Ecru Color

Ecru Color – A Look at What Colors Go With Ecru in Art

The ecru color is one of those hues that you have either heard of or not, or maybe you think you know what colors make ecru. So, to clear up any misunderstandings about the ecru color, we will be learning a bit more about it below.



What Color Is Ecru?

So, what does the ecru color look like? The ecru color can be described as a grayish yellow, but there are a few different shades from being just slightly off-white to a more earthy yellow tone. You can say ecru is a neutral earth tone that has hints of yellow, green, and gray. This color leans more towards cream but is darker, so it is sometimes mistaken for beige. 

This is why it is considered a shade of beige, as it does have brownish undertones. However, when it comes to ecru color vs. beige, ecru has more of a cooler undertone. Although, the ecru color also has yellow undertones, which makes it quite a versatile color that can be used in a variety of color combinations and décor styles.

What Color Is Ecru

Again, when looking at the ecru color vs. beige, beige can also be described as a light brown or yellowish brown, the color of natural wool. Ecru, was traditionally a pale grayish-yellow, that was lighter than beige and similar to unbleached linen or silk. However, the ecru color today is a slightly darker version as you can see in the table provided.

If you are searching for a specific color online, to identify it, you can always use its hex code. The RGB and CMYK color codes are for those who wish to know the composition of colors when used for web graphics and printing.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Ecru#c2b2800, 8, 34, 24194, 178, 128 
Beige#f5f5dc0, 0, 10, 4245, 245, 220 


Ecru Color: A Brief History

Before ecru became known as a color, it was often confused with beige. The name itself stems from the French word écru, meaning “unbleached” and looking like natural and raw linen or silk. Ecru was a lighter and similar color to beige and was recognized as a color in the late 19th century, some years after beige was officially a color name.

However, the real distinction between ecru and beige came later in the mid-20th century when interior designers altered it to what it is now.

There is now a definite difference between the two colors. The color composition of this ecru color is identical to that of the sand color, which was first designated as an English color name in the early 17th century.


Ecru Color Meaning

Being a part of the neutral family of colors, ecru has a relaxing, soft, and warming quality to it. A calming color that also has an earthy tone that provides a cozy and elegant feel. Ecru can also be seen as a color associated with dependability, neutrality, security as well as well-being. A color that is simple and tends to remain in the background, instead of showing off. The brown qualities of ecru provide comfort and have a grounding influence that helps to encourage a leisurely atmosphere.

Explore Ecru Color



Shades of Ecru

What color is ecru similar to? We have discovered that the nearest color to ecru is beige. Both colors were often used interchangeably in the past. Other colors that are similar to ecru include cream, ivory, tan, and khaki. 

All of these colors are neutral or earthy tones that can be used to create some amazing warm color combinations.


Cream Color

Cream is a warm color that gets its name from the milk and then the cream product you can get from cows. The cream color is also relaxing and is part of the neutral color group that includes among others white, beige, and gray. The cream color can also be described as a pale yellow, as you can see below.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Ecru#c2b2800, 8, 34, 24194, 178, 128 
Cream#fffdd00, 1, 18, 0255, 253, 208 

What Color Is Ecru Like


Ivory Color

When compared to ecru, you can see that ivory is a much lighter or paler color and can be described as a very pale yellow. The color name originates from the tusks of animals like the elephant. 

This is a hard white material that is quite valuable.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Ecru#c2b2800, 8, 34, 24194, 178, 128 
Ivory#fffff00, 0, 6, 0255, 255, 240 



Tan is another very close color to ecru but can be described more as a desaturated orange. A pale shade of brown, tan got its name from the tanning process, where animal hides are made into leather. Tan is an earthy tone that can work great with most colors in designs.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Ecru#c2b2800, 8, 34, 24194, 178, 128 
Tan#d2b48c0, 14, 33, 18210, 180, 140 

What Colors go with Ecru



Khaki can be considered a shade of brown and is also very similar to tan color. Another earthy tone, khaki provides a sense of safety and trust. There are quite a few shades of khaki, ranging from yellow to green undertones. 

Below, you can see a darker and light khaki version. 

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Ecru#c2b2800, 8, 34, 24194, 178, 128 
Khaki#c3b0910, 10, 26, 24195, 176, 145 
Light Khaki#f0e68c0, 4, 42, 6240, 230, 140 



What Colors Go With Ecru?

As a neutral and earthy tone, ecru can go with a variety of different colors. First, ecru can easily be combined with other neutrals like white, gray, beige, cream, tan, and black. Shades of green like olive green can also go with ecru. To create more of a contrast, consider shades of blue or pink. Ecru can go nicely with all kinds of pastel colors.

Ecru Color vs Beige

Let us take a look at some color combinations for ecru, which is something you can learn from color theory. Below are examples of the specific color of ecru we have chosen. However, there are many other shades, tints, and tones you can choose.


Complementary Ecru Colors

On the color wheel, you have all your colors, and the position of these colors can help you determine the various color combinations. Colors directly on opposite sides from each other are complementary. These colors, when side-by-side are contrasting and tend to catch the eye.

Ecru might be a bit difficult to determine, so using an online tool might be easier.

