Interior Design, A Public Consensus on Beauty

Interior Design, A Public Consensus on Beauty

“I think the single worst thing that ever happened to beauty is this idea that it’s in the eye of the beholder. This is not true. There is actually a surprisingly large agreement around the world, throughout time, through different cultures, of what we think is beautiful and what is not.” – Stefan Sagmeister, Graphic Designer

As more people move into their own homes, it is time to reassess our relationship with home interior design. There is often a general consensus on what makes a beautiful and comfortable home. These similarities are what form trends in interior design, defined by the tastes of the community.

Preferences in interior design vary from person to person, and the idea of a perfect home can signify something different to each person. Yet, among these variations also lie similarities. As an interior designer working internationally,  I have noticed that most individuals are in agreement on what makes a beautiful home. Based on this, I decided to explore the most loved interior design styles and trends.

In order to analyze these similarities, I looked at various statistics in interior design over the last year. This data on different design styles, furniture, fixture and color preferences show what factors matter most in each room of the house. Discover what guides the interior designs of our rooms, what the most popular sofa styles are, design trends in kitchens, living room preferences and more below.


The living room is not just a place to entertain but also to lounge and relax. From hanging out with friends to watching TV after a long day, the living room is made for comfort and relaxation. The design styles most preferred for living rooms showcase this focus on comfort. In a survey by Living Spaces, the most popular design style for living rooms was Rustic, followed closely by Modern and Traditional. Rustic is a natural, country inspired style. This style uses a lot of natural materials and textures, and is a good choice for casual living. Modern Rustic, a mix of Rustic and Modern interior design style with a clean and natural aesthetic is also well suited to living rooms. Interior designers in Florida have seen an increased interest in beach house designs with Modern Rustic style interiors.

In living room designs, there is no piece more important than the sofa. It guides the design of the room, and dictates how the space is used. Due to its significance, sofa designs evoke strong feelings and opinions from most people. In the survey by Living Spaces, modular style couches emerged as the most popular sofa style in the U.S. The popularity of modular sofas can be attributed to their customizability and versatility. It’s a piece of furniture that can easily suit most living room layouts and styles. This is further confirmed by the favorite sofa color- gray. The neutrality of a gray modular sofa makes it a perfect fit in styles ranging from Mid Century Modern to Minimalistic to Industrial, granting homeowners the ability to change their interior design in the future. In choosing the couch, comfort proved crucial yet again, with more than 51% of those surveyed choosing deep seating as the most important feature in a sofa.


The kitchen is the most used space in a home, and is also among the most renovated. There is a good reason for this. A well designed kitchen not only makes life significantly easier, but also increases the value of home.

When it comes to remodeling a house, homeowners always choose to add more storage, and the kitchen is not an exception. Storage needs top the list of kitchen remodeling motivations yearly. Those who renovate their kitchen modernize and upgrade the space, often opening it up to more natural lighting and ventilation. The countertop and backsplash are the most upgraded parts of the kitchen every year. Sinks, plumbing and light fixtures follow this, often being upgraded to environmentally friendly and tech compatible models.

Kitchen remodels focus both on functionality and appearance. Large open kitchens improve on both these factors, bringing in more light and making them spacious, along with improving on counter and storage space. This is also why the most popular kitchen layout is the L shape, with the U kitchen layout in second place. The L and U shape layouts are a practical choice in most medium to large sized kitchens, offering substantial area for cooking and kitchen storage. The layout can be kept open for unobstructed light and ventilation, and also allows for a kitchen island.  Those who decide against full scale kitchen remodels opt to instead upgrade cabinets and refinish the cabinet doors to give the kitchen a new look. This improves on functionality and aesthetics without a full scale remodel.

Transitional and Contemporary style kitchens are the most favored according to the Houzz kitchen survey. These styles promote light and airy kitchens, contributing to their popularity. They are also sleek and pared down, while keeping the warmth of more traditional styles. The majority of these kitchens feature a classic color scheme of white and grey walls with wood floors. However, many homeowners are also going bold in their styling, incorporating bright colors into islands, open shelving and decor.

