows and a rug. Taupe walls, curtains, and furniture allow the mauve to stand out.

Mauve and Taupe Bedroom

Create a restful retreat with mauve bedding against taupe walls and neutral furnishings. Taupe window treatments and mauve accent pillows or lampshades tie the look together.

Mauve and Taupe Bathroom

Make your bathroom feel like a cozy spa with mauve towels, rugs, and shower curtain against taupe walls or wainscoting. Scented candles complete the vibe.

Mauve and Taupe Office

In a home office, use mauve on an accent wall ordesk chair to soften the taupe walls, desk, and shelving. Mauve art adds personality.

Mauve and Taupe Kitchen

The heart of the home feels welcoming with mauve dining chairs around a taupe table. Display mauve pots and pans for a pop of color.


Mauve and taupe are a match made in decorating heaven. The interplay between mauve’s soft purple tones and taupe’s muted browns creates a sophisticated, tranquil environment. Grounded in vintage roots, the colors pair seamlessly but still maintain their distinct personalities.

Whether using one as an accent or complement, mauve and taupe effortlessly work together. Their versatility suits a variety of design aesthetics and rooms. Employ these harmonious hues to craft a stylish, serene home that encourages relaxation. With an endless array of shades to explore, mauve and taupe offer endless decorating possibilities.