Interiors Articles

The hot new interiors trend, and how to work it

Purple is set to be 2018’s shade du jour, but it’s doesn’t scream calm, cosy comfort. Or does it? Here’s how to make it work for you


Here we are, six days into 2018. By now, most of us have crept back to our desks, conceded that we should probably stop eating mince pies mid-afternoon, and taught ourselves how to type again (a skill that seems to slip away as soon as the out of office is on). But back at home, does anyone else feel that their space feels a little… *sad* now that the glitter and tinsel and twinkly lights have gone?

Thankfully, there’s colour on the horizon. Pantone have announced ultra violet as their colour of the year, and it is bold, unexpected and exciting. It’s exactly what we all need to defrost our pads at this most limbo-y time of year, as the old and familiar jostles for space with the fresh and new. This rich purple hue conjures up images of dramatic skies, vibrant blooms, Cadbury’s, Willy Wonka, and Prince. But does it actually go with anything you already own? A total interiors overhaul in the name of purple seems a bit daunting, so we spoke to Habitat’s head of product design, Kate Butler, for some guidance.

“Ultra violet is quite a statement,” she begins. “You’ll want to keep the rest of the colour palette not-too-scarily bright, so go with sage and mossy greens, greys, some off-white. You could be bolder and pair it with an olive green.” This entry-level throw from Trouva (£22.50) is a good way to baby-step into pairing purple and green. And if you’re not starting your decorating afresh? We’d guess that there’s a good chance your existing palette is Scandi-inspired, with a home full of ash furniture and grey everything else. Good news: this blesses you with a blank canvas to build upon. Go big with a sofa (from £1,396, Habitat), chair (£169.99, Wayfair) or even a bed (£756.50, Living It Up) – or smaller, with pieces of art (£9.90, Graham and Green), candles (£11.95, Juniqe), and cushions (£6.99, H&M). “You can be fairly minimalist and then add something like that – such a rich bit of colour, and it can really change a whole room,” explains Butler.

When it comes to texture, we all know that purple and velvet have been comfortable partners for years – but finish can make a big difference in interiors. Opting for matte shades will keep everything cool, clean, and calm – think this paint from Little Greene (from £21 per litre) or Monument’s appledorn tulip wallpaper (£88 per roll) – instead of taking things down the high-gloss, shiny route. “I don’t think there’s ever a place for violet silk bed sheets,” says Butler. Unless you’re actively seeking an Austin Powers vibe, she makes a very good point.

What if you like the idea of ultra violet, but don’t fancy diving in at the richer end of the spectrum? Play the magenta vs millennial pink game, and keep things pale and interesting. Butler suggests purple’s softer sister, lilac, which is set for a similarly big interior design moment (and not in the same way as 2000s teenage bedrooms everywhere). “Lilac is almost a neutral,” she tells us. “It had some connotations of being a little bit ‘old lady’, but when you mix it with some more saturated brights, or even some black, it really is quite fresh and new and exciting.” She recommends mixing it in with mustard and bold daffodil yellows, earthy greens (channel Scotland when the heather is in bloom), chalky blues, or even a rich raspberry pink.

Last year’s warm blues and reds felt rather grown-up and sophisticated, but ultra violet heralds a more playful turn for home styling, and more options for creativity in the months ahead. Let’s all have some fun.


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