The post I said I wouldn’t write: Pantone’s 2018 colour of the year – Ultraviolet

When Pantone announced their colour of the year as Ultraviolet, I wrote a tongue-in-cheek Instagram post about where I have this colour incorporated in my home and categorically stated that I wouldn’t be writing a post about this colour, because do posts about colour really matter? I mean, if you love a colour, you’ll already be rocking it, right? Would a post about a particular colour convince you to embrace it, when you already know what colours you prefer in your home?

But then I saw a lot of distaste being expressed for the colour, which has really surprised me. As a colour lover, I really think that there are no bad colours (except landlord-magnolia 😝), only bad colour combinations. Every colour can work, if you know how to make it work.

For people who love purple and would like to see ideas on how to make it work in their home, seeing posts slating the colour isn’t very helpful, hence me writing this post. 🙂

Purple is a mix of red (warm) and blue (cool), so the purple spectrum ranges from warm red-purples to cool blue-purples. Pantone’s Ultraviolet is a blue-purple (cooler side of the spectrum), but my personal preference is towards the warmer side of the spectrum (the kind of colours that are called magenta, plum, aubergine or violet). I think we can safely exercise a bit of creative freedom when choosing what kind of purple we want to go with. For example, 2017’s colour of the year was Greenery (which isn’t too dissimilar to lime green), but our walls didn’t turn lime green this year. We brought in that colour mostly through plants. Dark greens and softer muted greens continue to be favoured for walls, furniture and homewares. So with that in mind, I’ve gathered some stunning examples of interiors rocking the most regal of colour spectrums. Feast your eyes…


I used this image in my post about bold upholstery and I’m using it again because it is so relevant to this post. For colour lovers, this is such a swoonworthy combination of pale pink and deep purple in the home of Amelia Widell (founder of MeliMeli). It is bold, and it may not be what you’d have in your own home, but there’s no denying this room is absolutely gorgeous!


The same living room looks even more beautiful framed by the blue hallway. Blue, pink and purple is a lovely colour palette.


Instagrammer Anna (@amotherdesigner on Instagram) loves this colour and uses it so confidently and beautifully in her modern home.


Instagrammer Emma Robertson (@empemma) went with her heart when choosing her gorgeous violet sofa colour and she shows us how beautifully it works with greens. Trends come and go, but when you decorate your home with what you really love, it will always be beautiful.


I’m trying very hard not to look at the freaky macabre art here, but otherwise how gorgeous and regal does this purple tufted sofa look in this faded grandeur setting? Image: Deavita


The chairs here are very much a red-violet colour but that’s still a kind of purple so I’m including this image. I adore the eclectic travelled look of this room and the bold colour of the chairs takes this room well away from ordinary. Image: Humbert & Poyet


The colours and patterns in this cool loft family living room designed by Frampton Co make it a very inviting space. The purple border on the rug ties in really beautifully with the large pouffe.


The purple rug and pouffe are so gorgeous here with the greens and neutrals. Image: design by Michel Smith Boyd, photograph by Vicki Gladle Bolick

Purple patterned rug
Earl Grey Armchair in Purple Velvet
Ted Baker Mosaic Rug – Purple
Snowdrop sofa in purple velvet
Purple patterned rug
Earl Grey Armchair in Purple Velvet
Ted Baker Mosaic Rug – Purple
Snowdrop sofa in purple velvet
Purple patterned rug
Earl Grey Armchair in Purple Velvet
Ted Baker Mosaic Rug – Purple
Snowdrop sofa in purple velvet


This sophisticated eclectic living space designed by Frampton Co brings in purple accents through art and gorgeous flowers.


Isn’t this Parisian living room soooo beautiful? 😍 The purple in the art and vase is such a gorgeous accent with the dark blue and mustard. Image: Agence Véronique Cotrel


Bold art in hot pink and purple makes a cool impact in this home. Image: Ideal Home


Indian photography art bringing turquoise, purple and yellow into an interior.

Tchmo art print
Lacuna art print
Violet Towers art print
Radiant Energy art print
Tchmo art print
Lacuna art print
Violet Towers art print
Radiant Energy art print
Tchmo art print
Lacuna art print
Violet Towers art print
Radiant Energy art print


The gorgeous purple wallpaper looks so pretty in this washroom, especially paired with marble and brass. Image: Mandarina Studio


The botanical pattern of this wallpaper in the hall connects the eye to the plants in the terrace and beyond, and the colours work beautifully with the cool greys in the adjoining living room. Image: Elle Decor

Farrow & Ball Lotus WallpaperOsborne & Little Sunbird Wallpaper

If you’re unsure about purple but want to try it out without significant outlay, home accessories (cushions, vases, little lamps etc), plants and flowers (real or faux) are a great non-committal way to enjoy and explore this colour in your home.


I love the dark purple lamp in this glamorous and otherwise neutral dressing room. Image: Ideal Home


Even a small touch of this strong colour can do so much to lift a simple space. Image: Wall Street Journal.


