‘Plum is undoubtedly a bold colour choice, so not for the faint-hearted,’ says Nelly Hall, brand director at M&L Paints. ‘In colour psychology, it’s often associated with invoking wisdom, calm and creativity, so it would be the perfect choice for a work space, study or library.
In addition to its cerebral links, plum is steeped in the history of wealth and royalty, so it’s ideally suited to creating a statement in an entrance hall or a formal dining room.’
‘Complex in nature, plum shades can look vastly different from one another,’ advises Joa Studholme, colour curator at Farrow & Ball. ‘Such a deep and warming shade is best suited to north-facing rooms to counterbalance the cooler light. If you use plum in a lighter environment, keep it below eye level on cabinetry.’
‘The combination of Pontefract on the walls and Eau de Violette on the ceilingproduces a visibly pink undertone, bringing perceptible warmth without the use of any yellow pigment,’ explains Ruth Mottershead, marketing director at Paint & Paper Library.
HOW TO USE PLUM
THE BEST PLUM PAINT COLOURS
BEST FOR COMPLEMENTING WARM SAGE HUES, AS WELL AS COOLER BLUES
‘Paint all your walls plum and create a luscious cocoon in your bedroom, for instance,’suggests M&L Paints’ Nelly Hall. ‘Blend with neutral shades in your flooring and add splashes of ochre, gold and orange to pop against the deep, warm shade. Opt for velvet in soft furnishings for a cosy, decadent and indulgent feel.’
BEST FOR BOUDOIR-STYLE BEDROOMS IN NEED OF A JEWEL-LIKE PLUM INJECTION
‘For a striking interior, use a plum with fuchsia undertones on a feature wall and team with smart greys and muted neutrals,’ says Rebecca Craig, head of design at Sanderson. ‘Or why not bring a touch of natural vibrancy to the kitchen with rich plum cabinets?’
BEST FOR HIGH-TRAFFIC AREAS, SUCH AS KITCHENS AND BATHROOMS
‘To capture the zeitgeist, pair plum with jewel-toned emeralds and botanical lime greens,’ recommends paint and colour expert Annie Sloan. ‘These two colours are a wonderful foil for one another. To complement and layer the scheme, give a nod to the Seventies with warm lighting and plush upholstery.’
BEST FOR CREATING A COSY VIBE IN NORTH-FACING ROOMS
‘It’s important to use plum in a space where you won’t feel overwhelmed by its presence,’ says Farrow & Ball’s Joa Studholme. ‘Rooms that are used in the evening are ideal, as is the hallway as the shade makes the adjoining areas feel lighter.’
BEST FOR FORMAL DINING AND RECEPTION ROOMS, TO MAKE GUESTS FEEL WARMLY WELCOME
‘In a more grown-up space, choose a plum mixed with chocolate undertones,’ suggests Peter Gomez, head of design at Zoffany. ‘To create drama, envelop the room in this rich colour by painting the ceiling as well as the walls. Layer the space with velvets to add sumptuous texture and reflect light.’
BEST FOR ADDING INSTANT WARMTH TO FURNITURE AND WALLS.
See How to Decorate with Pink.