Five Things Terrestrials Love About Martian Interior Design


Sol 173

Earth 2044

Clay pottery is a popular Martian pastime, using the iron rusted red soil on the Red Planet.

Clay pottery is a popular Martian pastime, using the iron rusted red soil on the Red Planet.


One thing Martian settlers almost always get right in their homes is scale, using furniture and artwork.

Smaller furniture helps makes a room look bigger. Due to the compact living spaces on Mars (generally apartments are less than 1200 square feet), smaller furniture allows for a more open floor plan. Much of the furniture is modular, with a favorable material usage variance. This modular design of Martian furniture has been a defining element of the Martian Interior, and has led to a demand of similar furniture on Earth.

Most companies on Mars allow employees to dedicate time during the day for music, painting, writing, or learning an art form. As a result, it is common to find homemade paintings, pictures, and 3D printed designs in most Martian homes. Many of these homes utilize large paintings and illustrations to hang on their walls, which makes the living space feel larger. In addition, due to the access to publicly listed 3D printed designs, Martian homeowners change their large three-dimensional interior artwork quite often.

In Short: Smaller Furniture, Larger Artwork

Natural Integration

Settlers are known to celebrate the natural beauty of their planet. Although the landscape may seem barren to some, the Red Planet and its Inverse Skies are beautiful. The term Inverse Skies, used by many colonists, describes a sky that is usually a reddish hue during the day and blue at dawn and dusk, the inverse of Earth. This is due to the differences concerning Rayleigh and Mie Scattering on both planets.

Element. Due to Earth’s relatively thick atmosphere, photons from the sun scatter off Earth’s air molecules. Rayleigh Scattering occurs when a photon scatters off of an object that is much smaller than the wavelength of the photon. In the case of Earth, red wavelengths (longer wavelengths of visible light) do not scatter as much off of air molecules, as blue wavelengths (shorter wavelengths of visible light). On Earth, blue wavelengths are 10 times more likely to scatter off of air molecules than red wavelengths. This is why the Earth’s day sky is generally blue.
Relative to Earth, Mars has a thinner atmosphere. As a result, the aforementioned air molecules involved in Rayleigh Scattering on Earth are much less abundant, leading to less Rayleigh Scattering. Instead of the air molecules, Mars has many dust particles in its atmosphere due to a weaker surface gravity and a dry dusty surface. These dust particles are generally larger than the air molecules on Earth, allowing for more Mie Scattering to take place than Earth. Unlike Rayleigh Scattering, where scattering happens in all directions, Mie Scattering varies with scattering angles. This results in the Inverse Skies on Mars, as the shorter blue wavelengths scatter at slight angles, deflecting less than the red wavelengths.)

Many Martian homes feature radiation protected windows and transparent ceilings that showcase these Inverse Skies. These ceilings create an ethereal sensation when staring up into the Martian sky.

Smart Lighting

Most Martian settlers utilize smart interior lighting in their subterranean/dome homes in order to simulate daylight. Architects on Mars have built homes in which light fixtures are integrated into the ceilings and walls to simulate the movement of a light source (i.e. the sun’s position with respect to the rotation of the Earth) from one side of the room to the other. Several scientific studies have shown the positive effect that “simulated sunlight” has on Martian settlers, such as allowing for better sleep and an establishing a circadian rhythm.

Of course, all of the smart lighting can be digitally adjusted through home assistants. These home assistants integrate with wearable health monitors and in-home video and audio devices to gauge sleep cycles, activity, and mood levels.

Some of this smart lighting technology has been available on Earth for a couple decades; however, architects on Earth are borrowing from their Martian peers by integrating smart lighting into the structural design of terrestrial homes.


Since the foundation of most subterranean/dome homes cannot be altered by homeowners, interior layouts are often extremely customizable, enabling homeowners to have an incredible amount of variance in their layout and floor plans.

One of the most popular modular designs created and published on the Martian Design Space (an open source platform where people can buy and sell 3D printed designs) is called “Rusticalla.” This interior design layout openly exposes the pipes and infrastructure within the apartment, giving the home a more industrial feel. Most of these designs can be snapped on and off the various pipes, beams, and fixed structures of the home. Many Martians compliment the “Rusticalla” layout with wood-like 3D printed furniture that features the texture and veneer of real wood,  since there is no mass-produced real-wood furniture on Mars (due to a lack of forests and trees to harvest). 

Red Clay

Utilizing the iron rusted red soil on Mars, Martian settlers have made their own clay pots, cups, plates, and utensils. The clayware is glazed with a waterproofing coat to bring out the rich scarlet colors of the soil. A variety of the homemade clayware has taken over most Martian dining tables and kitchens. In addition, some of the clayware can be also be 3D printed.

Martian clayware is also being sold on Earth using a patented artificial Martian clay material called Red Soil. Red Soil is produced by a company called Metastic Design in Mississippi, USA- Earth (using 100% renewable energy) and is infused with dyes concocted from red Martian soil.