Purple and yellow are two colors that are often paired together because they are contrasting colors. This means that they sit opposite each other on the color wheel, and as such, they are able to provide balance together, as well as make each other appear more vivid.
Purple and yellow will work well together in various scenarios, such as in fashion, branding, and interior design. If you want to use purple and yellow in your interior decor, then you might want to consider adding a third color to the mix so that your room doesn’t feel too overwhelming. This can happen easily with two contrasting colors, especially if they are heavily saturated.
The result of using just yellow and purple in a space could be that it is uncomfortable to be around because the intensity of the colors and the contrast they create feel too stimulating.
Adding a third color to the color scheme will help to negate this, or alternatively, you could choose a muted shade of yellow or purple to prevent this occurrence.
For example, opting for lilac and soft lemon yellow will create a much more subtle contrast that is easier on the eyes compared to violet and primary yellow.
Here we will look at how to use purple and yellow in interior design and which other colors can work well in this color scheme.
Using Purple and Yellow in Home Decor
Choose a dominant color
With a yellow and purple color scheme, you need to decide which of these two colors is going to be used most heavily. When two contrasting shades are used in equal amounts, it can make the space feel chaotic, so instead, you should choose which color is going to play a more dominant role in the decor and which will be an accent color.
Your dominant color is probably going to be the color that you use on the walls, though if you intend on also using a neutral color, then it doesn’t have to be. For example, with lemon yellow as your dominant color, you might paint the walls yellow and have a white sofa with purple cushions, along with a yellow and white rug and some purple lampshades.
From this, we can see that yellow will be used much more heavily in the space, with purple as the accent color. However, if you decide to use a neutral as your base color, such as white, then you could paint your walls white and still choose a dominant shade between your two accenting colors.
For example, white walls with purple curtains, a purple sofa with yellow cushions, and a few small yellow candles. In this instance, purple is the more dominant color.
As well as preventing a space from feeling chaotic, this will also help to create balance in a room and result in a more high-end designer look.
Balance the shades
When you are choosing your shades of purple and yellow, you should think about the depth of the colors, the intensity, and the saturation. These factors are important in determining the effect you will achieve in the room, and getting it right will ensure the tones feel balanced.
In a room where you want a relaxing, fresh feel, choose light shades of yellow and purple such as buttercream yellow and pale lilac. These shades feel balanced because they are both lower saturated versions of the two colors.
For a darker or more dramatic look, choose a deep shade of yellow such as mustard yellow and a deep purple like eggplant or raisin.
Once again, these colors work together because they have a similar intensity and so offer balance. If you tried to use shades that didn’t balance well, the resulting look would be off. For example, a soft and light yellow would be overwhelmed in a space with a deep eggplant purple shade.
Colors to Use with Purple and Yellow
Purple and yellow is a color scheme that can work nicely with green since it will also contrast against purple but create harmony with yellow.
These colors will look particularly good in a botanical-themed space, with green used as the color for leaves and foliage and yellow and purple utilized in floral patterns. For example, paint walls in a muted sage color, and choose curtains in a floral fabric with dainty yellow and purple flowers set against green leaves.
Pick out the colors from the fabric in other areas of the room, for example, a yellow rug and purple dining chairs. Accentuate the botanical theme with a jug of purple and yellow flowers set as a centerpiece on a dining table or frames with dried pressed flowers in them displayed on the walls.
The yellow and purple combo color works well with pink in the same way that green does. It will provide contrast against the yellow while creating harmony with the purple. Once again, these are colors that could be used to good effect in a floral-themed space, but they can also work well in a nursery or child’s room.
Pink, yellow, and purple, when used together, create an atmosphere that is distinctly feminine, so lean into this with soft fabrics and elegant finishes.
This color scheme would also work well in a luxury glam style living room, for example, with a pink velvet sofa topped with yellow and purple cushions and yellow lamp shades set against a dark purple wall.
Peach is a pretty orange-pink color that sits somewhere between purple and yellow on the color wheel, therefore peach can match with some colors like purple and yellow, making space feel more muted and subtle by offering a step between the two.
A pale yellow room will look fresh and energizing with peach-colored bed sheets and lavender cushions, along with a lavender rug and peach curtains.
Purple or yellow
If you want to add more dimension and depth to your purple and yellow scheme but don’t want to bring a third color into the mix, consider instead adding a different shade of the colors you have already chosen. This could look like a color scheme of dark yellow, dark purple, and pale purple, for example.
Alternatively, you could use two shades of yellow with one shade of purple. Doing this enables you to create a more tonal effect by layering darker and lighter shades of the same color and playing with light and shadows.
Tan is a warm neutral that is on the pale end of the brown spectrum, but it also has hints of orange in it. The orange undertones of this color will mean that it can harmonize with yellow while providing extra contrast against purple. However, as a neutral color, it will also help to make a room feel more toned down and help to break up the stark contrast between yellow and purple.
In a purple room, choose a tan-colored sofa with yellow cushions and tan-colored furniture like an aged oak coffee table or a walnut dresser. You could also have hardwood flooring stained in a tan shade to give the room a more neutral base to set purple and yellow against.
Gray is a really good third color to use with yellow and purple because it works well with both of these shades.
Choose a cool blue or purple-toned shade of gray so that it doesn’t create a conflict with the other colors, and opt for a lighter or darker shade than the purple you have chosen. For example, if your room is lilac and pale yellow, then choose a very pale gray color so that it is softer than the lilac, or choose a charcoal gray which is darker.
For a room with dark eggplant accents, you should choose a light to medium shade of gray. If your yellow and purple room looks too intense or it lacks a contemporary feel, then gray will be the perfect addition.
Gray is a cool neutral that will help to break up the strength of the purple and yellow, and it is also effortlessly modern and able to update the feel of any space.
Blue, yellow, and purple is a triadic color combination. This is because, when looking at the color wheel, if you drew a perfect triangle matching up yellow and purple, the third point of your triangle would be sitting right on blue. This means that these three colors can work together to create a contrast that is engaging without being too pronounced, which some people may find easier to process.
Dark blue shades such as indigo or navy will be good choices because they present as almost neutral shades for a more muted effect.
Consider painting living room walls in navy blue with a dark mustard yellow sofa and an eggplant-colored rug. In a less dramatic-styled room, aqua blue would work well amongst soft yellow and purple to achieve a space that feels playful and soothing.