Monday 19 September 2011

Purple Phase colour palette 1: With brown + tan

Hi, hi.

Thanks for all your kind comments on my previous post about me missing-out on the Basic Grey Design Team. Thank You so much. You're lovely! Did you know that? Because you are.

Now, before you catch me blushing, let's get started with the first 'proper' post in my Autumn series 'Purple Phase'.

Between now and the end of November I'll be posting several colour schemes for you to take inspiration from, combinations which you could refer to:
  • when putting an outfit together;
  • when creating a card / layout etc;
  • before adding paints + inks to a journal page;
  • when creating a mood board for a room you're re-decorating;
  • as part of a colour inspiration journal;
Or you could simply:
  • Pin the image of the colour-palette to one of your own Pinterest boards for future reference. 
Whatever works for you. [And if you do use the colours at any time - make sure to let me know, I'd love to see.]

Speaking of Pinterest, I've created a Purple Phase board on to which I've already started pinning inspiring purple images and projects, as there's far more purple-inspiration out there than I can manage to blog. Feel free to follow the board or, if you're not on Pinterest, you can simply save the web address: and check-in on it every now and again or when you need inspiration.

OK, let's get on with the first colour combination, this one's all about:
I'm currently loving this colourway.
  •  Partly because I feel it will extend the life of my cotton Summer dress right into Autumn and Winter;
  • and partly because purple works so well with natural earthy shades and textures - something I'll be returning to again and again across this series.
I'd bet that when people say purple is hard to use, they're thinking of a vivid, deep almost synthetic feeling shade. But purple has a vast spectrum and can often be used with or instead of easy-to-use neutrals such as grey and brown:

But you don't have to mix gingham with brown leopard print to use this combination, you could try:
  • A lilac vest poking poking out beneath a brown jumper / cardigan;
  • A chalky purple bag or scarf over a camel winter coat;
  • A soft purple cardigan over a grey t-shirt, jeans and tan leather belt and boots.
Try asking yourself 'Where do I already use grey and brown?' and then, next time, try swapping-out one of those items for something in a shade of purple instead.

Here's the whole outfit [from last Saturday afternoon on a bracing pier overlooking the North Sea]which features additional brown + tan elements:
Dress: Matalan :: Boots: by Bertie :: Tapestry bag: Primark :: Liberty Print Jacket: Jack Wills :: Cardigan: TopShop.

This colour scheme would work equally well on craft projects and for interiors ... just think:
  • chalky blue shades of purple
  • plus
  • natural elements such as twine, cork, leather, rattan, canvas etc etc
... and you've got it!


I'd really like to hear your thoughts on this first post of Purple Phase.
  • Do you think the colour palettes will come in useful? 
  • Do you think you'll try them out?
  • Is today's particular combination , with brown and tan, easier to work with than you'd imagined when you've thought about using 'purple'?
  • And if you do like it - don't forget to pin it to Pinterest or save the web adress of this page so you can refer back to it at some point.
Whatever you think, let me know. Thanks in advance!

Julie :-)


  1. Purple is my fav colour and I use it mainly with turquoise on layouts, so will be a challenge to try and team it with grey and tan but a goood challenge. Thanks!

  2. I am already converted, Julie! I never wear it or use it but you look absolutely wonderful. Since Basic Grey hasn't come up trumps, I think you should consider a career in modelling, girl! Yes, please to the colour palette - I'd never have dreamed of tan and yet it works really well. Some of us need all the help we can get!

  3. Great outfit. I am having a bit of a purple and grey phase at moment but not yet embraced the brown which I usually mix with green - although green purple works too. Looking forward to more of this. As to Badic Grey as the other commentators said it's their loss and you can continue with your unique style.

  4. Must have Liberty print Jack Wills jacket. Now..

    Today I am wearing a purple dress, purple tights - and no, not my purple boots. I've gone with - brown!

  5. I love looking at colour palettes so yes I do think they will be useful and that shade of purple looks lovely with both the grey and tan.

    ......I now have boot envy ;)

  6. Yes I think they will be very useful! I've started following the purple board as I have a fair bit of purple stash. I have this pen holder on my window ledge and I saw it today and it reminded me of you and the purple phase!

  7. Sian sent me to this post as I have just posted about purple being my signature colour. I usualy wear a deeper purple, but I have a lot of mauves and lilacs in my stach whcih i find difficult to use so I'll have a go with the grey/brown.

  8. Only you could wear purple gingham and leopard print and make it work so beautifully. (Although I may have been slightly distracted by your boots, which are also gorgeous.)

    You're going to change my colour-prejudiced mind again, aren't you? ;)


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