It's royal. It's papal. It's eccentric. It's feminine. Whether you love it or hate it, you can't argue: The color purple is undoubtedly stylish.
Mauve is almost like a neutral, with hints of gray that let it work with a number of color schemes. In the dining room of an Atlanta home by Kristin Kong, she echoed the delicate mauve walls by having the cherry table refinished in a serene gray, then adding contrast with the burlap-backed chairs.
"How soothing is this color? Not too gray, not too violet. Its gracefulness and subtlety set the tone for the dining room." — Kristin Kong
Make it your own: Sherwin-Williams Beguiling Mauve SW 6269
In designer David Kaihoi's East Village apartment, dazzling purple infuses rooms and halls with plenty of energy.
"I find it relaxing whenever any dark, rich color is used throughout a room. Your eye is not jumping from dark walls to light trim, and you sink into the color just as you'd sink into a comfortable sofa. It's almost as if you're swimming in it. And it opens up the space, because you can't see where the boundaries are." — Eddie Lee
Make it your own: Valspar Signature Purple Royalty 4009-10
The sofa in the living room of a dramatic Manhattan home has a "grounding" effect that brings the vivid colors back down to earth.
"Most people are afraid of aubergine because it's dark, but it's really incredibly easy to use because it has blue and red and green — even yellow — embedded in it, and you can pull any of them out. It would look very novel and new with celadon. Bright white trim would make it more intense and give it that Dorothy Draperesque Regency feeling." — Darren Henault
Make it your own: Farrow & Ball Brinjal 222
The deep color of the door in the dining room of a Scarsdale, New York home complements the glamorous decor scheme.
"This is like a midnight sky. It has a sense of mystery and a little bit of sexiness. How does it make me feel? Rich. Purple has always been associated with royalty. Cleopatra had purple silk sails on her barge. I'm tired of beige-on-beige. I crave something a little more exciting. Try it in an entryway, with silver tea paper on the ceiling." — Eric Lysdahl
Make it your own: Benjamin Moore Galaxy
The muted hue on the walls of this dining area by Peter Vaughnbeautifully picks up the silver furnishings and accessories.
"I'm in the mood for this kind of happy, soothing color. It's the palest of the pale lavenders — a petally color, a flower color. I think it's very pure and fresh. I'd use it in a bedroom, where you could mix it up with everything from mirrored furniture to pale wood furniture to dark mahogany." — Laura Bohn
Make it your own: Pittsburgh Paints Orchid Petal 441-1
Deep without being dark, a rich true purple makes an unforgettable first impression in the entryway of a colorful Massachusetts home.
"It's the color of a spring crocus. Bold, but not too sweet. That little bit of black in it keeps it from being too Easter egg-y. I'd love to see this in a bedroom or a library with a light Christian Dior gray on the trim. The gray makes it more sophisticated, and grounds it, so we don't go off into airy-fairy land." — Amanda Nisbet
Make it your own: Benjamin Moore Snugglepuss 1405
In an apartment decorated in shades of red and blue, designer Mark D. Sikes added in doses of soft purple to unify the palette.
"I've always loved lavender. To me, it's such a comfort color, particularly in a bedroom. It sort of lulls you to sleep. This has a little gray in it, which keeps it calm. If I wanted to mix it up, I'd throw in some navy or olive green. Because this shade is so subdued, it works well with just about any printed fabric. It's also a great backdrop for art." — Kim Gilhool
Make it your own: California Paints Faded Lilac 7490W
A glossy finish enriches the wine-purple cabinets in the kitchen of a New York apartment by Nick Olsen.
"When I hear the word 'purple,' I bristle a bit, but this is a very approachable color. It's like a pinot noir. It would be beautiful in a nighttime room, maybe a media room or a library. I see it in a high sheen, glowing in the lamplight. It would envelop you and feel very calming and peaceful and quiet." — Suzanne Lovell
Make it your own: Benjamin Moore Caponata AF 650