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.
Last week, I was asked to design a modern living room vignette for the opening of the Italia Furniture
showroom in Atlanta. Determined to use something others would most likely have no interest in, my natural choice was to unleash the “One-Eyed, One-Horned Flying Purple People Eater
” inside me to see if he would be kinda debonaire or just flat-out monstrous. The result? Hmmm, I think it went okay. In fact, I had the vignette photographed to share with y’all some of the purple-tastic finds that are internet-errific. As far as yellow is concerned, I’m gonna give that canary tone a whirl later this week when I knock out a little girl’s room in Fort Lauderdale, then fill you in somewhere, somehow here on HGTV.com. Fingers crossed!
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.