This years colour of the year from Pantone is Peri Purple. Peri Purple has the quality of blue but with a red violet undertone.
The Secret Lives of Colour
A favourite book, The Secret Lives of Colour by Kassia St Claire, describes two colours very close to Pantone’s Peri Purple. They are Heliotrope and Violet, both taking their names from flowers soon to bloom in our fast approaching spring. Heliotropes are thought to turn their heads and follow the sun’s movement across the sky and are distinctive for their sweet cherry pie scent.
The highpoint in the development of purple came at the end of the nineteenth century as before the invention of Mauve, purple had been difficult to produce and therefore only associated with royalty and the church. Once purple became more readily available in Victorian times, in language of colour, the Heliotrope signified devotion and as such it was one of the few colours women in mourning were allowed to wear. This and other soft shades of purple were required wearing during half-mourning which took place two years after wearing plain matt black dresses. This must have come as a welcome relief!
Violettomania was the Victorian fad of excessive blues, violets and pinks in impressionist painting. Monet used Manganese Violet in most of his paintings, especially during his haystack painting decade. “I have finally discovered the true colour of atmosphere. It’s Violet!” he said. It was thought that Monet was also one of those rare people who can see the ultraviolet part of the spectrum. An impressionist principle is that shadows are never really black or grey but coloured and indeed this tradition continues today in modern painting. Watercolourists in particular, still work with violet in areas of shadow and shade.
The impressionists spent so much time painting outside ‘en plein air’, as St Claire notes, that the violet tint could be the result of a permanent negative after image caused by looking at sunny yellow landscapes for too long. Violet and Yellow sit opposite each other on the colour wheel and as such are known as complementary colours, in other words, offering high contrast. Try this test at home: stare at a square of yellow paper for about a minute, then stare at a plain white piece of paper. A Violet square should appear on the white paper. This is the after image - a compensation that your eye makes after seeing a strong colour. This experiment works with any complementary colours (colours opposite each other on the colour wheel) and its a fun experiment so give it a go.
You can find many painterly purples in the fabrics and wallpapers in Drew Decor Store, especially in our Designer’s Guild collections. Today purple is associated with personal inventiveness, courage, creativity, inquisitiveness, intrigue and joy. Rich in meaning you can now use this colour with confidence (Or ask one of our team for help!).
Want to find out more?
Make an appointment with one of our designers to come into the store at 910 Ecclesall Road, Sheffield S11 8TR for a free discovery session and to see our great collection of top brand wallpapers, paints, and fabrics. We would love to show you all the ways we can help make your interior even more beautiful.