Is Mauve Making A Comeback?

Mauve was a hugely popular color in the 80’s and early 90’s.  It was everywhere – on the walls, upholstery, throw pillows, carpet and mini-blinds…

…and it was often paired with pastels, gray or black as shown above in the polaroid {hooked on houses}.  Then, after years of riding high, mauve fell from grace.  Using it was now considered taboo because its very presence could make your home look dated {gasp!}.  However, almost twenty years later,  a color change is in the air.


Recently it seems mauve has been creeping back into the limelight and it’s even generating a bit of designer buzz.  Mauve has been spotted in the most elegant of spaces in tones ranging from smoky plum to muted lavender to rosy pink.  This season, mauve is also making an appearance in the fashion and beauty industries.


This soft-spoken hue caught my attention for the first time this year when my hubby surprised me with Jean Paul Gaultier’s Classique perfume:

Not only does this fragrance smell insanely delicious but it’s packaging is intriguing at best.  I think I must have stared at the bottle for a good few minutes trying to figure out the exact color before determining it was indeed mauve.

In interiors we’re seeing mauve combined with rich blues, violet, white and off-white — creating a new ‘modern mauve’ palette.

{Home accessories are also making a “mauvelous” statement.  These lamps from 1stdibs were already sold at the time of this posting.}

One thing about mauve is for sure — either you love it or you hate it.

Even though I like some of the spaces featured in this post, I don’t think mauve will be invited into my home anytime soon.  I’m partial to some of the more lavender tones, but I still see mauve as the color of those big ‘pinkish’ throw pillows that I used as back cushions on our futon when I first got married in 1992.  I don’t think I want to go back there.  What are your mauve memories, and how do you feel about this trend?

Additional photo credits:  homestars; vi.sualize; countryliving; flickr; blackroosterdecor
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10 thoughts on “Is Mauve Making A Comeback?

  1. I am currently turning my daughter’s old room into a guest room, and found a white duvet cover that has little (about 3\4 inch each)printed mauve, plum rosebuds with light gray and charcoal stems. As just a touch of an accent color in this room, I think it will look very nice and understated. The room is painted in a sand color, and I have an off white dresser. I will have gray, cream and charcoal gingham fine check window teatment. I will use deep plum and pale yellow as accent pillow colors as well as some black and white photos, etc. for wall art. I think a whole lot of mauve in any room still would be too dated looking.

  2. I have a quilt that was made for me that features pink, violet and green. So, I chose to make my guest room mauve with ivory ultra suede draperies and ivory woodwork. The nightstands, picture frames, bedframes, etc are all black and there are many glass accents. It is soft and pulled together at the same time, not cloying, and works well as a guest room because no one spends more than a week there. I was concerned about the old lady effect and so I made sure that there was nothing lacy, frilly or feminine. Nor did I want the cold contemporary look of the eighties. I like to think my guest womb evokes comfort and nostalgia rather than suffocation.

  3. Oh yes, I had a the mauve(with lots of grey in it) family room, fabulous chintz bishop sleeve drapes, soft burgundy leather sofas, griege overstuffed chair and let’s not forget the fabric blinds…sheer mauve. Hey, it looked great at the time…it was 1989!
    .-= Roseanna´s last blog ..Finishing projects… =-.

  4. It’s a beautiful hue when used in conjunction with more modern mixes, but to me, it screams ‘old lady’. Maybe because it’s grayed down and washed out. Just feels ‘elderly’ … is it just me?

  5. When I was a kid, I had a mauve bedroom. Well, my mom and grandma called it mauve, but looking at these pics of mauve, it was definitely more lavender than mauve — no pinky undertones to it at all.

    I love purple in pretty much any incarnation. Although I have to say mauve is probably my least-favourite version of purple. It’s that pinkiness that doesn’t appeal to me so much. Although I do love the mauve & aqua rooms you postefd.

    On another note, that perfume bottle is fantastic!!


  6. I have to agree, purple is my least favorite color and mauve well I liked the pics in the post but last time I used mauve was on my closet walls when i was a teenager in the 80’s! No mauve in this house!

  7. Hmm, mauve is a bit ‘wishy washy’ for me too when used on its own (the lighter tones) but combined with other colors I think it can make a successful comeback. eg. mauve with turquoise, mauve with white or black contrasts. I’ve also noticed the lighter colors making a comeback in clothes shops windows and I can’t say I’m overly enthusiastic. Admittedly, I’ve never been one for pale colors. I prefer bright and bold myself.
    .-= Lena´s last blog art teacher angeliki tseva =-.

  8. Oh I know, the dreaded mauve! But known by other names, such as plum or purple, it’s not so bad! I did see it emerging at Maison et Objet last Sept., then others saw it again in January of this year.
    See my blog post here:
    Not only am I not a fan of mauve….oh the textile designs I did where I was forced to paint with it!… but am not really crazy about t he entire purple family!
    Nevertheless, I will have to test the new perfume….
    .-= Libby´s last blog ..PRODUCT GIVEAWAY COMING! =-.

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