Ivory is a confusing color for people who are trying to put together a color scheme. It is a shade of white that falls in the color spectrum between a cooler tone such as diamond white and yellow-based shades such as cream. Ivory is a warm, natural white with a touch of yellow. A good visual point of reference is an elephant's tusk. The color ivory gets its name from the bone material that makes up elephant tusks.
Neutrals are colors that are compatible with any other color. Ivory is considered a neutral and pairing it with other colors in the neutral family creates an earthy, natural look. For contrast, pair ivory with black or navy. If you want to add texture, choose wood elements in various shades of brown. Lighter wood tones will look fresh and bright while darker woods add depth. Gray shades are compatible as well, but choose warm or yellow based grays that complement the warmer tone in ivory.
Shades of Blue
For a beach look, pair ivory with shades of blue. Ivory is the color of white sand beaches and can be paired with aqua or sea foam shades for a tropical look. A nautical look can be achieved by pairing ivory with darker blue shades, such as navy or royal blue. If you want a calming atmosphere, choose shades of gray-blue or light sky colors. Avoid primary blue because of its association with nurseries and kids' rooms.
Monochromatic Color Scheme
A monochromatic color scheme is achieved by layering different shades of the same color. Ivory can be paired with cream and vanilla shades for a warm, cozy look. For a more elegant atmosphere, blue toned whites can be added. Make sure you add a variety of textures and patterns to create visual interest or a monochromatic scheme can become boring. Knitted throws and silk pillows in different shades of white add contrasting texture. Use clear crystals to add sparkle.
Ivory is the perfect background color to showcase jewel tones. Jewel tones are vibrant but saturated colors. They are richer and deeper than pastels and darker than primary colors. These shades get their name from the gemstones and crystals commonly found in jewelry. Emerald, ruby and sapphire are all jewel tones and colors such as amber and amethyst fall into this category as well. Jewel tones accent an ivory color scheme by adding pops of visual interest into a neutral background.