The Idealist

A Rich, Bohemian Colour Scheme: Aubergine

Aubergine (or eggplant as it’s known in some parts of the world) is a sexy rich colour – especially as we slide out of summer into fall. We find its darkness a touch Bohemian, perfect for creating unique interiors with tons of personality. Used sparingly as part of a mixed palette, including soft or bright pinks and browns, it works with more conservative design schemes equally well.

The term aubergine actually refers to a range of colours from nearly black plum to much lighter soft purples. Layering intensities and providing relief in the forms of strongly contrasting colours will give you a cosy but lively room in which to ride out winter’s cold and wet weather. For that reason we love it in a study, library or person-cave, or in a bedroom. But it could also make for an offbeat and dramatic main living area. The colour works extremely well in velvet solids or as as a dominant colour in over-the-top prints.

Here are just a few wall treatments and furniture pieces we’ve recently discovered to provide inspiration

Set the Tone

Aubergine on the walls is a great way to set the tone for your Bohemian library, study or den. If you’re feeling confident, go dark with this matte eggplant emulsion paint from Sanderson (from £19.50); or use this French lilac(from £25) as a colour base with stronger aubergine accents elsewhere in the room if you wanted a less contained look.

You could also opt for a wallpaper print (on select feature walls if not all four)in which aubergine is a strong component. We love this dramatic floral from Designers Guild. £71 Use it to set the colour palette (note the chocolate brown and lighter pinks) for furniture and accessories.

Build Your Theme

You could, for example, then go for a rich brown or aubergine velvet sofa. This chaise longue, from Maisons du Monde, is perfect for curling up with a good book.

Add Quirky Vibes

Accent it with cushions in autumnal colours, an elegant sidetable (this one takes your room in a quirky direction but you could just as readily reinforce the Victorian vibe set by the chaise longue with a different style), and an adjustable reading light, and you’ve got the beginnings of a real Bohemian oasis. £135/£110.50/£859

 

Build an entire room around the theme or just commandeer a discreet corner if space is tight.

Design the Bedroom

Another way to use aubergine to great effect is in the bedroom. We love this upholstered bedstead and headboard in aubergine, light pink or brown velvet from Feather & Black. £1099 

Add Layers of Comfort

Add textured cushions and throws and perhaps place a matching bench in a contrasting colour, or black (if you want to take things in a Gothic direction), at its foot. £35/£225/£287.50

Aubergine is a colour that aims to please. Use it a little, use it a lot. Use it with Industrial Chic, Victorian, Mid-century Modern or Contemporary decor schemes and it will adapt. It can stand on its own or serve as one layer in a textured and dimensional palette that’s easy to live with.

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All photos courtesy of respective brands.

  • Joan is an interior design project planner and freelance writer from Boston Massachusetts who lives with her husband and two bulldog terriers outside Wellfleet on Cape Cod.

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