You know those super by-the-book, overly nice types who preach things like “you shouldn’t use the word hate, it’s a very strong word, and it’s not very nice”? I really hate those people. Just kidding! In fact, I’m kinda-sorta one of those un-hateful types; I just have a pleasantly snarky side which I like to believe gives me an edge. But as a designer, there are some things I have been open about hating, specifically the colors purple and yellow.
Well, my former distaste for the dynamic duo has taken a 180—for the most part. I’m now officially a huge lover of purple, specifically violet, plum and lavender. Yellow is still gonna take some time to win me over, but I’m really trying to work through it. What I recently discovered about purple is that it’s uber-difficult to work with. Sometimes it’s too Austin Powers. It can often be so lilac-y that it screams “baby girl”; most of its hues seem childish or tween-ish. Frankly, there are not many combinations that make purple seem sophisticated. But when used correctly, the purply result can be uh-may-zing.
In small doses, purple works magically. It’s gender neutral and can take on a more modern appearance, albeit formal or casual, depending on textures and sheen. Here in the Italia showroom, I set it all against uber-neutral backdrops including dove grey walls, a white Natuzzi sectional, black club chair and glass/dark wood coffee table.
In January, I was introduced to the magical, hand-made world of seamstress/blogger/writer/supermom Susan Peterson of Freshly Picked. Her violet wool throw pillows were the stars of the space and can be purchased through her website. She also lives in Utah which is always super cool. For real, aside from Utahns, how many people do you know from Utah, really? PS – it may now be my very favorite state, not just because of Susan and her pillows but also because every single place you look is inspiring—kinda magic mixed with the taste of Pinkberry.
Hands down, the best high-end fabric out there in purple tones is Philip Gorrivan‘s Grey Gardens line for Highland Court available through Duralee showrooms. It’s got amazing transitional patterns packed with layered tones of purple and grey. If you do not like this, then I think you are not being very nice and should be more open to purple.
When using purples, I’ve found that metallics are essential to pulling them off. Here in the Italia showroom, I used some of their starburst sculpture accessories to break up the violet from the showroom’s artwork and the purpletastic pillowscape of the sofa.
Okay, now it’s your turn. If you hate purple, tell me why. If you’ve used this tricky color successfully, tell me how. Just use the word hate sparingly in the comments below, okay?