Taming the Purple People Eater


We lived in Philly a few years ago and we rented a row home with tons of character. Hard wood floors, French doors to a sunroom, crown moldings and original built-ins surrounding a fire place and a beautiful mantle. I hated it. Every square inch of that row house made me itch. It had one bathroom and occasional mouse. And by occasional, I mean frequent.

Fast forward to now, 2 states and two rental homes later, I find myself missing the character of that row home.

I’ve been trying to add character minus any actual adding of character through anything other than decor.


Adding character through decor on the top of a shelf

Custom art adds character to an empty wall

Custom art adds character to an empty wall

Its difficult because with white walls, white blinds, beige carpet and almost any other generic thing you can think of, that means I have to bring it in through furniture and accessories.

Thanks to my younger self for choosing these gigantic purple chairs. There happen to be two of them. The other one resides directly across from this one.

They are a design challenge for sure but they bring in much needed interest and color. But I still love them because they’re huge and super comfy. Because of their in your face color, they insist on being the jumping off point for the color palette.

I’ve been trying to tone down their purpleness by bringing in other colors to balance. Definitely a work in progress. This pillow is my inspiration for a color palatte.

Decorative Pillow: plum,  green, purple, and taupe


My new proposed color palette based on this pillow.

Another thing that I think will balance the purple monsters is this dresser.

We plan to repaint it in either bronzey color or gray. And were stuck. I’m leaning towards gray because its safe and will most likely fit in with any decor changes we make later on. Or easily fit into another room.

The urbane bronze, helmever (my most favorite made up word ever),  would make more of a statement while still being in the neutral zone.

color Collage

So what do u think? Urbane Bronze or Renwick Heather? Which will add the most character to the space while taming the purple people eaters?


20 thoughts on “Taming the Purple People Eater

  1. Urbane Bronze for sure. It’s more flexible and a better long term solution; if you decide to use it elsewhere later or items around it changes, you won’t have to sand and repaint. You can also find some great knobs/hardware at World Market (my fave), Pier 1, Hobby Lobby, or Ikea. Fun project.

  2. I was leaning towards heather until I read Found This’s comment. It does have purple undertones. I love the bronze I was just concerned that it might look like you painted it brown to look like wood. I wonder if you could go just a touch lighter or a touch more shimmery with it?

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