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Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

Room We Love: Purple Reigns Supreme in This Hilltop Living Space

A shared love for a regal hue inspires a plush, versatile living room designed by Petra Richards.

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When the owners of this Hilltop home tasked designer Petra Richards with refreshing their living room, they explained that one key piece just had to stay: a large rug in shades of cream, green, and purple. Finding clients willing to incorporate a color often (wrongly) relegated to teenage girls’ bedrooms inspired Richards, who created a space that highlights the hue’s chic, timeless qualities. “Purple can look elegant in combination with green and gold, or fresh and clean with white,” she says. “I’ve also used it with oranges and pinks—it’s really versatile.”

To maximize the color’s impact, Richards used it sparingly, allowing just a few key purple pieces to pop against a neutral backdrop. The homeowners wanted a room that was approachable enough to serve as a cozy hangout spot, yet sophisticated enough to double as a formal entertaining area, so Richards anchored the space with a Rose Tarlow sectional covered in mustard-colored mohair fabric—a handsome counterpoint to a deep-purple Victoria Hagan armchair and ottoman. Custom silk and velvet Fortuny pillows in shades of green, purple, and gold add texture and richness to the space, and a Rose Tarlow coffee table displays eclectic conversation pieces: green Moroccan pottery, an amber-hued flower vase, and iron origami birds from Formations. Portraits of the homeowners’ twins, drawn in charcoal by Denver artist Quang Ho, personalize the space.

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Pale walls allow statement pieces to pop, while colorful pillows, blankets, and accessories in varying textures make the room feel at once vibrant and cozy. Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

The finishing touch for any room, Richards says, is “a bit of whimsy.” Here, that sense of playfulness comes from a purple knitted blanket tossed over the sofa, and a handmade Fortuny fabric owl (a score from a Venice showroom) that roosts on a side table. “Little things can have a big impact,” Richards says of the accents. “Have fun with them and don’t take things too seriously.”

That rule applies to color, too, as this room demonstrates: A bit of purple (or any bold hue)—paired with a neutral backdrop, striking furnishings, and a few quirky decorative surprises—is all it takes to create a warm and sophisticated space fit for royalty—or a family.

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