Purple Power – Lavender Hues in Decorating

House Beautiful / Frances Janisch
It is a bit surprising that a color so associated with a silly children’s character can actually look so chic, whether on the walls of your formal living room or in a floor-sweeping, red-carpet-worthy gown.  In interior design and in fashion, purple is clearly having a moment.  Word has it Hermes has even introduced a new line of china in the royal hue.
The color du jour is actually turning up in a range of shades — from deep violet to amethyst jewel tones to ethereal lavender.  It’s amazing how purple can at once make a room feminine and soft, as well as clean and modern, all with regal undertones. It could be in the form of a lacquered chest in a child’s room, a plush couch in a casual den, or a ladylike chaise lounge in a bedroom, purple is an instant refresher. Something to think about now that a new season is upon us.

House Beautiful / Don Freeman
House Beautiful / John Kemick

House Beautiful

House Beautiful / Ngoc Minh Ngo

House Beautiful / Ngoc Minh Ngo
Vogue.com / Photographed by Claiborne Swanson Frank

Hollywood style setters like Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis  and Cate Blanchett chose various shades of purple for their Oscar night dresses. No doubt the stars were taking cues from the runways, where luxe labels like Gucci, Chanel, Fendi, Marc Jacobs and others showed looks in the vibrant color. The trend seems to be gaining momentum, showing up in the fall collections at Gucci, Alberta Ferretti, and Yves Saint Laurent among them.  Purple is certainly a statement when it comes to the wardrobe, but what better way to standout?  Think about a swapping your staid black cocktail dress for something in a sweet but sultry shade of plum.

Natalie Portman in Rodarte / Style.com 
Cate Blanchett in Givenchy
Mila Kunis in Elie Saab

Thakoon Spring 2011 / Style.com / Photo: Monica Feudi / GoRunway.com
Marc Jacobs Spring 2011 / Style.com / Photo: Monica Feudi / GoRunway.com
Marc Jacobs Spring 2011 / Style.com / Photo: Monica Feudi / GoRunway.com

Marc Jacobs Spring 2011 / Style.com / Photo: Monica Feudi / GoRunway.com
Gucci Spring 2011 / Style.com / Photo: Yannis Vlamos / GoRunway.com

Fendi Spring 2011 / Style.com / Photo: Yannis Vlamos / GoRunway.com

Chanel Spring 2011 / Style.com / Photo: Monica Feudi / GoRunway.com

Gucci Fall 2011 / Style.com / Photo: Monica Feudi / Feudiguaineri.com
Gucci Fall 2011 / Style.com / Photo: Monica Feudi / Feudiguaineri.com
Yves Saint Laurent Fall 2011 / Style.com / Photo: Marcus Tondo / GoRunway.com

If you are not feeling bold enough to paint bedroom periwinkle, commit to a violet couch, or invest in lavender fur, simply try a sprig of fresh lavender or bunch of hydrangeas in a vase and enjoying adding a touch of the silly-yet-chic shade to your life.

Country Living/ Caroline Arber

Some purple picks from the Well Appointed House:

Trina Turk Purple Needlepoint Scallop Pillow $86.00 (USD) excl tax

16 Inch Ikat Pillow-Purple and White $115.00 (USD) excl tax
Scout Decoupage Coffee Table $3,000 (USD) excl tax

Hyacinth/Watergarden $375.00 (USD) excl tax
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About the author

Jenny Levin has been a Contributing Editor to The Well Appointed House blog. She is the former Senior Fashion News Editor of Harper’s Bazaar and the author of Style. She is currently living in Hong Kong with her husband and three young children.

View all articles by Jenny Lavin

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