The Zodiac Guide to Design
Design by sign: Navigate your decor and interior spaces with guidance from the stars
Zodiac Design: the Stars’ Guide to Style
Astrology is in. Horoscopes have devoted followers who look to them for guidance in everything from their love lives to career moves. You can turn that same star power toward decorating, says Shawna Stanley, astrologer for Sojourn Healing Collective. Shawna outlined the traits and preferences of each of the zodiac signs, then four interior designers provided advice to help you bring it all home.
Aries (March 21-April 19): The Ram
As the first sign of the zodiac, Aries are vibrant individuals who are undaunted in the face of risks. This spontaneity manifests in all life’s aspects, from weekend plans—last minute sky diving session, anyone?—to design decisions. “As a fierce and competitive fire sign, Aries love dramatic elements that they can show off to others, especially involving flames or fiery shades, so think standout artwork and a large fireplace,” Shawna says. “With Mars as their ruling planet, they are very energetic and need a home gym or pool to let off steam.”
“Aries love dramatic elements that they can show off…”
Shades: Reds, oranges and metallics balanced with light grays and creams
Furnishings: Chaise lounges, lacquered red tables and fire
features (such as Stone Yard, Inc.’s Pucati side table, pictured).
Accessories: Striking modern art and lighting, and decorative tiles
Materials: Silver and gold metals and citrine quartz
How to Decorate
“I love the idea of a showstopping entry or living area for an Aries client,” Hope Pinc, of Hope Pinc Design, says. “For an entryway, a console table with a jewel-toned quartz top and a mixed-metal base would be beautiful paired with footstools in bold-patterned upholstery. A unique mirror, sparse asymmetrical accessories and an interestingly shaped lamp would complete the vignette.”
“In a living space, a sizeable entertainment wall would be ideal to showcase singular art, modern materials and state-of-the-art electronics. Fantastic lighting to highlight it all would complete the look. I love the idea of a bold chandelier.” We love the Newton suspension lamp from Boca Do Lobo (pictured), which doubles as lighting and intriguing artwork.
A fully wallpapered powder room in an unexpected print would be another great way to add an attention-grabbing touch—in red, of course, Hope notes.
Taurus (April 20-May 20): The Bull
Steadfast, humble and with an antipathy for change, those born under this sign gravitate toward well-made, solid furnishings that last, and are elegant but understated. They also prefer carefully chosen accessories with history. “As an earth sign, Taurus needs to be surrounded by plants and all-natural materials, so avoid anything synthetic,” Shawna says. “Ruled by Venus, they appreciate beauty and decadence and enjoy being surrounded by soft textures and soothing scents. They love entertaining with a great spread of fine foods and beverages.”
“…A Taurus needs to be surrounded by plants and all-natural materials, so avoid anything synthetic.”
Shades: Greens, browns, creams (earthy shades) and light blues and soft pinks (for a touch of Venus)
Furnishings: Built-in shelving and hardwood chairs with comfortable cushions
Accessories: High thread-count sheets, soft comforters and vintage kitchenware
Materials: Glass, stone, hardwood, natural fibers and agate
How to Decorate
“For a Taurus, I envision a gorgeous, well-appointed kitchen with lots of hidden storage and a spacious island for entertaining,” Hope says. “The bulk of the cabinetry would be a very light-washed wood but would incorporate an engaging backsplash, inset above the stove area and contrasting stone for the island.”
A large sectional sofa piled high with throws, blankets and pillows would be great for creating a center of comfort in the living room, Hope notes. To infuse spaces with lots of natural textures, use nubby cotton upholstery (with neutral layers where more than one fabric is used) and natural fiber window treatments.
Add other natural elements by incorporating plenty of floor and accent plants and stone tops for side tables.
