Ochre Color Interior Design

Ochre Color – How to Create and Use your Ochre Color Palette

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What color is ochre? This question comes up time and time again when discussing color in the paint world. It is not a color that is spoken of very often but is certainly a color that is commonly used, especially when discussing the interior and exterior of our homes. The ochre color is versatile and very often used in renaissance times. Many famous painters used ochre colors in their paintings, in particular, yellow ochre color was used extensively in expensive masterpieces. This article will explore the ochre color palette in more detail and outline the ochre hex code. Once you have finished reading this informative article, you will be in a much better position to answer the question of what color is ochre.



An Introduction to the Ochre Color

The word ochre is a Greek name that means pale yellow. Even though it is described as a pale color, there is nothing pale about the ochre color. The ochre color ranges from very light yellow to a rich red and brown color and there is also a violet color ochre color that belongs to the ochre color palette. Here is a table showing the ochre hex code and other color codes.

yellow ochre color

ShadeOchre Hex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Ochre#CC77220, 42, 83, 20204, 119, 34


The yellow-ochre color can range anywhere from gold to light brown. The yellow ochre color is probably the oldest tint of color ever used by a human being. In Tuscany, Italy, it was a color used to plaster walls. The yellow ochre colors remind us of the rich golden floors made from oak or even the golden hues in a field of wheat, as the sun sets for the night.

Shades of ochre colors are warm and have a rich earthy tone. This ochre color was originally made from clay containing other colored minerals. The ochre color is an ancient color and today different shades of ochre are still used extensively in traditional Aboriginal and African art. It was a color that was very popular in renaissance times. Colors that go well with ochre colors are shades of blue such as periwinkle, denim blue, or teal, which were also often used in paintings.

what color is ochre

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Periwinkle#CCCCFF20, 20, 0, 0204, 204, 255
Denim Blue#2F647961, 17, 0, 5347, 100, 121


The ochre color hues and tones are varied and are golden brownish colors which can range from light to dark. The ochre color works very well with other rich colors of the earth, such as burgundy and kingfisher daisy, and is most complimentary when paired with shades of blue, such as navy, and dark silver gray. Because of the earthy tone, the ochre color palette matches up perfectly with terra-cotta colors such as saddle brown or el Salva, making it the most versatile color to use in a home or a garden.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Burgundy #8000200, 100, 75, 5050.2, 0, 12.5
Kingfisher Daisy#2B173F32, 63, 0, 7543, 23, 63
Dark Silver#706E722, 4, 0, 55112, 110, 114
Navy#000080100, 100, 0, 500, 0, 128
Saddle Brown#8B45130, 20, 45, 24139, 69, 19
El Salva#9035230, 63, 76, 44144, 53, 35


Ochre Color vs. Ocher Color

Did you know this is the same thing but just spelled differently? Although the color is the same, the Americans spell it as “ocher” and the rest of the world spell it as “ochre”.  Both spellings are correct. If searching under the name “ocher”, you will see more instances where this spelling was used before the last century.


Mustard and Ochre Colors

Mustard colors are often confused with ochre colors, but the mustard color is actually a much lighter shade than an ochre color. The ochre yellow color is much darker when compared to the mustard yellow color and yes, both of these colors belong to the same yellow family on the color wheel. The ochre yellow color has been used in the last few centuries for adding color to the exterior of people’s homes. This color can still be seen today in the streets of Florence Italy. The ochre color is making a big comeback in the world of interior design, particularly in furniture pieces such as stand-alone wing-back chairs, sofas, and velvet curtains.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Ochre#CC77220, 42, 83, 20204, 119, 34
Mustard#FFDB580, 14, 65, 0255, 219, 88


Ochre Color Palette



Ochre Color in Painting

There are various types of ochre paint available in the marketplace today. The red ochre paint is a shade of the ochre color that is achieved when red and orange pigments are mixed when yellow ochre is heated. This particular shade of ochre is known as orange-yellow ochre color and orange-red ochre color. Light ochre colors and dark ochre colors are those sold as yellow and yellow-orange. These paint colors are usually only used when working with watercolor paints.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Yellow-Orange#FFAA330, 33, 80, 0255, 170, 51


