Neutrals are a vital component of classic and elegant interior design. The ecru color is underrepresented and misunderstood neutral that works well in many design styles.
While many might confuse this color with ivory, cream, or beige, there are some noticeable differences once you begin to look for them. In this article, we are going to take you through the distinctions that make this neutral color unique.
Once you finish, you will be knowledgeable about the qualities and uses of this amazing color. You will be sure to look for ways to incorporate it into your home to take advantage of all its wonderful characteristics.
What color is ecru?
The color ecru comes from a French word meaning “unbleached”. Therefore, ecru has been compared to the look of unbleached linen or silk. Ecru is sometimes considered a member of the beige family because of its light brownish tones.
However, while ecru is a similar light neutral it has cooler undertones than many beiges. Ecru has subtle gray undertones along with hints of yellow and green. Therefore, it is a multi-faceted and universal color because it has both cool undertones and warm undertones that allow it to blend with many color palette combinations.
The color ecru is a helpful addition to the base elements of home decor. Because more of us are spending our time at home, there has been a shift in interior design toward comfortable style designed for family and personal enjoyment.
The ecru color works better than stark white as a base color because it is much more forgiving but still light and bright. Also, it works well as an accent color for furniture for coastal, bohemian, farmhouse, and rustic styles because of its comfortable “lived-in” tone compared to the more formal style of bright white.
Ecru compared to other light neutrals
This is a difficult color to pin down, so it is helpful to understand ecru in comparison with other colors.
- Ecru color vs white – Ecru is a color that is more yellow and gray compared to white. Think of a white piece of paper that has been weathered and yellowed over time and you will begin to understand the look of ecru.
- Ecru color vs ivory – Ecru and ivory are similar and sometimes confused with one another. However, ecru has a darker tone than ivory. Ivory is a dark white with a hint of yellow. Ecru also has yellow undertones but with cool gray and brown undertones to balance it.
- Ecru color vs beige – Ecru and beige are also similar colors. However, beige is a light brown that can have warm undertones like red or cool undertones like green. Ecru is lighter than beige and cooler because of its gray, green, and yellow undertones.
Best Ecru Paint Color Ideas
- Uptown Ecru from Jolie Paint – This is a soft and warm beige-like toned paint with undertones of gray. This ecru color paint looks wonderful with bright white accents.
- Churchill Hotel Ecru (3002-10C) also called Savory Beige from Valspar – This is a soft neutral ecru without heavy undertones that allow it to work with many color schemes as a background or an accent color.
- Ecru (S15D1) from Dulux Paints – This soft beige-like paint has slight green undertones and looks perfect on interior and exterior walls.
- Ecru (2014- 70) from Benjamin Moore – This is a warm and light tone with a touch of peach.
- Echelon Ecru (7574) from Sherwin Williams – This is a light beige-like tone with yellow undertones.
Ecru Color Inspiration
We have collected some of the latest inspiration pictures using ecru as a design element in both prominent and more subtle ways. Take a look and see if you can resist adding some touches of this flexible color to your home.
Foundational wall color
Consider the painted brick walls in this cheerful and snug living room. The designers have painted the walls using Ecru (S15D1) from Dulux Paint.
It provides the perfect foundational tone for this design’s color palette of mint green and blush pink. The brick textured ecru walls add a sense of depth in the room where a bright white would look stark.
Layering ecru color with texture
If you like white but want to make sure that it is not too severe, think about layering in shades of ecru to make it less one-dimensional. Consider this bright white room.
The owners have softened the look with a chair covered in ecru upholstery, a seagrass rug, and a cowhide rug featuring shades of dark and light ecru. The room still reads as neutral and light but with an attractive depth of multiple tones.
Accent furniture in ecru
This light shade of ecru paint from Jolie Home is called Uptown Ecru. They named their color of the year for 2021 and for good reason. Look at the way that the ecru table complements the off-white walls for a subtle contrast.
Also, this table is the perfect companion for deep black doors and pops of gold. If you like this look, consider painting a piece of accent furniture this lovely shade to bring subtle textural depth to the room decor and still maintain a neutral look.
