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Choose Taupe, Live Your Best Life

by | Sep 26, 2007 | Authentic Living, Decorating Inspiration

Choose Taupe, Live Your Best Life

You know, I was reading about my friend Terri’s harrowing experience on an airplane this past weekend. I am so grateful she is alive! And grateful for the opportunity to be reflective. Near death encounters will do that! She and I share many of the same thoughts on decorating our homes, and I so love her visits here and enjoy the inspiration she gives me through her posts. She has become a good friend. We agree on the need to be authentic, real, all that. In her post she talked about making the decision (of course, she has the right to change her mind, even though I am quoting her here!) to go with taupe for her living room walls because it will look beautiful, tie it all together and by making a decision, she can move on to more important things.

This is a message I am passionate about, it is really at the core of what I do. And she put it so well.

Sometimes taupe is really the answer.

Life should inspire our homes and our homes will inspire our lives (to quote myself, I know you’ve heard me say this before if it sounds like a deja vu!). I don’t believe in decorating for just for the sake of having a decorated home, one that says “Hey everyone, look at me (just don’t pay any attention to the person behind the curtain)!” I think the life behind the scenes is more important, the “whys” of what you are doing. Making sense of it all in light of the kind of person you want to be and life you want to lead.

The beauty of our surroundings can make us happy, more productive, inspired, and support the kind of life we want, but if decorating is all there is, if there is no purpose in what we are doing, then what sorry little lives we must lead. There is nothing wrong of course with loving our little corners or the way the light shines through our windows, you know I am in love with that sort of thing! Beauty is there for us to appreciate and find joy in! But there is SO much more to life, so much more. And sometimes I let good things get in the way of the best things.

If a paint decision, decorating project, blogging, popularity, career or any other pursuit is distracting you away from what you really want out of life, I think it is time to set it aside, simplify or reevaluate what you are doing. Go for taupe! Make a decision that makes sense, is reasonable, and move on! Be willing to let go of devoting time to things that really don’t matter in the grand scheme of your life. Create beautiful things, enjoy your surroundings, be happy, but if your every thought is consumed with something ultimately not so important to you, let it go. Give up something good in favor of something more important. I am speaking to myself here.

So glad Terri is alive and well. And I cannot wait to see the beauty of taupe on her walls. I think the furnishings will seem all the more lovely, light will shine through her home more intently, colors will have more impact and her life will seem all the more precious when her walls are just the backdrop to a well-lived life.

Choose Taupe, Live Your Best Life


My unmade bed photo always reminds me to consider what is truly important to me. It isn’t perfection, image, recognition, praise, or a perfectly well-dressed home. There are things more profound, grand, everlasting, simple, precious and treasured. Wonderful things I can miss so easily.


  1. Terri

    Dear Melissa, thanks so much for the honor of being the subject of your post. I am delighted and thrilled most of all that you totally GET me and what I was saying. You understand precisely what I was trying to convey! Life is for living and sometimes we can get distracted with our little obsessions. This isn’t a problem really, but I did get a reminder that not everything needs to be perfect, that the world will keep on turning if I choose taupe and need to paint over it, even if it is a large room. Life will go on and there are other things I need to think about. I could be building a relationship, helping someone, even writing a post that touches someone’s heart. I love my home, and like you, I see beauty in all the little details, the way the light falls on a pillow, the mussed up still-warm bedclothes, the way the cat is sitting on a chair. All that is precious and so important, all those details are what make my interior world sing! But life is also fluid and there are sometimes you just need to let it be, free yourself, get unstuck, don’t try so hard, leave the old rug down if you can’t find one you like. Just LIVE! I don’t care who is watching and who approves of my life. I approve of it. It makes me happy. Imperfectly decorated as it is!

    Great post! I will need to go edit mine as I re-read and it is sooo long. I am long-winded and don’t always have my editor’s hat on when I write!!

  2. Robin

    She was truly blessed..I left her a comment…thank you for sending me to her blog…we all need to be reminded to enjoy every every single little thing…….

  3. Robin

    ……I just wanted to add that MY bed looks like that everyday………..just about!

