Names of purple shades

Written by kristy barkan
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  • Introduction

    Names of purple shades

    There are literally hundreds of shades of purple, each with its own name. If you plan on using purple in your interior design, you must accurately describe your colour scheme while shopping or selecting paint. The Color Association of the United States, one of the largest providers of information on colour tinting in the world, lists seven shades of purple among the 267 most common colour tints in the United States.

    Purple can be a stunning accent to other colours in a room. (Room image by Loshkaryov Sergey from

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    Crocus is a light shade of purple with a very slight reddish tinge. In decorating, this colour is most often used as an accent.

    This fabric could be described as crocus-coloured. (purple image by Empath from

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    Imperial Purple

    Imperial purple is a deep, rich purple. Injecting imperial purple into a room can make a dramatic statement.

    Imperial purple is an appealingly rich colour. (Purple Ribbon image by MrGreenBug from

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    Lilac is a medium shade of purple, a little on the dark side and a little less saturated than most purples. It is a common colour for bathrooms and is sometimes used as a bedroom accent.

    The pure purple areas of this flower are a good representation of the colour lilac. (lilac image by Henryk Olszewski from

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    Mauve is a medium-dark, slightly reddish shade of purple. It can make an excellent accent colour because it coordinates well with a variety of other colours.

    These flowers could be described as mauve. (chive flowers image by Alison Bowden from

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    Orchid is a pale, pastel purple. It is commonly used in children's rooms as a base or an accent colour.

    The lightest flower in this bunch is a good example of orchid. (orchid 9 image by Cesar Andrade from

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    Prune is a very dark and unsaturated shade of purple. It makes a lovely accent colour for a bedroom or a den.

    The fruit itself is the best example of the colour prune. (Shot of a prune image by Han van Vonno from

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    Violet is a medium-darkness, high-saturation purple. Violet is one of the most common shades of purple, but it is so bright that it is not often used as an interior paint colour. Violet is a lovely colour to choose for decorative accents, however, to add a splash of brightness around a room.

    Although they are not violets, these flowers are definitely violet coloured. (violet image by Deborah Durbin from

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