Purple living room ideas – 11 ways to use this on-trend color
From striking ultra-violet schemes to restful lilac retreats, be inspired by these purple living room ideas
If you’re looking for purple living room ideas then you’re in luck as they are making a comeback. With Pantone having recently announced ‘Very Peri’, a bold blue-violet shade, as its color of the year 2022, interior designers and homeowners alike are re-discovering the potential of this color to create myriad interior looks.
Purple is a hugely versatile color for using in the home – with a spectrum stretching from the deepest aubergine shades and striking royal purples, through to lavender, mauves and soft lilac, there’s a shade of purple to suit all rooms and tastes.
To help inspire your living room ideas we've rounded up a variety of ways to use this on-trend shade in your home, from beautiful paint ideas to quick updates, along with some handy advice from the experts.
Purple living room ideas
When it comes to living room color schemes there are myriad looks to create. Whether you’re looking for a head-turning space to entertain guests, or a cozy country retreat, decorating with purple offers huge scope within interior design with all sorts of living room paint ideas, fabrics, wallpapers, furniture and accessories available.
To create a lasting impression, try decorating in bold shades of ultra-violet and amethyst, or, for a cozy, relaxing space consider purples with warm undertones that will bring a cocooning, comforting mood. Alternatively, to bring a subtle hint of color to fresh, neutral schemes try adding in soft lilac accessories.
'Whether you opt for a statement or muted hue, purple is full of life and optimism,' says Punam Chada, buyer at Carpetright. 'Being so versatile, it works just as well in living rooms and bedrooms as it does in kitchens and bathrooms. Accessorizing with black and white accents and oversized foliage will accentuate the color – and ensure it feels fresh and inviting.'
1. Liven-up a neutral scheme with a purple sofa
Upholstery is a brilliant way to inject color and personality to neutral living rooms. In rooms brimming with beautiful original features such as a parquet floor and wall panelling, it can be hard to know where to introduce color – a sofa in a delicate textured lilac fabric will add a touch of color without distracting from the architecture of the space.
2. Paint a bookcase
Paint ideas are a quick and easy way to inject color into a home, but using them wall-to-wall is a bold choice. For a more relaxed approach you could try painting a floor-to-ceiling bookcase to create a characterful feature wall. A rich aubergine shade, the purple of this bookcase really helps to showcase the decorative ornaments and sculptural pieces dotted about the shelves.
3. Use dark purple to create a cozy feel
Versatile and cocooning, warm, rich purples make beautiful cozy living room ideas as this space proves. New from Neptune, this Clove paint helps ground this modern living room idea when used on the bottom half of the wall and pairs beautifully with sage and warm neutral tones in a celebration of nature's rustic tones.
‘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. Add a statement chair
A statement cocktail chair is a brilliant way to give purpose and interest to an empty living room corner. With its distinctive ogee arched back, this Fabrizio cocktail chair in Dedar’s Amoir Libre lavender moiré, color Parme adds an eye-catching pop of color to this space and pairs with contrasting mustard and cobalt tones to give this tapestry-covered room a contemporary twist.
5. Use a dusky purple for a country feel
A beautiful shade for a country living room, this velvety Eggplant paint from Sanderson brings subtle color to this space and pairs beautifully with warm natural wood and nature-inspired fabrics.
Opting for a matt, soft purple can make a beautiful backdrop for layering up decorative fabrics as this space 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. Choose soft lilac seating for a restful space
White living room ideas are fresh, bright and timeless, but they can benefit from some delicate touches of color to help create depth. A beautiful pairing with white and grey, soft lilac is a great way to bring a touch of femininity to living areas and is an exciting alternative to the blush pink which has been so popular over recent years.
‘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.
If you are thinking about introducing lilac over upholstery in a white living room then consider a tactile material such as velvet, or a textured weave as this will not only bring soft color but cozy texture, too.
