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So Your Daughter Wants Her Bedroom Walls Painted Purple . . .
When my daughter asked for a purple bedroom a few years ago, I wasn’t surprised, although I was a bit apprehensive. Okay, I’ll be honest. I was dreading the finished product. She wasn’t asking for a delicate, soft lavender. No, she is not a delicate, soft kind of girl. She wanted bright purple and had her heart set on a particular shade called "Grape Juice." The color is loud, bright, and garish—perfect for any pre-teen or teenager, especially my loud, bright, crazy kid. You know the type.
The thought of turning her room into a big purple cave was not appealing to me. However, I kept an open mind, repeating over and over to myself, “It’s her room, not mine.” I had foisted my own decorating aesthetic upon her since before she was born. I created the sweetest pastel nursery for her, complete with Laura Ashley floral fabrics and shabby-chic white-painted furniture. Her “little girl room” had been my creation as well, and it definitely reflected my refined taste and not her crazy, unique, spirit. Now she was 11, bored with the look of her little kid bedroom and old enough to make some decorating decisions herself.
Wanting to give my daughter the bedroom of her dreams but dreading the thought of a bright purple cave, I voiced my concerns that the loud color would give her a headache, or that she’d tire of the monotonous purple walls (and ceiling!) very quickly. To remedy this, she came up with a bold, two-tone color scheme that she loves. The second color—bright turquoise(!)—breaks up all that purple, yet satisfies her craving for the loud, bright, and garish. She chose to have the ceiling and two opposite walls painted purple, and the other two opposite walls painted turquoise.
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this painting scheme for everyone. My daughter loves it, but it’s not my favorite. It is very loud, and most adults find it somewhat comical. There are probably even some kids and teens who would think it was way too much. Of course, there are plenty of options if you or your kids are planning a purple room for your home.
A Flower Mural in Muted Shades of Purple
1. Fade to Purple
This creates a beautiful, striking effect, with plenty of variation. Choose your favorite hue of purple, whether it’s royal, plummy or more bluish, then get it mixed in five shades from deep to pale. Starting with the darkest, paint each wall in the room its own shade of purple, going around the room in color order from darkest to lightest. Use the lightest color on the ceiling.
2. Accent Wall
Keep it simple with an accent wall, meaning one purple wall. This will give the room a good dose of strong purple color while dialing the overall “purpleness” down considerably. If the room is already painted in a shade that goes well with the purple wall, and the paint is clean and in good shape, your painting chores are kept to a minimum because you only have to paint one wall as opposed to the entire room.
Put some careful thought into which wall will be the purple one. The wall that people see when looking into the room from the doorway is one idea. The wall that the bed's headboard is placed against is another good one. The wall with the largest amount of actual wall space (has the least space taken up by doors and windows) is also a good one to go with, as it provides room for the most square footage of purple. If a wall in the room happens to incorporate all three of these criteria into one wall, go for it!
If you'd like to break up all that purple paint, you can choose a two-color combination, as my own daughter did. Depending upon the overall look you're shooting for, you can go bold or more subtle, depending upon the color choices and how much they contrast.
For a bold color combination, choose a second color that is in high contrast to the purple, such as yellow, lime green, orange, or a green-heavy turquoise.
For a more subtle combination, choose a second color with less contrast, such as burgundy, pink or blue. The closer the two colors are, and also the paler they are, the more subtle, soft, and cohesive the room will look.
There are endless ways to go about mixing in the second color. You can paint one entire wall in the second color, or just paint the doors, baseboards, moldings and window trim in the second color. You can also install chair rail on the walls all around room, and paint the accent color either above or below the chair rail, and purple on the other side of the chair rail. You could also paint opposite walls the second color. The sections on stripes, free-form designs, and harlequin patterns are geared toward using two shades of purple, but they could also be created with purple plus a second color.
Stripe Painting Tutorial
4. Stripe It Rich
Stripes, whether horizontal or vertical, are classic, crisp, and clean. Start by painting the entire room a base shade of purple. Let it dry for at least 24 hours, then use painter's tape to mask off horizontal or vertical stripes. Thin, thick, or a variety of widths all look great. Just keep in mind that the wider the stripes and simpler the pattern, the more quickly the painting project will go.
You can go for a feminine, pretty feel with stripes in two shades of and pale lavender, or create more of a wild, rock 'n' roll room with two brighter shades of purple, or bright purple and a second color such as hot pink or lime green.
After you have painted the stripes, remove the masking tape before the paint dries, so the tape does not pull up any portion of your stripes.
5. Freehand Free-for-All
Again, start by giving walls a fresh coat of your preferred purple. Then, use the walls as your canvas to freehand any type of design you like. Try your hand at purple zebra stripes in two shades of purple, waves, geometrics, flowers, or graffiti. If you are lucky enough to possess artistic talent and are confident in your abilities, consider painting a detailed wall mural. If you'd like to put up a design that is large, bold, and graphic, but you don't feel comfortable attempting a finely detailed mural, paint several large, simple shapes, such as hearts or flowers that cover most of a wall, or even turn a corner onto another wall.
Although the term I’m using here is “free-hand,” you’ll have best results if your first sketch out your designs with a pencil. Just erase any mistakes before you start painting (yes, the pencil’s eraser works wonderfully on the wall!). You can also use a wall projector to project the desired image onto the wall, then trace the image with a pencil.
Painting a Diamond Pattern
6. Harlequin Romance
Harlequin shapes add pattern and a sense of movement to your room. As with the stripes, masking tape is your friend. Start with freshly painted room in your base shade of purple, then mask off diamonds to paint in your second shade. You do the entire room in harlequin diamonds, paint just one wall, or add a few diamonds here and there throughout the room. For a bold effect, use a bright purple for your base coat and a deep purple or high-contrast second color for the diamonds. For a girl who likes her colors loud and proud, choose high-contrast colors, such as bright purple and lime green. For a more muted effect, choose two soft shades of purple.
The Plain Jane: One Solid Color
There’s no rule that you have to do something different, creative, or crazy. In fact, a solid-color room is my preferred decorating backdrop. Painting a room one uniform color makes the most of your visual space by making a room feel larger. This is especially true for calmer, lighter colors as opposed to bright or dark colors.
A room that’s painted one color is also easier to redecorate when the time comes. Instead of changing the entire room and repainting, you can keep the wall color, but redecorate with new bedding, curtains, and accessories.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2012 SmartAndFun
Arco Hess from Kansas City, Kansas on November 03, 2014:
I'm sure she loves the purple. It's also my favorite color! When I was little, I dreamed of having my room purple.
SmartAndFun (author) from Texas on September 13, 2012:
Thanks so much ignugent17! It definitely is a fun room, even if it's a bit loud for me. She loves it!
ignugent17 on August 20, 2012:
Your purple room is very lovely and I really liked it. Your daughter is very lucky to have this room. Thanks for sharing!