Home styling: 7 ways to play with purple

A symbol of nobility and luxury since ancient times, it was Roman emperor Julius Caesar who first wore a purple toga which subsequent emperors of Rome adopted as their ceremonial dress.

Now shades of purple, from soft lilac to amethyst to violet to rich eggplant, can be found in homes around the world as soothing pops of colour and statement designs.

Go bold for vibrancy or soft for calm

Bold purple shades are often used in subtle ways, in fabrics, wallpapers and decor items to add vibrancy and interest to a room.

Kent armchair available from Studio Italia

Softer hues are like mauves and lavender are popular to promote a calming environment.

Plum throw from CC Interiors

Mix it up

Purple can be paired with various colours to create different vibes. A mix of purple and blue add vibrancy to a neutral backdrop, as does purple and yellow.

Bird of Paradise wallcovering by Sanderson, available from Textilia

Jewel tones

For the bold a mix of jewel colours such deep amethyst, garnet and sapphire can look fabulous. For more subtle tones purple pairs well with neutral colours like grey, tan, black and white.

Toorak House by Lucy Bock Design Studio. Photography: Sharyn Cairns. Australian Interior Design Awards.

And according to German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe “purple demands green”.

Tulipomania wall coverings by Sanderson, available from Textilia

Start small

Want to start small? Opt for a cushion cover, throw or small decor item like a vase to introduce purple into your colour scheme.

Marquis-Vase from Trenzseater

Add some energy

According to Feng Shui practitioner Katie Weber from Red Lotus Letter purple is the “feng shui beige”as it’s the colour that is works in most areas, generating good chi.

A mix of soothing blue and energetic red, purple can be used wherever you would like to add some energy.

Thomas occasional chair available from Studio Italia

In the bedroom

Soothing tones of purple can work well in the bedroom, adding a hint of colour to an otherwise neutral bedroom. Neither overly feminine or masculine it can work as a gender neutral tone.

Arca bed from Studio Italia

Purple pops

Rich purple colour shades as seen here in the artworks lifts neutral colours and adds life to modern interior design and decor.

Larsen fabrics from Atelier Textiles

7 Luxurious Bathroom Designs and How to Imitate Them

Whether you’re renovating your bathroom for profit or pleasure, it’s the perfect opportunity to push the boundaries of your design thinking and create a small space with big appeal.

Luxury bathing brand Victoria + Albert Brand Manager, Emma Joyce, knows how to make a humble powder room a sanctuary for self-care, and a space that truly has the power to make a house feel like a home.

Here, Joyce shares her top tips on using colour and layering textures to create a beautiful bathroom.

Strong finishes

If you still love your bathroom’s current colour palette but are looking for more of a subtle refresh, look to the finer details of your space to create a visual impact.

“When thinking about updating your bathroom’s fittings and finishes, take cues from elements already in the space to make sure there’s a cohesive flow throughout the room,” says Ms Joyce.

Victoria + Albert’s ios freestanding bath – Huit Laguna + Chad Mellon photography project

“The black, grey, and gold veins that run through a stunning calacatta borghini marble vanity can be carried through to tapware finishes. Think satin brass tapware to create a sense of luxury; when paired with a Matt white finish bath, this can also add a layer of texture to create a sense of refined elegance.”

Coastal Pavilion by Mim Design, Photography Tom Blachford & Hill House by Decus Interiors, Photography Anson Smart

Green touches

If an outdoor bath isn’t an option, look at bringing nature indoors. Not only can plants turn your everyday bathroom into a spa-like oasis, some even thrive in spaces with high humidity.

“We’re increasingly seeing designers and homeowners creating boundary-free bathrooms, and the addition of plants and natural accessories helps to create a truly serene environment,” explains Ms Joyce.

Victoria + Albert’s Amalfi Bath, MF+Arquitetos, Felipe Araújo photography

“If you’re looking for a statement feature, a freestanding bathtub with a distinctive profile like the Victoria + Albert Amalfi creates a superb architectural statement when paired against an indoor vertical garden or green wall.

Caroline House by Cera Stribley, Emily Bartlett Photography

“Whether your bathroom is inspired by a divine day-spa or a modern, luxurious hotel, raw and natural materials can help achieve this kind of feeling. Pairing a timber divider with a polished concrete vanity and Matt black basins not only says ‘sophistication’, but also brings a touch of personality to your indoor-outdoor personal retreat.”

Splashes of colour

What’s the perfect partner to any monochrome bathroom? A pop of colour, of course. Whether it’s pastel shades of baby blue and millennial pink, or bold colours like royal blue and forest green, clever use of colour will elevate your bathroom aesthetic.

Peppertree House by Alwill Interiors x Luigi Roselli Architects, photography Pru Ruscoe

“If you’re looking for an alternative way to bring colour into your space beyond tiles and accessories, look to your bath and basins for inspiration,” Ms Joyce said. “For the artistically inclined, a bath or basin in a bold, glossy colour like chrome green or luminous orange set against a cool, neutral palette can create an eye-catching feature.”

Victoria + Albert’s York bath, Jess Hurrell, Gold is a Neutral

“Feature walls are also making a comeback in the bathroom. Take it up a notch by taking cues from Jess Hurrell’s award-winning ‘Gold is a Neutral’ bathroom. Paint the walls a deep shade of aubergine or navy-blue and pair with white basins and gold finishes for a bold, iconic style.”