Concord Grape Concord Grape

Even if you don't live in a climate that takes a plunge toward the chillier temperatures in the fall, you can still appreciate a turn toward colors that are richer, darker, and that work in an entirely different way than the pastels and other pale shades of summer.

Concord grape is one such hue. Recently, we've looked at some of the lighter colors: cucumber green and Colonial blue. We've chosen this very particular shade of purple that is sure to warm up any room, regardless of the temperature outside.

Concord grapes are those darker grapes that have a particularly smoky, sweet snap to them, and which are a staple in Northeast America at this time of year. By bringing the color into a home, you can also evoke the feeling of autumn.

To use the grapes themselves as a decorating device, you could start with a bowlful placed artfully on the dinner table. The guests will be happy to pluck them with grape scissors at the end of the meal, or, for more formal dinner parties, in between courses.

This shade of purple works best with a pale yellow, an ivory, or a creamy white. A bright white will most likely be too harsh to work in concert with Concord Grape, but something that is warmed up with some yellow will offset the richness of the purple without looking too shocking.

With any color this dark, you need to be very careful if you're thinking of using Concord grape on anything large, such as a wall or a sofa, or other big piece of furniture. The shade is so dark that even a small wall painted this color will darken the whole room. If you're set on trying this shade on a wall, try it on a wall that faces a window, and hang a big mirror on the wall to reflect back the light from the window and take up some of the wall space at the same time.

Or for a different look that still allows you to test your courage without darkening the room, there are certain kinds of art that would look particularly good on a Concord grape wall. Old nature prints, such as botanical drawings or pictures of birds, will stand out dramatically against a Concord grape surface. Try framing them in ivory or cream frames and hanging them in a group on the wall; in this way you'll also take up some of the wall space so the deep hue won't dominate the room.

As an accent, Concord grape will add a nice rich tone to any room. Your tiny bathroom will become a place worthy of royalty with the addition of towels in this color; a pale yellow sofa with Concord grape cushions suddenly look like a more expensive piece of furniture.

Grape jelly and Popsicles notwithstanding, Concord Grape is a grown-up color, adding elegance to your interior design.

Reprinted with permission from the Sheffield School of Interior Design

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