Design Recipes: How to harness the power of purple

By Cathy Hobbs
Tribune News Service
A purple side chair adds a powerful color pop to this bedroom. (Design Recipes/TNS)

Purple has long been a color associated with royalty and wealth. Whether you are looking to incorporate soft pastel tones or rich, deep colors, purple can add an interesting twist to nearly any room in your home.


Purple has a number of strong undertones, especially warm tones such as red, yellow and orange. As a result, many shades of purple can add an inviting element of warmth and richness to a space. Purple isn’t always easily duplicated, so it is often considered rare and special.


Think of purple as a great accent color. You can use purple in a number of different ways to add an unexpected or unique color mix to your space. Consider accessories such as toss pillows, throws, artwork and area rugs, as well as accent furniture such as side chairs.


While purple can make a strong stand-alone statement, purple also works well when paired with other colors. Purple and orange is especially popular, while purple and yellow are complementary colors. Purple also pairs well with neutral foundation colors such as charcoal gray, black, cream and even chocolate brown.

Purple accents help give a living room an elegant vibe. (Design Recipes/TNS)

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is a television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at or visit her website at