332 Cocoanut Black and White Model Unit
Master Bedroom black and white turnkey fully furnished luxury unit


Comfort is the keyword at home during chaotic times. Bedroom designs have focused on increasing the overall level of comfort at home. Many have opted for smaller accessories that add to the relaxing quality of the room such as cushions and rugs. Adding natural elements using materials, textures and patterns, are also popular. This has been in the form of wooden beds, headboards, floral and nature-inspired wallpapers, and indoor plants. Calming and vibrant shades of green have also made their way into the bedroom this year. These elements provide a sense of connection to nature, turning the bedroom into a space of calm.

Homeowners have also found joy in personalizing rooms like the bedroom and living room with statement decor and quirky accessories. Eclectic bedrooms have found themselves in the limelight, with many celebrities embracing the style. However, the eclectic style has moved away from being a mixture of disconnected elements for the sake of aesthetics, and have instead turned into a reflection of the inhabitant’s personality. The rise of personalization and eclecticism in bedrooms and living rooms have become yet another way of adding to their comfort.


Bathrooms are the second most common rooms to be renovated, falling only behind kitchens. Bathrooms are generally remodelled to be updated with modern designs and amenities. A study by Houzz shows that a vast majority opt to renovate their bathroom because it is outdated. These modernized bathrooms form part of the luxurious experience at home, and can contribute to better resale values in the future. Limited functionality in the bathroom also creates a dilemma for many. Insufficient counter space, storage and lighting are some of the top reasons for remodeling the bathroom. Other motivations for bathroom renovations include making the space safe and accessible for children and the elderly, as well as replacing and upgrading plumbing and hardware.

Modern, Transitional and Contemporary design styles are most favored in bathroom remodels. White bathrooms with a clean look and a relaxing ambience are particularly popular among these styles. These white bathrooms are well lit by natural or warm lighting, and often feature an accent wall, indoor plants, and double sinks. Water efficient faucets, bidets, and high tech features like mood lighting and touch-free activation are also included in the renovated bathrooms for increased convenience.

Master Bedroom black and white turnkey fully furnished luxury unit
Master Bedroom black and white turnkey fully furnished luxury unit


Covid changed the way people work, moving away from large office spaces to functional home offices. Now, home offices have become one of the most desired and designed rooms, according to a survey by Modsy. In states like Virginia, Texas, New York and Florida, interior design projects for home offices are particularly popular. The majority of home office designs lean towards a clean aesthetic that’s practical for work and video calls. Styles with this clean look, like Minimal and Modern design styles, are the most favored.

The rise of home offices have also made the influence of good design visible in the workplace. Long hours spent working from home has brought attention to functionality and comfort. Features such as natural lighting, ergonomic seating and soundproof workspaces are the most desired qualities in home offices. Adequate storage space is also an important factor. Designer furniture that marries comfort and style have been popular with many of my clients in home office designs.

The lack of space for dedicated home offices has also led to the emergence of backyard offices. Making use of office pods and sheds, these offices provide a private  work area, maintaining a separation between personal and professional spaces.. Ready-to-install pods that can be placed in backyards and gardens have also become popular for home offices and children’s’ study areas. Increased interest in these types of home office setups show the path remote working could take in the future, combining nature, fresh air and privacy.


Outdoor spaces have ordinarily played the role of gathering spaces for family and friends during warm weather. However, in 2020, outdoor spaces have become multi-use spaces. According to data by Houzz and NKBA, interest in outdoor living increased considerably in 2020. Homeowners have been converting spaces like backyards, side yards and patios into areas that can be used throughout the year.

The interest in outdoor living is slated to continue growing in the coming years. With an increase in the time spent at home, underutilized outdoor areas are being turned into spots for relaxation and recreation, with many choosing to use them for exercise and meditation. Backyards have proved particularly popular for outdoor living, given their size and ability to offer more privacy. Among the most desired leisure additions to backyards are swimming pools, hammocks and fire pits. In warmer areas such as Florida, interior design additions like outdoor showers are also gaining popularity. Despite the decline in large gatherings at home, outdoor kitchens have also been highly sought after for house interior design projects. With these additions, outdoor spaces are being turned into functional areas that are an extension of home.