Ochre Color

A gold ochre color is achieved when a yellow ochre is mixed with other shades of yellow chrome. This kind of ochre color is sold in the marketplace and described as yellow or yellow-orange ochre shades, these can also be bought in light and dark colors. Then we get what we call the ochre meat color paints, which are a combination of red to orange-red ochre colors. These can be purchased in semi-dark to dark colors and are natural shades of ochre color paints known as sienna.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Raw Sienna#D68A590, 36, 58, 16214, 138, 89
Burnt Sienna#EA7E5D0, 46, 60, 8234, 126, 93
Dark Sienna#3C14140, 67, 67, 7660, 20, 20


When looking at the ochre range of paints to decide on what colors to incorporate into the interior of a home, there are so many different shades of ochre to choose from. The color is a natural earth pigment and ranges from yellow right through to deep orange, as well as various tones of brown. The ochre color palette is versatile and is the more popular color palette used in most homes today, so go ahead and experiment with the color of your choice. You cannot go wrong no matter what ochre color you decide to use, you are almost guaranteed, that the color will be inviting and will bring warmth to the room that you are painting.

Ochre Hex Code



Using Ochre Color in Interior Design

Ochre color is a trendy color to use for the interior of the home and even in offices. Other colors that go with ochre make the ochre color a versatile color to use because it pairs up beautifully with gray tones and will make a room appear rich and full of energy but at the same time, the colors are toned down to ensure comfort and elegance.

Colors that go with Ochre

Using ochre colors on walls will add warmth to any room in the home. The orangery ochre tones, because of their ancient look, add richness to a room when paired up with dim gray or black. Using ochre colors to paint a room can go a far way to brighten up a room rather than painting an entire room with one ochre color. Instead, paint one accent wall which will bring a nice dark richness to the room. The lighter greenish ocher tones will add light to a room but will still make a room feel intimate. A feeling of grace is achieved when pairing the more yellow-ochre colors with white in a room.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Dim Gray#6969690, 0, 0, 59105, 105, 105
Black#0000000, 0, 0, 1000, 0, 0
White#FFFFFF0, 0, 0, 0255, 255, 255


If wanting to use an ochre color in the kitchen to give a modern fresh look, the ochre colors will do this but be careful, it has been known that the ochre colors in a kitchen stimulate the appetite! So, if you do use these ochre colors in the kitchen, you may want to prepare yourself to start cooking some big meals that your family is going to demand.

Shades of ochre color can be incorporated into a kitchen and will compliment exposed brick or even beautiful rich terra-cotta tiles on the floor. This versatile color can be found in many kitchens around the world, such as in Spain and California. In other rooms of the home, the ochre color is the perfect color for bottle green sofas and rich dark-purple velvet curtains, this will always add comfort to any home. All shades of ochre give the feeling of being safe. It is a color that enfolds you and makes you want to sit back and relax.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Bottle Green#0F472C79, 0, 38, 7215, 71, 44
Dark purple#3019348, 52, 0, 8018.8, 9.8, 20.4


In the garden setting, the ochre colors are a perfect color palette as using pots or fencing will not take away from the natural look of a garden but will blend in with its surroundings and will complement the plants and trees. Try using some pots in contrasting colors such as cyan, pistachio, or lavender field.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Cyan#00FFFF100, 0, 0, 0224,255,255
Pistachio#93C57225, 0, 42, 23147, 197, 114
Lavender Field#754C783, 37, 0, 5345.9, 29.8, 47.1



Ochre Color in Famous Paintings

Famous painters used ochre colors in many of their paintings. The color palettes are made up of various shades, but in particular, the yellow ochre, red ochre, and brown ochres were more popular. These colors are paired with all shades of blue and as we mention a few of the masters in painting, you will get a better idea of how the ochre color is incorporated into masterpieces during the renaissance.

Of the most famous painters, Rembrandt van Rijn will probably be most remembered for his frequent use of ochre color in his paintings. The earthy tones of the ochre color palette were very important for Rembrandt.