Gemini (May 21-June 20): The Twins
Quick witted, communicative and full of life, Geminis are always ready to tackle the next item on their agenda. Create a space that includes pops of color for interest but captures a sense of warm simplicity, in which everything is tucked away so as not to overwhelm the senses. “Mercury is the ruling planet for Geminis and is responsible for their fast-paced nature. They need lots of sensory input and movement so having interactive furnishings—like a rocking chair—is key,” Shawna says. “As air elements they are very intellectual and require constant access to information. This may mean a TV or computer in every room and a large (well-organized) library.”
“Geminis need lots of sensory input and movement…”
Shades: Neutrals to soothe their rapid-fire minds; bright colors, like blues, yellows and oranges, to inspire positivity
Furnishings: Shelves, rocking chairs (like the Einrichten Design’s Era chair, pictured) and foosball tables
Accessories: Storage containers and inspirational artwork
Materials: Light wood, glass, rattan and aquamarine
How to Decorate
A Gemini’s space needs to be minimalistic, Karyn Frazier and Jessica Nicolls, of Bungalow 56, advise. “The only clutter should be their books,” Jessica says, “but those can be used to style, and grouped by color.”
“Keep the palette neutral and add pops of color via accessories to reflect the signs’ dual nature,” Karyn adds. “Look for furniture and accents that aren’t overly ornate, such as a clean white sofa, a Turkish rug and decorative glass orbs.”
The designers suggest including built-in chargers in nightstands and kitchen drawers. “It’s the cleanest look while prioritizing functionality,” Karyn says.
Cancer (June 21-July 22): The Crab
Cancers are the definition of a nurturing “mom friend” who is all about comfort for themselves and others. They are always ready to host a movie night with a tub of cookie dough, oodles of tea and comfy blankets on-hand. “With the moon as their ruling planet, Cancers are very empathetic,” Shawna says. “As a water sign, they are sentimental and prioritize caring for their loved ones. An open-floorplan living space is perfect so they can interact with company while preparing food for them in their fully stocked kitchen. Cancers often keep a constant supply of yummy smelling candles and fresh flowers to create an inviting atmosphere.”
“…For a Cancer, you want down-wrapped cushions and a multitude of throw pillows.”
Shades: Creams, blues, silvers (luminescent like the moon) and warm floral tones
Furnishings: Ultra-comfy sofas and chairs, solid-wood dining sets (all about solid foundations and being with others) and soaking tubs (for the self-care that they often overlook)
Accessories: Prized family heirlooms and mementos (for connections), giant squishy pillows, bathtub trays and candles (the Orchid & Amber candle from Craft + Foster would be a great addition to any Cancer’s candle collection, pictured)
Materials: Natural wood, copper, soft fabrics and moonstone
How To Decorate
“Furnishings with clean lines that also emphasize comfort would be ideal,” Karyn says. “With a Cancer’s beloved sofa, you want down-wrapped cushions and a multitude of throw pillows. Their bed would be piled high with an overstuffed down comforter and fluffy throw blankets. Everything is about comfort and optimal textures, so a decadent, overstuffed chair and plush rugs would be perfect.”
Go for relaxing mood lighting with a simple chandelier and pretty table lamps that give off a nice, warm light, she suggests. Since connections are so important to Cancers, they would adore a large gallery wall with pictures of family, friends and beloved pets. “Tasteful rustic signage would be a nice addition to mix with the photographs on the gallery wall for contrast.”
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): The Lion
Leos are fiercely independent and blaze their own path through life. They are adventurous with a penchant for self-expression that makes them natural trend-setters who are unafraid to try fresh shades, patterns and styles. “Ruled by the lively and luminous sun, Leos need plenty of light in their lives, from sunshine to the spotlight. There should be plenty of windows and skylights in their abode, a gallery to display the one-of-a-kind art they have found and areas for lounging outdoors,” Shawna says. “As fire signs they love dramatic, regal elements and would appreciate a lavish bathroom and walk-in closet for grooming in style before they entertain.”
