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Reader request - purple

Today's reader request comes from Kate: "I'm moving to Florence, Italy in January (so exciting!) and the apartment we are renting is partially furnished. In the living area there are -- gulp -- two purple velvet armchairs and a purple sofa. They are in great shape and high quality pieces, I just never thought I'd be living with so much purple! I've read enough design blogs to know there has got to be a design solution to tame and balance the colors." My 2 cents = embrace the purple! I wouldn't try to tame the purple because why not have fun with it (plus I think it could easily look like you're trying to hard to make the purple disappear). If you're allowed to paint I'd either paint the walls (or at least the main wall) the same purple as the furniture or a lighter, lavendar shade. (If you can't paint then I'd get a huge canvas and a couple cans of purple paint and do some funky simple art). Dark charcoal walls, purple velvet drapes would be hot. Accessorize with purple, and black and white geometric patterns. Below are some photos I found of living rooms with purpley sofas/chairs, and then a few photos where bold coloured furniture matches wall colour. (If you have ideas for Kate please drop a comment!)

Home & Decor
Sköna hem
Alex Papachristidis
Steven Gambrel
Shoot Factory
Côté Maison
Designers Guild
Andrea Garuti

vtwonen Pelle Bergström
David Kaplan Tracey Garet

Living Etc.
Living Etc.
Greg Natale
Andrew Suvalsky

Bo Bedre David Netto

Reader Comments (17)

deep purple :-) wonderful selection

16 Dec 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDesign Elements

I have an Eggplant purple sofa and my idea was to treat it as a neutral and do whatever else I wanted in the room as far as colors. I like that you showed options as a neutral as well as really playing the sofa color up and making the rest of the room bold and big.

16 Dec 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSing

huh. i would not paint the walls purple (or lavender), but the charcoals looked gorgeous and, oddly enough, so did the chartreuse. still, florence! who cares about the purple - you're in florence!

16 Dec 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpolish chick

Thanks so much Kim! Believe it or not, the purple velvet in the second photo looks almost exactly like the ones we'll have! This is so helpful!

16 Dec 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKate

As a student currently residing in Firenze myself, I can assure you that purple will seep into your life whether you like it or not! Embrace the color and support the Fiorentina Violas! :)
Congratulations on your upcoming move! You will love it here!

16 Dec 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulia

I had a very formal Regency double drawing room which looked fantastic in lavender - once I included all the bookcases, shutters, architraves and doors. The ceiling was white, the fireplaces white marble, and the curtains for the French doors to the balcony were delustred lavender taffeta.

It looked really tacky while the trim was white - embracing the lavender made all the difference.

16 Dec 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTricia Rose

Kim, what beautiful pictures! What a lucky girl. I've actually been wanting a low-scale purple velvet sofa for a long time! I was going to say put a pop of yellow (something I've been writing about on my blog) with a pillow and paint the walls gray. Then I saw the picture from vtwonen. This is what I was thinking! Such a gorgeous room. Oh - and don't forget the pop of hot pink. I hope you will post pictures of her place.

16 Dec 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpeggy

I didn't know that so much purple looked so good!!

16 Dec 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSamira

purple can look so great...just combine it right!

16 Dec 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJane

If it works stylistically, I'd use Indian / Moroccan prints to class up the purple.

16 Dec 2010 | Unregistered Commentershae

Lime green will pop the purple, and give it energy, charcoal will tone it down and make it more sophiscated. Lavender behind the sofa may make them look smaller, if that is what you feel is needed. Hopefully, the scale/color is balanced for the room. But hey, when in Rome (or Florence rather)...go with it!

16 Dec 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBev65

I know people say that X makes them sick with desire, and I always privately accuse them of gross exaggeration, but actually the picture from Skona Helm had precisely that effect on me.

I wouldn't paint the walls purple. I'd paint them grey.

16 Dec 2010 | Unregistered Commenterloolah

I'm loving the grays and charcoal with the purple. Very pretty.

16 Dec 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLeanne

Great theme!

17 Dec 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPurple Area

wonderful wonderful
love the colors so much

17 Dec 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

I used to hate purple. HAAAATE purple. And now- I am realizing that it is the color that makes me the happiest. Whenever I see it in my home, I can't help but to smile. I like the ones that lean more towards the pink range.

17 Dec 2010 | Unregistered Commentererin lang norris

Ever notice how purple is almost always also velvet? Things that make you go hmmmm...

17 Dec 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBev65

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