Late musical icons David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix and Prince brought shades of purple to the forefront of pop culture, whilst expressing their own personality. Prince was even honoured with his own purple colour ‘Love Symbol #2’ in 2017, which bears a striking resemblance to Ultra Violet.
Ultra Violet is a bold, vivid shade, that on the one sense evokes a sense of creativity and fantasy, and on the other, a sense of balance and harmony.
Speaking to, Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Colour Institute, offers a friendly reminder: ‘Context is always a major issue when it comes to colour – it’s where and how you’re using it.’
So how can we effectively use this shade in our home? ‘Violets can be stimulating and sexy, while blue violets can be cooling and spiritual,’ says Anna Starmer in The Colour Scheme Bible. ‘Shades of violet can work well together, but may be too overpowering for most.
‘Violets also look great with greens. Blue violets work well with cool blues, and red violets look beautiful with soft pinks.’
Interior designer, Sophie Robinson, adds: ‘The great thing about Ultra Violet is that it can hold its own with a diverse range of colours. It can act as a dark foil for acid brights, a cool partner for hot hues and a safe anchor for delicate pastels.
‘Leave behind all thoughts of Cadbury’s Creme Eggs, Barney the Dinosaur and Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen in all his purple suited glory and embrace the new power of purple.’
On that note, get some Ultra Violet decorating tips from the experts below and find out what they really think about the colour of the year:
1. ‘Pantone’s electrifying colour of the year sent shockwaves through a nation acclimatised to neutral and natural colour codes. It signifies a seismic movement in the way we decorate our homes; grounded tones will still be in demand in 2018 but artificial shades that embrace technology are set to lead the way to a brighter future.’ – Lorna McAleer, Interiors Expert at Style Studio
2. ‘A welcome change from Pantone’s 2017 nature-hued colour of the year, Ultra Violet is the perfect shade to inject life and a dramatic pop of colour into your home. If you’re feeling bold, create a focal point in your room with a stunning ultra violet sofa. Not quite ready to go all-out purple? This statement shade works well when introduced through soft furnishings like cushions and throws. Balance out the look with gold metallics and add some vibrant plant life to give any room a fresh, contemporary style.’ – Shelby Pearson-Hendry, Interior Stylist at Sofology
3. ‘Purple is made up of warm and cool elements, both blue and red. Red being very exciting and blue very relaxing and tranquillising, but when you put the two together, you create a really interesting colour and this particular purple leans a little bit more to the blue side. It’s a very creative, exciting a colour, but there’s a little drama attached to it too. I think for other colours, it’s a matter of working your way around the colour wheel. Ultra violet across greys of any variation – from the lightest to the darkest – is spectacular. It’s a wonderful punch of colour to use across neutral tones.’ – Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Colour Institute
4. ‘This exciting choice for colour of the year works brilliantly in many different ways, for all different interior schemes. For the brave, go hard on block colours and mix this vibrant hue with other visceral and stimulating colours in your home in a Mondrian style. This will give your space a stylish edge – a heady cocktail of punkish rebellion and regal opulence. Alternatively, the intoxicating purple sits wonderfully with the popular grey, earthy tones of 2017’s interior trends. Alongside these greys and ochres, the tones are softened and are much more seamlessly introduced to pre-existing interiors. Another great way to introduce a softer version of Ultra Violet is to opt for cashmere or wool soft furnishings in the punchy tone. For splashes of Ultra Violet, add a silk or satin piping to cushions, curtains or armchairs.’ – Brian Woulfe, Founder and Managing Director of Designed by Woulfe
5. ‘For 2018, purple and the spectrum that Pantone’s Ultra Violet encompasses will be dominating sales. It is both a warm and cool tone, depending on the rest of your interior scheme. Pair with ochres and warm oranges for warmth, or with greys for a cooler décor.’ – Natalie Littlehales, Consumer Marketing Manager at Brintons
6. ‘The great thing about Ultra Violet is that it can hold its own with a diverse range of colours. It can act as a dark foil for acid brights, a cool partner for hot hues and a safe anchor for delicate pastels. Don’t be tempted to simply paint a feature wall in Ultra Violet and leave it at that. Instead, keep your walls neutral and let the soft furnishings do the design work for you. Avoid going all matchy matchy and instead mix florals with geometrics to give a more interesting look.’ – Sophie Robinson, Interior Designer
7. ‘Inspired by the night sky, Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2018 is full of possibilities. We love pairing Ultra Violet with serene shades of blue for an ethereal effect. For a luxurious take on the trend, we recommend sofas and armchairs in inky navy and midnight black, with amethyst cushions and throws throughout the space to provide subtle pops of colour from the same palette. Finally, try a pendant light or a table lamp in soft copper to catch the light and add brightness to the overall look.’ – Hannah Thistlethwaite, Textiles Buyer at Heal’s
8. ‘Lots of people are rather daunted by the colour purple. But used with confidence, Ultra Violet can help you create an exciting and original interior. From a design perspective Ultra Violet offers a whole spectrum of opportunities – from highly original interiors full of texture and contrast to blended shades that subtly express one’s own design personality.’ – Susan White, Marketing Director, Hillarys
9. ‘Pantone’s 2018 colour choice speaks to the growing popularity over the past year of bold jewel tones, and the shift away from the softer pastels that have recently dominated the world of design,. While many may think a deep violet is melancholy, it can also be playful in its references to science and space travel. For example, pair ultra violet with metallics to elicit a whimsical and celestial atmosphere.’ – Eleonora Valle, Art Director at Onefinestay
10. ‘Ultra Violet looks spectacular on window blinds, especially when backlit with the sun shining through the blind. Experiment with Ultra Violet as solid blocks colour on blinds and other key pieces around the room. Alternatively incorporate with a bohemian design that reflect the colour’s spiritual/creative nature.’ – Mike Stephen, Design Director at Apollo Blinds.
11. ‘I just love this intense and insightful colour – it’s bursting with curiosity and optimism for the future. 2017’s colour palettes were characterised by grounded colour choices that connected with the natural world – this bright, sparky shade flips that idea on its head, crashing through boundaries, celebrating creativity and revelling in the unchartered realms of technological advances.’ – Alex Whitecroft, Head of Design at I Want Wallpaper
12. ‘Strong purples certainly give a room a feeling of uniqueness, and this year’s colour of the year, Ultra Violet, sees the darker blues of 2017 move on to reveal a warmth and richness for 2018. As this shade evokes different responses from different people, there are a number of ways it can be interpreted and used too. For some, purple adds a feeling of energy, whereas for others, their perception of purple is more luxurious and in some aspects quite regal. Wherever you fall on this spectrum, the shade gives you the freedom to use as much or as little colour as you want.’ – Lucy Shore, Creative Designer at Swish