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Photo courtesy of Carolyn Allman

Eggplant, also known as aubergine, is a popular color right now, and it goes well with a host of shades, from grays and creams to whites and pastels.

Awesome aubergine: Who knew eggplant could be so elegant?

Once called both “love apples” and “mad apples,” eggplant has long been one of those vegetables (actually a berry) that people either adore or abhor. However, when it comes to home design, adding eggplant, or aubergine, color to a room is becoming the apple of many a decorator’s eye.

“Aubergine is one of my favorite colors,” said Carolyn Allman, owner of Interiors at the Livery Stable on Grape Street in Medford. “Gray is such a popular color right now, and the warmth of aubergine looks beautiful with the coolness of gray tones.”

In fact, eggplant is not just one color but many, including deep purple-almost-black, rich chocolate tones, reddish shades and cool, dusty grays. Such range of color can be found in different brands of paint, all called eggplant. A few examples are Eggplant SW2707 by Sherwin Williams, Eggplant 1379 by Benjamin Moore, Exotic Eggplant S110-7 by Behr and Glidden’s Eggplant PPG1247-7.

Depending on the shade selected, aubergine adds rich, warm confidence to traditional décor, or vibrant frivolity with a touch of quirkiness to modern interiors.

Finishes also make a difference. On one hand, mattes provide velvety saturation good for hiding wall imperfections by absorbing light. On the other hand, high-gloss sheens brighten up a room by reflecting the light, and are more durable and easy to clean. Glossy finishes also mimic the shine of an eggplant.

Allman said her clients use aubergine to paint an accent wall in their home, or in fabrics for furniture, drapes and pillows. Other aubergine accents include rugs, table linen, bedding and artwork. Eggplant color goes exceptionally well with white kitchen trim and stainless steel appliances, Allman noted.

A wide range of colors complement different aubergine shades — whites, creams, grays, greens, coppery oranges, gold, even pastels — making this an exciting, versatile color choice for home décor.

The key to making aubergine work in your home, Allman advised, is to create harmony by blending cool and warm tones that go well together. Fortunately, a whole range of aubergine shades are easy to find right now, so the possibilities are almost endless.

Fall is the perfect time to try out aubergine in your home because it complements traditional autumn colors. Be sure to add a few eggplants with other fruit and flowers for an elegant centerpiece for your fall table. After all, as Allman observed, aubergine is a wonderful color and a wonderful vegetable.

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