Colour: rich plum

June 17, 2017 / Colour, DECORATING

How to do colour: rich plum


Rich plum covers a spectrum of sultry shades from raspberry reds through to burgandy. It’s the deep red end of the colour chart; a grown-up set of colours suited to velvet drapes, study rooms and serious lounges. Keep it contemporary with pops of sage green, lavender and powder pink alongside lots of varied texture and all tones of wood.


1 Seriously sophisticated Rich plum is a wonderful colour for upholstery. It’s inherent darkness makes it practical, as well as a bold statement in any room. But it’s not for nothing that shades in this spectrum are popularly associated with royalty. It has a haughty, regal demeanour to it; perhaps one therefore that invites more straight-backed perching than slouching, so keep it for formal front rooms and do the den in something else.

Gubi furniture on the cover of the February 2017 “Trends” edition of ELLE Decoration.


2 Unexpectedly contemporary Such a shade might seem an unusual pick for a kitchen, but see how modern it looks below! This kitchen is lent instant glamour with units finished in this sultry hue. A feel that’s magnified by the lack of clutter, no open shelving or wall units. Think sleek, streamlined sophistication that needs no artifice.

of deep purple and pistachio creates a calming atmosphere. Photo by Heidi Lerkenfeldt


3 Highlighting the throne Although we’ve said rich plum, and it’s family of shades from raspberry red to burgandy, is not best-suited to casual lounging scenarios, here’s a way to bring it in: confine it to one key chair. However it will instantly identify this seat as the hot seat in the house, probably the one with the best view of the TV, or the one closest to the fire. Use notes of the same shade elsewhere on cushions or accessories, as below, to tie the whole look together.

The furniture introduces soft layers of colour in the living room. First featured in the May 2017 “New Pretty” issue. Photos: Sasa Antic/ House of Pictures


4 The colour of extravagance Of course you could throw caution to the wind and use the whole fruit family in one room! Think raspberry, grapes and  plums, to ripe damsons and blueberries: these shades also connote magic and mystery, so they are possibly perfect for study rooms for those of a creative persuasion. A case in point? This magnificent library room originally belonged to Cecil Beaton.

The Library, Reddish House (Cecil Beaton) ©The Cecil Beaton Studio Archive at Sotheby’s

The Library, Reddish House. (Cecil Beaton) ©The Cecil Beaton Studio Archive at Sotheby’s


For loads more ideas and images check out our ever-evolving Rich plum moodboard of rooms, products and interiors inspiration.


And see the rest of our wonderful Colour boards here.