Complementing shades of ecru
The bedroom layers shade of ecru in an elegant and seamless way. There are various shades of ecru blended together including the wall color, the bedding, and the cowhide rug.
This bedroom does not have the crisp look of a formal room. Rather, it has a lived-in look that is comfortable and meant to be used.
Ecru tiles for the bathroom
White tiles in a bathroom can sometimes feel clinical and barren. Rather than use standard white subway tiles, consider using another soft neutral like ecru. As with other neutrals, and ecru foundation exudes a sense of calm and serenity. The warm tones of the ecru tiles complement the textured gray foundation.
Layering with ecru patterns
Painting walls with an ecru color is one option for a background color. Another alternative is using an ecru wallpaper to provide a textured look that can stand on its own.
This ecru wallpaper is Pure Poppy from the William Morris collection. This tight pattern can work as a textured solid rather than a pattern in large interior spaces like the living room or the dining room.
Layering textured bedding
We love the look of layered bed linens in this modern rustic space. The ecru coverlet and throw pillows vary the look of the light tones and provide contrast to the bright whites. Further, the owners have added in just a few blue and green throw pillows and black accessories to give the room a fresh and inspired style.
Soft and dreamy wall art
Complement a peaceful interior space with wall decoration in varying ecru tones. These phases of the moon wall art are the perfect look for a nursery or child’s bedroom. With the restrained color tones and minimalist style, this type of wall art works well with modern room designs.
Pair with bold colors
Ecru furniture is wonderful in living rooms because it is a versatile tone that goes with a variety of color palettes. Consider this ecru sofa accompanied by the deep ochre wall art, gray walls, and seagrass rug.
The ecru tone works as a unifying color that has more depth and is more forgiving than white. If you like this look, choose a sofa in ecru and decorate with bold colored accessories like deep blue, green, or gold.
Romantic ecru upholstery
Ecru tones blend well in dining room spaces when used with other neutrals like beige, ivory, and gray. This dining room features chairs with ecru upholstery and gray and natural wood tones. Ecru ties everything together because it works with both warm and cool color tones.
Foundational ecru accessories
A rug in the kitchen needs to be a workhorse because of all the heavy foot traffic in this space. Ecru blends with warm and cool tones to create this textured rug.
Because of the texture and variegation, it will hide stains and spills well. The multifaceted variations in the rustic rug bridge the space between the warm wood floors and the bright white cabinets.
Serene bedroom retreat
This bedroom has a lovely and peaceful style that is rich in color tones. The walls of this room are white, but the designer has added depth with the addition of the ecru curtains and carpet. The designer has balanced the soft touches of blush by the gray undertones of the ecru elements.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
Is ecru a good color?
Ecru is a wonderful color with depth and interesting undertones. Because of the warm and cool undertones, ecru works well with a variety of colors. Further, it is a light neutral that has a more nuanced tone than white.
What color is similar to ecru?
There are many colors that are similar to ecru including ivory, cream, beige, taupe, tan, fawn, and khaki.
Do gray and ecru go together?
Yes, gray and ecru look very good together because of the gray undertones in ecru.
What colors look good with ecru?
Because ecru is a light neutral, it works with many colors. It looks wonderful with pink, olive green, gray, black, blue, and a deep golden ochre.
How do I choose the best ecru paint color?
Ecru paint colors vary by brand. It is best to get swatches of the different ecru paint colors. Place them up on all the walls of the area that you are considering so that you can see the colors in different lights. Once you have narrowed down your choice to two or three options, buy samples of the colors and paint a few coats on a large area of the wall in different lights and near the trim color. Give yourself time to see the color in all different lights, and then choose the one you like best.
Ecru Color: Conclusion
Ecru is an interesting but under-appreciated color. In a world full of white, there is room for a more nuanced neutral that adds depth and texture to your homes.
Further, this color complements many color palettes and design styles. Consider how you can bring distinction and refinement into your home spaces with the addition of ecru as a foundational and accent color.