Spring is almost in the air, and while it may be a few more weeks until we spot blooming flowers and other signs of the season, we have good news for you: it’s easy to go ahead and add some brightness to your life in the form of poppy-colored accents—or rather, coquelicot accents.
We’ve noticed a shade of red gaining traction called "coquelicot," which is simply French for the word poppy. It's making waves in the design world, and we’re ready to incorporate it into our own spaces ASAP. The red hue is lighter than cherry, yet is still vibrant featuring orange undertones.
“Perfectly balanced between crimson and fuchsia, it’s neither too severe nor too juvenile, but it brings the heat,” Noel Gatts of Beam & Bloom Interiors says. “Coquelicot embodies joy and vibrance. It’s no wonder we’re drawn to it as spring peeks around the corner.”
Not sure how to introduce this shade into your home? Read along for tips from Gatts and other designers who share how to get started.
Treat it as a Neutral
“When we stopped using red in our designs, it was because people were tired of the ‘old world’ dark burgundy and red with gold and green combination. Red just went away with that color palette. Coquelicot has no muddy undertones, pulls a little orange, and it feels clean and inclusive—it works in all design styles from traditional, global, boho, and contemporary, unlike those dark reds of 10 years ago. Also, social media has been saturated with neutrals and a lot of bright white rooms. Coquelicot pops—just like the flower—in those bright white rooms. Adding it to the neutral palette gives a lively, fresh, and happy update.” —Debbie Pratt, interior designer at MLInteriors Group
“In my work, I love using all shades of red as an accent, and truly view it as a neutral along with black, white, ivory, grey, and brown. The color red exudes elegance, sophistication, and a sense of old world European homes. It is a great way to add a sense of history to your space.” —Julia Baum, principal, Julia Baum Interiors
“Swathes of bright poppy enliven artwork. It plays equally well with abstract art and classic still life, and can add spirit to an otherwise neutral palette.” —Noel Gatts
“A way that I love to incorporate poppy red—and many reds—without risk of getting sick of it is through pattern in art and accessories. This abstract piece by Ulla Pederson is a perfect example of using poppy red to add character without the commitment of having a poppy red piece of furniture.” —Julia Baum
Try It on the Table
“Some bright poppy bowls or small plates mixed in with plenty of white and some pink depression glass could create a monochromatic masterpiece. Mix in some pale peonies and cool greens, and you’ve got a garden of delights.” —Noel Gatts, founder of Beam + Bloom Interiors
Incorporate a Bold Textile
“Red in general is a powerful color and was overplayed in design about 10 to 15 years ago. We’ve been a bit burnt out from the color because in the past, it had a muddy burgundy undertone that didn't bring joy to a color palette and could weigh down the room. However. coquelicot is a bright positive hue of red that helps blend the masculine and feminine vibes in a space. A pop of this hue of red can add the right amount of energy to a room and help promote motivation and passion, something we are all striving for. Seeing it in an accent pillow, area rug, or artwork is a great way to work the color in without overdoing it like we did in the past.” —Megan Fornes, interior designer at MLInteriors Group
“In larger areas, a more prominent piece such as a chest or window treatments can add warmth and elegance to your living or work space. Either way, poppy red will definitely be eye-catching. Make your spaces pop with poppy.” —Angela Wilson Lee, founder, CEO, and principal designer of Wilson Lee Interiors