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Let purple reign

Purple is tricky. While it’s the hue with the strongest ties to royalty, it’s also the most polarising colour. The colour creates a strong reaction in people who dislike it, but also in those who like it; often those who love purple really love it.

Whether you’re looking for a powerful pop or seeking a subdued shade, violet-based hues range from neutral to bold, bringing a unique personality into any space. And when it’s been used well, purple can be a distinguishing interior colour option for your home – because it’s not a hue everyone will choose to use, even if it’s trending.

A purple and black dining room

A purple regal inspired moodboard

A purple regal inspired moodboard

A purple and black dining room

Mood board: Background in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash with A4 drawdown paint swatches in (from top to bottom) Resene Mercury, Resene La Bamba, Resene Gunsmoke and Resene Revolver, tray in Resene La Bamba and arch vase and coaster in Resene Half AubergineAccessories: Moderna Chaise Lounger in Grey from Nood, Grey cushion from Thread Design, Maroon cushion from Adairs, Chairs from Cintesi, White pendant lamp from Freedom, Whisky jug from Flotsam & Jetsam, Purple glass jug and crystal candle stick from Karakter, Armadillo & Co Rug from The Ivy House.

Previously, the only way to create purple paint was from a rare and expensive dye extracted from shellfish; a synthetic alternative wasn’t discovered until 1856 – and only by accident – so until that time, it wasn’t widely used. Whether light or dark, there is also nothing neutral about purple. Purple accents do not generally tend to take a backseat to any other décor or furnishing in the room. So, if you are thinking about using purple in your home, then be prepared to let it stand out and take the spotlight.

Today’s popular purples are dramatic aubergines such as Resene Revolver and Resene Half Aubergine. The inherent depth and richness of these hues makes them an impressive option for creating a decadent statement dining room or salon. As spaces where we entertain and welcome guests, these are brilliant spaces to be bold with colour.

With a look like this, it’s important to consider your whole space and that it’s not only the wall colour that creates impact. Moving away from traditional white trims, skirting boards and ceilings and embracing the ‘colour drenching’ trend, which sees mid and deep strength tones on surfaces from top to bottom, creates the most impact. This is often done using a single colour or a few very closely related colours and leaves you with an enveloping, cohesive space that provides an instant mood boost for those within it.

A black and purple home interior

A regal inspired purple and black home interior

Paint: Back wall in Resene Revolver and Resene Gunsmoke, Left wall in Resene Half Aubergine, Timber floorboards in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash, ‘Murano glass’ cabinet in Resene Mercury with painted design in Resene Greywacke, Resene Gunsmoke and Resene Revolver and handles in Resene La Bamba, Table in Resene High Tide, Chairs in Resene Blackjack, Round tray in Resene La Bamba, Rectangular tray in Resene Half Aubergine, Vases in Resene La Bamba, Resene Half Aubergine, Resene Greywacke and Resene Mercury, Pendant lamps in Resene Mercury and Resene Half Aubergine, Coaster in Resene Half Aubergine.

To offset the strength of the deep purples in this space, we’ve created a neutral base in an equally robust carbon grey, Resene Gunsmoke, supported by greywashed timber floors in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash. By using it as the base colour for our statement wall design – a bold effect created to bring further attention to the statement drinks cabinet – it gives the look that a curtain has been dramatically torn away, leaving the remnants of Resene Revolver hanging at the top. The curved shapes have a touch of an Art Deco revival vibe, which is echoed through the shapes of key furniture pieces.

The star of the show, of course, is the hand-painted cabinet – which has been given the effect of Murano confetti glass by layering oblong shapes in progressively deeper paint shades. We started with two basecoats in Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss waterborne enamel tinted to Resene Mercury followed by ovals painted with a flat artist’s brush in Resene Greywacke, Resene Gunsmoke and Resene Revolver with eye-catching handles in a pop of Resene La Bamba, a racy, orange-tinged fuchsia. We also used Resene testpots in each of these hues to paint vases, trays, coasters, a pendant lamp and other small accessories to bring the colours off the wall and furniture and into the space.

If fuchsia isn’t the accent colour for you, you could also contrast moody hues like Resene Revolver and Resene Half Aubergine with the freshness of Resene Silver Chalice, pair it with Resene Coral Tree and Resene Haven for subtle balance, or even combine them with stronger hues like Resene Pacifika and Resene Tussock for a hint of eccentricity.

Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash

Project by Kate Alexander. Photography by Bryce Carleton. 2022

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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.

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