Because earth tones are a very stable color and mix well with other pigments, they became the color of choice for artists to use especially when painting with oils. In Rembrandt’s famous painting called A Woman Bathing in a Stream (1654), the ochre colors are evident in the red ochre, yellow ochre, and orange ochre tones, and in the Portrait of Hendrickie Stoffels (1626), the famous painter used what we call a pure ochre color for the arms of the chair that Stoffels was sitting on. The pure ochre color is a color that enhances the natural beauty of indigenous art, where the richness of the land is celebrated.

Shades of Ochre

Because of Rembrandt’s love of the ochre color palette, in almost all of his paintings, the earth tones and shades of ochre can be seen. He used the ochre color in backgrounds as well as in pieces of jewelry that his subject was wearing.

The yellow ochre color and shades of ochre colors have continued to be very popular throughout modern history, and Amedeo Modigliani used the ochre yellows to add to the vibrancy of his paintings. This can be seen in The Yellow Sweater (1918) where his lover Jeanne Hebutern sat for him as he transformed her into a woman with curves. In this painting, you can see that he also paired the ochre yellow with a beautiful shade of blue, which complements the overall look.

Vincent van Gogh who was thought to be the modern master of yellow, used ochre yellow colors together with shades of blue and black in a lot of his paintings. Sunflowers (1887) is a good example of Van Gogh’s love for the color yellow. These colors became almost a comfort for Van Gogh through the most troubling times in his life.


The Price of Famous Paintings Incorporating Ochre Colors

To give you an idea of what a famous painting sells for today, we have taken a few of the more well-known artists who used the ochre colors in their masterpieces and listed the monetary value of the paintings in today’s currency.

The Mona Lisa (1503), if it had to be sold today, would sell in the region of about $53 million, although it was assessed in 1962 to be worth at least $100 million. The Mona Lisa painting contains various shades of ochre colors and the light hues of the ochre tones can be seen in the background of the painting.

The Last Supper (1495), painted by Leonardo da Vinci, incorporates ochre colors throughout the painting. It is thought that The Last Supper in today’s monetary value is approximately $450 million, although the painting has never been sold and an actual value cannot be put to this painting. It is expected to far exceed the $600-million mark if sold today. 

Now that we have seen the monetary figures of the world’s most famous paintings, the ochre color palette certainly doesn’t seem boring anymore. If anything, it just makes you want to pick up a paintbrush and start dabbling in the ochre color palette with the added hope of making a few million on the side. We hope you have enjoyed reading about the humble yellow-ochre color which ultimately can make dreams come true. We hope you have a completely new take on the ochre color and as you go and experiment with the different shades of ochre, all that is left for us to do, is wish you good luck on your ochre journey.  

Shades of Ochre Yellow



Frequently Asked Questions


What Color Is Ochre?

The question of what color is ochre does come up time and time again. The simple answer is that the ochre color is an earth color with hydrated iron oxide. Shades of ochre will vary from pale yellow colors right through to deep red. Browns and violets also belong to the ochre color palette. When thinking about the ochre color, the best way to describe the color is to think about all the earthy tones you would see while taking a long walk up a mountain pass.

ochre color nature


What Are the Colors That Go With Ochre?

Without a doubt, the best colors that go with ochre are gray and blue. One of the more common color combinations with ochre would be gray and all shades of ochre. The lighter hues of grays will bring out the vibrant shades of ochre. If darker gray tones are used, these will add a sophisticated finish when paired up with ochre. For a little bit of drama, adding an ochre color to any shade of blue will help you achieve your end goal.


How to Make Ochre Color?

Mixing colors to get an ochre color can seem quite involved but when asking the question of how to make ochre colors, the answer is quite simple and easy to achieve. When mixing our ochre colors, it is recommended to start with a yellow base. Once you have the base color chosen then add a little red which will darken and warm up the yellow color. Once that is mixed, add some blue which will also darken the yellow. Make adjustments to the colors as you mix. Mixing earth tones directly onto a palette and adding either black or white will also achieve the ochre color that you are looking for.

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