By Pippa Blenkinsop published
Purple room ideas are having a moment. With Pantone having recently announced ‘Very Peri’, a bold blue-violet shade, as its color of the year 2022, we’re seeing the color popping up everywhere.
From the deepest aubergine shades and striking royal purples, through to lavender, pinky mauves and soft lilac, purple is a versatile color which can be used to create myriad looks in the home, from bold and beautiful violet dining spaces or a moody dark purple study, to a restful pastel bedroom.
With so many ways to use purple within interior design it’s hard to know where to begin, so we’ve rounded up a selection of sophisticated and stylish ways of decorating with the on trend shade to help get you inspired, alongside handy tips from the experts.
Purple room ideas
If you’re looking for purple room ideas then you’re in luck as there’s so many ways you can introduce this color trend into your home, plus there is a purple to suit every mood.
Create a lasting impression with walls in purple paint and wallpaper, or with a statement purple sofa. Alternatively, for a quick room update you could add in a striking piece of purple furniture or for a subtle hint of color try limiting the shade to smaller accessories such as lamps, throws and cushions.
Color can instantly impact how you feel, and different purples can evoke different moods, so when it comes to what shade of purple to use the first thing to think about is what atmosphere you want to create and the function of the room you are decorating.
While bold, violets and royal purples such as Pantone's Very Peri can be seen as a daring choice, they can work brilliantly in the home, explains Paula Taylor, trend specialist at Graham & Brown.
‘Last year we predicted the striking blue-purple to be a big player on the paint scene – a bold splash creating that vibrancy that we are so in need of in our homes.'
'It will add a welcoming backdrop to any hallway for visitors to feel reassured and joyful, in the bedroom it will provide a fabulous pop to compliment the calming neutral greens that we have all been using. For a crisp comforting living room color scheme, you can team this with soft off whites to create a timeless effect with a modern twist,' Paula adds.
Soft lilacs on the other hand lend a soothing, gentle feel to a space explains Francesca Wezel of Francesca’s Paints.
‘Soft Lilac has an extremely inviting, friendly energy and is great for creating a relaxed feel within a home. Associated with open-mindedness and sociability it has the effect of making people feel at ease – perfect for communal areas. It also has a slight feminine edge to it, which again reinforces the feeling of comfortability and care.'
Reminiscent of countryside vistas, soft lavenders can also have a beautifully therapeutic feel to interiors.
‘Lavender conjures a charming and sophisticated feel, visions of rolling purple fields in Provence with delicate floral scents,’ shares paint expert and design director at Andrew Martin, David Harris. 'Having all the walls in a room painted lavender can be a bit too much, so an accent wall is preferred,’ he adds.
1. Opt for a gentle purple on kitchen cabinets
For a tranquil take on the purple paint trend consider painting kitchen cabinets in a soft grey lilac. Little Greene’s Dolphin Intelligent matt paint looks beautiful teamed with its feminine Great Ormond St. Wallpaper on walls, which is a refreshed version of a print found in an early 18th-century London townhouse.
2. Bring a comforting feel with warm lilac tones
If you’re looking to bring delicate color and warmth to a cool, north-facing room consider a lilac paint with red undertones. Benjamin Moore’s African Violet would make for a calm and feminine bedroom scheme – finish the look with rustic neutral accessories and neutral linens.
3. Create cozy living spaces with a versatile dark purple
If you’re looking to recreate cozy living room ideas with a hint of color consider a warm, dark purple. Clove is a new paint shade from Neptune which pairs beautifully with sage green and natural materials like wood and seagrass, as this room proves.
‘Not quite as purple as our Juniper paint, nor as brown as Walnut or Fine Mahogany, Clove is the ultimate dark shade. Deep but not overwhelming, Clove works on all four walls (and even the ceiling) of a snug but is equally effective as an accent on a kitchen island or bath tub,’ says Rebecca Elderfield, product and service creative director at Neptune.
‘Contrast it with the freshness of Silver Birch, pair it with our Old Rose and Moss shades for subtle balance, or even combine it with stronger hues like Olive and
Mustard for a hint of eccentricity.’
4. Create an elegant living room with ditsy florals
For a traditional living room full of femininity try decorating in myriad soft lilac tones across walls, upholstery and curtains. If you are thinking about decorating in one color be sure to layer prints in different scales and textures to create depth and interest.
When decorating with fabrics Saffron Hare, creative director at fabric house James Hare has this advice.
'Choosing a selection of fabrics that repeat certain colors but vary in scale is a good place to start. We find layering these around a room is an easy way to decorate and we try to reflect this is in our decorative books.'
Comprising an array of trailing floral designs celebrating the English countryside, Blendworth’s Mystical fabric collection offers beautiful ditsy fabrics for a living room.
5. Team dusky mauve with nature-inspired prints
A subdued purple yet with enough color to stamp personality on a space, this velvety Eggplant paint from Sanderson makes a beautiful shade for country living room ideas alongside the use of warm wood and an array of nature-inspired fabrics and textured weaves as this scheme proves.
