Beige, cream, and ivory are all neutrals that can work well with other colors, both as wall colors and trim paint. While these neutrals may not work effectively on the floor unless you’re a very particular housekeeper.

However, these colors are actually quite different from one another and may or may not work well with other colors in your decor.

girl pointing to beige, cream, ivory colors

Beige

Beige is a fairly well-balanced neutral with a warm edge. When talking about warm and cool colors, the tone to focus on is blue. Blue is a cooling tone in any color mix, while red is a warming tone.

If your carpet is a blue-based gray and looks gray against white walls, it will look blue once you paint your walls beige. Unless you want blue carpet, it is critical that you choose the right base color of gray.

However, if you enjoy warm tones in your home and are creating a space that is calm and restful, such as in a family room, beige is a great wall color over another color that contains yellow.

By the numbers, the blue in this color is lower than the red and green (which provides the yellow) so this color will tend to warm.

This wall color would look amazing with a rust or moss green sofa, burgundy or brown carpet, and tan drapes. Make sure your tan is also yellow-based by painting a swatch of beige next to the window.

If your drapes don’t have a strong yellow to them, they will appear dirty.

Beige is formulated to disappear, especially as a wall color. If you have a lot of different wood tones in your space, this may be an ideal wall color to allow you to highlight all of your oak, maple, and cherry tones without a lot of competition or stark contrasts.

beige color box with paint cans

One of the best places to use beige is in the kitchen.

RGB: 245, 245, 220
Hex Code: #F5F5DC

Cream

Cream is a surprisingly strong color, especially in strong sunlight. If the room you’re painting gets a lot of sun, be prepared for it to look yellow a lot of the time.

It will also appear yellow against white trim. However, it’s not a bold or lemon yellow. Luckily, this pale yellow is a color that works and plays well with a lot of tones.

If you have a new home and are looking for that base wall color for all the rooms to start with, consider using cream. This tone works well with painted or wood trim.

Consider pairing it with rich rust or green carpet in a bedroom or family room.

Because cream has a tendency to appear yellow, go ahead and use your boldest accessories. While royal blue may not appear healthy against this color, a fuzzy teal throw over your brown leather sofa will be beautiful.

Cream is a wonderful foil for any tone that contains even a hint of yellow.

cream color box with paint cans

Cream is neutral and can work with either warm or cool colors.

RGB: 254, 251, 234
Hex Code: #FEFBEA

Ivory

Ivory is the closest thing to white that you can get in this listing of neutrals. Weirdly enough, it doesn’t go with a clean, bright white because bright whites contain blue.

By the numbers, ivory is nearly neutral. It has equal parts red and green and a slightly lower amount of blue.

Ivory will work well as a trim color or as a wall color. If you want to use this with a blue, try to use blue that has at least some green, such as cadet or teal.

If you choose to pair it with a purple, go for dark and smoky purple that has had its brightness dimmed with a bit of green.

If you pair ivory with a royal purple or a cerulean blue, the wall will look great, but your trim could look dirty and dingy.

You may be happier using your brightest blues and purples in accent pieces that don’t get near the trim at all.

cream, beige, ivory paint strokes

There’s not enough yellow in ivory to stand up against blue-based tones. Like beige, ivory is formulated to disappear.

If you can use it with lots of warm tones, from peach to rust and from sage to moss green, ivory can work on every wall of your home and all of your trim.

If your space gets a great deal of sunlight, this tone may appear yellow as cream does. However, once you close the blinds or the room is in shade, that yellow will draw back and the walls will appear ivory.

The yellow in ivory is not as bold or bright as it is in cream tones, which is one of the many reasons that this color is terrific as a trim paint.

For those who live in older homes and have windows that don’t offer UV protection, be aware that even this light tone can fade.

It’s the warm tones that tend to give up first; yellow, orange, and red will fade more quickly than a blue bedroom wall or your child’s purple bathroom if sun exposure is constant.

Because all three of these tones are fairly high in red, be prepared for these colors to change over time. If you notice the room is starting to look white instead of ivory, pull down a piece of wall art to see what has happened to the paint exposed to sunlight.

Once the warm tone is gone from this paint, you may not appreciate how it works with the rest of your decor.

RGB: 255, 255, 240
Hex Code: #fffff0

ivory box with paint cans

Ivory is a great color to choose for painting a whole house.

RGB: 255, 255, 240
Hex Code: #FFFFF0

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