These Ivory Color Ideas Are Downright Soothing

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There's a dizzying selection of white hues out there. Ecru. Pearl. Alabaster. Cream. And that's just to name a few. But, we also know that any shade of white is as classic as it gets. And if you're aiming for a trend-proof space, we highly suggest looking to ivory color ideas.

Named after the tusks of elephants, ivory is a shade of white that stands all on its own. It's decidedly off-white — not quite cream and not brilliant white — and has been known to have tiny hints of yellow. Although there are varying degrees of ivory, it's a hue that nearly always plays well with other white shades, pastels, and even dark colors.

So, to create a space that's equal parts calming and traditional, here are eight ivory color ideas worth considering.

1. Carefully curate colors.

By using ivory walls that pair beautifully with classic whites, grays, and weathered wood finishes, Sarah of Room for Tuesday has created a thoughtfully-curated formal living room that's both modern and timeless.

Get the look: Hudson Valley Lighting Abington Single Light 18" Tall Wall Sconce, $251.20

2. Embrace the classics.

Even though ivory color ideas will work flawlessly with pretty much any design style, we particularly enjoy them in traditional spaces. For instance, Shea of Studio McGee went nearly top-to-bottom in this ageless sitting room, complete with ivory walls and matching furnishings.

Get the look: McGee & Co. Merritt Coffee Table, $4,316

3. Choose a few key focal points.

As you sift through color ideas, think about ivory for a space with a less-is-more approach. When decorating with ivory, you don't need to overwhelm the room, which is why a carefully-chosen chair, stunning area rug, and a few select pieces of decor will do, as proven by this living room from the team at Scout & Nimble.

Get the look: Scout & Nimble Zuri Beige Rug, $197 - $6,725

4. Provide interest through texture.

Ivory isn't a flat color, but if you desire to punctuate it with visual interest, we suggest focusing on texture. Jenn of The Overwhelmed Mommy brought eye-catching textures into her ivory family room with accent pillows, an area rug, and throw blanket.

Get the look: Rugs USA Ivory Textured Diamonds With Tassels Area Rug, $232.69 - $426.90

5. Mix in contemporary hues.

While ivory is a hue that's been a neutral palette favorite for centuries, it can definitely handle being paired with some contemporary vibrant colors, too. For example, Robert and Christina of New Darlings paired their ivory bedroom walls with touches of blush, green, and brass, transforming it into an on-trend refuge.

Get the look: Schoolhouse Nova L Sconce with Opal Shade in Natural Brass, $279

6. Go the pastel route.

An ivory color naturally lends itself to a wide variety of color ideas since it's so neutral, but we particularly love it when it's partnered with cool pastel shades. Here, in this room spotlighted by Lulu and Georgia, ivory shines alongside the softest pinks, tans, and grays.

Get the look: Lulu and Georgia Pom Pom at Home Zuma Blanket, $141 - $233

7. Take it to your cook space.

Ivory is a lovely choice for bedrooms and living rooms, but we also enjoy seeing it in kitchens, too. Paint your cabinets an ivory hue, or include hints of it with your tile, which is what Rachel Parcell did in her pantry.

Get the look: Benjamin Moore Dove Wing

8. Go luxe.

An ivory color is also a great pick for a bathroom, especially if you want to achieve an elegant, luxe feel. Between the ivory marble wall, large walk-in shower, and black floor tile, Jenna Sue Design Co. has accomplished a truly spa-like sanctuary.

Get the look: Bedrosians Tile & Stone 6mm Face C Lincoln Super White Polished, pricing upon request


Shelby Deering is a lifestyle writer who contributes to national magazines and websites, including Country Living, Good Housekeeping, Well+Good, and more. When she's not writing, you'll find her shopping flea markets, hiking, and going for walks with her corgi.

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