The intense shades of purple, dark blue and black are undergoing a renaissance in architecture, interiors and fashion. Walls and interior objects in these dark shades, whether individually or combined, gain depth and character. The latest dark fashion accessories add interest to a timeless, pared-down look. These dark shadows are a metaphor for extravagance, and also symbolise a retreat into the private sphere, a re-centring on oneself in the face of a complex, chaotic world outside. It seems we have an increasing need to hibernate, seeking focus and strength in intimate surroundings.
Purple provides the perfect backdrop to this retreat: a soulful, spiritual colour for the subconscious and for introspection.
This mystical world of solemn, heavy colour can be underpinned using materials such as velvet, velour, precious stones, ebony and marble. Deep purples give furniture and accessories a refined extravagance. The setting in opulence provides, both in public and in private, a thrilling counterpoint to the ever-present minimalist, flexible approach to modern interiors. Incidentally, it’s a myth that dark colours make spaces look smaller. Given sufficient light and contrasting elements, it’s possible to achieve the right balance between light and dark.
Ode to Elegance
Tensions arise where dark blue and black interact. Until recently this combination was seen as a no-go in both interiors and fashion, but it’s now an unmistakable feature of depth and intensity, as both colours try to outdo each other in their effects. The complex interplay of various dark colours provides an immediate hint of luxury in private spaces, cafés, restaurants and hotels, further underlined by carefully curated accessories. This is a look that features crockery made of ceramics with a handmade feel, leather shoes and bags, and precious stones such as amethyst or onyx set in stunning-sized jewellery.
Roomers Hotel, Frankfurt am Main
In the home accessories kingdom, the eclectic is king. A mixture of hand-picked styles and references is highly sought after as a means of expressing individual character. This art is best exemplified at Roomers Hotel in Frankfurt am Main.
Here, the trendy triumvirate of mysterious tones is applied to exclusive materials and organic forms to complete the look. These are charming spaces which entice the visitor with their boudoir charm and gently decadent attitude. They express society’s increasing embrace of ‘true values’: the interiors signity attributes such as longevity, timelessness and quality through the use of materials that include marble, natural stone, velvet and wood, coupled with mood lighting.
Ultraviolet in Shanghai is a unique celebration of dining culture. Top chef Paul Pairet prepares prize-winning menus at the single large table in a windowless room, accompanied by themed sound and visuals. The concept is one of all-round sensory pleasure, and all aspects ooze exclusivity. It makes for a fairytale, dimly lit, surreal yet somehow natural atmosphere: just like ultraviolet light. Somehow, nobody knows exactly where the restaurant is. All we do know is that it’s ‘somewhere in Shanghai’. Guests are chauffeur-driven to their evening’s hideaway. Once again, this is an enclave shut off from the outside world, with the feel of a secret society.
Extravagant Table Settings
Dark table settings are back with a vengeance. Black stoneware and porcelain in organic shapes set an understated stage for artistically arranged dishes – especially successful where there’s a thrill of contrasting colours. We can attest to the effect, often seen at quality restaurants, of cheese and desserts served on dark slates and stone slabs.
Where there is food, there must be preparation. We looked last but not least at popular kitchen aids that have crossed over to the dark side. Blackberries and blueberries infuse kitchen equipment with colour, making even blenders into desirable design objects.