Over in Los Angeles, Kathryn M. Ireland is also readily embracing mauve wallpaper and upholstery. “It’s a color that is overlooked and unused,” she says. Meanwhile, Jake Arnold—founder of The Expert—just finished a mauve library in Beverly Hills. “It made the smaller space feel cozy,” he says. “We further accentuated the statement walls by incorporating a velvet quartzite coffee table and settee with Liberty of London fabric that included complementary faded purple accents.” (Arnold also featured the color in his recent rug collection with Lulu & Georgia.)
So just why, exactly, is mauve having a moment? Experts point to a few reasons. Thanks to their associations with calmness and warmth, earth tones (particularly brown) saw a major spike during the pandemic—and, well, still are. It turns out that when the world outside is stressful, it’s nice to be brought back down to solid ground in our homes.
Still, some find several shades on the spectrum a bit too boring. (There’s a reason “beige” is also a synonym for bland.) Mauve, however, provides the best of both worlds: its muddy and dusty undertones evoke earthy tranquility, yet it still has enough pigment to make it gently pop. “People are wanting to add more impact to their spaces, and mauve feels unexpected yet approachable,” Arnold says. “It’s a muted version of a purple or pink and has a warmth to it that feels very neutral.” On this, Ireland agrees: “For me, it’s a good neutral—a splash of it enhances any room.”