What is Heliotrope? Here's How to Decorate With This Color

heliotrope rooms


Truthfully, heliotrope is often something smelled outdoors rather than seen inside. The perennial flower with cluster-like blooms is famous for its powdery, almond scent mixed with notes of cherry syrup. Imagine a flower that smells like a cherry pie topped with almondy marzipan—and get this, it looks just as good as it smells.

In color speak heliotrope is a vivid pinky shade of purple inspired by the Heliotropium flower that can brighten up any garden. It's known to bring the feeling of springtime to your backyard all year round, but with the help of heliotrope-colored décor, you can enjoy the flowering feeling inside your home as well.

What is Heliotrope?

Heliotrope is a pink-purple tint reminiscent of the Heliotropium flower. The first recorded use of heliotrope as a color name in English was in 1882. 

While the vibrant shade that mixes the best of magenta and violet can feel intimidating in most rooms, it's a color that can take any décor style to the next level. Whether it's in small doses, strategically placed via statement pieces, or in the most maximalist way, heliotrope is the bold addition your home has been needing. Ahead, 10 ways to decorate any room with a florescent hue.

01 of 10

Find a Perfect Match

heliotrope rooms

Design: Beth Diana Smith, Photo: Mike Van Tassell

When you find the complimentary shade to a specific color, the duo works wonders at bringing out the best tones of each one. Pair shades of heliotrope with emerald tones for a look that inspires a truly intriguing look.

We love how this foyer gives us a visually pleasing lesson in color theory by matching the pink-purple carpet with a graphic piece of art with a gorgeous tone of green. 

02 of 10

Play With Tints and Tones

heliotrope rooms

Design: Maydan Architects, Photo: John Sutton

What goes better with a pinky purple than other shades of pink and purple? This room started with an achromatic base and dressed things up with wall art, pillows, throws, and rugs in every shade of pink and purple, from a soft blush to a deep eggplant—all of which harmonize perfectly with the base hue of heliotrope.

03 of 10

Make a Statement

Heliotrope decor

Design: Beth Diana Smith, Photo: Mike Van Tassell

The bright shade of violet with poppy magenta undertones is a statement all its own, but when your living room has just as much to say, pair a single item and the bold hue. The final look will be both unique and eye-catching and said statement piece is sure to be a conversation starter every time. And the best part is you can enjoy the florescent hue in all its glory without feeling overwhelmed by it.

04 of 10

Go Big and Go Bold

heliotrope rooms

Courtesy of Hillary Spencer 

It's no secret that heliotrope is a bold move. If color is your thing, lean into it and incorporate the shade in the most maximalist of ways. Why shy away from it by infusing it in microscopic doses? Instead, embrace it from the baseboards to the ceiling for a design that really pops.

We love how this abstract wallpaper incorporates the star color in just the right amount and also adds yet another element of design. Hints of pink and purple throughout the space work wonders making the floral-inspired color pop from the ornate pattern. 

05 of 10

Go Monochromatic

heliotrope rooms

Courtesy of Tyler Karu Design + Interiors

What's amazing about the Heliotropium is the amount of color depth each bloom can have. The pink-purple hue of the petals remains one of the most vivid colors found in nature, while the center boasts a deeper purple shade that, when translated into paint color, is both sophisticated and moody in the best way.

Although this mudroom is your typical catchall for the entire family, a coat of dark heliotrope makes it feel less like a space to dump your stuff and more like a designer backdrop.

06 of 10

Pair It With Cool Tones

heliotrope rooms

Photo: Douglas Friedman

Heliotrope is unique in the way that it boasts both warm and cool undertones. The pink in it makes the shade feel warm, while purple tints give it an equally cool look. The beauty of this chameleon is it pair just as well with cool tones as it does with warm hues.

We love how regal this mix of heliotrope and icy teals feel in this gorgeous bedroom. The hints of sparkle via clear pieces and gold accents just add to the opulent ambiance.

07 of 10

Add an Unexpected Pop to a Neutral Room

heliotrope rooms

Design: Michelle Gage, Photo: Rebecca McAlpin

You can appreciate the aesthetic of a neutral color palette and still have the desire to explore other hues on the color wheel. This gorgeous living room boasts tons of culture and personality while also feeling soft and serene.

This perfect balance of minimalism and eclecticism is easily achieved by juxtaposing the heliotrope couch, paired with warm woods, neutral colors, and worldly accessories.

08 of 10

Pair It With Equally Electric Hues

heliotrope rooms

Courtesy of Maite Granda

We can't think of a more effective way to dress up a bright, bold color like heliotrope than with other, equally vivid hues. This living room uses the floral shade as an accent rather than the primary color, and the result is a showstopper.

Incorporating shades of cerulean and chartreuse make for the perfect color combo. But take note, this electric pairing works because the rest of the room works as a clean, white canvas.

09 of 10

Use It to Ground Your Room—Literally

heliotrope rooms

Courtesy of Michelle Gage

We tend to keep our favorite décor at eye level, but using your most eye-catching, vibrant piece in an unexpected way (like on the floor) is a truly viable option. This living room uses a heliotrope rug to give this otherwise-muted space a major upgrade. The bright pink-purple shade makes the light blue and white shades pop so well. 

10 of 10

Spread It Around The Room

Heliotrope rooms

Courtesy of Hillary Spencer

You know the saying, "don't spend it all in one place?" Well, the same can go for your interior design's color allowance. While we love a single item in a bold shade, spreading doses of heliotrope around the room can be just as effective in your room's final look.

A dose of heliotrope via a throw pillow, a touch of the pinky-purple color in an abstract piece of art, a hint on a throw blanket—they all work in harmony to create a cohesive space.