COLOR ROUNDUP: Eggplant in Interior Design

eggplant, hydrangea and watermelon vignette by Amoroso Design

Eggplant {or Aubergine} blends with many hues

Eggplant – or if you prefer the elegant French…Aubergine – is such a great color to use in your interiors. Those who are bold might use it on the walls in an entire room…or you can just assemble some rich eggplant hued accessories together for a beautiful winter (or all year round) look.  Put together some eggplant with some other fruits and florals and you’ll have an easy and elegant centerpiece for holiday entertaining. Above, design from Amoroso Designs.

The first time I really noticed Eggplant as an interior color was in my childhood home.  I wish I had a color photo of it, but it only exists in my memory.  My mother painted our living room in a glorious eggplant.  The fabrics in the room were barkcloth with a light gray background and pale yellow and purple lillies with greenery. I remember we always had a gold leafed mirror hanging over the sofa that was held with a gold rope and a gold tassle at the top.  I loved that mirror – it was huge and it looked great up against the deep rich wall color. Right about this time of year my mom would let me do a Christmas scene on it – I remember using Glasswax {am I dating myself too much here??} and one time I did a flocked scene with some fake snow.  OK – enough memory lane!

Mario Buatta "eggplant" walls in Architectural DigestThe second time I remember my jaw dropping was when I saw this gorgeous room in Architectural Digest designed by the Prince of Chintz himself – Mario Buatta. How beautiful is this?  The walls are supposed to resemble porphyry.  I am not 100% sure of how his decorative artist did this – but it’s either a lacquered wall finish or, perhaps, a Venetian Plaster polished to a glass-like sheen.  It’s a dark and bold color to put on a wall but the shine helps bring brightness to this space…not to mention all the light colors around the room that lighten up the scene.

Eggplant room from Architectural Digest, "interior designer" "Mario Buatta"Another view of this room shows how well pastels go with this deep hue and how it can bolster artwork {the gold frames help too!}. And how about those one-legged tables in the hall!

Just one last shot of this room. So, I think that the takeway here is that you shouldn’t be afraid to go bold in your rooms.  As long as what you put up against the color pops -namely whites, creams, golds and pastels. Dark does not have to be dreary – it’s what you couple it with that brings the lightness into the room.

eggplant walls in dining roomAnother way to use a bold and rich color like eggplant is to use it in a space that you don’t use as often and where you want a little drama – like the above dining room or a powder room.

eggplant walls in a living room designed by PierceAllenIf you have a room that has abundant light, don’t fear using this color. With light furnishings, fabrics and draperies, cream or white moldings and wainscoting – your eye will be drawn to the light and the room will escape being dark and dreary.

elgant den using an egplant wall color by The Brooklyn Home CompanyI love this den from The Brooklyn Home Company. Using the deep rich color on the walls and the rustic furniture and flooring helps to emphasize the function of this room – it’s meant for casual gatherings, reading and relaxation. So, this is  great examle of how color helps to bolster the function of a room

Where else would I use this color – a Master Bedroom, a Media Room, a Guest Bath or Bedroom…on the front door and on shutters.  The list is endless.

For those of you who are a bit timid…

Christina Murphy eggplant zig zag wallpapered back of bookcases from House BeautifulYou can use eggplant as an accent color, as designer Christina Murphy did in this NY apartment in a feature from House Beautiful.  It creates a lot of depth and interest in the room.


use eggplant and plum in your pillows and accessoriesUse eggplant and plum accessories into your decor to give your room some punch

eggplant accents and fabrics Bring in accents of eggplant in rugs and pillows, in small doses and in patterned fabrics, as in this lovely room designed by Alexandra Torre.  You don’t have to overwhelm a room with the color – just bring in tasteful touches of it.

eggplant gift ideasFor the purple and eggplant lovers on your Gift List this holiday…here are some great ideas.  From colorful umbrellas to warms scarves and floral embellishments, you’ll find a lot to choose from online, especially on Etsy, where I found these items. Clockwise from top left: umbrella, Pashmina scarf, wedding sash and scarf/hoodie. Do a search on for more deep purple/eggpalnt gift ideas – there are so many!

How to Use This Color in Your Home…Eggplant has varying tones and shades – I prefer it to be more like the vegetable eggplant, a reddish purple with some brown tint in it.  But you will also find some purple or reddish purple variants of the color.

Some Great Accent Colors to Use with Eggplant: Gold, lime green, olive green, chartreuse, gray, white, cream, silver, pale orchid, lavendar, pastel blue, teal, pink, orange and red.

My Favorite Eggplant Paint Colors: Number 1 is Caponata in Benjamin Moore’s Affinity line; Donald Kaufman, DKC 66; Eggplant by Benjamin Moore; Eggplant bt Sherwin Williams.

Have you ever used eggplant for a wall color?  Let me know!

Happy Painting!

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3 Responses to COLOR ROUNDUP: Eggplant in Interior Design

  1. I’m on a high gloss ceiling thing these days, so my eyes and ears perked when I saw the pictures with the high gloss walls. The sheen and reflections definitely keep the rooms feeling bright! I suspect it takes the right client and the right room for it to be truly successful. Love th tailored day bed!!!

    Thoughts on Design recently posted..Continued thoughts on tall foyers and living room spaces.My Profile

  2. mitzi says:

    Hi. I have a harvest gold bathroom from the 70’s. I have tried using all white, gold/green, gold/white stripe wallpaper, & right now it is sapphire/gold crests all-over. I would like to upate the room with a B.M. “Tamarind” AF120, which is a brownish color. All the fixtures are also harvest gold. What is your opinion? Thank you.

    • Linda says:

      That is a tough one to comment on without seeing the room. I love brown and gold together – but I would add pops of white. Add artwork with white matting and gold frames, nice white towels…white shower curtain (if you don’t have glass shower doors).Add one stunning orchid (in a brilliant color – fuschia perhaps) for a focal point.

      Let me know how it turns out!

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