March 17, 2009

Nature and Art Show us How to Design With Purple

The use of purple in interior design is a trend that’s not so trendy. Artists have always taken their cue from nature and made plentiful use of this shade that lies on the fringe of the color spectrum, and always glows against the colors around it.


Sherwin Williams has the best purple range. For this look, check out Kimono Violet SW6839, African Violet SW6982, and Fully Purple SW6983

Ether cool or warm, depending on the proportion of blue to red to grey, purple can be bent and stretched to evoke excitement or restfulness. passion, or serenity.

henrimatissepurplerobe-and-anemones-1937 I

Matisse loved purple and gold, as well as the use of textiles in his work.


No one does purple like mother nature, but we can try!

If such a warm dark purple is too deep of a commitment for you, there are other ways to get purple into your life. A soft greyed down purple is a very peaceful and sophisticated backdrop for a bedroom or living room

Part of the calming effect comes from the use of colors that are close to purple on the color wheel, such as the aqua, and other cool tones, black and white.


A very cool use of lavendar, with just a touch of hot purple blanket and flowers.

Perhaps this designer was emulating Richard Diebenkorn’s use of lavender. He, no doubt took his cue from the beauty of the California landscape, where he spent much of career .


Richard Diebenkorn - Ocean Park Series

Purple is great for blending with…PURPLE! This designer has no hang ups about “matching” hues. Remember, colors don’t need to match. In nature, they never do. This is especialy true of purple. Purple, plum, lavender, violet, they all look great together. Here’s great example of that principle. Gorgeous, isn’t it!



A profusion of purples, reds and blues, set against gold by the master Gustave Klimt in his Portrait of Eugenia Primavesi -1913

Purple is such a potent color, that even a small amount in a neutral setting can make all the difference, If you have neutral room that needs to be juiced up, I highly recommend a dash of purple .



Both of these rooms would be pretty enough, but not nearly as interesting as they are with their touches of purple. If a chair is too much for you, try several pillows. Remember, it’s OK to mix purples, so don’t be afraid!


Portrait of the Brenhiem Brothers 1923- Pierre Bonnard

Pierre Bonnard uses a touch of purple combined with warm earthy tones. Although the value of the lavenders and purples are close to the values of the surrounding colors, the cool addition serves up lots of contrast in the warm setting.


These gorgeous fabrics are all new from Duralee's Highland court Marakesh Collection.

Nature’s favorite use of purple is to combine it with green. Dusky, woodsy, aubergines, grapes, mosses and olives. Duralee does a great job with this purple range in their new Marakesh Collection.

The painting below by Bonnard evokes all of the beauty and mystery of the deep woods, featuring a range of purples to contrast the greens, from bright lime to darkest green of the forest.


View of the River, Vernon 1923 by Pierre Bonnard

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  1. I love the bedroom and second living room pics. Very pretty!!

    Comment by Margie — March 18, 2009 @ 9:05 AM

  2. WOW all I really have to say is WOW, I would never have thought purple could look so elegant.

    Comment by Beth Bastian — March 20, 2009 @ 3:09 PM

  3. [...] Designing With Purple [...]

    Pingback by Shades of Violet~ Purple Trends « Melodytheartist’s Weblog — March 26, 2009 @ 4:43 AM

  4. I love purple too!! It’s been my favourite colour ever since I was a kid :-) Love the purple flowers you posted, and the very first picture with the gold couch and bright purple wall. Wowsers!!

    Thanks for your comment on my purple bedroom. I wish it was our master bedroom so I could sleep in it every night!!

    Kelly @ DesignTies

    Comment by DesignTies — June 6, 2009 @ 11:09 AM

  5. [...] My lovely sister, the Amazing Librarian somehow found the link for this picture.  It is from Gaita Interiors. They even have paint [...]

    Pingback by Blue Castle » Blog Archive » Color Inspiration — March 20, 2010 @ 5:11 PM

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