Saturday, 2 March 2013

BEIGE VS. TAUPE

As seen in SNAP magazine

The other day I had a very interesting question posted on my Facebook page – What is more chic, beige or taupe?

 

My answer was “beige is for contractors, taupe is for designers, but I personally prefer creams –which is a neutral option as well”.  No offense to Contractors, they do great work; but they have overused the same beige palette for so many years that unfortunately, it has become a very standard and boring colour.  On the other hand, beige is a comfortable colour for the majority of people.  It can add warmth to a space, and it usually looks good with other colour combinations and many light conditions, so it is a no-brainer.

 

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Taupes & Creams – Interiors by Meade Design Group

 

I don’t want to advertise that beige is a bad colour, as a designer I think any colour can be a great colour - it all depends on how you are using it and the application of the colour itself.  However, many designers prefer taupes & grays as they are more current and sophisticated thanks to their gray/brown/white base.  Grays & taupes are soft and their colour value reads well with our West Coast light conditions as they are usually inspired by nature itself.  Because we are closer to the North Pole, the light in Victoria is whiter than if you were looking at the same colour in Central America where the natural light has an amber tone.  This is one of the reasons bright colours look so good in the exterior of many Mexican homes but not so much here.

 

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Creams with Mauve/Taupe accents – Interiors by Meade Design Group

 

Light plays a very important role when choosing colour.  Light has colour, and white is a colour. You can live in a room without furniture but you can’t live in a room without colour.  And since a colour can shape a room as much as any furniture arrangement, your choice of colour is crucial.  If you are in the process of selecting a colour scheme, think about the quality of the light and the direction of your window exposure – East facing windows get a lot of light in the morning so the sunlight will be warm and yellowy before noon. West facing windows have a warm orangy-red sunlight after noon, and South facing windows have a warm orangy-yellow light all day. North facing windows have no direct sunlight, resulting in a cool bluish light all day.  Using this knowledge, a beige (for instance) can look great in an East facing window and rather green in a North facing window or under fluorescent light.   Always check a colour in the morning, afternoon and at night before committing to live with it.   A colour will change during the day and will be affected by the light.  

 

Are you a beige or a taupe person?



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4 comments:

Karen Albert said...

Ivan lets say Creamy Taupe..
xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

Echo said...

I'm definitely a taupe person. I love how it plays nicely with creams, (or whites/off-whites), browns and charcoals all in one space. It's my go-to 'super-neutral'.

Kim L. said...

I'm a taupe person all the way! It's such a pretty neutral color that really makes a space feel cozy and homey. Lighting makes all the difference as well. An open room with a lot windows and natural light pairs nicely with this color.

Josh Urso Design said...

Painting over the beige is always step 1 when we move into a new home. We're actually thinking of using taupe in a bedroom right now. Taupe is such a restful neutral.