An all-white bathroom livened up with a beautiful bunch of purple flowers. Image: House Beautiful


A gorgeous, moody bar accessorised with gorgeous purple flowers. Image: House Beautiful

Purple agate cheeseboard
Copacetic cushion cover
Naga blanket – prune
Expression cushion cover
Lost Vase – Purple/Gold
Folk Rock cushion cover
Purple agate cheeseboard
Copacetic cushion cover
Naga blanket – prune
Expression cushion cover
Lost Vase – Purple/Gold
Folk Rock cushion cover
Purple agate cheeseboard
Copacetic cushion cover
Naga blanket – prune
Expression cushion cover
Lost Vase – Purple/Gold
Folk Rock cushion cover

What do you think of purple now? Is it a colour you already have in your home or want to incorporate? Or does it still just make you think of Cadburys? 😄


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16 Comments

  1. December 11, 2017 / 9:59 am

    Great post Meera! I always tend to stick to colours within my comfort zone… then I saw an image in your colour post that inspired me to buy a pink rug! We are deliberating over warmer tones in the bathroom, however, Ultraviolet isn’t a colour that I could see myself embracing, even though these images are all stunning. xx

    • Meera
      Author
      December 11, 2017 / 11:18 am

      Thank you Malcolm! 🙂 It’s fantastic when inspiration makes you rethink what you’d usually go with. I love your pink rug, it looks stunning in your grey hall! I totally get that purple isn’t for everyone, but the same can be said for many colours. I’m mad about blue (always have been, it’ll never change) yet I know some people who don’t have any blue in their homes. I have small amounts of purple in my home through plants and little bits in art and fabric prints, and I do love those touches of purple as they work so well with the blues, greens and pinks in my home. My favourite plant (tradescantia quadricolor) has leaves with a purple underside and it is so pretty. I’m just hoping that the inspiration in this post can show people that purple is not a dirty word in an interior, haha! xx

  2. December 12, 2017 / 3:29 pm

    The Frampton and Co blue room is so bold, I love it. There’s something amazing about blue and purple as a combination, and I definitely think that ultraviolet (whatever that might be) could be stunning within blue and purple designs in the coming year – certainly experimenting with those clashing colours can bring results which look so well designed even when they’re done by amateurs. However, it will take me some time to love the purple and orange room; that one’s just slightly too much for my poor eyes!

    • Meera
      Author
      December 13, 2017 / 2:11 pm

      Haha, I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t design a room with purple and orange myself, it’s too much even for a colour lover like myself. But I entirely agree that purple works really well with blue, and also warm pinks and reds. xx

  3. December 12, 2017 / 10:23 pm

    I totally agree. The fact that I’m not a fan of violet doesn’t mean it can’t look pretty in combination with other colours. And especially this gorgeous home of Amelia Widell proves that this colour can make your home so pretty. I think personally I would like to see some greyish shades of it

    • Meera
      Author
      December 13, 2017 / 2:13 pm

      I’m with you Anne Marie. I saw some images with grey-purple and lilac sofas/chairs and thought they looked amazing. I didn’t include them here as this post is more about the saturated version of this colour spectrum. I have small touches of violet in my home but researching this post has me thinking I wouldn’t mind a bit more of it xx

  4. December 13, 2017 / 6:22 pm

    I love that you accepted the challenge!! I have to agree that the darkly saturated plum/aubergine is beautiful and as your images prove, it’s a fantastic colour! I think my objection is really that blue undertone which reads so cold to me! It’s not something I’d be able to live with but I can get on board with the grey/red side of the spectrum 😉 xx

    • Meera
      Author
      December 13, 2017 / 10:15 pm

      So I guess I cheated a bit, and put in the caveat about going for whichever shade of purple you like. Red-purples are wonderful and so versatile, I love them. Cooler blue-purples are tricky to get right, and I can’t see blue-purples catching on in homewares. If only Pantone hadn’t specifically mentioned that their chosen colour was a blue-purple. Couldn’t they have just left it at violet, which on the colour wheel is exactly in the middle of red and blue? That can be really beautiful (eg dark purple tufted velvet sofa above). Cooler blue-purples really only look good in small doses and surrounded by warm colours (red, burgundy, magenta, hot pink, yellow, yellow-green… anything, as long as it is a warm colour), like in the art images above or the Sunbird wallpaper where the purple is lifted by the warm greens. Anyway, it looks like we’re on the same page 😁👍 xx

  5. January 17, 2018 / 1:01 pm

    Definitely on board with purple as a floral accent, particularly beautiful hydrangea or stocks. I think most people opt for either end of the spectrum, lilac or plum, so ultra violet might be a bit of a challenge for some. I love it though 🙂

    • Meera
      Author
      January 18, 2018 / 12:15 pm

      I adore purple flowers too, they go so well with the blues in my home. Glad you see the beauty in this colour! xx

  6. January 17, 2018 / 7:28 pm

    I think you make a pretty compelling argument! I’m not a fan of Cadburys purple on mass, then again, that’s not what Pantone are saying is it? All about finding what balance of it is right with your current colour scheme. I’m like you, pretty much an all-blue home! 🙂

    • Meera
      Author
      January 18, 2018 / 12:18 pm

      Yes exactly, no one is advocating Cadburys purple walls! But when done right, it can be such a beautiful colour in a home! I love little accents of purple with all the rich blue in my home, they work really well together xx

  7. January 21, 2018 / 8:26 pm

    Oh my goodness Meera, these inspirations are just stunning!! I’m sure purple could definitely work its way into my home I’m just not exactly sure how yet! Thank you for linking up to #HomeEtc X

    • Meera
      Author
      January 23, 2018 / 9:23 am

      So happy you found it inspiring, Lins! xx

  8. Emma
    April 1, 2018 / 2:35 am

    Meera, I have only just seen this on Pinterest by accident! Wow! What a fabulous surprise to see one of my pics on Pinterest whilst casually browsing and then to find your brilliant article. Thanks so much for including me, so honoured to be in this wonderful company. I would never be without a bit of purple in my home xx

    • Meera
      Author
      April 4, 2018 / 10:22 pm

      You’re so welcome Emma! I adore your bold purple sofa, it is stunning! xx

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