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Colour of Winter // Plum

This month has been cold. I don’t know about you, but when the weather gets cold I just want to surround myself in rich colours; the thought of a white on white house makes me shiver (with cold, discontent, restlessness … etc.). Having said that, I think there are certain rooms that suit being wintery and snug all year, and others that work as lovely crisp, clarified spaces even in the cold. Part of this relates to the room’s use, and the other part relates to its aspect. A bright, white kitchen flooded in winter sun works. A deep, dark tv room tucked away from the blazing summer heat is a complete retreat. I am definitely one for colour eccentricity, and I think a house in many colours can be just as coherent as one that shuns them all. The most important thing is to make each colour suit its room and function, and after that, anything goes.

Of course there are a few underlying rules that make the whole situation a little easier to approach than an open slather of endless options. To me, a sunless room always works in sumptuous colours, whilst a naturally lit space can be almost anything it likes, but especially works in mid-light colours. Considering that this month we’re all about plum, think about spaces that are south facing, have small windows, or are in the centre of the house. Furthermore, think about the use of these spaces – if they aren’t already dedicated to evening activities then maybe they should be..? The best use of space always revolves around exploiting that space’s potential, and because people are rarely drawn to dark, lightless rooms during the day, it makes sense to give these spaces over to sleeping, watching television, or late night reading.

I like plum because it is so warm, a bit elegant, and very inviting. It ranges from deep dark aubergine colours to warm burgundys with a purple tint, and as ever, the best way to see which works in your space is to try them out on the walls. Let’s start with the deepest, darkest plum I could think of, and gradually get softer from there.

Deep tones look wonderfully velvety and rich on textured surfaces. Image from Amberth.


Dark colours work with layers and layers of furnishings that add to their supremely cosy nature. Image from Amberth.


For the ultimate dark plum, try Resene Aubergine, which is a super sumptuous aubergine and burgundy blend.

Desire to Inspire

Delicious, smooth plum walls and trim with leather and timber accents. Image from Desire to Inspire.

sophie munro

A luxuriously velvety plum wall by Sophie Munro.


Resene Spitfire is a saturated reddy purple for those who want a little more burgundy warmth in their plum.

For some textured plum, try Porters Castro, a lovely rich plum with a velvety finish.


Anthropologie sheets in delicious plum linen.

Ed O'Donnell

Slightly redder plums take one to France (and their delicious burgundys…) and look lovely with black, white, and slate greys.

wine berry

As the name suggests, this lovely plum is getting close to a true Burgundy, which looks lovely in a matt paint finish.

Peggy Dupuis

For a more classic and calming look, try a red-edged plum which isn’t quite so saturated.

Elle Maison

And if you can’t quite face going full plum, opt for some cosy plum furniture in either linen or velvet. Image from Elle Maison


Plums always look good with gold and timber.

Cab Sav

Resene Cab Sav is a subdued, muted plum and gives a lovely soft finish.


About the Author:

Our principle designer Poppy is a Masters of Architecture graduate from the University of Newcastle, Australia. She graduated in 2013 with First Class Honours, received the Dean's Medal and was awarded the Australian Institute of Architects NSW Chapter Masters of Architecture Graduate of the Year prize. In 2010, Poppy received the Eric Parker Travelling Scholarship encouraging the research and drawing of architecture.

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