Master Bedroom black and white turnkey fully furnished luxury unit


In 2020, our priorities have shifted significantly, leading interior design in a new direction. A transformation in how we perceive the world has reflected in a change in our likes and preferences. This is echoed in choices like buying more artisanal products and choosing to use fewer plastics and polluting products at home. Here we take a look at some of the factors that are expected to guide interiors in the coming years.



There has been a conscious move towards connecting interiors and nature, hastened by the pandemic. More people than ever are looking to add natural elements to their homes and open up their spaces to nature. Furniture and decor made out of materials like wood, wicker, bamboo and jute are rising in popularity, as are houseplants. Nature inspired patterns and colors such as botanical and floral prints and earthy colors are also being heavily favored over other styles.



Comfort and wellness at home is predicted to drive future trends in interiors, according to a study by 1stDibs. Living rooms, bedrooms and outdoor spaces are expected to get more comfortable. Bathrooms are also getting more luxurious with the inclusion of features like rain showers and spa tubs. Along with opting for more upholstered furniture and furnishings, there is also an increased interest in access to nature and natural light, sound proofed spaces, and improved indoor air quality. Areas specially designed to focus on wellness like meditation spaces and home gyms are also becoming more common in homes.



A major change in interior design is the focus on making homes more suited to its residents. Staying home for long periods of time without having friends and guests over has encouraged families to invest more on themselves. Spaces to pursue a hobby or to workout, larger kitchens, home offices and bolder styles are all a result of this. Re-evaluating personal and family needs, many have chosen to truly personalize their homes. Designers expect to see more bolder furniture design and statement pieces in the coming years.



Sustainability continues to be a priority in design. With a larger variety of eco friendly products and materials available in the market, it has been made easier to adopt sustainable practices. Vintage and antique furniture decor are in vogue, and consumers are increasingly choosing to shop locally made pieces. Many are also replacing their appliances with energy efficient ones, and using tech to counter water wastage.



Technology has come a long way, and smart products have become a way of living. The most beloved in home tech are products that make daily life easier while solving problems. Products like robotic vacuum cleaners and lawn mowers, smart lights, smart thermostats and products with voice assistants all make common tasks easier. Motion and voice activated products like touchless faucets are also finding prominence at a time of increased health concerns.

Rachel Blindauer Wins Emerging Professional Design Excellence Award

Rachel Blindauer Wins Emerging Professional Design Excellence Award

We are beyond honored for Rachel Blindauer Interior Design to have been chosen as the Best Emerging Professional by American Society of Interior Designers – California North!


1st Place

Designer(s): Rachel Blindauer

About ASID California North

ASID is a community of people driven by a common love for design and committed to the belief that interior design, as a service to people, is a powerful, multi-faceted profession that can positively change people’s lives. Through education, knowledge sharing, advocacy, community building and outreach, the Society strives to advance the interior design profession and, in the process, to demonstrate and celebrate the power of design to positively change people’s lives. Its more than 30,000 members engage in a variety of professional programs and activities through a network of 48 chapters throughout the United States and Canada.

Rachel Blindauer Interior Design in the Top 20 Interior Designers in SF

Rachel Blindauer Interior Design in the Top 20 Interior Designers in SF


Why choose this provider?

Rachel Blindauer is a San Francisco full-service interior designer. Rachel has run her practice for the past 12 years, and in the past she designed for Williams-Sonoma. Her interior design portfolio has been featured at the St. Etienne Designer Biennial in France. She has also been recognized with the Emerging Professional Design Excellence Award and twice awarded the Best of Houzz for Customer Service.

Thank you Expertise! Click here to see the competition.

