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What effect does purple walls have?

What effect does purple walls have?

Purple walls can have several effects in a home or office environment. The color purple is often associated with creativity, luxury, spirituality and imagination. Decorating with purple can create an uplifting, soothing or elegant atmosphere depending on the shade and how it is used. In this article, we will explore the different physical and psychological effects that purple painted walls can have.

Physical Effects

There are a few key physical effects that painting walls purple can produce:

Makes a Space Appear Darker

Purple is a darker color on the color spectrum, so it will inherently make a space feel darker and more enclosed compared to painting walls white or lighter neutrals. The darker the purple, the more drastic this effect will be. Lighter lavender purple shades will have less of a darkening impact.

Makes a Space Feel Smaller

Similarly, the darkness of purple can make walls appear to close in and make a space feel smaller. Again, lighter purples will have less of an minimizing effect, but in general purple will make rooms feel more compressed.

Absorbs Light

The pigments in deeper purple paint will absorb light rather than reflect it. This absorbing effect can make a purple room feel cozy and warm but also contribute to the closed-in feeling.

Matches Cool Undertones

Purple has a cool undertone. Using purple paint brings out blue and cool gray undertones in furnishings, floors and other finishes. It pairs best with similarly cool accent colors.

Psychological Effects

Beyond the physical effects on the dimensions and light in a room, purple paint also triggers psychological responses:

Stimulates Creativity

Purple is thought to stimulate right-brain activity, inspiring creativity and imagination. Writers, artists, inventors or other creatives can utilize purple surroundings to spark innovative ideas.

Promotes Spirituality

In many cultures and religions, purple represents spirituality, mysticism and connection to a higher power. Using purple décor in meditation spaces, prayer rooms or other contemplative environments can encourage exploration of the divine and self-reflection.

Provides Soothing Ambiance

The cool undertones of purple create a soothing, relaxing effect. Lavender shades are especially calming. Purple can aid sleep and unwinding when used in bedrooms.

Signals Luxury

Vivid purple is associated with extravagance, royalty and wealth. Decorators often use purple accents in formal living spaces or theaters to suggest luxury. Dark eggplant purple can make a bold luxurious statement.

Improves Mood

Purple has long been considered an uplifting, positive color that can improve mood. Studies show purple can increase happiness and contentment. It may aid emotional healing and boost self-esteem.

Using Different Purple Shades

The exact psychological and physical effects of purple walls will vary based on the specific shade:

Light Purple

Shades Lavender, lilac, wisteria
Effects Soothing, relaxing, airy, feminine, romantic

Light purples like lavender and lilac have a soft, airy quality with only subtle mood-enhancing powers. They bring only a hint of color without strongly altering the dimensions or brightness of a room.

Mid-Tone Purple

Shades Grape, plum, periwinkle
Effects Uplifting, creative, spiritual, sophisticated

Mid-range purple tones like grape and periwinkle have medium color saturation, light absorbency and psychological effects. They strike a nice balance between subtle and dramatic depending on the finish.

Dark Purple

Shades Eggplant, royal purple, wine
Effects Luxurious, moody, intimate, powerful

Deep, jewel-toned purples like eggplant or wine have intense color. They will absorb light, shrink a space, and create an intimate, moody setting. The darkness elicits feelings of drama, mystery and grandeur.

Best Rooms for Purple Walls

Certain rooms are especially suited to reap the advantages of purple walls:


As discussed, light purple or lavender walls in the bedroom create a soft, relaxing atmosphere perfect for sleeping. The cozy enclosure of purple provides a comfortable nest.


Like bedrooms, bathrooms also benefit from the soothing ambiance of light purple walls. The cooler undertones complement tile finishes.

Living Rooms

Purple living room walls can inspire conversation and connection. Lighter shades keep the space uplifting but not overwhelming.

Dining Rooms

In formal dining spaces, deep purple walls signal luxury and occasion. Lighter purple sets a scene of romance or feminine energy.


Creative fields like graphic design, writing or tech start-ups can use purple office walls to stimulate imagination and problem-solving.

Kids’ Rooms

For girls’ rooms, light purple sets a whimsical, playful stage. For boys spaces, blend purple with brighter colors in murals or accents.

Therapy Rooms

Psychologists, counselors or spiritual advisors can paint consultation rooms purple to instill calm and create an emotionally open setting.

Complementary Colors

Certain paint colors pair attractively with different hues of purple:

Light Purple

Complementary colors White, gray, blue

Keep light purple walls looking bright and airy by combining them with crisp white trim, cool gray furniture, silvery metallics and soft blue accents.

Mid-Tone Purple

Complementary colors Green, yellow, cream

Bring out mid-range purples with contrasting spring green, chartreuse or ochre yellows and warm off-white/cream shades.

Dark Purple

Complementary colors Gold, jewel tones

Play up the drama of deep purple walls with metallic gold fixtures, accessories and art. Pair with other saturated jewel tones like ruby, sapphire or emerald.

Furnishing a Purple Room

Decorating and choosing furniture for a purple-walled room comes down to lightness versus darkness:

Light Purple Rooms

With light purple walls, use furnishings and decor in the same pale tonal family – painted wood, raw linen, faded florals, whitewashed metals, etc. Keep things light and airy.

Dark Purple Rooms

For moody eggplant or wine-hued walls, take a bolder approach with furnishings. Opt for rich velvets, dark woods, gilded mirrors, and dramatic layered lighting. Play up the cozy, intimate vibe.


Painting your walls purple can have many positive effects on a living space when done right. Light purples relax, mid-tones inspire, and bold purples create drama. Remember to choose the right complementary colors for your purple walls and decorate to match the shade. With the right approach, purple walls bring out the best qualities of any room.