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From the Resene colour choices booklet

Purple is a fearless colour, the colour of royalty, luxury and glamour.

Purple, the colour of royalty, luxury and glamour...


Unlike its close cousins, red and blue, purple can inspire nervousness in home decorators. It’s a powerful colour, even in its softer forms of mauve and lilac, so many of us are wary of using it.

Purple gives a level of richness few other colours can achieve. A true violet purple is certainly strong but if you add some deep red, you get eggplant and mulberry colours, which are easier to deal with. If you add grey to mauve-purple, you end up with soft lavender tones. The key to using purple is to get just the right tone and amount. Try these combinations:

Purple with aged gold tones:  Rich purples, like Resene Enigma, look great with any metallic tones. If you use glass and silver or chrome, you’ll end up with a blingy lusciousness that exudes an air of nightclub glamour. If you pair purple with tarnished golds and bronzes, a room will take on an aged, regal feel, reminiscent of Renaissance Italy. (Think ornate mirrors and crushed velvets as key accessories.) Timber has similar amber tonings to gold so it also looks good alongside purple, whether you use it on the floor or through furniture.

Deep purple and charcoal:  This combination gives a room a lush, witty, urban look. Charcoal can be quite masculine and serious, but purple gives the scheme a playful, sensuous twist.

Spicy shades and purple:  Clear purples and aubergines, like Resene Daisy Bush and Resene Fandango, are seen in Moroccan and Indian-inspired décor schemes. To follow their lead, put a few rich, spicy tones – like orange, pink or turquoise – alongside purple for a playful, vibrant scheme that’s not too eye-jangling.

Provençe pairings:  Team soft greyed lavenders, like Resene Poet, with eggshell blues and dusky creams for a dreamy, French-inspired interior.

Growing up

Purple has become a go-to colour for older girls who don’t want to be surrounded by pink. Purple bedrooms are popping up everywhere and will take girls safely from toddler-hood through their teen years.

Purple bedrooms
Walls in Resene Sugar And Spice

Positive – Purple is the colour of royalty. It is opulent and often associated with mystery and spiritual awareness, vision, luxury, authenticity, truth and quality. Saturated, dark purple can add a powerful punch to a room, while as a lavender tint, it’s popular with little girls.

Negative – Excessive use can create an introverted aura, and pitching it wrongly can scream decadence, suppression and inferiority, or appear cheap and nasty.


Download a PDF of this article

Resene colour choices booklet
Choose colour with confidence and creativity


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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.

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