Our Favorite Sources

Our Favorite Sources

Designing an interior is a multifaceted process which involves conceiving a design and further, finding brands and sources that can help create that vision. At Rachel Blindauer interior designs, I am always on the hunt for products that can become part of a gorgeous home design and enhance the experience of home. As an interior designer in Sarasota, Florida, I choose to source many of my products online, looking for brands with good design and attention to quality. So, here are some of my favorite sources for home furniture, lighting, decor and more

Home of luxury Italian handicrafts, Artemest is an online store with a difference. Founded by jewelry designer Ippolita Rostagno and Marco Credendino, Artemest offers the best in handcrafted Italian designs, created by artisans practicing traditional arts and crafts across the country. Products on Artemest are unique, each having a history of its own. The items are also made to last, having been made with high quality materials and crafted with care. Artisans and workshops are selected for the quality of their furniture and decor products, and buyers are able to view the stories behind each of the pieces, adding a personal touch to the process. Many of the pieces can also be customized, creating a connection between the artisans and the buyers. Iconic Italian designs, along with modern and contemporary objects, are all part of the curated collection at Artemest. When searching for exclusive and tailored products in Sarasota for interior decoration, Artemest is always my first choice.

visual comfort

Visual Comfort is a key concept of lighting, so it is no surprise that the brand named after it is a master in the trade. Established in 1987 in Houston, Texas, Visual Comfort has collaborated with design titans like Ralph Lauren and Kelly Wearstler among others to produce signature lighting collections. Each of these collaborations reflect on the ideals and style of the designers to create unique and stunning pieces. The Parkwood Medium Table Lamp and Ellery Bow Sconce showcase the whimsical, chic style of Kate Spade, while the Ori Wall Sconce and Strada Pendants demonstrate Kelly Wearstler’s love for the opulence of Art Deco and the boldness of Maximalism.

Founded by Gabriel Hendifar and Jeremy Anderson, Apparatus Studio began as a luxury lighting brand, and caters today to furniture and home decor along with lighting. Designs by Apparatus Studio are unusual and alluring, taking inspiration from their surroundings and different cultures. The studio reimagines these experiences into lighting and home objects that add glamour to any space. The contemporary chic Trapeze lighting collection draws inspiration from the circus trapeze, while the Pars furniture collection is influenced by nomadic tray tables commonly found across the Middle East. These designs are further enhanced by materials like aged brass, porcelain, suede and marble that add a unique look and style to the designs.

visual comfort
visual comfort

With a quirky minimalist aesthetic, Ladies and Gentlemen Studio focuses on furniture, lighting, home accessories and jewelry. The varied portfolio speaks to the experimental and playful nature of Dylan Davis and Jean Lee, who established the studio in Brooklyn in 2010. The studios’ work breaks free of traditional notions of design and design styles, creating delightful pieces that juxtapose varied materials and styles. The Shape up lighting series – featuring a diverse range of shapes and materials hung together – attests to the ability of the duo to create elegant pieces in unexpected styles. L&G Studio’s works make for distinctive products that add liveliness to contemporary and modern homes.

Aerin Lauder, founder of Aerin and granddaughter of Estee Lauder, created her eponymous brand to focus her passion for interior design and decor. With the motto ‘living beautifully should be effortless’, Aerin offers home decor and lighting products that bring beauty to every piece in a home. The casual yet sophisticated style of Aerin showcases the luxury lifestyle brand’s focus on products aimed at creating a cozy home – one that feels warm and lived in. Staying true to Estee Lauder’s legacy, the Aerin brand’s success comes from its authenticity and passion. The Aerin store is filled with delightful finds, like a shagreen chess set in a streamlined design with brass detailing, gilded crystal bookends, an organic side table inspired by coral and a jewelry box with croc embossed leather. Products at Aerin have an informal yet elegant charm, making it the quintessential Palm Beach style brand ideal for interior designers in Tampa.

visual comfort
visual comfort

The brainchild of designer Arielle Assouline-Lichten, Brooklyn based Slash Objects uses unconventional materials to create homeware. With materials such as brass, recycled rubber and marble, the studio uses simple geometrical shapes to form their range of well designed products for home. The Coexist Askew tables use customisable brass and marble to form elegant sculptural tables, while the Ring coasters use polished brass edging to elevate the look of recycled rubber to create beautiful and functional home objects.

