In design, all colors can work together, yet not all combinations are on trend at any given time. For this reason, the colors that go well with purple are those that make your space appealing to you and your family. Each combination will create a different feeling in the room, and the balance of colors is just as important as the shades you choose. When decorating with more than one color, follow the 60-30-10 rule for the best results: 60 percent as the primary color, 30 percent as the secondary and 10 percent as the accent.
Ideas for Neutrals
Basic neutral shades include gray, white and black, and each of these creates a different overall look when paired with purple. Gray is perhaps the most versatile; with purple, the resulting palette can be intense or soothing depending on the shades used. For example, a deep, dark true purple paired with a silvery gray makes for a dramatic bedroom, while a slightly warm, stone gray paired with a lighter, misty purple turns that same space into a relaxing oasis. Whites, including various shades of off-white and beige, allow purple to stand out, keeping the room light and bright. White works for both modern and traditional spaces, depending on the decor, and provides the basis for a color scheme that is eye-catching yet not too harsh. Black and purple have a more singular effect, typically creating a space that feels a bit rock-and-roll. Soften this look by using another neutral alongside the black; this addition lets the drama of the black and purple combination come through without completely dominating the room. Mix two different neutrals, or various shades of one neutral, to give the room depth without going overboard with the purple, and include other colors that go well with purple for a well-balanced, interesting design.
When used together, yellow and purple help each other become their “best selves.” Opposite each other on the color wheel, an addition of yellow -- even just a few touches -- to a room where purple is the primary or secondary color enhances the dominant shade and naturally draws the eye. A bouquet of yellow daffodils against a wall painted a rich, dark plum brightens the space while simultaneously showcasing the purple. For a true purple, true yellows are best, while a more red-purple pops against a yellow that leans a bit green. Pair blue-purple with yellow-orange shades, and balance the tension between the yellow and purple with plenty of neutrals, such as white or gray.
When you pair purple with colors that sit next to it on the color wheel, you create a palette that is unobtrusive without being boring because the colors naturally blend into one another. In a bedroom, keep it cool with cool purples, blues and greens. A bed outfitted with a purple quilt and gray linens blends seamlessly into a painting above the bed featuring various shades of dusky blue. Off to the side, place a dark green houseplant to complete the scheme, and use these shades throughout the rest of the room. A warmer purple works with reds and oranges in the same way, creating a lively combination perfect for dining rooms or living areas.
Pairing two colors with one or two neutrals is the easiest color scheme to work with, but incorporating three colors into the mix can completely transform -- and enliven -- a space. Green and orange go well with purple, and together the three make up a triad color scheme, which means they’re evenly spaced around the color wheel. Use red-orange and yellow-green for a cooler purple, and yellow-orange and blue-green for a warmer purple. To avoid a too-busy design, make the purple the dominant shade in the room, even if it’s just an accent against a neutral color, and then add a handful of pieces in the other shades. For example, in a kitchen with a dark purple eggplant backsplash and all white or black cabinets, the addition of a small wheatgrass plant by the sink and a bowl of oranges on an island adds color without detracting from the purple above the counters.