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What's Hot in Today's Wallpaper Industry
Purple Gains Popularity

Los Angeles Daily News

Royal purple reigns again.

The current color craze started in Paris and has gone mainstream, seen in everything from clothes to cars to candles, says Brooke Stoddard, senior editor of House & Garden magazine.

And its cosmopolitan ambience is appealing to everybody from Gen X-ers to their parents, report furniture retailers such as Cecil Adams, vice president of Expressions Custom Furniture in North Carolina.

Unlike recently trendy home decorating colors - hunter green, peach and dusty rose - purple is steeped in history with plenty of pathos.

The color story begins in ancient Greece, where purple carpets were rolled out for the gods. And in the Roman Empire, purple togas signified elite status.

According to Sherry Payne, a Pasadena, Calif., interior designer, the color purple has always been associated with the upper classes because the fabric was so costly to make.

"In medieval times, it took 20,000 shellfish to make one square meter of dyed cloth; therefore, only the royal family leaders could afford to buy it."

Payne says studies show that people behave more elegantly in a purple setting. And while you're sitting ever-so-straight in that purple chair, consider that purple is also believed to relax the body, lower blood pressure and decrease appetite.

Patty Lindberg, interior design specialist at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, says purple is linked to spirituality, ritual and magic. According to Lindberg, "Purple is a spiritually healing and purifying color, aiding sleep and the development of psychic abilities. It is innate ... even erotic."

Since the color can make people relaxed and/or erotic, Lindberg says purple is perfect for bedrooms, especially when used in floral patterns with greens and white.

On the other hand, Payne says it works well in a kitchen because people don't overeat when they're around purple. The French designer Christian Lacroix hasn't said of he had dieters in mind, but his newest collection of china patterns and table linens for Christofle features shades of violet, gray and gold in tribute to Napoleon III.

A little purple goes a long way, designers caution. For the most drama, try using deep eggplant in a single piece of furniture, such as a sofa or perhaps a trio of tasseled pillows.

According to Payne, purple tones work well on dark wood furniture, especially when combined with greens, soft golds or yellows, and white.


Content Provided by the Wallcoverings Association (WA).

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