Purple living room ideas – easy to live with shades of lilac, mauve and plum

Give your living room an update with a punchy purple decorating scheme
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  • We’re not talking about those fierce, power-glam purples we all loved a few years ago, but a softer and altogether easier-to-live-with plum that walks the line between feminine and masculine for an elegant feel you can take in any direction, from shabby chic to smart and contemporary.

    Worried it’ll look murky? Just team your purple living room with the right neutral and be fearless with accents…

    Purple living room ideas

    1. Add depth with a feature wall

    Small living room with burgundy feature wall camel sofa and grey rug

    Image credit: Dulux

    Add warmth to a neutral colour palette with a wall of rich plum. This example from Dulux shows how a delicious shade of purple can perk up a living room, enhancing tones of stone, beige and dusky shades of pink.

    2. Mix shades for a cohesive colour scheme

    purple sofa in purple living room

    Image credit: Sofology

    Create a harmonious purple living room scheme that feels stylish yet subtle, by balancing tones. Ground the look with darker hues on furniture, like this purple velvet design above, and rugs to keep the darker tones lower than eye level – to avoid the colour overpowering.

    Look to create definition with darker tones on woodwork, keeping the walls lighter with contrasting depths of lilac and dusky mauve tones to create a gradient of colour.

    3. Go bold with saturated tones

    purple and green living room with purple sofas

    Image credit: Sofology

    If purple is your favourite colour don’t hold back on how you use this rich tone. Go for regal purple, or as we like to call it here at Ideal Home ‘Quality Street’ purple. The richness of the saturated colour welcomes an elegant touch to a decorating scheme.

    4. Use paint sparingly

    Image credit: Benjamin Moore

    Decorating with purple doesn’t mean you have to paint walls with colour, you can choose to be creative with accent touches for a winning living room paint idea. A thoughtful touch of paint in alcoves or at the back of shelves is a subtle yet stylish way to introduce a colourful background.

    5. Choose earthy mauve tones


    Image credit: Future PLC./ Dominic Blackmore

    Avoid true, blue based purples and choose a mellow, brown-toned mauve to give your room colour that’s sexily sophisticated, but not scary. Mixed with rich accents and brass, it has modern glamour, or spin it rustic with greys and woods, as we’ve done here.

    6. Mix jewel colour with boho style

    Purple living room ideas

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Simon Whitmore

    Take the jewel colours and painterly details of boho style, but put them with contemporary furniture instead of country or vintage-look pieces. It’ll give your room bags of character and an eclectic vibe that’s easy to evolve.

    The trick is to layer dark, mid-weight and light colours, adding lots of white and pale grey so they don’t overwhelm. Here watercolour washes and oil-painting prints are key to creating a successful boho style. And why not include an oversized chandelier for instant va-va-voom?

    7. Decorate with dusky purple


    Image credit: Future PLC/ Simon Whitmore

    Dusty purples are so rich and indulgent, they lend themselves to a really luxe look, with plush velvets, buttoned upholstery, heavy curtains, marble and touches of old gold.

    Choose a flat, chalky matt finish for purple-tone paint or it’ll look dated, but bring the colour to life with lots of texture in the room. A burst of turquoise accents are fresh enough to cut through and cool down shades of purple and pink.

    8. Make it modern


    Image credit: Future PLC/ Simon Whitmore

    Dusty purple looks great with off-white furniture for classic style, but team it with shades of cool grey for a more modern scheme. Combine dusty purples – plum, aubergine, fig – with blush pink and grey for a harmonious palette that creates just the right mellow mood for a bedroom. Alternatively pair with shades of linen, mushroom or soft green for an additional contrast

    9. Keep it cosy

    Purple-living-room-with-open fireplace and wooden-coffee-table

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Rachel Whiting

    Blend a winter palette of claret and plum with earthy wood texture for cosy cottage style. Prevent the colour scheme going into overdrive by using softer mauve-greys, browns and greys for accessories and other elements in the room.

    A weathered wood coffee table will balance the look. Bring the outside in with prints of autumnal nature to enhance the country-cottage style and snuggle down with plenty of warm throws and blankets.

    10. Work a trend

    Country living room with rocking chair and ladder shelf

    Image credit: Future PLC/ David Brittain

    Try your hand at creating an ombré feature wall. Putting a positive spin on the term ‘faded beauty’, this decorating technique is seriously hot in the interiors world right now. If you’re up for a challenge, you could try painting an ombré wall yourself – you’ll need a steady hand and spot-on blending skills to pull it off.

    This calm and simple living room is decorated with a dusky lilac paint effect on the walls. Layer throws and cushions in calm, muted shades on a rocking chair for a relaxed space that’s perfect for curling up with a book. A ladder shelf provides rustic storage for books and candles, while a rug adds a hint of pattern and texture.

    11. Stick to accessories and soft furnishings

    neutral living room with purple rug

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Brent Darby

    If going for an all-out purple living room is too risky for you, consider keeping it to accessories and soft furnishings for a subtle touch. Neutral tones and plush soft furnishings give this stylish living room a homely feel. The purple rug provides a grounding for the scheme that boosts the impact of the pale walls and sofas.

    While the chandelier and sumptuous curtain fabric are luxurious touches; the pinks of the odd-one-out cushion and lampshade are off-message tones that lift the scheme above the ordinary. At least this way, if you get bored, you can easily change the look in an instant.

    Will you be picking purple as your colour of choice? We dare you to create the purple living room of your dreams!

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