Design with Purple

purple decor in a living room

When I was a kid, I colored my people to wear blue pants and purple shirts. Everyone. I have always loved the color purple (the book, too!), and it’s been in just about every aspect of my life. Except for a car!

Rooms I know

Currently my bedroom walls are pale, pale, pale lavender. It’s almost the essence of the color. It’s very light but gives off coolness. Some day I will finish the room off with a dark violet trim or just plain white. That will depend on my mood at the time. The dark color will be high contrast and bring out the color of the walls. The white will make the walls seem darker, but will keep in tune with the lightness of the room.

A friend of mine has a pale lavender bedroom as well with a medium dark violet accent wall at the far end. The trim is white throughout.

My younger daughter painted her bedroom walls green, the doors a different shade of green and the trim red-violet. Very bold! She has a great sense of color!

Color Schemes

There are many shades of purple. Since it is made from blue and red, there is the reddish end of the violet spectrum (red-violet) and the bluish end (blue-violet). Pure violet is in the middle. Tints (lightened) and tones or shades (darkened) create hundreds of colors to work with. Those that go well with purple are yellow (complementary or opposite on the color wheel); yellow orange and yellow green (split complement); orange and green (triad); red and blue (analogic); and tints and tones of purple itself (monochromatic). There is an endless palette!

I’m a color freak. Here is a fun toy I found for playing with color. It is for designing websites, but color is color, no matter how it is being used design wise.

Choose your main color, then see what works with it in various color schemes. If you choose ‘Complement’, put the large circle on purple, and you will see examples of it with yellow, and tints and shades on the right.

How To Use It

Violet can be an accent or a major player, on a wall or in furniture. It can be pale, rich, sleek, or fuzzy. Here are 14 examples from Design Sponge. To me, it says offbeat, out of the box, different and daring. Does your interior design say any of those things about you? Try some violet, red-violet or blue-violet to make a statement!


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