Wednesday 22 August 2018

Purple patch - why ultraviolet is the must-have decor colour

Lilac is all grown up and its soft shades are perfect for freshening up your decor this spring,

Soft lavender hue
Soft lavender hue
Trafalgar chair
Picture: Audenza
Picture: Covet House
Picture: Made.com

Caroline Foran

This year, Pantone - the undisputed global authority on colour trends - declared a vibrant ultraviolet as their colour of the year, and the rest of the world scurried to embrace this purple hue across fashion and interiors. The thing about purple, however, is that you either love it or you hate it. And for those who love it, beware: what works in a statement scarf you might throw on for one day doesn't necessarily translate to a statement sofa which you'd be stuck with for a considerable amount of time.

This year, Pantone - the undisputed global authority on colour trends - declared a vibrant ultraviolet as their colour of the year, and the rest of the world scurried to embrace this purple hue across fashion and interiors. The thing about purple, however, is that you either love it or you hate it. And for those who love it, beware: what works in a statement scarf you might throw on for one day doesn't necessarily translate to a statement sofa which you'd be stuck with for a considerable amount of time.

Ultraviolet is an acquired taste and when it comes to interiors, it's a colour that will absolutely dominate the space. For a more palatable take on this colour, and for those who like the idea of keeping their interiors current and fresh, there's lilac. Once the reserve of toddlers' bedrooms, lilac is enjoying renewed appreciation. And for a more grown-up alternative, there's aubergine. Here's how to make the purple family work in your home.

Wonder wall

A soft lavender hue, like the flower itself, can have a calming effect on the space in which it's used (unlike ultraviolet which is a far more stimulating colour). On the walls, lilac works particularly well when balanced with brown leather sofas and warm woods. A lot like blues, paler shades of purple can have a cooling effect, so with this in mind, it's a good choice for a south-facing room that gets lots of sunlight.

Have a seat

ichaelmurphy_929726.jpg
Trafalgar chair
 

Requiring a little more bravery - and more commitment than a painted wall - you'll notice very sophisticated lilac options emerging in sofas and armchairs. DFS have a particularly gorgeous velvet number called the Trafalgar (pictured above, €2,079, new to DFS at the end of May). It's styled here with a deeper aubergine wall colour that adds depth to the room. Avoid investing in a whole suite of purple furniture - you will tire of it - and focus on that one 'statement' piece. It will have far more impact on its own. Purples go really well with grey tones which, again, will balance the overall look and keep it from looking twee.

As good as gold

 _ Modern Bar Chair.jpg
Picture: Covet House
 

The biggest concern around purple is that it might be childish. On the contrary, if you veer to the lighter (lilac) or deeper (aubergine, plum) ends of the purple spectrum, you'll find it can be very luxurious. To up the ante on the luxe factor even more, consider gold or brass finishes. A vintage-style tarnished mirror, gold candle holders and warm metallic accent tables will pull the look together.

Natural selection

ac Velvet Footstool.jpg
Picture: Audenza
 

If your aim is to keep your lilac or aubergine sophisticated, avoid mixing other statement colours - such as hot pinks - into the mix. Unless you are a colour clashing fanatic, it might be overkill. Pare the rest of your colour palette right back, focusing on naturals and neutrals, allowing your lilac or aubergine to take centre stage. Think white, grey, wood. If you want more colour, introduce a lighter or darker take on the colour you've chosen. Pale blues and greens work well, too.

Just add texture...

Set Lilac LIFESTYLE.jpg
Picture: Made.com
 

Lastly, choose your textures wisely. Texture offers an opportunity to add warmth - offsetting the cool nature of lilac - so think of chunky knit throws, woven cushions, and velvet fabrics. Texture also dictates the overall style of the room. For example, if you want to introduce lilac or aubergine but you also want to create a Scandinavian aesthetic, avoid satin or anything that's particularly opulent. In this instance, you might opt for an upcycled reclaimed wooden dining table, painted with lilac wash. And with furniture, you'll keep it neat and minimal. If you're more into your luxe, art deco vibes, however, you can lean more towards the classic textures and fabrics.

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