7. Turn heads with a jewel palette
If you're looking to create an opulent, glamorous space why not consider using striking Amethyst as part of a jewel-themed living room color scheme? A living room sofa upholstered in a sumptuous velvet is guaranteed to bring luxury and richness – to continue the jewel-theme try teaming it with a contrasting peridot green shade on walls as this will create an exciting contrast and make the sofa really pop.
8. Try a purple footstool
Sitting at the center of a living room a footstool or an upholstered coffee table offers a great opportunity to make a design statement. Sitting at opposite ends of the color wheel, this purple footstool works particularly well with the olive-green walls in this quirky living space. Covered in a Kantha fabric, distinguished by its running stitching, this footstool brings added texture as well as color to this cozy space.
9. Immerse yourself in parma violet
If you're looking to create bold, head-turning scheme why not decorate in wall-to-wall lilac and a matching fitted carpet? While it may sound daring, using the same color across all surfaces can help a small living room to feel larger.
To keep purple room ideas looking fresh and contemporary try introducing furniture with streamline silhouettes and sculptural light fittings. A super soft fitted living room carpet idea such as this Splendour design from Carpetright will help the space cozy and inviting.
'Carpet can provide an instant refresh, it also adds comfort, natural insulation and is an excellent choice for living rooms, being warmer than hard flooring and softer on the soles of feet,' says Punum Chada, buyer at Carpetright.
'People are increasingly bold when it comes to choosing flooring for living rooms, with practical, neutral carpets no longer necessarily the automatic choice, instead, we’re seeing more on-trend patterns and colours being used for a far more aspirational style.'
10. Pair purple with striking tangerine
Large living rooms with high ceilings are great spaces to be experimental with color, as they allow space for bold hues to really shine. A mid-century chair in a striking violet velvet is guaranteed to create wow factor – to balance vibrant, saturated purples consider pairing them with strong orange curtains and warm reflective surfaces.
11. Create a statement ceiling
Paint is a quick and easy way to make a statement in a living room. For a playful modern living room idea consider painting the ceiling in a warm lilac and pairing it with rich, deep red as demonstrated here with a ceiling in Lady Char’s Lilac and walls in Grenache, both from Paper & Paint Library.
As well as bringing color, paint can also be a clever device for highlighting architectural features, plus can change the feel of a space, too. Dividing the wall with bands of color as done here can help to make large living spaces feel more intimate. Furthermore, painting the ceilings of Georgian properties in a contrasting color to the walls can help showcase their beautiful original plasterwork such as coving and ceiling roses.
What colors go with purple in a living room?
There are many colors that work well with purple in living room color schemes – to find the right shades be sure to think about the warmth and tone of the color.
'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,’ says Ruth Mottershead, creative director of Little Greene.
Bold, Amythest purples work well within jewel-toned palettes while dark, rich purples partner well with olive green and earthy terracotta tones. At the other end of the spectrum, ’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,' says Sarah Vanrenen of Vanrenen GW Designs. 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 colour wheel theory which can help you chose complementary colors for use in interiors.
Is lilac good for a living room?
Delicate and soothing, lilac makes a good color for a relaxing living room. Conjuring scenes of pretty trailing wisteria and fields of lavender, it is perfect for bringing the beauty of nature into the home as well as a feminine touch to living spaces.
‘Soft Lilac has an extremely inviting, friendly energy and is great for creating a relaxed feel within a home,' says Francesca Wezel of Francesca’s Paints. '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.'
’The paler shades of lilac and mauve are surprisingly versatile and when applied correctly, can be undeniably pretty,’ adds Sarah Vanrenen of Vanrenen GW Designs.
Pippa is Content Editor on Homes & Gardens online contributing to Period Living and Country Homes & Interiors print issues. A graduate of Art History and formerly Style Editor at Period Living, she is passionate about architecture, creating decorating content, interior styling and writing about craft and historic homes. She enjoys searching out beautiful images and the latest trends to share with the Homes & Gardens audience. A keen gardener, when she’s not writing you’ll find her growing flowers on her village allotment for styling projects.
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