Capturing the beauty of nature, Sanderson's Elysian fabric, used here on curtains, showcases a beautiful painterly landscape artwork in an array of subtle colors, which really shines when set against plain purple walls.
6. Paint the ceiling for a contemporary twist
For a fun and contemporary living room paint idea consider coating the ceiling in a warm lilac and pairing it with a contrasting shade like a rich, deep red as has been done here with a ceiling in Lady Char’s Lilac and walls in Grenache, both from Paper & Paint Library.
Not only is paint a quick and easy way to make a statement, dividing the wall with bands of color can help to make large living spaces feel cozier and more intimate. Furthermore, painting the ceiling of this Georgian living room in a contrasting, lighter shade draws the eye to the beautiful original plasterwork such as the coving and ceiling rose.
7. Use purple in a jewel scheme
As a space where we entertain and welcome guests, formal living rooms are brilliant spaces to be bold with color. Why not channel a beautiful jewel palette with a violet velvet sofa from Sofology and peridot green walls?
For a playful twist consider painting the window frames and skirting boards in purple, too - these surfaces offer a brilliant opportunity to get creative and can change the feel of a room as Ruth Mottershead of Little Greene explains.
'It’s important to consider the whole space, as it’s not only the wall color that creates impact. By moving away from traditional white woodwork and skirting and embracing the ‘color drenching’ trend which sees mid-strength tones, in one or very closely related colors, being used to create enveloping cohesive interiors that really lift a space, providing an instant mood boost for those living within it.’
8. Immerse yourself in parma violet
If you love lilac why not be bold and embrace it on the floor and the walls? After all, our homes should be filled with the colors and things we love and make us feel happy.
Not only will using the same color on the walls and floor make a statement, it can help make spaces feel bigger and more unified, too. To keep the look fresh and contemporary choose streamlined furniture and sculpture light fittings. If in doubt, take a look at the color wheel for harmonious color combinations for rooms.
9. Finish a bedroom with lilac accessories
An array of lavender hues make beautiful accent colors for a bedroom decorated in floral prints and in silvers, taupes and neutral shades, as this restful scheme proves. A sinuous chinoiserie-inspired floral wallpaper – for similar try Adam’s Eden at Lewis & Wood – makes an elegant feature wall in this scheme while cushions, throws and a velvet footstool in lilac and mauve hues bring soft hints of color to complete the look.
10. Add a color pop with purple furniture
If wall-to-wall purple is too much for you, consider channelling the color trend through furniture instead which can be easily moved or updated if tastes change. This Neptune cabinet painted in its Clove shade would bring a soothings warmth and rich pop of color to a traditional or modern dining room in hot neutrals.
Is purple a good color for the home?
Purple is a hugely versatile color for using in the home – with a spectrum stretching from the deepest aubergines to soft lilac, purple offers huge scope within interior design.
If you want to bring drama and wow-factor, try decorating in bold shades of ultra-violet and royal purple. Playful and head-turning, these tones would work well in entertaining spaces such as dining rooms and would bring an element of surprise to entryways as well as fun colorful bedroom ideas.
For cozy, relaxing spaces such as living rooms, consider purples with warm undertones that will bring a comforting mood. Alternatively, try delicate lilacs or pastel grey-purples for calming bedrooms and country bathroom ideas.
What color goes with purple?
There are many colors that work well with purple, but it will depend on the pigment of the tone, explains Ruth Mottershead of Little Greene.
'When selecting a complementary shade for purple, consider the undertones within the shade and opt for neutrals with a pink or lilac undertone for a harmonious finish – a suite of these can be found in the Grey section of our Color Scales colorcard,’ she says.
Bold, royal purples work well within jewel-toned palettes while lilac is a natural partner to silver, grey and neutral tones. However lilac can also work well with contrasting shades of mustard, olive green and even warm reads. For more information on what colors work well together, take a look at the color wheel theory which can help you chose complementary colors for use in interiors.
’Once known as the color of the nineties, lilac is having a bit of a comeback as a natural go-to partner for the ever popular shades of grey. The paler shades of lilac and mauve are surprisingly versatile and when applied correctly, can be undeniably pretty,’ says Sarah Vanrenen of Vanrenen GW Designs.
‘Lilac is a soothing color and can add a touch of sophistication if used with greys. It is a lovely soft color and perhaps more ambiguous than many pinks with the underlying blue tone enabling it to sit well with blues,’ says fabric designer Sarah Hardaker.
‘Lilac works well with greys for sophistication, deep blues and pinks and also fawns and creams where a more warm toned lilac is used, or for a contrast try a touch of olive green,’ adds Sarah.
Lover of all things vintage, floral and country, Pippa has been working in interiors media for 10 years. A graduate of Art History, and Style Editor for Period Living magazine, she is a nostalgic soul who is passionate about historic architecture and traditional craftsmanship. When she's writing about homes and gardens you'll find her pottering on her Gloucestershire allotment, Pippa's Plot, where she grows flowers for styling her own home and interiors shoots.
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