Behind the Color Purple

Regal and eccentric, purple lends a layer of mystery to your design.
Modern Purple Kitchen With Blue Island Lighting

Modern Purple Kitchen With Blue Island Lighting

This modern purple kitchen is a unique space with gray and white cabinets and an eye-catching backsplash. The eat-in island offers its own ambiance with a cool blue under-counter light.

By: Jeannie Matteucci
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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.

The Color Purple

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.

Purple Bedrooms for Your Little Girl

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Fairy-Tale Reading Nook

Soft purple and lime green evoke a sense of growth and passion, making it a powerful combination in a girl's room. The curved windows create a cozy nook for reading fairy tales, and violet flower details on the chandelier lend a touch of magic. Designed by Jennifer Duneier

Majestic Nursery

When shades of purple are more red than blue, the room's mood leans toward drama. An angular ceiling covered in fabric and the complex color palate add architectural depth to this room. Consider pairing rich purple with brown accents to make textures pop.

Toddler's Dreamy Retreat

Blue purples are ideal for bedrooms because of their ability to make a room seem relaxing. Lavender carpeting and walls stand out against white beadboard to give this room a cottage feel. For a personalized touch, hang framed images of your little girl's favorite stuffed animals above the bed, and add custom pendant lighting designed to look like bouquets of roses. Designed by Brian Patrick Flynn

Flirty Upstairs Bedroom

Lavenders and pinks are the essence of femininity. These blushing hues work in sync with other colors to give this bedroom a girly vibe without being over the top. To keep the eye entertained, a floral-print accent wall breaks up the mass of purple on the walls and ceiling. Designed by Tobi Fairley

Whimsical Nursery Nook

In this smaller space, less is more. An intimate rocking-chair nook is outfitted with silvery-purple dupioni silk curtains. Chic pendant lighting provides a glow for rocking the little one to sleep. For an extra touch of glamour, consider a hand-painted wall motif. Photo courtesy of Project Nursery

Photo By: David Casas

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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