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.


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

Imperial Purple

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


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.


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.


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


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


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.

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About the Author

Kristy Barkan began her writing career in 1998 as a features reporter for the University at Buffalo's "Spectrum" newspaper. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in film and media production from the University at Buffalo, a Master of Fine Arts in visual effects from Academy of Art University and a Diploma in social media marketing from ALISON.