…Unafraid to try fresh shades, patterns and styles. “Ruled by the lively and luminous sun, Leos need plenty of light.”
Shades: Reds, oranges and yellows (vivid sunshine shades that emphasize their fiery spirit)
Furnishings: Oversized velvet ottomans, luxurious vanities and fire pits
Accessories: LED mirrors, statement artwork and patterned accent walls
Materials: Gold metal, velvet, dark wood and tiger’s eye. A velvet Scallop Kube Chair from Modshop (pictured) appeals to a Leo’s need to lounge in style, with luxe textures and feisty shades.
How to Decorate
“Since Leos are social creatures who love to throw an impressive event, fancy dining spaces and chic lounges with home bars would be ideal spaces to create for them,” notes Kitchy Crouse of KC Interior Design. “These spaces should be both comfortable and classy, with lounge sofas, nesting tables, graphic throw pillows and bold art in a sitting room/gallery and a stunning handmade wooden table paired with patterned, upholstered chairs and an eye-catching chandelier in a dining room.”
Other ways to incorporate dramatic elements include unique display shelving and striking wallpaper, Kitchy says. The Color Clouds wallpaper in Chili from Rebel Walls (pictured) makes a Leo-perfect accent wall.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The Virgin
Virgos are practical individuals who appreciate an orderly environment without any superfluous belongings. Cleanliness and health are also very important and lead them to invest in air purifiers (both electric and natural via plants) and a master bathroom with all the bells and whistles. “With analytical Mercury as their ruling planet, Virgos are detail-oriented and organized, with containers and calendars in their homes and decor that are both attractive and functional,” Shawna says. “As earth signs they love greenery and gravitate toward natural materials.”
…an orderly environment without any superfluous belongings.
A Virgo craves an orderly environment without any superfluous belongings…
Shades: Earthy browns, tans, greens and grays with richer blues and yellows as accents
Furnishings: Antique hutches (core furniture is simple but sophisticated), old typewriters and steam showers
Accessories: Kitchen herb walls (healthy and good-looking) and lots of labeled storage
Materials: Light wood, subway tiles, stainless steel and amazonite
How to Decorate
“Everything in a Virgo’s home should have a purpose and place, but that doesn’t mean that it is sparse,” Karyn says. “They take great pride in their spaces and invest in quality furnishings and lighting with clean lines. A spotless bathroom with a magnifying mirror at a nice vanity and carefully arranged drawers complete with built-in outlets and space for all their beauty products and appliances fits the bill.”
Karyn and Jessica advise a creative room or corner to work on projects; and a kitchen with an organizer in every drawer, and a chalkboard wall as an optimal space for list-making. And Aimée Wilder’s Jungle Dream wallpaper in Orinoco (pictured) adds another layer to a Virgo’s need for an urban jungle in their space.
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The Scales
Libras are known for their diplomacy and are born peacemakers. They have an air of natural charm and enjoy socializing. They long for harmony in their lives and living spaces. “Libras are ruled by Venus, so they like a little romance in their lives and appreciate lovely things,” Shawna says. “They are air elements that enjoy new information and keeping busy with creative pursuits. Libras should set aside room for a craft area as they are talented DIYers. But their greatest design influence is the balance that they crave in all things (as symbolized by the scales that represent them) that guides them to choose simple but well-made furniture and natural objects like multifunctional woven baskets.”
“Libras should set aside room for a craft area, as they are talented DIYers.”
Shades: Blacks and whites for balance (we love this ZigZagZurich Strokes bedding, pictured), and light purples and grays, for calm
Furnishings: Vintage credenzas and light fixtures made from natural products
Accessories: Ceramic pottery, woven baskets and high-contrast art
Materials: Natural wood, linen, brass and opal
How to Decorate
“Bring in that balance that is all-important to Libras through symmetrical room layouts, even numbers of items (such as chairs at the dining table or light pendants), white walls with black detailing and accents like bookends that provide symmetry and hold books that appeal to the intellectual air sign,” says Emilia Franceschi of Jette Creative.
