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Which colour combination is best with purple?

Which colour combination is best with purple?

Purple is a rich, regal color that can make a bold statement in any design. But choosing the right colour combinations to go with purple can be tricky. Some shades look stunning next to purple while others can make your design look dull or messy. So which colours actually work best with purple?

Complementary Colours

One of the most popular and easy colour combinations is to use the complementary colour – the colour directly opposite on the colour wheel. The complementary colour for purple is yellow. When placed together, these two colours create a striking, high-contrast look.

Bright, warm yellows pair excellently with light purples and lilacs. Think of things like daffodils, lemons, and sunflowers. Mustard yellow and golden tones also complement deeper plums and eggplants beautifully. Just a small pop of yellow against a purple background can make the purple seem richer and more vibrant.

You can use varying shades of purple and yellow together – lighter tints, medium tones, darker shades. Just avoid placing extremely light and extremely dark shades right next to each other, as this reduces the contrast too much.

Analogous Colours

Analogous colours are groups of 3-5 colours that sit directly next to each other on the colour wheel, sharing similar undertones. For purple, this includes:

  • Red-violets
  • Blues
  • Blue-violets

Light purples pair gorgeously with pale pinks, mauves, and lavenders. Vivid magentas and fuchsias also complement brighter purples like lilac beautifully. For deeper plummy purples, try rich cabernet reds and burgundies.

On the blue side, pale icy blues, sky blues, and aquas create tranquil, feminine combinations with lilac and lighter purples. Vivid cobalt or sapphire blues make edgy, electric combinations with vibrant jewel-toned purples and eggplants. And for darker purples, deep navy blues are incredibly elegant.

Split Complementary Colours

This colour scheme uses one colour on either side of the complementary colour for a more subtle, sophisticated look. For purple, this includes yellow-orange and yellow-green.

Peachy coral and salmon colours pair nicely with softer purples like lavender and lilac. Mustardy chartreuses and limes work well with brighter purples like violet. Just use these colours sparingly to accent the purple rather than overwhelming it.

Triadic Colours

A triadic colour scheme uses three colours evenly spaced around the colour wheel. For purple, this includes red and green.

Triadic colour schemes tend to have a bold, dynamic, and edgy impact. Dark plums and wines create a lush, romantic look with deep burgundies and cabernets. Vibrant purples pair powerfully with intense kelly greens and emeralds.

To make triadic palettes more wearable, use one colour as a dominant shade, the second as an accent, and the third sparingly as highlights. You can also soften the intensity by selecting soft, muted shades like mauve, olive, and rose.

Tetradic Colours

Tetradic color schemes use four colours spaced evenly around the color wheel. For purple, this includes yellow, red, and blue.

Tetradic combinations offer the most colour variety but can be the trickiest to balance. Aim to have one color dominate, then use the other three sparingly as accents. Look for shades that have a common undertone to tie the scheme together.

Some examples of tetradic combinations with purple:

  • Pale lilac, butter yellow, salmon, sky blue
  • Plum, gold, scarlet, navy
  • Violet, chartreuse, burgundy, cobalt

Monochromatic Colours

Sticking to shades of just one colour is a simple, elegant, and sophisticated way to decorate. With purple, this allows you to use lights, mediums and darks to add visual interest.

Some monochromatic purple combinations to try include:

  • Pale lavender, lilac, violet
  • Wisteria, amethyst, plum
  • Thistle, orchid, eggplant

Including different textures and patterns can add even more depth and dimension to monochromatic palettes. Use shades like velvet, satin, and silk in varying purple shades.

Neutral Colours

For a clean, elegant look, pair rich purples with neutral shades. Timeless neutrals like white, black, gray, tan and brown act as a backdrop to make the purple pop.

White is an easy go-to neutral that lightens and brightens purple. Crisp white against rich purple creates a regal, luxurious style. For softer contrast, pair pale purples with cream, stone or beige.

Black is another classic. Vivid purple with slick black is bold and daring. Charcoal greys are moodier and more subtle. Tans, browns, and nude shades complement lighter purples in an earthy, natural palette.

Metallic Colours

Metallic accents add glamour and shine to purple colour combinations. Silver, gold, copper and bronze all stand out beautifully against rich purple backdrops.

Purple and silver is a sophisticated colour combo favoured by royalty, associated with wealth and extravagance. Gold is warm and luxurious, pairing nicely with plums, wines and burgundies.

For a more rustic or vintage look, bring in antique copper, brass, and bronze tones. Try mixing metallic textures like glossy and matte for added interest.

Best Colour Combinations with Purple: Summary

Here is a quick summary of the top colour pairings that work with different shades of purple:

Purple Shade Best Colour Combinations
Light purples (lavender, lilac, wisteria) Soft pink, mauve, baby blue, peach, cream, silver
Mid-tone purples (amethyst, iris, heliotrope) Royal blue, turquoise, emerald, gold, magenta, tan
Dark purples (plum, eggplant, wine) Burgundy, navy, evergreen, black, copper, charcoal


With so many shades to work with, purple is incredibly versatile when it comes to colour combinations. Play with complementary hues like yellow and orange for vibrant contrast. Use analogous cool tones like blues or warm tones like reds and pinks for a harmonious look. Adding neutral whites, blacks, greys and tan pulls a palette together elegantly.

So embrace your inner Prince (or Princess) and have fun experimenting with different purple colour schemes for your home, clothing, or any design project. Just keep things balanced and you’re sure to find combinations that are regal, luxurious and befitting of royalty.