How To Use Purple In Stunning Looking Living Rooms

The deep and rich shades that inhabit the area between crimson and violet have many names but, bundled together, they are most commonly referred to as purple. In ancient times the Phoenicians alone new the secret of dying fabrics purple and kept the secret for centuries.

If you wanted their deep shade of purple, known as Tyrian, you had to trade with them. Purple was, therefore, strongly associated with high value and status. It became the chosen hue for Roman emperors’ togas. Nowadays, purple still retains an association with plush furnishings and even opulence.

After that, mid toned purples seemed to be used everywhere, from upholstery to wall coverings. However, being a darker tone, purple is less fashionable in contemporary homes. Nonetheless, it can be applied well in living spaces, so long as you use it thoughtfully.

The Coordinated Look.

Purples come in a range of tones but they all work well with one another in an interior design. For a living room, this can help you achieve a coordinated look without too much need for color swatches and experimentation. For a living room that has purple walls, drapes and floor coverings, use plenty of whites to highlight the room.

This will stop it from becoming too dark which can lead to an oppressive feel. Pick a wall or a wall feature, such as a chimney breast, to create an accent, with patterned wallpaper that creates contrast against painted purple walls. Use darker purple tones for your carpet or rugs and lighter ones for your soft furnishings upholstery. Purple can create a glamorous, and sometimes feminine, look. Add a touch of sliver sparkle to create an even approach.

Twin Purple Hearts.

Getting a fully purple living room right is quite tricky, but using it more sparingly is much easier. Choose only two features in your room for the purple treatment and the rest of the room’s design will often fall into place. For instance, try a purple chandelier set against a matching twin seater sofa in an otherwise plain design.

Alternatively, coordinate a purple accent wall with cushions on a gray seat. Purple drapes with one or two upholstered items of furniture often go well together, as does a purple ceiling. For the twin-feature look, also try a pair of chairs that have the same purple tone as a light fitting. Alternatively, use upholstery that coordinates with the lavender colors of a piece of wall hung art.

Natural And Blended Tones.

Purple can look so vibrant at times that you may think it has no place in the relaxing environment of your living room. If so, go for a purple that has been blended, or flecked, with another color to bring the intensity level down a touch. Gray is the perfect color to use for this purpose as it works so well with purple. Try a more naturalistic look for your wall treatments by blending purple or mauve paint with gray, too.


Create blocks of dynamic color with purple upholstery for your seats. This works particularly well when contrasting against pure white. Coordinate purple upholstery with cushions and banquette seating covers. If you have one item of furniture that is purple, coordinate the look with foot stall or an ottoman, as well as cushion covers.


You can create some stunning purple looks with LED lighting, which will make a living room seem utterly up to date. Rather than purple furnishings, which can sometimes feel like they hark to a bygone era, purple lighting has a sophisticated feel. Avoid ultra-violet, however, and go for a warmer tone of purple.

Picture sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

Published by in Living Room, on June 12th, 2013


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