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Paint colors are always the starting point for each of my design schematics. So this year at C2 we have decided to kick off a monthly colour conversation, especially highlighting colours that are complex in nature, yet present beautiful color opportunities. Stay tuned as we build a rich colour library to share with you over the course of the year!

Nature always seems to achieve the right balance between simplicity, functionality, form, and colour. For the first colour story of 2019, we welcome Lilac. C2 paints that fall into this colour group include Bella Donna (C2-782), Idyllic (C2- 786), Kind of Blue (C2- 772), Portuguese Dawn (C2-780), Kinship (Archived) and at a stretch of the imagination, Scooter (C2-777).

Lilac: A personal story

At our last California home, we were fortunate enough to inherit approximately 90+ prolific lilac bushes that framed the east side of our property. It was the best housewarming gift ever! The blooms ranged from white and pale blue to classic lilac and an almost indigo/deep purple. The fragrance from the magnitude of these early blooms was overwhelming. We would trim bushels of these stems to bring them to our LA clients. The journey was intoxicating, so my association with this flower and colour is sheer joy.

C2 Paint Color of the Month: Lilac

I have to confess, as a designer, I have often had to rename colours to allow clients to see their true beauty, as their common assigned name can create a mental roadblock. For example, colours like Navajo or Swiss Coffee have been forced to adopt an alias such as Pale Oyster or French Linen to become accepted into an assembled palette. Similarly, Lilac, despite the poetic undertone, is one of these names that might benefit from a new, more artistic approach. The emergence of these soft colors are considered nuanced neutrals and far exceed any past reference to Easter or simple pastels; they are complex, versatile, modern and simply beautiful.

Lilac: What’s in a Name?

The importance of a name is often just as significant as the colour itself. It is a balance of this pairing that triggers the imagination to anticipate a specific colour before it is viewed. So perhaps, we need to find a way to mentally jump this hurdle and look to the beauty and meaning of this colour, whose only challenge might merely be the name “lilac”, and rejoice in its versatility and intoxicatingly fragrant bloom that represents spiritual happiness, purity, and love.

Deep-rooted in Greek mythology, the word lilac, borrowed from the French and Spanish word of the same, refers to the light purple colour of the flower. However, it scales from soft white through a myriad of ethereal lavender like blues, heathery pinky tones, to the classic lilac palette. It has walked many an iconic runway in billowing gauzy sheers or sharply tailored suit, cosmetics, polishes, and interior textiles. British designer, Trisha Guild seems particularly fond of it as does Jamie Drake in some of his bolder colour selections. Paint and wallpapers are a perfect way to introduce this colour in a way that resonates with your personal design style.

Lilac Paint Color Combinations:

Pair with Sheer (C2-804) to add a crisp contrast

Design Lilac with darker colors like Andromeda (C2-901) for a more dramatic yet natural feel

Fun Facts about Lilac:

  • In the Celtic culture it is regarded as magical because of its potent fragrance and ability to calm.
  • The lilac is the official flower of a couple’s 8th wedding anniversary.
  • The lilac is known as the “Queen of Shrubs”.
  • There are over 1,000 varieties of lilacs.
  • Lilacs are edible.
  • Purple lilacs represent first love. White lilacs symbolize youthful innocence.
  • The name “Lilac: comes from from the Persian word “lilaq”, which means flower.
  • Lilacs belong to the same family as the olive (Oleaceae).
  • The lilac is the state flower of New Hampshire
  • The purple-colored lilac varieties have the strongest scent.
  • Lilacs are used in soaps, perfumes, and other cosmetics.
  • Wood from the lilac trees can be used to make musical instruments, knife handles and more!
  • Lilacs bushes can live over 100 years.
  • Lilacs were in George Washington and Thomas Jefferson’s colonial gardens.


Tell us in the comments! Are you using lilac in your color palettes this year?

    Written by Designer, Philippa Radon

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