Neuroscience and Interior Design

Warm sunny windows bring in natural light and bright yellow window treatments add an element of spring flowers. Neuroscience and interior design combine to create a welcoming retreat.

Is Neuroscience the New Frontier of Interior Design?

 Do you wonder who decides what the next big thing is going to be? I do, as I am on a constant quest to learn all I can about the business and direction of interior design. I am fascinated with what makes things tick. Whether it is quantum physics and how it relates to my perspective on balancing energy in the homes I design or neuroscience and how it positively impacts the world of interior design. Undoubtedly you are wondering what quantum physics and neuroscience have to do with interior design. I will save quantum physics for another day, but neuroscience seems to be the new frontier for interior design.

Will neuroscience be the next interior design trend?

It seems we are constantly looking for the next big thing in the interior design world. Sanctuary, wellness, intentional design, and biophilia have all become keywords for how we as designers approach our clients’ homes. You cannot read an article about the business of interiors or kitchen and bath design without finding one or all of these words. Granted these are all very important concepts when designing for our clients. I personally use all these concepts in one way or another. I certainly believe that professional interior and kitchen/bath designers are the front-line workers for the health and welfare of the interior environments we carefully craft. What we choose for our designs has a direct effect on the mental, emotional, and physical well-being of our clients.

The simple beauty of natural light and lovely flowers create a serene feeling in this bathroom designed by Sharon L Sherman Kitchen Designer NJ of Thyme & Place Design

Natural light and elegant forms create a serene setting in this principal bath. Design by Thyme & Place Design

Neuroscience and Interior Design: What we see.

Where we live and work has profound effects on our state of being. What we perceive as beauty can promote healthy brain chemistry which has a direct impact on the quality of our daily lives. In 2019 I attended the Design + Tech Conference in New York City, which was co-sponsored by the National Kitchen and Bath Association and CE Pro. Donald H Ruggles, AIA was the keynote speaker, and I had the good fortune of hearing his inspiring talk based on his book Beauty, Neuroscience and Architecture.  Ruggles said beauty and inspiration play important roles in our lives and well-being. What we see creates thought patterns that impact our brains and our physical bodies. That 45-minute talk inspired a new direction for my view of interior design. I treasure my autographed copy of Mr. Ruggles’s book. 

Adobe understands the effect color and pattern has on humans. In their new building in San Jose CA, they color-coded areas with specific color schemes using principles of neuroscience to define areas of the building. These colors impact how employees interact within the spaces as well as how they work in those spaces. If you follow my blog, you may recall, I wrote a post “How Colors Impact You And Your Home”. The same principle was used here, colors affect how we feel.

Neuroscience and Interior Design: Our behavior

Designers and architects make choices that directly affect our behavior patterns. When we design interiors that promote creative ideas such as critical thinking, developing empathy, fostering emotional intelligence, and forging personal connections we are fostering positive human development. That human component, that connection is what AI cannot provide. The more we understand these connections, the better we will become at designing healthy and positive interiors. As a matter of fact, knowing that spaces can be more than just functional enhances the human element of design. 

What feeds our soul? Image of my clients dog enjoying their new kitchen Designed by Thyme & Place Design

Neuroscience and the world of interior design: My perspective

My clients often say they are delighted with the rooms I design for them.  As a matter of fact, they often ask “how did you know just what we needed?” First and foremost, I  am a good listener and I hear them. Secondly, I understand how wellness is influenced by what we see, touch, and feel. Thirdly, I value the concept of home environments as having restorative powers. Combining this approach with the elements of design is a winning recipe. Most importantly, my projects are designed for the client and not for me, hence each one is unique. 

Red leather chaise and sofa centered on a custom rug and paneled wood walls in a contemporary great room design. Sharon L Sherman Thyme & Place Design

Everyone deserves good design.

Employing the concepts of neuroscience in our interiors can promote wellness for any budget. It levels the playing field of who can afford the benefits of a well-designed interior. I truly believe good design which promotes positive benefits for emotional, physical, and mental well-being is not just for a select few. Yes, the cost of materials and retaining a designer will impact budgets. Not everyone will want to hire a professional designer. There are resources that are available and attainable for everyone at every budget level. 

Neuroscience and Interior Design: Your home

 In my post “Designing A Home With Happiness and Joy”, I offer several ideas you can easily apply to your home.  Here are a few more suggestions. 

  • Love the beach, add some images of the waves crashing against the sand.
  • Do you love nature? find a picture of beautiful flowers to enjoy.
  • Create your own special corner just for you to Just Be!
  • Add a Chroma therapy light fixture to the bathroom. Light has the most significant impact on humans.
  • Surround yourself with what represents your idea of beauty.

Sharon L. Sherman, ASID, NCIDQ, CID, CKD


Sharon is the founder of Thyme and Place Design, headquartered in Wyckoff, New Jersey. She’s been practicing kitchen and bath design for the past 40 years and is a Past President of the American Society of Interior Designers – New Jersey chapter. She is a current member of the editorial board of KBB Magazine, the official magazine of the National Kitchen and Bath Association. Sharon has also received a Kitchen Bath Design News 2022 Innovator of the Year Award.

Her award-winning designs and editorial comments have been featured in Forbes, The New York Times, Design Milk, Furniture Lighting and Decor, Designers Today, Bergen NJ magazineKitchen & Bath Design News, Woman’s Day, Country Decorating, Design NJ, New Jersey Home Magazine, 201 Magazine, The Best of Bergen, Savvy Living, The Vue, The Record, The Star-Ledger,  and Aspire as well as several books.

Her blog “Tips from the Trade” appears in digital form on and She has also appeared on HGTV’s My Big Amazing Renovation and episodes of House Smarts with Lou ManfrediniSharon was a featured speaker for  *Voices From The Industry*  at the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s international convention and The International Surfaces Event and is available for further speaking engagements nationwide on all topics related to running a successful kitchen and bath design business. She is also a CEU provider for IDCEC. 


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Sharon sherman

My award-winning designs haven been featured in multiple magazines, industry publications and on television. That’s nice affirmation, to be sure.

But perhaps the greatest accolade I’ve received is the repeat engagements with so many clients, project after project, year after year.

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