Have you thought of purple and red together?
What images, sounds and fragrances come to mind when you think of purple and red?
For me I think of richness, textures, velvets, nobility, strength confidence, gemstones (ruby), crystals (amethyst), the sights and fragrance of fields of lavender in Provence and the quiet and introspection of meditation.
The sunset image above shows the most magnificent sunset and purple and red are together in nature.
Yes, they are strong colours, and should be used thoughtfully, so as not to overwhelm. They are beautiful colours to draw your eye and make a focal point when using in decorating or in clothing.
From a pyschological viewpoint, lets first look at red. It shouts for attention and in the world we use it for traffic lights, post boxes and stop signs. The feelings it conveys are strength, passion, courage, excitement and energy. Wearing a touch of red can give you confidence. On the downside, too much red around us can cause anger and aggression. Red has such a strong energy and it can feel overwhelming.
In the chakra system, red is the base chakra, associated with survival, stability, drawing its energy from the earth.
Red is a symbol on Valentine’s Day of passion, love and desire, hence the popularity of red roses. Red in Chinese culture is auspicious, representing life energy, prosperity and the element of fire. Traditionally, Chinese brides wear a red wedding dress to represent loyalty, honour, prosperity, love, happiness, good fortune and fertility.
If we look at branding Coca-Cola is instantly recognizable and the message it conveys is energy. And red is the perfect colour for the Virgin Group, personifying Richard Branson’s energy, passion, love of living and letting nothing hold him back.
There is red all around us.
Now let’s look at purple.
Purple is a combination of red and blue, so red is a natural match with purple as purple is made up with red. Purple is associated with meditation, spirituality, connecting to the higher self and intuition. It encourages self-love and dignity, eases insomnia, encourages stability and self-respect. Associated with the crown chakra and its divine spirituality and enlightenment.
One of the most common crystals is amethyst and is used as a healing crystal to relieve stress, soothes and balances, alleviates sadness, grief and dissolves negativity.
Purple has a history from ancient times of being used only by royalty and the wealthy due to the cost of the dye and its scarcity. Read more about the process of making purple dye here. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, the laws forbade all but royalty and close family to wear purple.
What about branding? Cadbury chocolate is the perfect example with it’s synonymous purple wrapping. It came into being in 1920 and has it’s own Pantone reference no. 2685C (the Pantone system is a colour matching system used around the world – read more here).
Too much purple can cause feelings of living up in the clouds, not reality. Avoid using large amounts of purple for children as it can be too heavy.
So, how to use red and purple in everyday living?
Because of the richness and history of the colours, I love using textures. Rich velvets that absorb the light, soft silk and satin to drape and fold softly. Adding cushions in velvets or fluffy textures bring a richness and warmth to your living space. Having the right combination and tones in your bedroom can bring passion, and purple’s ability to combat insomnia giving you a wonderful night’s sleep. Soft grey greens will lighten the deepness of purple and red adding tranquility and harmony. Adding a beautiful image on the wall or entry to create a feeling of strength. Soft floating curtains in lighter tones of purple, or patterned will billow in the breeze. Warm up under a throw rug or blanket. The blanket will keep you warm, and the red will bring images of open fires and warmth.
Wear purple or it’s various tones help to bring you closer to your higher self, and your intuition. While a touch of red if you need confidence and strength. Drink from a red mug, use a red umbrella to stand out from the more popular black ones, you might give someone else confidence and courage just by seeing your red umbrella standing out. Other ways to bring purple and red into your life:
Poncho, wrap or scarf
Necklace, bracelet or earings
Purple african violet on your desk
Shoes (I love red shoes!)
Lavender bushes in the garden – so many tones of purple
Red foliage plants in the garden
Be brave, be daring, step out of your comfort zone and try wearing or decorating with a touch of purple or red, or a combination. I went against convention and wore a lavender coloured wedding dress and felt true to myself. Feel the difference in your emotions and feelings, and the way you stand and interact with others.
Have a fabulously colourful day.
Photos from unsplash and Tracey Tam