These days, many of us are spending a lot more time at home, and if you're anything like us, that means you're noticing that your living quarters could use a serious pick-me-up. Luckily, 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 this shade of red gaining traction and making waves in the design world, and we’re ready to incorporate it into our own spaces ASAP.
What Is Coquelicot
Coquelicot, from the French word for "poppy," is a vibrant shade of red. It's slightly lighter than cherry and has subtle 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 tells MyDomaine. "Coquelicot embodies joy and vibrance. It’s no wonder we’re drawn to it."
Meet the Expert
- Noel Gatts is the founder and principal designer at Beam&Bloom Interiors based in Bloomfield, New Jersey, where her team approaches interior design as an affordable luxury.
- Debbie Pratt and Megan Fornes are interior designers at MLInteriors Group in Dallas, which designs luxurious, personality-filled spaces for clients.
- Julia Baum is the founder and interior designer behind NYC's Julia Baum Interiors, specializing in blending vintage and contemporary styles to create refined interiors.
- Angela Wilson is CEO and principal designer at Wilson Lee Interiors in Richmond, Virginia, where she specializes in spaces that uplift and inspire clients.
Not sure how to introduce this shade into your home? Read along for tips from Gatts and other designers on how to get started.
Treat It as a Neutral
"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, gray, and brown," says Julia Baum of Julia Baum Interiors. "Coquelicot has no muddy undertones, pulls a little orange, and it feels clean and inclusive," agrees Debbie Pratt of MLInteriors Group. "It works in all design styles from traditional, global, boho, and contemporary, unlike those dark reds of 10 years ago."
"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," says Baum. Gatts, too, suggests bringing coquelicot in through art, regardless of what genre you're drawn to. "Swathes of bright poppy enliven artwork," she says. "It plays equally well with abstract art and classic still life, and can add spirit to an otherwise neutral palette."
Incorporate a Bold Textile
"Red, in general, is a powerful color and was overplayed in design about 10 to 15 years ago," says Megan Fornes of MLInteriors Group. "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."
Warm up a Sleek Space
While the sleek all-white and gray interiors populating your feed may look inspiring on screen, we've found that these spaces can feel a bit sterile in real life. What they need is a little color to warm things up. Enter coquelicot. "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," points out Pratt. "Adding it to the neutral palette gives a lively, fresh, and happy update."
Try It on the Table
Bring a touch of life and whimsy to your dining room or kitchen with the addition of coquelicot. "Some bright poppy bowls or small plates mixed in with plenty of white and some pink Depression glass could create a monochromatic masterpiece," Gatts suggests. "Mix in some pale peonies and cool greens, and you’ve got a garden of delights."
Class It Up
With its orangey undertones and general brightness, coquelicot might not be the first color you think of to bring some sophistication into your space—but we think that's a big mistake. Red is a power color, and poppy red is no different. "The color red exudes elegance, sophistication, and a sense of Old World European homes," says Baum. "It is a great way to add a sense of history to your space."
Mix and match coquelicot with other shades of red to bring an eclectic, lived-in vibe to any sophisticated space.
"Make your spaces pop with poppy," encourages Angela Wilson Lee of Wilson Lee Interiors. And you shouldn't be afraid to think bigger and better than barely there accent pieces. "In larger areas, a more prominent piece such as a chest or window treatments can add warmth and elegance to your living or workspace," says Wilson Lee. "Either way, poppy red will definitely be eye-catching."
Take It Outside
Considering coquelicot is, by its very definition, derived from nature, we'd highly encourage you to take this bold color back to its roots via your outdoor décor. Whether that means poppy red accents in your outdoor living area or a coat of bright red paint on your front door, you really can't go wrong—this color will look and feel right at home outside.