I’m sure we’ve all had some bad experiences with purple in our (perhaps best-forgotten) experiments with interior decorating in our student days or as first-time buyers. When I finally got my own bedroom at age 14 (I’d been sharing with my two older sisters until then), I combined purple woodwork with pink walls, a cavity-inducingly sweet combination that I quickly grew sick of. And when I first moved in with Mr Jones in the early 2000s, I was taken aback to discover he’d been inspired to put together an eye-catching hallway scheme involving a deep purple mixed with lime green; ahh, bless you, Changing Rooms…
In recent years, however, I’ve come across some homes whose owners have incorporated purple with the same daring-do but with a lot more thought into which shade is right for the space, and how to combine it with other colours, patterns and textures or have simply used it in the form of easily adapted accessories for a flexible and more sophisticated scheme.
A bold feature wall in a warm reddish-purple shade in this sitting room gives it a cosy feel for autumn/winter, particularly when combined with sheepskin rugs and a seasonal display.
Paint colours to try
Scrumptious (seen on the paisley stamp in the picture above) or Plush Parlour (on small stamp) by Crown Paints • Brinjal by Farrow & Ball • Tyrian Rose by Fired Earth • Damson Dream 3 by Dulux
For a scheme that works all year round try wallpaper with a pale ground (Tuileries Grape by Laura Ashley) combined with strong-coloured flooring (try Blush Posh Purple vinyl from Flooring Superstore), as seen in this shower room.
If, however, you want the flexibility to switch up your scheme with the seasons, add in accessories with some flashes of purple, such as the shower curtain in the bathroom below, a rug in the boy’s bedroom, and of course throws, blankets and cushions, as seen in the following bedrooms and sitting room. John Lewis has a good range of purple accessories and Nicky Heard makes luxurious ikat throws and cushions in some striking designs. For a choice of footstools available in hundreds of fabric options try Sofa Workshop.