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Styling with Violet

Unlike blues and greens, violet is a rare color to come across in nature. For example, violet flowers such as clematis, lilies, orchids and lavender are rare to come across but are very fragile and delicate.


The last of the cooler colour family violet is mysterious usually representing ambition, royalty and power. Violet contains the strength and energy of red with the spirituality and integrity of blue.

Designers need to be careful of using too much violet. Applied in the correct way violet can give a space a majestic feel. Violet is an effective colour to use in designs for a younger audience.

Lighter shades of violet are delicate and often considered romantic. Feminine color schemes are created when combined with pink. A more manly feeling can be conveyed using dark violet with black and dark greys. Earthy and natural color schemes combine deep violet with beige or lighter violet with green. Yellow and violet are complimentary colors and create strong eye-catching contrast.

Using violet in designs can boost the imagination or creativity.

Importance in Art

The founding Impressionists of the 1874 Anonymous Society of Painters, Sculptors, Printmakers included Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Paul Cezanne and Camille Pissaro.

These artists thought the old style of Academie des Beaux-Arts was too staid and dull. Their preference for violet was that the conviction that shadows were never really black or grey but coloured (violet).

Degas' Impression, Three Dancers in Purple Skirts

The Impressionists also believed violet was an effective representation of the atmosphere since the colour is the complimentary colour to the yellow of sunlight. This way of thinking is clearly conveyed in the following two paintings by Monet.

Monet's Impression, Sunrise

Monet's Houses of Parliament London Sun Breaking Through the Fog

Unique Designs Using Purple

William Morris established notoriety in the Arts and Crafts period. He is mostly known for his beautifully intricate wallpaper designs which are often inspired by botanical objects and animals. His designs were popular throughout the 19th Century and have stood the test of time. Here is one of Morris' designs with violet highlights.

Italian fashion designer Valentino modeled his business on the grand houses he had seen in Paris at the beginning of his career. Valentino's designs are now considered the pinnacle of Italian couture. This gown and coat displays Valentino's appreciation of the shades of violet.

Baroncelli, is an exclusive international lighting design business founded in Italy. Their design studio is based in London and serves as a creative hub for projects being installed across the world. Clara Pendent light by Baroncelli is their violet creation crafted in hand blown Murano glass textured with coste and bolle.

This fabric incorporating violet geometric forms has been created in a Art Deco pattern by French designers.

Japanese glass artist Tashiro creates lampshades and table lamps in stained glass using three dimensional designs. "Clematis" is his incredible violet masterpiece.......

Interior Colour Inspiration

If you are looking for colour inspiration, Taubmans has revealed its Colour of the Year for 2017 - Violet Verbena. It is a greyed off moody purple that adapts to the surrounding environment. When paired with whites Violet Verbena reads as a purer violet.

When combined with dark neutrals Violet Verbena reveals grey undertones.

Interior Colour Palettes

Violet is an advancing colour. It is a more dominant colour within an interior and can appear as though it is coming towards you. The use of an advancing colour such as violet has the power to make the interior space feel warm, cosy and intimate.

Violet on the walls can create the illusion the room is smaller yet taller. Use of violet on the ceiling and floor instead has the opposite effect by lowering the ceiling of a very tall space.

Violet offers several advantages in interior design:

- works well with gold, cream and white

- blends with brown, blue, or grey pieces

- infuses warmth in cold climates

- spark a spirit of fun

- add richness, luxury and the urge to lounge in a space

- adds cool shades in hot climates

- suit masculine tastes especially when paired with darker tones

Some colour palettes and interiors we love:

The combination of violet, white and gold gives this bedroom a luxurious and extravagant edge.........

The use of purple adornments in the form of hand blown pendant lights adds an intimate atmosphere to this cafe.

This vibrant colour matching is suitable for a child's room.

The combination of yellow, blue and violet has been used to create this relaxing sitting room that makes you feel like you have escaped to Morrocco or the Far East......

For your next interior makeover we recommend you consider the magic of violet!

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