Design Recipes: Jewel tones sparkle in home settings

By Cathy Hobbs
Tribune News Service

Ruby, sapphire, emerald, gold and platinum — jewel tones abound. These colors are not just for fashion; they can also perk up the home. While most people may associate gold and silver with finishes such as chrome and brass, incorporating jewel tones may also help create an environment that truly shines. Not sure where to start? Here are some tips.

Ruby red helps add an instant burst of color to this kitchen space.

1. Use the jewel tones you love or would use in jewelry, such as ruby, sapphire and emerald.

2. Look for affordable ways to bring jewel tones into your space such as accessories including pillows and throws.

3. Infuse deep, rich jewel tones such as sapphire and deep emerald.

4. Use bright jewel tones like ruby red and bright gold to add a sense of light.

5. Don't be afraid to blend gold and silver in the same space.

6. Experiment with fixtures and finishes.

Silver and gold add rhythm and interest in this living/dining space.

7. Look for bold opportunities like artwork to make a design statement.

8. Consider accents, accessories and artwork that may blend more than one jewel tone into a single art piece.

9. Tone down jewel tones with neutral colors such as white, tan and black.

10. Experiment with jewel tones in various spaces from social areas such as living/dining spaces to bedrooms.

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at  or visit her website at

Sapphire blue, silver and gold create a mix of warm and cool tones in this family room. (Design Recipes/TNS)