The creation of interior designer Sam Hood, Amara is a premium homeware store that carries products from over 300 luxury brands including Versace Home, Tom Dixon and Missoni Home. The store takes an all embracing approach to homeware, offering furniture, lighting, furnishings, kitchenware, garden products and even storage solutions in extensive styles. Amara’s own collection of homeware – ‘A by Amara’ – is also available through the platform. Partnering with the best in design to deliver the most exclusive products, the brand’s success lies in being able to continue the experience of luxury with exceptional service. Along with personal shopping, a wedding registry and gift finding services, Amara is also an unending source of interior design inspiration. The store’s blog communicates trends and brand stories, offering ideas on interior styling and design.

visual comfort
Dining Interior

Meant to last generations, South Carolina based Urban Electric Co. makes handcrafted lighting with impeccable quality. Their designs are polished and elegant, blending modern with traditional, and giving them the ability to look equally good in country retreats and urban homes alike. All of the lighting products are made by skilled craftsmen using high quality materials. A company known to take pride in its workmanship and standards, Urban Electric Co. offers a one-of-a-kind “lifetime” warranty on all products.

Based out of Los Angeles, Zoe Bios Creative offers select artworks for home furnishing. The art collective works with several artists to create paintings, textiles and photographs inspired by culture, art forms and nature. From abstract works and floral prints to portraits and detailed sketches, ZBC offers a varied selection that satisfies the needs of any interior design. The pieces are sophisticated and limited, intending to be art focused and a departure from mass produced artwork. This is achieved through a meticulous process that involves enlarging each hand rendered piece with multiple scans for color density and the desired level of detailing, followed by overlaying paints and textures by hand. The artworks can also be customized as needed, making Zoes Bios Creative every interior designers’ dream come true!

Dining Interior
Dining Interior

Antiques are a great addition to any interior design. They often come with a rich history – sometimes having shared homes with visionaries and leaders. Antique and vintage pieces are also highly unique, with quality craftsmanship to its name. It is this charm that I like to add to my projects at Rachel Blindauer Interior Design, and makes any trustable source for antiques highly valued for me. InCollect was created by Antiques and Fine Art Magazine founder John Smiroldo to streamline the process of sourcing vintage and antique works. The website connects antique and art dealers to collectors and interior designers, offering a better alternative to spending large amounts of time visiting auctions and antique stores to find the ideal piece. Antique furniture, fine art, decor and the latest high end customized works, InCollect features them all.

Wallpapers by Fromental are not used to simply cover up a wall, but are rather the equivalent of adding a piece of fine art to a home. The home of exquisite wallpapers, Fromental uses the finest silk for its wallpapers. The silk is further hand embroidered and painted in intricate designs by artisans in Wuxi, a city known for its silk and embroidery. The result is a luxury wallpaper with a unique British style and materials. Fromental’s wallpaper collection includes several outstanding works like the highly textured Goldoni series and a modern interpretation of Chinoiserie work called Modern Chinois. The collections also include bold designs created in collaboration with various artists, abstract and plain designs to add a subtle texture and quality to walls, as well as a choice of colors and embroideries in select pieces.

Dining Interior
Dining Interior

Yet another resource that simplifies interior design sourcing significantly is Material Bank. Material Bank is established by Adam Sandow, a seasoned entrepreneur with an array of successful fashion and design ventures like Luxe Interior + Design Magazine and New Beauty Magazine. Sandow’s knowledge of the design industry led to the creation of Material Bank as a marketplace with an extensive selection of materials for interiors and architecture. As an interior designer, there is nothing more reassuring than knowing that I can order a material tonight and get the samples tomorrow to put together a beach interior design palette or a Hamptons style interior palette. An easy way to identify relevant materials and check samples allows designers more time to spend on the design, which makes Material Bank an invaluable resource.

One of the secrets to staying within budget for an interior design project is to visit auction houses. Sometimes, you can snag amazing pieces for a steal at auctions, and this makes them a great resource for designers. Interior designing in Tampa and Sarasota does not always give me the opportunity or time to visit auction houses across the country, which is where Live Auctioneers comes to my aid. Live Auctioneers allows users to find and bid for pieces from across the world in the comfort of their home, so I can effortlessly buy an antique wooden cabinet or a unique chair from an auction house in New York for interior decorating in Florida.