“Large, organic artwork functions as a focal point to reflect the Libra’s need to express creativity.”
To feed their social needs, invest in a large communal table to encourage entertaining and pair it with lived-in vintage pieces like leather dining chairs, Emilia says.
And this craft room (pictured) by Jette Creative is the perfect hideaway for DIY-friendly Libras.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): The Scorpion
Scorpios are intensely passionate, introspective people who lean toward sensual decor like lush rugs and sheets, and canopy beds. They have an inclination for obsession—making them collectors. “Scorpios are ruled by Pluto, which is representative of the relationship between life and death and transformation and rebirth,” Shawna says. “Their cyclical natures mean that though they passionately collect things and display them, they will purge every few years to begin anew.”
Scorpios are intensely passionate, introspective people who lean toward sensual decor…
Shades: Blacks, dark purples, dark reds and dark blues (deep, rich jewel tones, like in these sapphire stopper jars from One Kings Lane, pictured)
Furnishings: Clawfoot bathtubs, ornate antique curio cabinets (to store various collections) and daybeds (for stargazing)
Accessories: Textured wallpapers, hanging lamps and blackout curtains
Materials: Dark wood, iron, velvet, silk and garnet
How to Decorate
“For the sensual, introspective Scorpio, creating intimate spaces for contemplation throughout the home is key,” Kitchy says. She suggests little nooks and hidden spots, like a small window seat for reading; a bedroom with silk curtains; oversized velvet furniture; layers of texture; and artwork with an air of brooding passion.
Living touches such as plants or pet fish would pay homage to Scorpio’s connections to water and the cycle of life.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): The Archer
People born under this sign are the globe-trotting adventurers; they’ve been everywhere and brought home a collection of decor to prove it. “Ruled by expansive Jupiter, Sagittarius love their space, whether exploring the great wide open or opting for high ceilings and lots of natural lighting in their homes,” Shawna shares. “As a fire sign, Sagittarius have the energy to passionately pursue many activities that they then memorialize in their home with photos, equipment and accessories in places of honor on walls and shelves. Sagittarius don’t need extravagant kitchens; they tend to enjoy dining out at someplace new.”
“…memorialize in their homes with photos, equipment and accessories in places of honor on walls and shelves.”
Shades: Rich blues, greens and reds balanced with neutral whites and browns
Furnishings: Live-edge tables, fire features and striking light fixtures (like this Troy Lighting Huxley pendant, pictured)
Accessories: Maps, travel and sports mementos, and mudcloth pillows
Materials: Light wood, pewter, pet-friendly fabrics and turquoise
How to Decorate
These fire signs thrive with more than one fiery feature in their living spaces. “In a living room designed for a Sagittarius, a sizeable fireplace should be a major focal point,” Emilia says. “Opening that living space with an indoor-outdoor concept to a patio with a fire pit would be ideal. Indoors, ample open shelving to display accessories and art from their travels is a must.”
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): The Goat
Capricorns are the most dedicated and industrious of the signs. They are hard workers who enjoy structure and will give it their all to create their ideal space—all to the tune of, “Work, work, work, work…”(insert Rihanna’s voice here). “With serious Saturn as their ruling planet, Capricorns are solid and dependable and value the same qualities in their spaces—gravitating toward solid wood, granite and classic sophistication,” Shawna says. “As an earth sign they are grounded and methodical and have a very ‘home and hearth’ mentality. They like a large formal living room suffused with artwork they chose—and know the history behind. A bar cart with elegant glassware completes the look.”
“…Capricorns are solid and dependable…gravitating toward solid wood, granite and classic sophistication.”
