I LOVE PURPLE!
There, I’ve said it! My first pair of Doctor Marten boots were purple, my nails are usually a shade of purple and I’ve probably got more than your average number of purple outfits in my wardrobe. I was therefore beyond thrilled to learn that the PANTONE Colour Institute had chosen ULTRA VIOLET as its colour of the year for 2018.
Me then in my purple DM's
I also felt very smug when this was announced as I had rightly predicted back in 2017 when the previous colour of the year, 'Greenery' had been announced that a purple hue would be next. I know this is all very, “Mystic Meg” but it turns out that Pantone had in fact chosen Ultra Violet partially for its mystical qualities.
“Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now.”
“Historically, there has been a mystical or spiritual quality attached to Ultra Violet. The colour is often associated with mindfulness practices, which offer a higher ground to those seeking refuge from today’s over-stimulated world.”
Now, I know a lot of people are reluctant to go anywhere near purple in any form as it is thought of to be a bit of a “woo-woo” colour that conjours up images of wizards, goths in purple crushed velvet and older ladies in lavender, but purple has arrived on the design scene and let me tell you, it’s here to stay.
As the Interior Design Collective’s biggest purple enthusiast, here are my top tips as to how to use quirky colour in an interior scheme in a fabulous, on-trend way and without making your home feel like it’s the set of a Harry Potter film.
USE PURPLE WITH GOLD
Purple and gold are a perfect pairing and have been for hundreds of years. Historically purple was worn as a regal colour and adorned with gold to display the wealth of the wearer. This bedroom I designed for a new-build apartment shows exactly how purple and gold can be used in a modern setting while evoking historical luxury.
Studio Morton Image - Clapham
The purple and gold metallic wallpaper is Polka Square by Farrow and Ball, the headboard is bespoke and is upholstered in purple fabric. Gold side table from West Elm, lamps from John Lewis.
BALANCE PURPLE BY USING IT AS PART OF A MULTICOLOURED SCHEME
These gorgeous chairs are by the Dutch Designer Maarten Baas and were first showcased at the Milan International Design Fair in 2017. Maarten’s chairs were upholstered in purples, peaches, reds, oranges and greys and were displayed alongside each other with no colour repeats in the same grouping.
Imagine 6 of these chairs around a modern dining table? If they were all purple it would be a bit much for even for me but sneaking a purple one in with other harmoniously coloured chairs? Well that would look fantastic!
GIVE A LITTLE NOD TO THE 70S WITH PURPLE
I’m not going to deny that the last time purple was fashionable in interiors was during the 70s. The 70s are cool though, right?..... Right?! On a serious note, the 70s is currently big news in Interior Design. Parisian Artists and Interior Designers Dimore Studio combined purple with orange and 70s furniture in their installations in Milan and London last year.
IDC interior designer Emilie Fournet is also a fan of this aesthetic. Here she has used Eggplant paint by Sanderson to provide the perfect back drop to the vintage treasures she sourced for this gorgeous room.
Go forth and get your 70s on with purple! And see the rest of this room and the wonderful design Emilie did for the whole apartment here.
IF YOU’RE FEELING BOLD MAKE A STATEMENT WITH PURPLE UPHOLSTERY
As a pioneer of purple I used it five years ago in the offices of a media company I designed in central London.
These Grant Featherstone-style lounge chairs packed a real punch, particularly combined with the round “Bobble” rug in various shades of, you’ve guessed it, purple. These choices gave the room its own identity but also projected an air of confidence. If you stick to your guns and stand by your purple choice, no one will (dare) question it!
Emilie Fournet (I think she’s the second biggest purple enthusiast in the IDC) and Kate Lovejoy, also from the IDC is another purple fan having also embraced purple upholstery.
Who wouldn’t want one of these stunning sofas in their living room?
IF YOU’RE NOT FEELING BOLD, USE FABRICS, ACCENTS AND WALLPAPERS THAT COMBINE PURPLE WITH OTHER COLOURS.
Not ready to be bold with purple? Well that’s just fine. The high street has started to cautiously introduce purple with the best examples I’ve seen coming from The Designers Guild and Anthropologie.
This Designers Guild cushion subtly combines purple with green, blue and yellow and is a great choice for those who want to be on trend but don’t want to go wild.
I’m a huge fan of Anthropologie and was pleased to see that on a recent trip to the flagship UK store, that this chair in a painterly fabric and this sofa in a floral fabric both have shades of purple in them. Hooray!
IDC Co-founder Fiona Duke, whilst not being a huge fan of purple as the main colour across her schemes, this pop of purple in table lamp form adds a cheeky flash of colour to a neutral scheme.
USE PURPLES FROM NATURE
The best way to achieve a fresh, current look with purple is to use purple items found in nature such as plants, flowers and crystals. Mother nature can’t be wrong now, can she?
I love to include Amethyst crystals in interior design schemes and have many of them in my own home. Amethyst has strong healing powers and works to purify any space of negative vibrations. It emanates a high energy and calms and cools excessive emotions, clearing the mind of unnecessary clutter.
I know we’re getting all Mystic Meg again but remember, the mystical qualities of Ultra Violet are why Pantone chose this purple hue to be its colour of the year in the first place! Place some amethyst in your home and I guarantee you’ll see and feel the difference.