Behind the Color Purple

Regal and eccentric, purple lends a layer of mystery to your design.

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Purple, the color of royalty and creativity, is a combination of calm blue and exciting red. The color can add exotic flair to different rooms in your home.

Purple can be dramatic or quiet, depending on the tone or shade. The regal color can add richness to a space or drama to an architecturally simple room. Purple colors range from light lavenders to solid plums, and a few strategically placed purple accents may be all you need to create a whole new vibe for your surroundings.

Use deep purple to create a stunning front entry. Light lavender-gray walls can add softness to a formal living room, while purple pastels mixed with modern art can make a teen's bedroom feel hip and young.

Want to make a statement? Try neon-purple walls with gray stripes for a brave, edgy dining space. Make a room lively by pairing mid-tone purple with mustard yellows. A very light lavender with crisp white trim on cottage-style beadboard walls gives a touch of unexpected color to a room.

If you want something more lush and sophisticated, use eggplant purple for the walls paired with high-gloss white trim. Purples combined with soft blues or greens create a very tranquil color scheme.

Exterior Options

Purple can be used for the exterior of your home. A mid-tone purple with a dose of black can highlight the period details of Victorian architecture. Or try purple shutters, doors and window boxes to add cuteness and highlight details on a Cape Cod.

Muted mulberry with white trim offers a colorful alternative to more mundane selections. But be aware that deeper purple colors absorb light and will fade and require repainting more frequently than other color selections, says architectural color consultant Bonnie Krims.


More Ways to Create a Mood With Purple

  • A claret color that combines raspberry with black can add richness to a room.
  • A dark, rich purple can provide a lovely backdrop to show off fine crystal and antique silver.
  • Use purple accessories to brighten up and add depth to a neutral color scheme.
  • To make a space feel happy, pair lavender with aqua or chartreuse.
  • Warm purples (like African violet) can make a dining room feel cozy.

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