So, last Friday, Pantone announced it’s ‘colour of the year’ for 2018. Ultra violet. And there were quite few sighs of dismay in the interiors community. Those of us old enough to remember this colour the last time it was popular, were adamant it would not figure in any of our plans for the new year. It’s too bright, too intense, too flippin’ shouty. Why couldn’t they have chosen a different shade? Darker? Lighter? Paler? A different colour altogether?!
Well, no one is forcing us to re-paint all of our walls in this attention grabbing shade, and no one is asking us to start wearing it. (Although you will start seeing more of it in the shops.) But if I did have a client who insisted it was the next best thing to add to an interior, I might have a few suggestions how best to use it.
Painting with Ultra Violet
It’s a tricky colour to get right but it can look amazing in the right setting. I’d be tempted to use it everywhere in the room. Walls, paintwork, skirtings, even the ceiling. Everywhere. It works beautifully with period features and will create a room that is enveloping and cosy. With the right accessories it can look downright glamorous. To counteract the darkness of the resulting scheme, add reflective materials. A crystal chandelier, a large mirror, and lots of glass.
Ultra Violet and Other Colours
This is not a colour that can sit happily next to white. The contrast is too strong and jarring. If you are going to use violet in any of it’s stronger shades it’s best to sit it next to colours of the same jewel-like intensity. Strong teals, pinks and blues are best. Never has the sentiment ‘more is more’ been more true.
Image: Designers Guild
Ultra Violet and Fabric Choices
Ultra violet and velvet is a match made in heaven. The lushness of the fabric creates a depth to the colour that nothing else will. Silk will also bring out the best of this colour. The sheen will complement it and add richness. I’m pretty sure that a heavy linen would work too. It would intensify the colour and be perfect in less glamorous situations such as a country cottage that relies on heathery shades to reflect the outside.
Ultra Violet as an Accent Colour
If painting every inch of the room and marrying your ultra violet with other strong colours scares the living daylights out of you, use it as an accent colour. One purple sofa in a room can look stunning. (Just have a look at this one in a previous post – it’s still available). Especially if it’s upholstered in velvet. You might want to restrict it to an armchair or even a footstool. That’s perfectly okay. Just don’t be tempted to add cushions, lampshades and rugs. One shot of colour is the best effect.
Ultra Violet as an Accessory
This doesn’t need an explanation. Add your shot of ultra violet in your choice of accessories. A cushion or two. Napkins for the table. Decorative glass. Even bedding. Things that are easily changed once you get tired of them. Or can be swapped out with the seasons or with a different choice of trends.
Image: Designers Guild
Ultra Violet in Pattern
This is the least scary option of all. If you cannot imagine any of the above scenarios in your home, but you would still like to experiment with the ‘colour of the year’ choose a pattern that incorporates it in small doses. For obvious reasons it suits floral patterns superbly, but stripes and geometrics would also work.
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