While abc Carpet & Home carries an array of products for the home, it is their offering of carpets and rugs that truly stand out. With a centuries long history as a carpet store, it is of no surprise that abc Carpet & Home boasts one of the best collections of carpets and rugs in the country. Be it a Mororccan rug or a flatweave or an overdyed rug, abc Carpet is the best source for high quality hand woven rugs for the home.

Dining Interior
Dining Interior


Based out of Los Angeles, Noir and CFC are sister brands that produce beautiful furniture and decor, led by Stephanie Lu and designer Georg Baehler. Each of the pieces by Noir and CFC are designed by Georg Beahler, who draws the designs by hand and to actual scale. His designs are influenced by classical furniture – ideal for contemporary and traditional interior designs. The designs are then handcrafted by local artisans using locally sourced wood and materials, making the brand an example of quality American craftsmanship. Furniture and decor pieces at Noir and CFC are customizable and made in a sustainable manner, often with recycled Douglas fir trees.

The Future Perfect is a gallery that curates and showcases works by some of the best contemporary designers. A platform for rising artists, the gallery has discovered many talented artists and designers who have gained acclaim since. The Future Perfect is a place where you can find modern, sculptural and futuristic pieces – the kind that catches the eye and is sure to be a conversation starter. Playful pieces from current and future design luminaries that can create quirky and unique spaces are what The Future Perfect specializes in.

Dining Interior
Porter Teleo

Created by artist Kelly Porter and interior designer Bridget Cochran, Porter Teleo brings wallpapers to life with a bold style. Hand printed and hand painted using the finest quality of materials, Porter Teleo’s wallpapers are unique. The process uses a mix of traditional and modern techniques including block printing and chine colle to create modern, bold designs. The creative abstract patterns and designs can be used on ceilings and walls to invoke a dramatic effect in an interior design.

Artsy is an online platform for sourcing art from the world’s leading galleries. Artsy makes it easy to find and purchase artworks by partnering with premier art institutions in every country to provide an extensive online catalogue. Reinventing the traditional model of art sourcing for the modern era, Artsy connects buyers with galleries and museums directly to purchase or bid on any piece of art and sculpture. The online catalogue also creates an opportunity for buyers to discover other artists by simply searching the categories and styles and by reading the editorial showcasing artists and artworks. Artsy is the digital adaptation of the art world, covering art shows from across the globe, and connecting art lovers to artists and museums.

Porter Teleo
Interior Color Theory

Interior Color Theory

Color plays an important role in interior design, affecting everything from how the space looks to how we feel in it. It is also one of the choices many struggle with when it comes to interiors – finding the right shades and combinations to use in their home. So whether you are looking to add color to your home or just learning more about interior design, here’s a rundown of everything you need to know about color for interiors.

To understand color well, it is necessary to go back to a concept we all learnt as children – the color wheel. The color wheel, showing primary, secondary and tertiary colors, form the basis of color theory in interior design. The color wheel was originally made by Isaac Newton while attempting to learn more about the nature of light. His experiments with the prism led to the color wheel and our understanding of primary and secondary colors. Red, Yellow and Blue are three colors that combine to form every other color, and are hence known as the primary colors. The primary colors when mixed with each other give rise to secondary and tertiary colors, and the color wheel is a graphical representation of these color relationships.


The terms ‘warm’ and ‘cool’ are used frequently in relation to color. Even lightbulbs use these terms to describe the color of the light. And in the color wheel, warm colors are represented on one side, and cool colors on the other. What do these terms mean?

The warmth and coolness of colors refers to the association of these colors with natural elements such as water and fire. This classification also offers a window into how these colors can affect and induce emotions. Colors belonging to the red and yellow family of colors such as ruby, amber, carnelian and citrine are all considered warm colors, as they invoke a warm feeling in us. These colors are generally stronger in nature, and so using them in small amounts goes a long way. The advancing nature of the colors make them a good choice for larger rooms. Cool colors on the other hand are colors that belong to the family of blues and greens, and can recreate the cool feeling of being near water and plants. Colors like azurite, emerald, jade and amethyst belong to the cool range of colors. Cool colors are receding by nature, and can be used to create calming, open spaces, and to make small rooms feel larger.



