Purple Reign: Decorating with Ultra Violet

Local interior designers detail how to incorporate Pantone's 2018 Color of the Year into your home.

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The 2018 Pantone Color of the Year is Ultra Violet, a powerful blue-based purple reminiscent of a mystical night sky.

Described on the Pantone website as complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests "the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now.”

The powerful color also can be tricky to incorporate into a room without it overtaking the space. For those interested in adding a little drama to their living area, Pittsburgh Magazine asked local interior designers for their advice on how to use the trendy shade in your home.

Before you begin painting your walls, Stan Adamik of Black Cherry Design in Lawrenceville cautions that Ultra Violet is a color that requires thoughtful placement. 

“It’s a color that you could use either in a very sparing way or you can totally embrace it, but you have to be careful what you put with it," he says. 

“Using other vibrant colors might feel cartoonish,” agrees his business partner, Lauren Piasecki. “It’s a happy color, but it’s very polarizing. Like orange, if you don’t like it, you almost feel uncomfortable.”


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Alisha Gwen of Alicia Gwen Interior Design, LLC in Shadyside and Susan Muschweck of Susan Muschweck Interior Design, LLC in Gibsonia agree the key to decorating with the color is moderation. Accessories, especially against a neutral background, are a great way to bring Ultra Violet into a room without it dominating the space.

“Because ultraviolet is such an intense color my best advice would be to use sparingly in the form of fresh flowers, artwork, toss pillows and accessories,” Gwen says.

Muschweck adds that using Ultra Violet as an accent keeps the color looking sophisticated. She suggests adding small pops of the color, such as on two chairs in the living room that flank a solid colored sofa. Or, brighten up your kitchen with an electric purple stool seat.

“It’s a tough color to incorporate, but if you contrast it with nice neutrals or sophisticated grays, it can be gorgeous," she says.

The color is described by Pantone as symbolizing experimentation and non-conformity. To Christina Ishida of Cici Crib Interiors on the North Side, the color is all about bringing the earth and the universe into the home. 

“It’s a contrast of beauty with rawness," she says. "We’re seeing it all over the place with interiors.”


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