Shades of White

Shades of white are colors that differ only slightly from pure white. Variations of white include what are commonly termed off-white colors, which may be considered part of a neutral color scheme.

In color theory, a shade is a pure color mixed with black (or having a lower lightness). Strictly speaking, a “shade of white” would be a neutral gray. This article is also about off-white colors that vary from pure white in hue, and in chroma (also called saturation, or intensity).

Colors often considered "shades of white" may include, among others, cream, eggshell, ivory, Navajo white, and vanilla. Even the lighting of a room, however, can cause a pure white to be perceived as off-white.

Off-white colors were pervasively paired with beiges in the 1930s, and especially popular again from roughly 1955 to 1975. Over-reliance on grays, beiges, and off-whites as a color scheme for interior decoration has been described as a simplistic choice made by amateur decorators with poor color vocabularies.

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