Lilac is a soft purple that has both purple and white undertones. Lilac is often used in country decor, shabby chic style and eclectic style homes. It is also used for children's bedrooms, regardless of the style of the rest of the home. Lilac is one of those colours that can be tricky when it is painted on a wall. Some shades of lilac will grey-out, and others will look too blue or red. If the lilac you paint has these characteristics, choose a different tone or thin down white paint and whitewash over the lilac to soften the colour.
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White is a complementary colour to lilac. Crisp white will lend a more formal touch and sharper contrast. Soft off-white will soften the lilac as well. Often this type of pairing is achieved by mixing worn white furniture in a room with lilac walls. By adding white sheers, the room becomes casual and comfortable. If the white is modern and crisp, the room moves toward edgy, young and interesting.
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Shabby chic style often pairs pastels to create the look. Lilac that has a white undertone is usually pastel enough to fit with light yellow, light green and baby blue. Pink can also work, along with other colours that are mixtures of the primary colours. Look at a colour card palette in a paint store to find your shade of lilac. Often the cards will have five or more tones on each card. Look at other cards with a colour in the same location on the card as these are a similar visual weight.
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Lilac, because of its unusual colour undertones, can be paired very successfully with dark purple to create a masculine feeling. These two colours work together when you pull both colours from the same colour family. The dark purple will ground the room and make the space feel purposeful; the light lilac will provide contrast and almost feel like a white. You can further add contrast by using metals or black or white as accent colours
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Black is a neutral colour. When you pair lilac with black, the undertones of blue or red in the black will be brought to the surface and will blend well with the lilac. The lilac should be slightly stronger as there may be a tendency for the black to wash out the lilac colour. Gray can be brought in as a third colour, along with pops of a bright colour to add a dynamic punch to the colour scheme. Try samples of grey to find one that creates the look you want.