Choosing colors for interiors is a daunting task disliked by many. An abundance of color choices coupled with a lack of knowledge of how the colors will look in the space can quickly turn interior color selection into an overwhelming process. Not knowing personal color preferences can also make this harder, as it leads to a fear of disliking certain colors in the future. Make it easier to choose colors for your interiors by analysing your home and wardrobe. I find that the colors we wear and use frequently are the colors we enjoy seeing around us. An understanding of these colors can form the starting point for your color selection.


Just like how warm and cool colors can change how we feel, each of the individual colors have certain attributes and abilities that can affect how objects and rooms using these colors make us feel. The ability of the colors to impact our mood this way is known as color psychology. This characteristic can be made use of in interiors to adapt spaces for certain activities.



The happy color, citrine is associated with the warmth and brightness of sunshine. Citrine brings in positivity into the room, and is also considered a creativity inducing color. This color adds a joyful ambience to living rooms and home offices. Wallpapers, furnishing and decor are all good ways to use citrine, but it can also be used for a bright pop of color with a single piece of furniture or decor that stands out in the room. When using citrine in spaces, balance is key, as too much of the color can be anxiety inducing. To avoid this, use the color in smaller quantities in these spaces.


Carnelian is a color that reminds us of beautiful sunsets and autumn leaves. This color is bright and fresh, and brings about enthusiasm and excitement along with a sense of comfort. It is also a whimsical shade that can put us in a playful mood. The dynamic nature of this color makes it better suited for active areas of the home like the kitchen and playroom. Carnelian can be used for the flooring and backsplash in kitchens, as well as for decor. In playrooms, the color can be applied on accent walls or furniture pieces. I incorporate small amounts of carnelian into many of my interior designs in Sarasota to bring indoors the warmth and brightness of Florida.

color theory
color theory


The warmest of the shades, ruby is a powerful color. This vibrant color is associated with passion and energy. As an active color, when used in the right amount, it can grab our attention and keep us stimulated. Use the intensity of ruby in kitchens and dining areas to stimulate appetite and energy levels. A color that signifies affection and sensuality, muted and deep shades of this color can be used in small amounts in the bedroom as well. Ruby can be introduced through cabinets and counters in the kitchen, and as part of furniture or decor in dining areas. In the bedroom, the minimal use of ruby can be best achieved through decor and artwork.


Soft and comforting are some of the words often used to describe objects in rose quartz. Leaning towards the warmer end of the color spectrum, this color can bring about a playful and calm mood in a room, as well as stimulate the creative mind. As a calming and cozy color, lighter shades of rose quartz can be used in bedrooms and powder rooms. Rose Quartz is also a color that can be overpowering, and works best when balanced with other colors to create exciting combinations for living rooms and workspaces. The color can be used as part of fabrics, furnishings, and wallpapers in these rooms.

color theory
color theory


Associated with luxury and mystery, Amethyst can take on multiple roles based on its intensity. Soft, light shades of the color can be used in a room for a relaxing and restful feel. Deep hues of amethyst create a sensuous and luxurious atmosphere in the room, while bold shades of the color are ideal for a dramatic look. The versatility of amethyst makes it a good choice for the bedroom, living room and the dining room. Amethyst is also good for the home office and study as it can help boost creativity. Use wallpapers, fabrics, furniture and decor to add the qualities of amethyst in these rooms. Feel free to check out a summer palate of lavender I designed here.


A powerful neutral that makes for sophisticated spaces, obsidian is highly popular with designers. The color adds a sense of drama to a room, while being yet another great pairing for all colors. Overuse of this color can make a room feel depressing due to a lack of light. Obsidian is well suited for entryways and dining rooms, and looks glamorous with metallic finishes.

