How can purple be used in modern décor?

Our founder Nikki has always felt connected to the colour purple. In fact, her first interior design project in 1973 was called Purple and White, and the colour still holds a strong affection for her. Many people don’t really lean towards purple as a colour they would want in their homes, but it has had a revival in the last couple of years and has become a much used colour.

Purple is a striking colour – it is the perfect crossover between the calming nature of blue and the stimulation of red. It is a memorable and mystical shade that has a number of significant meanings all over the world. Purple is often used in religion and politics, and is also a common royal colour. Here are some connotations and international associations to consider:

The colour purple was famously favoured by rock star Prince, who named an epic song after it – Purple Rain.

purple couch interior design

  • Purple Hearts – In the US, members of the armed forces who have been wounded in battle are presented with a military purple heart. Purple represents courage.
  • Wealth – In Japan, the colour purple is associated with wealth and social standing. In gambling, the highest poker chip is purple, worth $5,000.
  • Roman Empire – The Emperors of Rome, Julius and Augustus Caesar, wore purple robes. Their predecessor Nero made wearing or selling the colour purple punishable by death.
  • Mourning – in many cultures, purple can signify loss and mourning. In Thailand, a widow wears purple to mourn the death of their spouse.

Never underestimate the psychology of colour in interior design. Companies can spend a long time deciding which shades to use in their branding and product packaging, and with good reason. Different colours portray different meanings and evoke different emotions. Purple is often associated with creativity, sensitivity and mystery.

image of a purple wallpaper in a house

Purple in home design

So how can purple be used in modern décor? If you like to show off your individuality with your home décor, then purple is definitely the colour for you. It is not a here today gone tomorrow colour; it is not usually paired with other bright colours even though it relates to everything in the colour spectrum. However it does make a bold statement.

Because purple is such a distinctive shade, it is best used sparingly in a room. For example, we would recommend using it on a feature wall and to accessorise rather than to paint the entire room purple. It also looks great in patterns with pale colours or metallics such as silver, for throws and cushions. Purple has many different shades and hues to play with; from the deepest royal purple to a light feminine shade of lilac. Blue tones can turn purple into plums and aubergine colours perfect for the bedroom, whilst pink takes the shade into the raspberry and blueberry sorbet tones which are more wall-friendly.

You can choose to use a shade of purple in any room to give a warm wash.  It is particularly effective in the bedroom, living room and dining room, where it can demand attention and evoke a mysterious romance.

We are experts in colour matching and inspiring interiors – take a look at our portfolio to see some of our memorable projects.