Are Greige & Taupe the Same Color?

June 17, 2011

Would you say the above wall is painted taupe or greige?  What about the one below:

Jean-Louis Deniot

The first photo is painted griege.  The second photo is taupe.  Doesn’t the greige and taupe look like the same color?   They are both beautiful neutrals aren’t they?   Taupe:




Let’s investigate! The definition of taupe according to Wikipedia is: taupe is a vague, unscientific color term which may be used to refer to almost any grayish-brown, brownish-gray, or warm gray color.  The definition of greige is not found in the dictionary (recent word) but designers explain the color as a color between grey and beige.  Well, that does not help much.  Let’s look at the undertones:

Taupe Undertones:   Red(pink) & Green

Greige Undertones:   Gray & Beige

Ok, starting to make a little sense now why sometimes a greige color can look gray. Isn’t it interesting that taupe is described as a grayish color, but there are no undertones of gray?  Gray and beige undertones:

Gray Undertones:       Green, Blue & Mauve

Beige Undertones:   Green, yellow, red(pink) & orange.

So the greige and taupe colors can look similar because of the undertones of beige in the greige which are similar to the taupe undertones.  Are you still with me?  And they are different because again the undertones are not the same.

1)  So both taupe and greige are gorgeous neutrals.

2)  Taupe and greige can be warm or they can be cool.  Warm greige has a yellow undertone (from the beige).  Warm taupe gets its warmth from the red undertones. Similarly, cool greige has blue undertones (from the gray) and a cool taupe comes from their green undertones.

In conclusion, greige and taupe are not the same color.  They can look similar but because of the undertones they are not.  I now see that a lot of designers actually are not seeing the difference and calling a color greige when it is actually a taupe.

Aren’t you happy I clarified that for you? 😉 I have to tell you that since I came back from Maria’s training, I have been undertone obsessed!

Let’s take a test!  Taupe or Greige:


                                                        via decorpad

living rooms - gray beige greige walls taupe silk drapes bronze sunburst mirror white gray bergere chairs brass glass coffee table floor lamp black marble fireplacevia decorpad

bathrooms - greige walls glossy black chandelier Ikea Audrey Hepburn Breakfast at Tiffany's canvas print tan black roman shade Amoroso DesignAmoroso Design

living rooms - Serene Living in warm taupe chocolate brown. and robin's egg blue... blue & gray trasitional living room design via BHG. Serenevia decorpad

Photo’s #1 and #4 are taupe.  #2 and #3 are griege.

What are some great taupe’s?  Ben Moore Cedar Key 982, Smokey Taupe 983 and Stone Hearth 984.

Designer greige favorites: Ben Moore Revere Pewter HC-172, Grant Beige HC-83 and Bennington Gray HC-82.

Well, what are you thinking?  Agree or disagree? Do you understand a little better now?  Or more confused?

If you need help selecting colors, contact me today!

Other similar posts you may be interested in:

What I Learned at Color School

Finding the Undertones in Gray Stone

Understanding Beige Undertones


  1. I bought a can of latex eggshell white and it was just too yellow for me. I added just a dab from an old can of grey and unknowingst to me I created greige! I love it! Trimmed in white white it looks very elegant.

  2. we painted our basement what we thought was a warm taupe. Now it looks green and we hate it. Any suggestions? We used Olympic paint. Oyster Shell (D14-4 and Stony Fields (D14-5). The Stony Fields looks like an Army Green. We are at a standstill. I don’t like it enough to continue painting but I can’t find a taupe…or greige that I like!

  3. When I look at the pics I see 1&3 as being taupe because of the purple undertone in both and 2 is definite griege, 4 a bit harder but definitely more a beige like a pink beige, even the chair looks pink beige…Just commenting as I am wondering if it’s the Color of pics or me missing something
    Thank you .. Bobbie

  4. I have a tan microfiber couch and a slate blue area rug. A brown leather recliner is also in the room. White plantation shutters will be on the only window. What color taupe or gray should I put on the walls. I am thinking smokey taupe bm, Collingswood bm, or Balboa mist bm. Any suggestions? I would also like to run this same color throughout the foyer and up the stairs. The area does not get a lot of natural light unfortunately.

    thank you,

    • Three very pretty colors Patti. It depends if you are looking for a clean gray, Balboa Mist, a taupe color would be Smokey Taupe or a mix of taupe/gray which would be the Collingwood.
      Did you try to paint poster boards and see which you liked best both in daylight and nighttime? That is the best way to see the color and will be easier for you to choose. Hope this helps!

  5. Hi kelly! getting ready to pull the trigger on cedar Key for my great room and Stone hearth for my kitchen…do these colors read PINK?????

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