Ultra-simple Decorating with Ultra Violet, Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year

Ah, the gray days of winter…There’s no better time to bring some fresh, new color into your home. So why not get your inspiration from the Pantone® 2018 Color of the Year, ultra violet? A bluer shade of purple, ultra violet “communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us towards the future,” according to the company.

Even if your decorating goals aren’t quite so lofty, ultra violet offers a great deal of versatility, says Pamela Durante, a New York-certified interior designer and owner of Atelier Durante Interior Design in Manhattan. “It can add sophistication or playfulness to a room depending on how you use it,” she explains.

“Don’t be shy about putting your own spin on the Pantone trend either,” says Durante. “Maybe you prefer a more vibrant purple or a softer lavender. It’s your home, after all, and a trend isn’t meant to be a rulebook. It’s okay to ‘cheat’ a bit.”

Here are some ways Durante recommends incorporating ultra violet – and other shades of purple – into your home’s color scheme.

Add an Accent

Maybe you’re happy with your home’s current color scheme. In that case, adding small touches of purple is all you need. A pillow, some candles or a couple of flowering plants (violets being the obvious choice) will give you that extra dash of color.

In your kitchen, you could exchange current dish towels or placemats with solid purple or patterned ones that have a little purple mixed in. Looking to freshen up a bathroom? Replace a picture, towels or even just the soap with shades of purple, or add a bouquet of flowers that include some purple blooms. A bedroom can be transformed with something as simple as a throw blanket.

Ultra violet
Pamela Durante, ASID, NYSCID, created the Chambord color scheme as part of her “Intoxicating” series. (Photo property of Durante Atelier Interior Design.)

Go for the Gusto

Feel like being bold? Do an entire room in purple. “That would be very dramatic,” says Durante, but she also cautions the need for balance. “When you have that intense a color, it’s a good idea to give the eyes a rest. For example, combine purple with areas of white or gray. Gray calms everything down because it’s a very neutral color.”

Another way to go bold is to bring in purple’s complementary color, yellow, but again, Durante advises not going overboard. “Yellow intensifies purple, so unless you are really trying to make a statement, tone it down.” How? “Less is more,” she points out. “Use small doses of yellow. Or you could stick with less powerful variations of yellow, like yellowish-orange or yellowish-green,” which are known as “split complementary” colors.

Durante combines 3 purple patterns in this bedroom. (Photo property of Atelier Durante Interior Design.)

Pick a Combo of Patterns

Combining patterns can be tricky territory for most amateur decorators, but it doesn’t have to be – if you follow some basic design guidelines. For example, a common design technique is to combine an odd number of elements, and this goes for patterns as well. “Odd numbers create visual interest,” explains Durante. She recommends sticking to three patterns to avoid making your space look too busy. “But do go for competing patterns rather than similar ones.”

“If you follow the ‘60/30/10 rule,’ you’ll probably be safe,” says Durante. This means that your first pattern accounts for 60% of your design, your second pattern accounts for 30% and your third pattern accounts for 10%. It’s also a good idea to carry at least one color throughout the patterns and to vary your pattern sizes. “I like to use the largest repeat pattern on the draperies and something smaller on upholstery,” she notes.

The most important “rule?” “Have fun with it! Ultra violet is a color you can really take in so many directions,” Durante points out. So let your inner decorator come out to play!