– VIOLET TO FIG
Purple is the colour of daydreams, flights of fancy and fairy tales, of mystery and magic. A regal colour, it’s associated with hierarchy, hedonism, indulgence and privilege, recalling imperial Rome and historical Japanese nobility.
In autumn, trees and hedgerows are heavy with the weight of purple fruit – elderberry, blackberry, sloe and damson – laden with rich juice. Floral mauves adorn the woodlands – violets, pansies and foxgloves. Paler tones evoke heavily scented blooms, with fragrant perfume, ranging from sugary parma violet to the clean botanical notes of lavender and lilac.
HOW TO USE PURPLE
Try to avoid pinkish lavender tones; unless you are looking for a specifically sweet effect, reserve such colours for the nursery. Grey-toned, more blueish lilac shades are clean and fresh. Bruised and subdued, dusted powdery tones of heather and mulberry partner pared-back shades of grey beautifully. Try layering thistle and purple sage with greenish greys – mulberry and dusted grape with dove or smoked grey. An injection of purple where it’s least expected, whether it’s bright or soft, can add an inviting, light touch to otherwise neutral spaces. Dark berry colours are sophisticated and exude a sense of opulence. These enriching, saturated purples provide a safe, cocooning haven, snug and cosy, deep indoors. Using rich colours on the walls of a room creates a striking and dramatic backdrop; these deep or ‘blackened’ purples imbue the space with a real sense of luxury. Gentler purples are calming; soft and soothing lavender tones will create a peaceful serenity just right for a tranquil bedroom, or a busy work room.
Deep mulberry shades can create a sense of drama within a room. Like a glamorous 1970s New York nightclub, these colours provide a captivating sense of spectacle. Textures such as densely weighted fabrics – in particular velvet – are an ideal partner for dark purples, adding to the sense of luxury and intimacy. Try contrasting matt, light-absorbing fabrics with high-gloss or reflective surfaces. »