aubergine interior
Louise Swarbrick Design


When is a colour not quite a plum and not quite a brown? When it’s aubergine. This colour can be a dramatic addition to a room giving it a luxurious feel. As a wall colour, it needs to be used sparingly and with a lot of styling. Use gold accessories and white trim against this dark glamorous tone. Farrow and Ball have created a dark purple paint with a aubergine shine in their palette which is called Pelt. It makes a perfect look for a dining area or for a front door with brass fittings.

As for fabrics, there is a range of amazing velvets you can use to give your room this imperial look. Zoffany do a cross piled velvet called Tespi which would grace any home. The dual motifs give it a dynamic quality that stops it from being too flat and dense. This can be enhanced by some lovely passementerie, tassels and bobbles perhaps in a rich metallic thread to further give the fabric charm and movement.

This richness of tone means it is a great choice as a sofa finish. It can be both exciting in a flat weave or be intriguing when used as a herringbone tweed pattern or a floral pattern with a lighter background. In this way, aubergine is surprisingly versatile.

childrens room

However, using it as a woodwork finish can be a brave but exciting choice. In a boot room or a kitchen, some of the furniture can take this strong colour as long as its framed by a lighter one elsewhere in the room. I prefer it painted on tongue and groove or panels rather than just a very plain surface.

Aubergine has a sense of occasion and place and is therefore suitable for an entrance hall. Here it can look well set against a wooden floor and is a wonderful background for paintings and antiques. In a study, it will bring warmth and privacy and is a welcome change from the usual reds and greens so often used in this room.

A colour for all seasons and rooms bringing drama and majesty to all that goes before it.