Trendy Colors in Multifamily Interior Design

7 min read

Today, multifamily design is all about bringing nature-inspired hues into interiors. But some designers also like to add a splash of color.

Interior design at CANVAS at Arizona State University
CANVAS at Arizona State University. Image courtesy of Mary Cook Associates

The past couple of years have shown how important it is to live in a home that not only has comfortable, flexible, functional spaces, but also supports one’s health and mental wellbeing. Multifamily interior design specialists know that colors can make or break a room, creating a relaxing atmosphere, fresh living spaces and a perfect overall harmony.   

“People do better when their environments give them a place to recharge, innovate and contemplate. The importance of having the design on point with mindful details is that each individual benefits from a better day-to-day experience,” Kate Brennan, creative manager with Eleni Interiors, told Multi-Housing News.


READ ALSO: What’s Hot and What’s Not in Apartment Interiors


To find the best color palette for each project, Brennan and her team study demographics and relevant history of a place. Setting the right tone for a project means spending a lot of time talking with everyone involved in the development. All these conversations result in “a very intentional color palette that truly completes the design of a project,” Brennan said.

Recently, she worked on The Residences at Sawmill Station, a new, 250-unit luxury apartment building in Morton Grove, Ill., that caters to young professionals working in the Chicago area. The designer and her team created earthy modern interiors using raw and authentic materials. The apartments were designed for a work-from-home lifestyle, featuring a lot of natural light and finishes that pull in the outdoors.

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Nature-inspired hues 

As residents continue to prioritize wellness and strive to strike a healthy work-life balance, nature will continue to plan an ever-increasing role in interior design, said Mary Cook, president of Mary Cook Associates.

Biophilic design can bring the outdoors inside by mixing natural materials and textiles, while also maintaining a fresh modern palette by utilizing an abundance of natural light and lighter colored woods,” Cook said.

Her team at MCA recently completed two colorful projects for Toll Brothers Apartment Living and Toll Brothers Campus Living. Kilby Apartments is a 258-unit community in Frisco, Texas, where Cook and her multifamily interior design specialists used a lot of wood, taking inspiration from the outdoors and creating a human-centered design.

Multifamily interior design at Kilby Apartments
Kilby Apartments. Image courtesy of Mary Cook Associates

The other project that MCA recently wrapped up is CANVAS, a student housing community in Tempe, Ariz., serving Arizona State University. The 856-unit luxury off-campus development includes ample socialization spaces that abound with color.

Brennan and her team at Eleni Interiors also use design to pull in nature throughout amenity spaces and into the residences. “Using color palettes that pull saturated earthy tones and textures will continue to prevail for colors,” Brennan said. “Rich coppers, rusts, clays, balanced with nutty natural tones and combined with strong moss greens is a desired color palette. Other dominant color palettes that pull in the outdoors use land and sea, which strike a balance between strong blues, serene blush, creams that pair with an array of softer quieter tones and hues.” 

The resurgence of nature is also highly visible throughout multifamily interior designs created by H. Hendy Associates. “Biophilia is a major trend right now. Whether it be raw materials, living walls, or lighting to replicate a natural circadian rhythm,” Design Director Felicia Hyde told MHN.  

Soothing colors

Recently, Hyde noticed “a draw toward calming, soothing color palettes and softer materials that elicit feelings of safety and warmth.” The need to feel safe and comfortable at home—stemming from the pandemic and the long lockdown periods—has had a significant impact on multifamily interior design.

And color plays a central role in bringing peace of mind and serenity to residents. For example, blues and greens are widely believed to be calming and healing, while white stands for purity, completion and innocence in color psychology.

“We are doing a lot of bright white complimented with earth tones, like terra cotta, natural-colored woods and sage green,” Hyde said.

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  • Multifamily interior design
  • Multifamily interior design
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Is Very Peri necessary in 2022?

Pantone announced that Very Peri, a blue-violet hue, is its color of the year. And despite the fact that the institute names a new shade every year, some multifamily designers are very eager to integrate it into their designs. Particularly as Very Peri symbolizes “inventiveness and creativity,” according to the institute.

“Very Peri displays a spritely, joyous attitude and dynamic presence that encourages courageous creativity and imaginative expression,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, in prepared remarks.

Veri Peri could be used in ultifamily interior design
Very Peri. Image courtesy of Pantone Color Institute

This 2022 color of the year could easily work as an accent color in interior design.

“There is always room for color in multifamily, and Very Peri would pair nicely with any neutral or terra cotta or yellow. Most of the multifamily projects I have completed have been color saturated,” Hyde said.

Brennan believes that Very Peri could more likely act as a temporary element—such as an art piece on a wall—considering that the overall design of multifamily space needs to have a long shelf life and design needs to stand the test of time. On the other hand, Cook considers that the use of Very Peri in multifamily interior design depends on elements such as location, demographics and community positioning.

“It is challenging to generalize about a specific color without considering the context and goals of the design, as well as psychographics—the values, attitudes, interests, lifestyles, and aspirations—of the individuals who will ultimately inhabit the space,” Cook concluded.

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