10 Colors in the Interior That Designers Prefer

Emma Johnson, James Smith, Sophia Williams, Oliver Brown, and Ava Davis shared their favorite shades for interior design.

Emma Johnson: “Don’t be afraid to use complex saturated colors”

The designer named three favorite colors and recommended how to use them. She also shared the principle of color matching.

Deep Blue

“I really like deep blue or the color of the sky at dusk,” says Emma. “In 2020, it was named Pantone’s Color of the Year. It has been scientifically proven that the blue color relieves nervous tension, and fatigue, and normalizes blood pressure. It is calm and reliable, but it also adds sophistication, nobility, and a touch of luxury to any interior. And if you dilute it with a contrasting shade of lingonberries, then guests will never forget your interior.”


The designer believes that this cheerful color is perfect for northern climates.

“It can give you sunshine, completely transform a space, and turn minuses into pluses,” says Emma Johnson. “For example, this bedroom faces north, and there’s not much light coming through the windows. Because of this, the room seemed very cold and gray before the renovation. A low-saturation complex yellow color with an admixture of pink came into play. Now this room is always warm and bright, even on the darkest and rainiest day.”

Wine color (marsala)

Emma Johnson calls it “delicious” and “rich”. “You want to drown in it and find the truth,” says the designer. “This color fills you with energy and drive. And in the kitchen, painted in a bright saturated color of marsala, you always want to cook. For example, here you just want to experiment with the cuisines of India, China, or Georgia and add more spices.”

Designer Emma Johnson:

Don’t be afraid to use complex, saturated colors. They make the interior deeper, more refined and cozy, it will look expensive and never get boring. I also recommend, if you choose complex tones, to do a pre-painting and see how the color will look in a particular room. You will be surprised, but the same color looks completely different in different rooms of the same apartment.

I really like to come up with complex color combinations. This is easy to do if you choose saturated colors for the walls. For example, a little pink was added to this green – and guests will have a pleasant color aftertaste. They will not forget such an interior for a long time.

Oliver Brown: “I suggest using accents on a neutral light background”

Oliver Brown shared her favorite colors to create accents on a light background.

Shades of green (olive or emerald)

Alice recommends using them as accents in living spaces. “Green, especially olive, is the most democratic color. It is for those who are afraid to experiment with colors. And you can safely add shades of yellow and mustard to the olive one.”

Cool Shades of Blue

The designer recommends using them in the common area — living room, kitchen, dining room, hallway, and corridor. “Blue is a bolder solution, suitable for common areas as it is cold and sets the mood for a working atmosphere. It’s harder to match it with additional colors, it’s better to choose pastel shades.”


Oliver also advises using this complex shade in general-purpose rooms. “Salmon brings the interior to life, especially if the clients want to use a grey background,” says the designer. “It’s warm and you won’t get bored.”


“Mustard goes well with olive shades, grays, and beige-grays. The color is suitable for accent details, such as textiles, upholstery, and interior décor,” says Oliver.

Designer Oliver Brown:

For dark or fairly bright tones, it’s best to use neutral gray-white shades as a background or delve into gray. I try to choose a background color with the least amount of yellow and beige, so that the interiors are assembled by color scheme and are not full of accents.

James Smith: “Natural colors are my favorite”

The designer highlights natural colors, and talks about white and black. But not in its purest form. “In nature, there is no such thing as absolute black or absolutely white,” James Smith specifies.

Shades of white

James Smith uses the example of light ceilings to reveal the variety of white colors and the importance of choosing the right shade.

“A white ceiling doesn’t always make a room look taller, the wrong shade can turn a room into a box. We always choose an individual shade of white for ceilings, and never paint with ready-made white from the store. In the color palette of any brand, there are the lightest shades. It is important to understand the general range of the interior and choose the most appropriate light tone for it.

For example, in this project, the ceiling is a shade lighter than the doors — a milky color (or the color of expensive porcelain). With a different shade, the composition would have fallen apart, but here it turned out to be a smooth transition, and the interior is perceived holistically.”


“Black is also a favorite color,” James Smith continues. — A dark shade from the palette is needed in any interior, for example, for setting accents, any color, bright or calm, always looks advantageous against its background.

The more complex the combination of dark and light shades, the more interesting the interior, which means that you won’t want to make repairs, repaint walls, or re-wallpaper for a long time.”

Designer James Smith:

Don’t forget about accents. This is what the eye rests on, and the composition becomes lively and dynamic. If it is difficult to choose a combination of colors, you can “ask” nature, for example, a tree with green foliage has dark bark, and becomes elegant when flowers bloom and bright colors appear. It’s the same in the interior – it’s hard to live in a boring space.

Ava Davis: “For our interiors, we like to use a natural base of colors. These are the shades of the earth.”

Architect Ava Davis Ivanova highlights natural colors, explains why she prefers them in interiors, and gives successful combinations.

Shades of Earth

“For our interiors, we like to use a natural base of colors. These are shades of the earth — beige, gray, brown, and green of different saturation. Such colors create an interior that is timeless for many years,” says Ava Davis. “This base works well as a background for the interior, and it can be easily combined with each other or with brighter shades, such as air colors such as white, light blue, and blue. We are sure that such colors will never go out of fashion, as they harmonize the space and bring us closer to the environment.”

The architect believes that monochromatic interiors in calm colors are relevant today. And he explains why.

Architect Ava Davis:

The world is chaotic and volatile right now. People have a lot of stress and anxiety in their lives. This will also be reflected in the psychology of color and interiors. It is worth noting that the future belongs to minimalistic monochromatic interiors in natural colors. The fact is that such color combinations create a peaceful, enveloping effect of space.

“An earthy shade and a cool beige are good for the main tone. If we talk about gray, then it can also be used, but in skillful hands, so as not to turn into too ascetic character of the interior. It needs to be made friends with other shades of gray, diluted with accents.

It is worth moving away from direct contrasts in the interior and bright experiments. And so that the interior does not look boring in monochrome, it can be diluted with other shades of natural tones – beige, soft yellow. A variety of shapes and textures will also work well,” the architect shares.

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