Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Luxe lavender

Room by Katie Ridder from Elle Decor

From quietly ethereal to playfully polished, the purple color family has a rich and luxurious feel that imparts a regal presence in a room. It was a color favored by Roman emperors and medieval kings, and is still a go-to shade for those seeking that hint of subtle glamour.

As I look at these pictures, I am amazed at the variety of moods that purple can convey. The paler shades, like the one above, have such a serene quality, a dusky glow, and make you relax a little just looking at them.

The brighter versions, such as the color of the room by Alberto Pinto below, are lively and almost seem mischievous, compared to a pale pink or blue. This is no shrinking violet!

What a wonderfully elegant room by Hal Williamson. I love that the furnishings look beautiful, but seem inviting and comfortable as well.

As usual, the effect can be intensified or lessened, depending on the quantity and quality of the color in the room. In the Veranda showhouse, John Saladino used a shimmering silk in a quiet purple as his only accent color in the room.

However, in a room by Jay Jeffers (another new favorite of mine!), the lavender plays off the other colors in the room to create a more festive, cheerful mood.

Although the grays and creams in Bunny Williams' Park Avenue bedroom have only the tiniest hint of lavender, the room comes off so much warmer and soothing than if gray and beige were used alone.

David Kaihoi (above) and Steven Gambrel (below) up the drama in these two rooms by using more intense shades of purple. I love, love, love Kaihoi's vignette on this secretary!

Notice how moody those purples and greens become when put together in this study. They are so classic, too, and make the room seem part of a large English manor house!

Here is another supremely gorgeous room, this one by Robert Spiotta. I love the contrast of the worn, cognac leather couch with the hints of purple on the elegant armchair and wallcovering. (Also totally loving that trellis-patterned window shade!) What a fabulous and unexpected way to do a library!

These photos have really convinced me that purple is much more diverse and refined than I previously thought. Majesty and subtlety in one fabulous color? Incredible.

Well, I must be off, but I shall leave you with one more simple, but perfect, purple room......

Living room by Steven Gambrel

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