Purple has the power to be as darkly mysterious as midnight, and it has the grace to be as soft and subtle as a summer dawn. Maybe that’s why so many people find it pleasant to look at and versatile to design with.
Pantone Color Institute’s color of the year for 2018 is a vibrant, almost vibrating, hue called Ultraviolet, which really is as cheery as the sunshine it’s named for. The provocative purple is emotional and futuristic when used at full force, but there are ways to change a purple’s tone and intensity for any room’s mood.
Of course, you don’t have to choose Ultraviolet as the purple you welcome into your home decor. The color has so many easy-on-the-eyes shades to choose, from the sparest lilac to the deepest aubergine. What you do need to be aware of is the fact that purple can have different color undertones of blue or red that affect its ability to blend with other purples and other colors in the space. Ultraviolet, for instance, has an icy blue undertone. Cooler, brighter purples have blue undertones, while warmer, cinnamon-y purples have red undertones.
Once you’ve figured out which undertone your preferred purple leans toward, you can pick a purple-based color scheme that suits your personality. Even though some people stick with different shade values of one color in a room, purple plays well with many other hues for both bold and soft effects. Some exhilarating combinations have been made with purple, orange and pink or by pairing purple with lime or mint green. For milder color schemes, it can be paired with gray, plum, or cream.
Matching furniture and its hardware — bed frames and headboards, tables, chair legs, light fixtures, curtain rods, etc. — can be made from a range of materials. Metallic surfaces — bronze, silver and gold — pop next to purple.
In terms of paint, a fairly deep purple may serve best as one accent wall in a room with gentler lavender — or another lighter hue — covering the other walls. Some people are willing to paint their wooden furniture purple while giving walls and carpets a complementary shade of delicate yellow.
You may find that committing a whole wall or all of your furniture to purple totality is a little too much to ask. More moveable and temporary accent pieces may still quell your purple passion; area rugs, lamps, clocks, pillows, duvets and throws, sconces, even purple books and candles add perfect splashes.
Some people may worry purple has a tendency to come across as a tad juvenile. However, the right undertones make it mature and inspiring. That’s why it proves itself as a great color for a child’s room; it transitions well into adult tastes.
So don’t be afraid of those ultraviolet rays. They may make your world brighter.