We've hit peak purple: Here's how to work the colour of the year into your decor

Ultra Violet is Pantone's 2018 pick, but who didn't want to swathe their life in the rich royal hue already?
(Source, left: urbanoutfitters.com; right: Instagram, @pantone)

If you're seeing purple everywhere you look, it's likely because Pantone's annual selection has captured the attention of the design and fashion worlds yet again. Every December, the Pantone Institute of Color releases their "color of the year", a colour they deem will be big in the coming annum. For 2018, it's the bold hue, PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet. According to Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute "The Pantone Color of the Year has come to mean so much more than 'what's trending' in the world of design; it's truly a reflection of what's needed in our world today." Whether or not you believe Ultra Violet is what our world needs now, you're about to see it everywhere. From fashion houses to decor mags, to our favourite shops and design blogs, the colour is not only making its way into high end design, but into everyday decor.

Top right: Radiant Orchid, Top left: Blue Iris, Bottom: Ultra Violet

This not the first time purple has been the Color of the Year – 2013's selection was Radiant Orchid, and a decade ago, they chose Blue Iris – another shade of blue-purple. In comparison, Ultra Violet is deeper, richer, and a more... electric shade of purple. Given the Institute's description of this dramatic colour, it makes sense Ultra Violet would seem a rather powerful statement: "A dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade, PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future." A tall order for a colour, it's a statement maker nonetheless and fans of purple will be glad to see that this shade is already popping up everywhere.

This bold hue is a new fashion darling, spotted on runways this fall. And we wouldn't be a bit surprised if it makes an appearance in our fave retailers' spring and summer collections.

The fashion world loves the hue, as do the celebs they style. This shade has consistently been a red carpet hit.

Left: Donald Glover; Centre: Reese Witherspoon; Right: Alison Brie (Credit: Getty Images)

The power-pairing of purple and royalty dates back to ancient times when it was reserved strictly for rulers. Some Roman emperors even forbid their subjects from wearing the colour under penalty of death. Turns out this elite colour was super rare, and it was only able to be produced in the ancient Phoenician city of Tyre in modern day Lebanon, by extracting the dye from a sea mollusk. Thus, super expensive, super time consuming, and apparently, only fit for royalty. The association with royalty remains to this day, and Queen Elizabeth II has long been on board with the trend.

(Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

It comes as no surprise that as we see makeup trending toward a hyper-pigmented moment, that Ultra Violet is making its presence known in the beauty world. From Rihanna's uber-popular Fenty Beauty, to drugstore brands that have been around for decades, we're super excited to see how this purple will play out in 2018's looks.

And since this pretty colour is popping up everywhere, we're expecting it to be big this wedding season, appearing in everything from florals to bridesmaids dresses, to tuxes, to tablescapes.

And if you really adore Ultra Violet, you may get the chance to completely immerse yourself in it in Toronto this spring. The AGO will be the only Canadian stop for critically acclaimed exhibition, Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors. The installations allow viewers to stand in the middle of a room of mirrors for 30 seconds, with some of the rooms transitioning to purple. Highly anticipated, ticketing has created somewhat of a frenzy, and not surprisingly, it's got a massive presence on Instagram.

Poised to be the standout colour of the year, interior designers everywhere are adding it to their trend predictions for 2018, including our very own Steven Sabados. Although this shade is not for the timid, it's surprisingly easy to work into your space because it can be incorporated into traditional, modern, and of course, bold designs. We've rounded up some high-impact options for those who want to go all-in, and some less-permanent options for those who aren't quite ready to commit to this dramatic colour.

On the walls

High impact: Wall colour

If you just cannot get enough of Ultra Violet, opt for all purple walls. This shade of purple is surprisingly glam and sophisticated, modern yet traditional. Depending on your style and how you choose to accessorize, this colour can work with your decor in so many ways.

Paint the moldings purple too, for an ultra modern, high impact look. It's a gorgeous colour for an office space, especially since Pantone says "the depth of PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet symbolizes experimentation and non-conformity, spurring individuals to imagine their unique mark on the world, and push boundaries through creative outlets."

As pictured in this stunning Manhattan apartment featured in Elle Decor, moulding can be kept white, too. This vibrant hue pairs well with florals, blues, and rich, gold accents.

If the thought of just plain Ultra Violet on the walls doesn't quite do it for you, may we suggest a purple wallpaper? This tonal purple design plays up the palm leaf motif that's been trending for a while now and it's also evidence that this colour can be worked into a more boho aesthetic, combining with warm leather and macrame accents.

Justina Blakeney Aja (Periwinkle) Wallpaper, $190.00 per roll, Hygge & West

Less commitment: prints

If you're not quite ready to commit to full-fledged purple walls, prints featuring the regal shade are the answer.

Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the institute, believes that "Musical icons Prince, David Bowie, and Jimi Hendrix brought shades of Ultra Violet to the forefront of western pop culture as personal expressions of individuality." Saatchi Art's curators have curated pieces from artists all over the world for their limited-edition Pantone Color of the Year collection. We're particularly infatuated with this Prince print in the artist's signature colour.

