Neutral tones are hues that aren’t strongly coloured and which blend well with many other shades. According to colour consultant Samantha Bacon, these versatile shades are a perennial favourite as they can be a safe option when decorating.

All neutral hues, unless they’re pure black or white, have a slight undertone of colour. People who love warmer tones, and who are drawn to pinks especially, appreciate the beauty of taupe. Pink is certainly the most nurturing of all the colours and, for this reason, it works beautifully in children’s and even adult’s bedrooms, but it can be a challenge to decorate with in a more sophisticated setting. Accents of pink work very well in decorating schemes for living rooms – and as a complement to greens or soft beige they’re perfect – but if you want to introduce more of this hue, perhaps for the wall colour, then taupe is a good alternative. It has the sophistication of a neutral tone, but with the comforting, nurturing and feminine charms of a soft pink.

Taupe is the warmest of the brown and beige hues and, in its darkest guise, works well in tropical schemes as it partners nicely with the hot-fuchsia pinks of bougainvillea. As taupes get lighter, more of the underlying pink tones come through and some throw off an element of lilac. Taupe works well in monochromatic schemes where you use different tones of the one hue. It also works well with accents of black, deep, rich pink and opulent purple. Remember, monochromatic schemes are more successful if a variety of textures is used so rich cashmere throws, delicate lace and silky satin fabrics can bring interest to the look.

Brocante fabrics and Bijoux wallpapers from the Eijffinger range, available through Verve Designer Collections, come in a taupe colourway and are very effective in a simple colour scheme. Other textural fabrics that work well are Brode and Midnight, from Eijffinger, and Grando, from Russell and Harvey, also from Verve. Dulux has a wide range of taupes, from those with a more obvious pink undertone to those that are more neutral. Muskrat is a lovely rich hue that’s particularly good for a feature wall or an exterior. Tassel Taupe is softer and works well as a rich, warm wall colour. Dusky Taupe is a subtle tone and Lunette is perfect as a warm off -white shade for the trim.

Dusky Taupes

About Samantha Bacon

A regular CHI contributor, Samantha Bacon from Samantha Bacon Colours and Interiors designs unique colour schemes for both interiors and exteriors of a range of different types of properties. Giving tips on every aspect of a renovation or new building, Samantha advises on everything from the brick colour to the fabrics you should be using.