Monica: Rach, can you give me a hand with this box?
Rachel: No! Put that box down. We are not going anywhere! This is my apartment, and I like it. This is a girls’ apartment. That is boy’s apartment: it’s dirty and it smells! this one is pretty, it’s so pretty. And look — it’s purple!”
“Friends” Season 4, Episode 12
Purple makes a statement. But does it deliver the designing message you want? It’s easy to write off the color as childish — we can blame Barney for that — or as overly theatrical, a color you’d expect to find in an aging Broadway star’s dressing room.
But with the right designer and the right designing choices, purple is truly majestic.
I saw this fabulous space (above) created by Toronto-based interior designer Anne Hepfer and featured on the Derring Hall website and my eye was immediately drawn to the handmade crystal lamps in the background. The lamps command attention without upsetting the clean, simple lines of the room.
This got me to thinking about ways to incorporate the color purple into modern, tasteful design without ending up with a space that looked like someone dipped it in Dimetapp.
Here are a few more of my favorite finds:
Haute House Dining Chairs
These Haute House Gardon Dining Chairs featured on Horchow bring a bit of whimsy to a dining area without making it look like the setting of a children’s tea party. A women’s tea party maybe — this isn’t a poker game setting — but the purple here is inviting, not cloying.
Purple Couch Featured on “Secrets from a Stylist”
Miles Redd, named to Architectural Digest’s 2014 top 100 talents in architecture and design put together this room (above) selected by Emily Henderson for season 2 of “Secrets from a Stylist.” The purple couch makes a bold statement without overpowering the room. Miles’s inventive designs have been featured in magazines such as House Beautiful, Elle Decor, and Veranda.
Purple Accents by Alexander Doherty
Alexander Doherty told House Beautiful he was inspired by the galleries at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art when he chose purple accents in his update of a 1911 Manhattan apartment.
The dining room’s muted shades of purple work with the simple lines of the furniture and create a “crisp, clean, relaxed, and very Zen,” mood, Doherty says. The suede Charlotte chairs by Intérieurs and the Belgian curtains were dyed to match the walls, Pavillion Gray by Farrow & Ball.
Doherty’s neutral background makes the purple accents pop. It can be tricky to combine several hues of purple in a single setting. Kelly Wearstler pulls it off, though, in this room featured in Elle Decor (below).
Floor to Ceiling Purple by Kelly Wearstler
There’s a lot of purple in this dining room, but it works beautifully, from the Venetian glass chandelier to the floor covering by the Rug Company.
Pulling off Purple
Want your purple pieces to pop without looking garish? New York designer DD Allen likes mixing mauve with caramel and slate, and grayish purple with golden yellow. The designer also likes combining dark lilac, ice blue, ebony and eggplant to “create a moody nighttime room for dining, and deep plum with autumn colors to help a large room feel more intimate,” he said in an interview with HGTV.com
For more dramatic effects, try purple and black, purple and lime green or purple with gold.
Uncertain about your passion for purple? Consider a purple throw, such as this one by Frette, featured in House Beautiful.
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