A Hint of Purple
Decorating with the color purple can be a challenge.
The first time I ever saw purple used successfully in a home was years ago on a visit to my niece. It was her first place a little house she was renting and she was in that exciting stage of finally having a home of her own and being able to decorate any way she wanted.
In her living room, she had a velvet sofa in a deep, rich eggplant. I was surprised. It was not something I would have ever considered buying. Yet, there it was . . . and it was gorgeous.
She used pale lavender and soft greens in the room and had candles burning in the fireplace (long before I ever saw the idea in magazines). On the windows were delicate, muslin drapes with soft ribbon tabs. The effect was soothing, peaceful, zenlike which is exactly what my niece, an holistic psychotherapist, wanted.
Purple is a mysterious color often associated with spirituality. It has mystical qualities and a special, almost sacred place in nature. Lavender, orchid, lilac, and violet flowers are often delicate and considered precious. A purple room can boost a child s imagination or an artist s creativity. Deep or bright purples suggest riches and royalty. Lighter shades are more romantic and delicate. From pale to deep, the color never fails to intrigue.
Ways to use purple in your home
Antique wood-framed chairs in an arresting blue-and-white print are paired with pale lavender and other blues in this white living room.
This lilac-and-white bedroom was inspired by Canada’s northern light. Colette van den Thillart of NH Design custom designed the headboard. Benjamin Moore s Hint of Violet is on the walls. (Photo: Virginia MacDonald, Traditional Home)
Trust the color wheel opposing colors are always complimentary like yellow and purple.
In this casual living room, a pale lavender sofa works well with the golden stonework, wicker furniture, and blue-grey chevron area rug. (Photo: Ballard Designs)
In indie singer-songwriter Neko Case s Vermont home, the living room walls are painted in Behr s Elm Bark. An Anthropologie sofa is upholstered in a lively deep purple print fabric by Josef Frank.
Floor-to-ceiling drapes and Roman shades frame the window in this formal living room. Art pieces on the wall are antique 18th century engravings.
Stunning watercolor wall is by Eileen Kathryn Boyd.
Inspiration for this peaceful bedroom came from the hydrangeas and lavender
just outside the window. (Photo: House Beautiful)
The only thing purple in this living room are the two toss pillows in palest shade possible.
DIY half-table console
- If you don t have a table to use, scour flea markets. Damaged or worn tables will cost drastically less than their pristine counterparts.
- Unscrew the extension mechanism from the bottom of the table. Remove the part of the table you won t be using.
- Sand the remaining part, then prime and paint it.
- Nail or screw a two-by-two-inch piece of wood to the wall at the height of the tabletop so that the edge of the table rests on the wood support.
- Screw through the top of the table to the wood support; fill the holes with wood filler, and paint over them.
Slate-gray Lee Industries sofas and muted lavender walls in Martha Stewart s Saskatoon set a soothing tone in the living room. Grosgrain ribbon and upholstery tacks give the classic sofa a cheeky update on the cheap. Toss pillows in purple prints provide perfect accents. (Photo: Country Living)
White subway tile is paired with bright lavender walls for a fun and casual guest bathroom.
It s rich amethyst for the rustic bedroom in this stone and timber house. (Photo: Kocham Wie )
Floral wallpaper highlights a peaked roof and compliments the vibrantly-hued
Casual, comfortable living room with a soft lavender sofa, wall of windows, and beautiful view that pulls complimentary colors into the room. Lamps, behind the sofa, are a darker shade of purple. (Photo: Katie Ridder)
Different shades of lavender, coupled with a tan dust ruffle and lavender-and-tan plaid on the bed, work beautifully with the creamy bedroom walls. The green in the potted plant is a perfect accent.
The colors in this Anthropologie bed linen offer a hint of purple. (Photo: Anthropologie)
A Belgian-linen slipcover by Bemz updates a standard Ikea sofa . . . and delivers a soft dose of color. Ceiling medallions, installed using adhesive caulk, provide a dramatic backdrop. (Photo: Country Living)
[above] In this Parisian loft, lower cabinets were finished in purple, giving the eat-in, country-style kitchen a shot of urban chic. (Photo: Apartment Therapy)
[right] If all you want is a subtle bit of purple, try flowers.