If you're looking to incorporate color into your home, and favor a palette that's not overplayed and won't be visually jarring, consider using lavender. The hue is a pale shade of purple, and while a tad unconventional, it imparts both elegance and approachability depending on its application and the other colors it shares the stage with. Beloved for delivering a calming and peaceful sensibility to interiors, the color lavender, much like its namesake herb, has connotations of spiritual healing, tranquility, and easing of tension.
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Lavender's versatility might surprise you — it looks equally at home in child-friendly spaces, as well as those with a more sophisticated bent. This little fact also happens to make it a fitting option for use in both kid and adult bedrooms, kitchens, dining rooms, and living rooms. Go ahead and blanket the walls in the stunning shade with the help of paint or wallpaper, consider tiling the bathroom with it, or test it out with low-commitment accessories — such as pillows, throws, or an area rug — that offer a bit more flexibility down the road. "Lavender has a special place in my heart and I love to use it in paint and wall treatments, upholstery, and accent lighting," says Megan Hopp, founder and principal of Megan Hopp Design. "I think lavender pairs especially well with pale green hues like mint and cherry red. As a lady who spent years of her life with a lavender do, the hue will never go out of style for me."
While it's easy to lump all shades of purple together, there are slight variations that distinguish these familiar hues. For example, lavender is a pale purple with bluish undertones while lilac is a pale purple with a pinkish tinge. Periwinkle is a perfect marriage of blue and purple. Use lavender in conjunction with any of these similar shades for a tone-on-tone look, or pair it with darker shades of red and pink, deep brown, or cool blue.
"Lavender has quickly become one of my favorite colors to use in design because it's soft and feminine without reading overly girly," says Jessica Kain Barton, principal of J. Kathryn Interiors. "It also complements so many other colors, [such as] blue, green, or one of my favorite combos, a rich chocolate brown."
Read on to discover 15 shades that pair beautifully with lavender.
15 Lavender Color Combinations
Coax out lavender's glamorous side by pairing it with navy blue. In this light-filled kitchen, Joy Cho of Oh Joy! did just that and then some, by pairing the colorful cabinets (and integrated refrigerator) with lustrous brass hardware and fixtures. Swoon!
2. Lavender and Red
Temper vibrant shades with a dose of pale lavender. In this little girls' bedroom by Meredith Steinhart, a band of lavender paint pulls double-duty — adding interest to white walls while subduing a set of cherry-red lacquered bed frames. Ceiling canopies lined in lavender and decorative pillows are a decidedly feminine touch.
3. Lavender and Brown
The beauty of lavender is that it can be used sparingly and still make a meaningful impact on a room. The team at 2LG Studio used a handful of thoughtfully placed lavender accessories in the form of throw pillows and a side table to punctuate a brown tonal living room, infusing a measured dose of contrast and a welcome hint of color.
4. Lavender and Lilac
Embrace the same color family for a monochromatic look with subtle variation, and then layer on various patterns, and scale for interest. A lavender and lilac feature wall, showcasing stripes in different thicknesses, acts as an energetic focal point in this eye-catching bedroom. White accents — such as the wall sconces, pillows, and adjacent walls — break up the bold look.
5. Lavender and Sage Green
If you really want to make a stunning visual statement, follow the lead of 2LG Studio and paint the walls, built-ins, trim, and ceiling. In this moody bedroom, the design team did just that, and the result is simply stunning, yet not overbearing. The muted shades of lavender and sage green make the perfect pair, adding just a hint of drama and loads of sophistication.
6. Lavender and Burgundy
Give lavender a starring role in the kitchen right behind a colorful, retro stove. The team over at PlaceDesign shows us how it's done by using the pastel accent wall as a tonal backdrop for the burgundy appliance. Just remember to keep accessories and other details to a minimum by selecting one or maybe two other unique pieces that add balance and weight, such as copper pendant lights.
7. Lavender and Blue
Lavender won't overwhelm small spaces, so you can use a lot of it without taking up too much visual space. To break up the monotony of an expansive wall of lavender built-ins, simply add a bit of contrast, as Heidi Caillier did in this office, with a bench cushion in pale blue and accents flaunting neutral colors.
8. Lavender and Fuchsia
Inject energy and whimsy into youthful spaces by pairing lavender with vibrant hues. This age-appropriate kid's room by Chango & Co. is young at heart and sophisticated. The bold abstract print wallpaper and a trio of fuchsia throw pillows are just playful enough to balance the grown-up lavender canopy bed.
9. Lavender and Mint Green
For a soothing space, marry lavender with mint green. Angie Hranwosky paired a saturated lavender sofa with walls painted in analogous shades of green, and then layered eclectic details such as a Moroccan rug, striped lounge chairs, and a paper lantern floor lamp. The result is a classic sitting room with a funky, maximalist edge.
10. Lavender and White
Impart a clean, modern feel by coupling lavender with broad swaths of bright white. Mary Patton Design took an all-in approach to this elegant bathroom with a predominantly purple color palette, which functions as a dramatic backdrop to the white freestanding tub and wall tile. The gray and white floor tile adds the tiniest bit of contrast and movement.
11. Lavender and Wood
If you want to play around with the color lavender, but aren't sure you want to commit to the pastel hue long term, consider investing in some new bedding. In this setup spotted on Urban Outfitters, the light purple hue looks positively radiant surrounded by warm wood accents that balance the cool color.
12. Lavender and Teal
If you're looking for a trendy way to add visual interest and dimension to a variety of surfaces, from cabinets to tables and even walls, you can't go wrong with fluted or ribbed detailing. Kingston Lafferty Design infused this elevated living room with texture and movement with the help of a gorgeous marble-clad wall, a cozy velvet teal sofa, and a lavender ribbed accent wall.
13. Lavender and Black
Add a bit of edge to lavender's softer side by pairing it with black. A thick-cut granite countertop makes a strong visual statement atop a light purple vanity in this powder room by Black Lacquer Design, while a tiered crystal pendant light and gold mirror are luxe additions.
14. Lavender and Pale Yellow
An under-the-radar coupling that works, and is guaranteed to brighten things up, thanks to their opposite locations on the color wheel. Lavender and yellow. But don't just take our word for it; allow this office belonging to artist and photographer Céline Hallas to serve as proof. She cleverly coated the walls and doors in this well-appointed space in light purple and topped it off with a buttery shade of yellow. A sculptural pendant light hanging above a marble table keeps the look elegant and posh.
15. Lavender and Gray
Take notes from Amanda Nisbet and pair lavender with gray in the bedroom for the ultimate calming respite. As seen in this romantic space, the color combo creates subtle contrast that makes an impact while maintaining an inviting and serene ambiance. White bedding adds to the clean, crisp look.
Best Colors to Pair With Lavender
Lavender is a flexible hue that instantly adds a relaxed and welcoming feeling to spaces. Its pale tone makes it suitable for expansive applications that won't be visually overwhelming. Use it unexpectedly with bold colors like red and pink, or create a soothing aesthetic by pairing it with cool shades of blue, green, gray, or any of the following colors:
- Navy Blue
- Sage Green
- Mint Green
We know what you're thinking: You can never have too much of a good thing. So in the spirit of more is more, here are a few extra items that might satisfy your plum-colored craving.
- If you're in the mood for a little shopping, living room decor has never looked better.
- If you want to compare the color lilac, look no further.
- If you want to compare the color periwinkle, you've come to the right place.
- If you're interested in some general purple color matching, we've got you covered.