Purple vs Violet vs Lavender

In this article, you will learn about purple, violet, and lavender colors including a side-by-side comparison. If you are considering either of these colors, the following information will help you make the right decision.

The combination of mostly red and blue makes purple. Add white and you get lilac or lavender, add black and you get a rich, smoky purple. If there’s more red than blue, you get fuchsia.

If you use more blue than red in the mix, you get periwinkle.

purple, violet, lavender paint colors compared infographic


Hex Code

The attributed hex codes for each color is a hexadecimal method of determining the combination of red, blue and green that goes into creating a color.

The important thing about a hex code is that it is shorter; being able to lose the three digits of each of the RGB code allows coders and designers to more efficiently note which colors they want to be included in their web pages and layouts.

RGB Code

While the use of hex codes really didn’t blossom until it was necessary to create efficient HTML coding, the RGB scale stretches back into the early 1900s and was popular in coloring in print media, from cartoons to advertisements.

When considering paint colors vs. digitally produced colors, it’s important to remember that the primary paint colors are red, blue, and yellow. In the light spectrum, you’re working with red, green, and blue.

When you combine all the colors in paint, you get black. If you split white light in a prism, you will get all the colors broken out.


Purple is a pure blend of equal parts red and blue. Historically, the color purple was the color of royalty; there were some leaders who restricted the use of purple clothing to those of royal descent.

purple color wall art under lights

Purple dye came from a snail called Bolinus brandaris.

The color was created and made fast by cracking the shell, pulling out the mucus, and exposing it to sunlight for a short amount of time.

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Too short and the dye wouldn’t hold; too long and the color wasn’t pure.

Purple is an inherently cool color. If you try to warm up purple by adding yellow, you end up with brown. When decorating, remember that any color that contains red can create agitation.

You may want a bathroom or powder room that cheers you up and energizes you, but a purple bedroom can make it hard to wind down well. If you want purple in your home, consider a smoky color or look for a color that has more blue than red.

Hex Code: #800080
RGB Code:
r 128
g 0
b 128

purple color wall art above a desk


Violet is also a combination of blue and red, but it has more blue. If you’re mixing your own paint to use on a canvas, start with a dab of blue and mix in a healthy glob of red.

violet color wall art under lights

Violet is a soothing color; blue is associated with skies, water, and calmness, so it makes sense that violet in your decor may be less energizing than an even purple blend.

One of the challenges when working with violet is that the colors that work well with violet can be rare in terms of upholstery and window treatment fabric.

If you love violet on the walls, don’t be afraid to rely on other colors that also have a majority blue. For example, a smoky violet accent wall can look crisp and sharp with white trim and art framed in black.

Your tan couch can easily work in the space if the tan has enough yellow, and you may find that a teal throw or pillow will look terrific as a contrast. Teal and violet both bring blue to the visual field and may balance out the yellow tones of your tan sofa or beige carpet.

Do make sure to match your tones as you play with tints. If you put a velvety smoky violet on the wall and want to try teal to put those corresponding blues to work, consider using a throw or a pillow that features a lightened shade of teal.

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A variegated blanket or a nubby textured cushion could add even more visual appeal.

Hex Code: #8F00FF
RGB Code:
r 143
g 0
b 255

violt color wall art above a desk


Lavender is functionally a pale purple with enough yellow in the mix to warm up the color. Unlike the sharp, vibrant color of royal purple, which contains no yellow at all, lavender includes green.

lavender color wall art under lights

This means that this color blend has more blue than red and is a much more restful color.

For those who love to work with acrylics, a simple way to mix your own lavender is to blend a strong purple with a pale green. Lavender is often thought of as a pastel color.

Mixing white acrylic paint to green at a ratio of one to one is a good start; once you mix your pale green in, you can add more white to soften the color even more.

Lavender is a very popular color in children’s rooms, bedrooms, and powder rooms. For restful sleep, don’t be afraid to go for a greyed-out shade of lavender.

The restful pairing of blue, white, red, and just a bit of green can be softened even further with a hint of black. If you choose to grey down your lavender for decorating purposes, try pairing navy with it when adding accents.

Avoid blues that contain too much green, such as cobalt and teal, as these colors may add too much green and turn your smoky lavender walls into a boring concrete grey.

A very pale yellow can also work very well with lavender. Take care not to choose bright sunflower yellow; you want a color similar to whipped butter.

Hex Code: #E6E6FA
RGB Code:
r 230
g 230
b 250

lavender color wall art over a desk

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