Purple, the colour of royalty

There’s a surprising reason why a room painted purple feels luxurious.

Purple was discovered, believe it or not, by the ancient Phoenicians in 4th century BC. They invented a way to produce a deep purple-red dye from a small type of sea snail found in the region of the Mediterranean Sea which is now Lebanon. But the rich purple dye was so expensive to produce –one gram required 10,000 snails – that silks coloured with purple were only worn by kings, queens and emperors.

Purple also came to represent power. In 16th century England, the Queen allowed only members of the royal family to wear the colour. So if you’ve ever wanted to know how it feels to be royalty, why not paint your study a dazzling shade of royal purple, or decorate your bedroom in calming shades of indigo? And lucky you – no sea snails required.