The ecru color is positioned somewhere between green and orange and is directly opposite the below shade of desaturated blue. However, other shades of blue like navy and pastel blue also work well.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Ecru#c2b2800, 8, 34, 24194, 178, 128 
Desaturated Blue#8090c234, 26, 0, 24128, 144, 194 
Navy Blue#000080100, 100, 0, 500, 0, 128 
Pastel Blue#aec6cf16, 4, 0, 19174, 198, 207 


Analogous Ecru Colors

This color combination provides more of a color scheme that is pleasing to the eye, a harmonious collection of colors that are all found nearby one another on the color wheel. You can consider various shades of orange and green like burnt orange and olive green.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Ecru#c2b2800, 8, 34, 24194, 178, 128 
Desaturated Orange#c291800, 25, 34, 24194, 145, 128 
Desaturated Green#b1c2809, 0, 34, 24177, 194, 128 
Burnt Orange#cc55000, 58, 100, 20204, 85, 0 
Olive Green#bab86c0, 1, 42, 27186, 184, 108 

What Colors Make Ecru


Monochromatic Ecru Colors

All the different shades, tints, and tones of ecru will provide you with a monochromatic color scheme. This color palette is one of the easier combinations to work with, as you do not have to worry if the colors work or not. 

You can consider colors like taupe for a calming combination, or mustard to add more warmth and color.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Ecru#c2b2800, 8, 34, 24194, 178, 128 
Dark Moderate Yellow#a691500, 13, 52, 35166, 145, 80 
Light Grayish-Orange#dbd1b40, 5, 18, 14219, 209, 180 
Taupe#483c320, 17, 31, 7272, 60, 50 
Mustard#ffdb580, 14, 65, 0255, 219, 88 


Triadic Ecru Colors

You will notice that these colors form an equal-sided triangular shape when you search for them on the color wheel. These colors are usually contrasting and involve one central color and two other accent colors. You should also try out other colors like dusty pink or turquoise.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Ecru#c2b2800, 8, 34, 24194, 178, 128 
Desaturated Magenta#b280c28, 34, 0, 24178, 128, 194 
Desaturated Cyan#80c2b234, 0, 8, 24128, 194, 178 
Dusty Pink#dcae960, 21, 32, 14220, 174, 150 
Turquoise#40e0d071, 0, 7, 1264, 224, 208 



What Colors Make Ecru Acrylic Paint?

What does the ecru color look like? When considering this question, we are focusing on pigments and paint colors, which react differently if you combine colors of light. For example, if you combine yellow and green paint, you will get a muddy grayish-brown. However, if you combine green light and red light, you get yellow.

When it comes to paints, you can try mixing ecru by using all three primary colors, which are blue, yellow, and red. Also, as we mentioned above green and red, which is a secondary and primary color.

What Color Is Ecru Similar to

You should also note that there are various types of paint colors out there, each with its own color bias. So, you can have warm and cool blues or colors and warm reds. Having some knowledge of color theory can help. It is also a good idea to document your color-mixing experiments and create a color chart. This way, you will remember the proportions for each color you mix.

Mix small amounts of your primary colors until you reach a brown hue, then you can add a little white until you achieve something close to ecru. You can then mix in very small amounts of yellow for extra warmth if needed. 

You could also purchase a beige or brown color paint and adjust this further to get something closer to ecru.



Ecru Colors and Interior Design

A beautiful neutral and earthy tone, ecru can be used with most colors and can be incorporated into most décor styles. You can choose ecru as your main color scheme and paint the walls, as it makes a great backdrop for more color and contrasting furniture. You can also use it as an accent color that will look great as furniture pieces and other household accessories like cushions or drapes.

Ecru adds a touch of elegance and can help a space feel cozy and warm. You can use it with other neutrals like white, beige, or gray, or you can spice it up a bit by combining it with shades of blue or orange.

What Does Ecru Color Look Like

Ecru is a great color for living areas as it is comforting and welcoming, as well as bedrooms because it creates a calming atmosphere. Since ecru is a down-to-earth type of color, it can also work perfectly in the bathroom, where you can add colorful towels and other elements to change the look and style of the room. The kitchen is another room where ecru can shine and add a touch of elegance. Here are a few more suggestions on creating ecru color interiors.

  • Add texture or patterns to a room, for example, consider using wallpaper. You can also layer colors in a room to create more depth.
  • To liven up a neutral room with ecru, try bringing in some metallic colors or elements to create a more modern style.
  • Instead of white, try pairing natural elements like wood with ecru for a warmer and more elegant combination.
  • Use ecru color tiles in the bathroom to provide a softer, more soothing look compared to bright white.
  • You can easily use ecru to brighten up a space, making sure there is enough natural light.


If you are looking for an elegant and versatile neutral color, then ecru stands at the top of the list! Not only does it bring subtle color and warmth to a space, but it can also easily be paired with most colors. Think about how you can bring in some sophistication by adding an ecru color scheme to your home.




Frequently Asked Questions


What Color Is Ecru?

Ecru is a color that can be described as a grayish yellow and may also contain hints of green and gray. There are a few shades of ecru that go from being a slightly off-white color to a darker hue that has more visible yellow-brown undertones.


What Colors Go With Ecru?

Ecru is a wonderful color to work with, as it goes with many different colors. As a neutral, it will always pair well with white, gray, and also black, amongst others. Pink, as well as shades of green, orange, and yellow are also colors you can use. To add contrast, the different shades of blue are a perfect match.


What Color Is Ecru Similar To?

For many years, ecru was considered similar to beige. However, other colors that are similar to ecru include cream, ivory, tan, khaki, and taupe.


Cite this Article

Charlene, Lewis, “Ecru Color – A Look at What Colors Go With Ecru in Art.” Art in Context. March 2, 2023. URL:

Lewis, C. (2023, 2 March). Ecru Color – A Look at What Colors Go With Ecru in Art. Art in Context.

Lewis, Charlene. “Ecru Color – A Look at What Colors Go With Ecru in Art.” Art in Context, March 2, 2023.

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