"Dearly Beloved We Are Gathered Here Today To Get Through This Thing Called Life" by Angie Jones, starting at $370, Limited x Saatchi Art

If you tend to favour photographic prints for your art collection, this stunning sunrise image was taken in Mississauga, Ontario and we're in love with the purple hues.

Mississauga Sunrise, $160, Etsy

The colour of geodes and jewels, this print from West Elm is such a pretty way to incorporate 2018's trendy tone into any room. We think this would make such a statement over a mantel.

Geode Royale print by Minted for West Elm, $99, West Elm

On the floors

High impact: flooring

Rarely seen outside of carpeted kids' rooms or not-so-aesthetically pleasing gyms, purple is now a completely viable — not to mention chic — colour choice when it comes to flooring. Available in laminates and carpets at your local reno stores.

Less commitment: rugs

If purple floors seem a little too permanent for your tastes, rugs are the (very pretty) solution.

Is it too much to say this rug is the Platonic ideal of Ultra Violet? Either way, this gorgeous rug from Elte is perfect, and pretty, and pretty much reason enough to redo a room to incorporate a little if 2018's Colour of the Year.

Qalam purple rug 8'10"x11'6", $6145, elte.com

Moroccan textiles are everywhere right now in the design world. This stunning vintage rug is sourced straight from Morocco and would be perfect in a living room or bedroom.

Vintage Moroccan Rug 5'7"x10'10", $3375, Mellah Rugs

Given the price of this rug, it's the ideal addition to your decor if you're in search of that low-cost high-impact Ultra Violet piece.

Vista Rug 5'x8', $129, rugs.ca


High impact: furniture

If you're not feeling Ultra Violet flooring or walls, perhaps furniture is the way to go.

Bestill our velvet-loving hearts — this sofa is what dreams are made of. This purple velvet sofa is so luxe, we totally get that regal association now.

Lyre Chesterfield Two-Cushion Sofa, $2298 USD, Anthropologie

This chaise is perfect for movie nights, or as an accent chair in a bedroom. It's made in Canada, and its a super pretty way to really make a statement in any room.

Crush Extended Chaise in Lana Dark Purple, $1099, EQ3

Speaking of making a statement, this diamond tufted bed is the ultimate luxe bedroom look. Since it's entirely customizable, you can even order the headboard in a taller size if you want a little extra purple on your walls.

Modena Diamond Tufted Extended Headboard & Fabric Platform Bed in Aubergine, starting at $4195, Restoration Hardware

Less commitment: textiles

If you can't envision committing to purple furniture, Steven Sabados says that textiles are the easiest way to incorporate Ultra Violet into your design scheme. It's a cost-effective but high-impact way to instantly make any room on-trend.

Add some glam to your bedroom, or even fold and drape it over the back of your couch, it'll look beautiful anywhere you put it.

Velvet bedspread, $179, H&M

Purple curtains instantly add some colour to your walls without the hassle of actually painting them purple. Ideal for a boho chic space, these ones are purple, velvet, and tye-dyed — check, check and check.

Eden Tie-Dyed Velvet Window Curtain, $94, urbanoutfitters.com

The beautiful thing about throws is that they instantly add a pop of colour to your neutral furniture. It's warm, perfect for movie nights, and according to Pantone, very trendy.

Lima Alpaca Wisteria Purple Throw Blanket, $199.41, Crate&Barrel


High impact: fixtures

Every space needs a little lighting and accent furniture. These purple pieces may be just what you're looking for.

Modern, regal and absolutely beautiful, this handcrafted chandelier belongs overtop your dinner table.

Purple chandelier, $1839.47, amazon.ca

Not a light fixture, but a fixture in design, a bench is the perfect piece of accent furniture. It works well at the end of the bed, for extra seating in a living room, or in an entryway. Plus, this retro design in a brass/purple combo is inspired by mid-century industrialism.

1960s Link Fabric Bench, starting at $1871, Restoration Hardware

If a handcrafted chandelier is not quite right for your space, Light Color Live paired with Pantone to create a series of very on-trend Edison bulbs that you can hang in just about any space. No electrical rewiring required.

Deneb Ultra Violet Pendant Light, $60, Lightcolorlive.com

Less commitment: decor accents

Small and purple, these accents are ideal if you want a small way to incorporate Ultra Violet into a room.

Entirely appropriate given Ultra Violet's cosmic connotations, this pretty little box belongs atop your dresser or coffee table.

Galactic box, $37.95, CB2

Purple and practical, these bookends are a small way to add a bit of Ultra Violet to your bookshelf or mantel without going full-purple — you don't even need to switch up your decor scheme.

Purple Agate Bookends, $58.30, etsy.com


Simple, elegant and rather glam, this accent is begging to be styled into your mantel or coffee table.

Amethyst on base, $195, elte.com