Purple was discovered, believe it or not, by the ancient Phoenicians in 4th Century BC. They invented a way to extract an intense purple-red dye from a small species of sea snail found in the Tyre region of the Mediterranean Sea. But the rich purple dye was very expensive to produce – one gram, which required 10,000 snails – that silks coloured with purple were only worn by kings, queens and emperors.
Purple also came to represent spirituality, because the ancient rulers who decorated themselves and their home in purple were often thought of as gods, or descendants of the gods. So if you’ve ever felt the desire to rule the home, why not paint your study a dazzling shade of royal purple, or cover your bedroom in comforting shades of indigo? And lucky you –no sea snails required.