  4. Mélanie

    Taupe is great . My bedroom walls are going to be taupe and I think I’m going to mix it with deep purple curtains may be in velvet for the winter and I don’t know for the summer

  5. Kathleen Grace

    Oh my goodness, how you hit the nail on the head for me! I love color and I have so many favorites that choosing a paint color is torture! Sounds ridiculous when you think about it, but I do let it distract me from what is really important, and lets face it, there are so many things that are more important than what color your walls are going to be! Yikes, so easy to get caught up in things like that. Reality check appreciated. Thanks for the perspective:>)

  6. Rhonda

    Beautifully put!

  7. Julie

    Kind of like the old saying: It doesn’t matter if my dishes were done, etc…just that I was important in the life of a child. Or a grown-up. Or a pet for that matter. I have always felt that your home should be your haven. And if you are constantly fretting about it then that’s no haven for sure. Great post, as always!


  8. the feathered nest

    I could open a paint store with all the sample pots I have from previous paint projects as I love color and never thought of myslef as a white or taupe wall kind of person. Surprise!Yep, I painted my guest room taupe (a color I never used before) and just love it!


  9. Vee

    So many color choices for me to make in the next few weeks. I had not considered taupe. Not once. Maybe I’ll get some color swatches and see how many values of taupe there are…550?

    Thank you for always giving me something to think about!

  10. Jennifer

    In the past 6 months I have been concentrating on the really important things in life and this has reminded me to keep me on the right track. This was a wonderful post and SO true. Thank you for sharing these fabulous words of wisdom!!!!

  11. Esther Sunday

    Melissa: I love how you put things into words. I love, love, love to read your posts! Uh, I was wondering, I am a wee bit tired this morning… can I take a nap on that bed for a bit? Love, Esther

  12. Aimee

    You have a great perspective that I feel like I can really learn from! Thanks for sharing. And thanks for your encouraging words on mommyhood – it does pass so quickly!

  13. Beck

    Good idea on this my moving day! :) Thankyou.

  14. maryam in marrakesh

    What a lovely tribute to your friend and what a smart life philosophy!

  15. Pat

    What an amazing thing to have happened! I left a comment, at Wind Lost.

    J and I decided, long ago, the taupe philosophy, is our philosophy of life.

    Thank you for this wonderful post!

  16. Becky

    I love is peaceful and unpretentious. Our bedroom walls are taupe and I find it to be a soothing retreat to forget about the worries that pop up here and there. White really pops against it, too. So true that we will miss something if we get too absorbed into the frivalties of things that others may not even notice. Love your thoughts!


  17. Barbara

    Yes Terri’s was a harrowing post but it is good to be reminded once again of what is important adn what is not. As they say “don’t sweat the small stuff”

  18. Penny, Mosaic Artist

    Melissa, I am glad your friend Terri is safe and sound! What a great post to remind us all of what is important in our lifes. My husband had heart surgery 8 years ago – and let me tell you, that was a wake up call. I love just listening to him breath at night. I know where my priorities are now.

  19. William Cavalier

    Finding the meaning of life is an unavoidable struggle brought sharply into view with a near-death experience.

    While some of the answers and comments proposed here are interesting, they all seem to address: How shall will live? More importantly: What happens when you die?

    I found this question more interesting and the quick test they ask on this website intriguing.

    I’d be interested in everyone’s comments after taking the 2 minute test.


  20. Joy

    Oh my goodness – they eye candy over here! Another blog I’ll have to ‘favorite’!

  21. Alexandra

    I love the simplicity of the candles on the bench. The choking thing…I can totally relate. I tell my son, who lives on his own, “Eat carefully so you don’t choke and no one does not find you for a couple of days.” Awful, I know…but it’s part of the “mother” contract to say it. I, too, prefer obscurity, but love to share what I love.

  22. Scarlett

    Hi, I live in a condo and I really love taupe to make the space flow…no jarring bright walls to chop the area up and make it seem smaller that it is. I just with that I had chosen a sleek, straight lines, low,
    RED sofa, and I think this area could definitely handle a red chair. Maybe one bold patterned lumbar pillow for the chair, and three lumbar pillows on the couch…the same pattern on each end of the sofa, as the pillow on the chair. The center pillow would be again a bold pattern, but very different fro the others.

    Clean angular lines, and accessories, mabe a few vases in lime and possiibly one, and hopefully more that one an outrageous height!!

    Now someone give us some money, and we will be “Have Paint Chip Colors” Will Travel”!!!


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