With a general idea of how colors influence our mood, the color selection process is made much simpler. Playing around with different shades and intensities of these colors as well as various color combinations can help in creating the perfect color palette for an interior.

color theory
Interior Color Theory Pearl


A bright color that is balanced and invokes a sense of peace, pearl is the perfect combination to every color imaginable. As a neutral color, pearl works well in both passive and active spaces. An excess use of this color can create a space that feels detached, so it is ideal when combined with other colors


A cool color, sapphire is calming by nature and brings to mind a sense of safety and stability. This color lends a relaxing ambience where it is used. A classic color that is always in style, sapphire is a strong favorite in fashion and interior design. In Sarasota and Tampa, interior designers use shades of sapphire regularly for beach interior designs. Use dark shades of the color like azurite to compose deep and bold looks, and shades of tanzanite to create formal interior spaces. Light shades of the color like turquoise can be used to calm the mind and bring in clarity, making it a good choice for bedrooms and living rooms. Sapphire makes for a beautiful color on walls, wardrobes and even bookshelves in these rooms



Emerald is a calming color that conjures up the beauty of nature in interiors. As a serene color, jade brings about a harmonious feeling in the space. Deeper hues of this color like emerald often have a rich and lush look, and can also be grounding. A cool color, jade is well suited for the passive spaces in homes like bedrooms and bathrooms. It makes a great wall color, as well as for gorgeous furniture and decor. One of the best ways to introduce the color in small amounts into space is to use houseplants, as they bring with them all the lively and natural qualities of the color.


When it comes to deciding on how the colors need to be combined, the desired nature and feel of the room should be considered. For instance, if the intention is to create a breezy and light feeling in the room, much like Scandinavian style interiors, using airy neutrals as the base color for the ceiling and walls are ideal. Colors like pearl, selenite, citrine and celestite have an airy quality that can be utilized for this. For a room that is to be more grounded and earthy, colors like smoky quartz, tiger’s-eye, obsidian and hematite provide a good base color. As a base color, this would form the main part of the scheme, with other colors being added in where necessary. These colors can also be utilised as accents for a similar effect in the designs.

Interior Color Theory Pink


Every room in a house does not need to follow the same color scheme, and could instead have varying secondary or accent colors. In such schemes, it is important to create a continuity in the design using common colors or textures. For instance, if a living room is designed with the ceiling in an amethyst hue, and the dining room adjacent to it uses ruby on the ceiling, the color scheme can be connected by using a common color in the palette, like selenite. The color schemes can also be bridged by adding amethyst accents in the dining room – as part of the dining chairs or a rug, and ruby accents in the living room – on throws and cushions on the sofa or accessories. This would weave a common thread through the designs and make the design cohesive

60-30-10 RULE

One of the most effective ways to combine colors in an interior is to use the 60-30-10 rule. This rule is a simple ratio for using 3 colors in a room. According to this principle, 60% of an interior should use the dominant or base color, 30% should be in a secondary color and the remaining 10% should be the accent color. In a living room or bedroom, the 60% would include walls, large furniture and furnishing pieces like the bed, sofa, and area rugs. 30% of the room would be cabinetry, curtains, coffee tables and smaller pieces of furniture, while 10% of the room would be accent furniture and decor pieces like artworks, plants and accessories.

The 60-30-10 rule does not need to be adhered to completely, and can be tweaked and played around with as needed. Which part of the room makes up each of the percentages is open to interpretation, as are the number of colors used. For example, 60% of a kitchen or living room can be the walls, ceiling and flooring, or it could include the walls and a majority of the furniture or cabinets. Similarly, if the room design feels like it needs both emerald and gold as accent colors, the percentage can be modified accordingly, as long as the accent colors add up to 10% of the room.

At Rachel blindauer interior designs, I begin every design process with a color analysis. This helps me identify the colors that work best for each person. Working as an interior designer in Tampa and Sarasota, I am inspired by the surroundings, and many of my interior designs in Florida are often bright and colorful. With an understanding of the various facets of color theory, you too can effortlessly choose the colors for your interior and furniture designs.

Blue Sapphire & Amethyst