Those of you who know me well are quite aware of my love affair with the color lavender.  I adore it in all its shades, from blue periwinkle to pinky lilac to deep plum, although rarely pure purple.  Over the years I have collected hundreds of pieces of lavender transferware which I use in my kitchen ever day. But I am not the only one to love the color – there is someone else who comes to mind – none other than master designer John Saladino. He has a particular shade of periwinkle lavender he uses over and over again. Along with scratch coat plaster and his rigorous classicism, it has become one of his signatures.

The new issue of House Beautiful has me thinking about how John Saladino pops his signature hue against neutrals. I am not going to wax poetic about it all as the photos speak more clearly than I can. Just look at those amazing hall portieres above and try to imagine the living room below without its bursts of color.

Saladino often loves to juxtapose fine antiques with the rough-hewn. Here, in one of his previous New York apartments, he has exposed the brick walls. Again, the amazing natural light, the mix of old and new, and pop, the lavender armchair.

Here is the view from the other side showing his control over the fancy and the tribal, a real mixture of materials. 

You have to look closely to find the lavender in the bedroom, but it is there, in the curtains and the transferware plates on the night table. Softness against the rough brick. Gotta love the quote on the top of the page.

In his living room in Santa Barbara, terra-cotta tiles provide the same contrast as the brick did above. This room has to be one of his most perfect spaces, even if that is a grammatically incorrect statement, as he has so many.

Saladino saturates the walls of his dining room at Robin Hill, his Connecticut estate. This room has such beautiful formal detailing, which he has contrasted with the very modern art.

I would love to east a meal in this dining room!

His table setting has just a whiff of lavender.

This room was featured in the October 2005 issue of Veranda. The periwinkle chairs just beckon from the far end of the room.

And here they are close-up with another signature, the tall beaker vases. Saladino routinely displays one blue delphinium in each, or in this case hydrangea, to pop the color even further.

SFLuxe’s Design Editor Claudia Juestel has a great interview with Saladino. In that 2010 article is this living room photo, clearly the same room as the one above, but refurnished and restyled, with just a touch of his color in the pillow on the sofa.

Saladino designed this room for Veranda’s SoHo Mews Showhouse using furniture from his line. In fact, almost all the upholstered furniture in these photos is represented there. 

I couldn’t resist including this bedroom from the November Elle Decor as it, like the recent room above, pumps up the color volume. It will be interesting to see if he continues that trend.

Spring is definitely a time for lavender as the wisteria is open, the irises are peeking out and next month brings hydrangeas. If unlike me, you can’t commit permanently to a relationship with the color, you can easily achieve a temporary one with flowers.

For more on John Saladino, see one of my previous posts: A Masterful Modern Mixmaster…John Saladino

Image credits: 1-2. House Beautiful May 2011, photo credit:Eric Piasecki, 3-5. House & Garden April 1999, photo credit: Michael Mundy, 6-9. Style by John Saladino, photo credits: Barbara and Rene Stoeltie, 10-11. Veranda October 2005, photo credit: Antoine Bootz, 12. via SFLuxe, photo credit: Antoine Bootz, 13. Veranda January 2010, photo credit: Antoine Bootz, 14. Elle Decor Nomember 2010, photo credit: Antoine Bootz.