AT Europe: The Color Purple in Paris, London and Istanbul

AT Europe: The Color Purple in Paris, London and Istanbul

A few months ago on a weekend in Istanbul, I stumbled into an antique shop in Cukurcuma in which nobody seemed to be working. I'm not sure which caught my eye first, the decadent plush purple sofa or the mind-blowing door...

But it was certainly a lesson in the dramatic uses of the color purple that keeps showing up in store windows, Donatella Versace pillows and luggage, in dribs and drabs at this year's Maison & Objet show. But if it can seem contrived and not entirely convincing in a magazine spread or a product display, I've seen the royal hue put to memorable use out in the world lately, from the couch in Istanbul (whose entry into the European Union is still up in the air, but which is a very European city in feel) to the cross bench above that uses purple in place of the traditional red in the lobby of the Wellcome Collection building in London, a fascinating free private museum of medical objects, art and artifacts from Henry Wellcome, an American Victorian who moved to London and became a pharmacist and entrepreneur.

And finally, the neighbors across the way, with their floor to ceiling purple curtains that make a huge statement on the otherwise pale facade of the 17th-century building.

- Kristin Hohenadel blogging from rue Vieille du Temple, Paris, France. She can be reached at kristinh @ apartmenttherapy . com

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