Shades: Dark grays, greens and blues, blacks and whites
Furnishings: Solid wood desks, spacious four-poster beds and built-in bookshelves
Accessories: Bar carts, crystal decanters (the Ferm Living Ripple drinking glass and Fein tea spoon, pictured, would make excellent additions to a Capricorn’s prized bar cart), plants and top-of-the-line appliances
Materials: Dark wood, leather, brass, granite, exposed brick and smoky quartz
How to Decorate
“For a Capricorn, I love the idea of a sitting room with a really fantastic bar area in front of an exposed-brick accent wall,” Hope says.
“The space would feature really great statement art that creates conversation and emotion. In an area of the house that is well exposed to light, incorporating a small green wall with a variety of interesting succulents arranged sculpturally would be a fun way to tie in their need for greenery as an earth element.”
For chic seating in this swanky space, elegantly curved accent chairs with tapered legs that end in brushed brass points would work well, Hope says.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The Water Bearer
“This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius…” Since they are always looking to the future, this lyric is never too far off from the truth. People born under this sign are very observant and ever-ready to embrace the next big technological advancement—even if it’s just in the field of home appliances. “The ruling planet for Aquarius is the rebel planet Uranus that represents those who are slightly offbeat, worldly and forward thinking,” Shawna says. “The intellectual disposition that Aquarius gets from their air sign combines with this futuristic outlook and makes for people who love an ultra-modern home that is high up with spacious windows.”
“…an Aquarius is very observant and ever-ready to embrace the next big technological advancement…”
Shades: Blues, greens, oranges, whites and grays
Furnishings: Large sectionals, ghost chairs and funky accent tables
Accessories: All the latest home appliances and technologies, lighting with a modern flair, and mirrored accents (and an Aquarius will love the retro-futurism in this charcoal Aimee Wilder Analog Nights wallpaper, pictured)
Materials: Steel, glass, concrete, recycled materials and labradorite
How to Decorate
“Aquarius rules all things modern and futuristic, so smart home features are a must,” Kitchy says. “This sign craves fresh air and large windows, which goes perfectly with the glass-and-metal window-heavy look of most modern homes.”
For living spaces, forget the antiques and find a contemporary leather sofa with a steel frame, a zany accent chair, and consider concrete flooring or countertops, Kitchy suggests. “For accessories, try modern planters with a midcentury flair.”
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20): The Fish
Pisces are ethereal dreamers who love relaxing with great tunes and are always being interrupted by real life in the middle of a truly inspired daydream. “With Neptune as a ruling planet, Pisces are idealistic thinkers whose homes become their serene sanctuary—especially the bedroom—to relax in and retreat to their fantastical inner world,” Shawna says. “Being a water element, they are sensitive and fluid and are drawn to spaces that are cozy and comfortable with a bohemian vibe.”
“…Pisces are drawn to spaces that are cozy and comfortable with a bohemian vibe.”
Shades: Blues, soft greens, light purples, oranges and whites
Furnishings: Super-comfortable beds, hanging chairs and an extra-deep bathtub (and a Pisces will adore this entire bathroom with Popham Design Hex Star tiles and a dramatic clawfoot tub)
Accessories: Fluffy Moroccan Berber rugs, furry pillows and turntables
Materials: Teak, chrome, raw linens, chiffon, glass and amethyst
How to Decorate
“Providing lots of different storage options for the less-than-tidy Pisces is a good idea,” Emilia says. “Pretty cabinets, both built-in and freestanding, can help hide clutter, along with a discreet storage ottoman or bench.” We love this storage-filled soothing bedroom by Jette Creative.
For ultimate serenity while reading or daydreaming, incorporate a designated hanging or lounge chair by a window, Emilia suggests. “Remember to take small elements into account as well, such as utilizing diffused, indirect lighting for a soft glow, and add mirrors around the house to catch reflections (much like light refracting off a lake).”
With larger furnishings, Pisces should choose seating upholstered in washed-linens for extra-soft texture, Emilia says. “They aren’t afraid of a little color and would be delighted by a substantial piece—such as an accent chair—in one of their preferred shades.”