Nearly every big change in how we design starts as a fad, which is really just a shared moment among a subset of tastemakers or designers that gains traction.
Some fads fade away slowly. Others implode suddenly.
However, if there’s anything that has fallen decidedly out of fashion recently, it is the very idea of interior-design trends. When budgets are tight, and the focus on sustainability is ever sharper, the idea of buying something for your home purely to tap into what could be a short-lived fad seems wrong. Yet, there are always key trends that become something much more than something fleeting. They turn into movements within the industry and we see them growing, shifting, and evolving into something long-lasting.
In a time of inflation, climate change, and global tensions, prospects for 2023 are better than you think. People are determined to show resilience, innovation, and joy in the face of continued hardship. People want something fun, and they want newness and they want natural. Colour vibrantly paints 2023, as last year’s unbounded optimism shifts to an exuberant need for uplift and play. Boring homes, begone – prettiness that evokes the 80s is in with a return to chintz, warm reds and lacquer. Rich, strong shades that make you feel happier, will continue to proliferate, too. Simplicity, versatility, escapism, and resourcefulness are what our trends boil down to this year.
No bath? That won’t be a problem. 2023 will be all about the elevated shower routine. White bouclé will give way to performance velvet, and tired tile to great slabs of stone. The home office will lose steam, as we welcome the return of the dedicated dining room, almost a restaurant-worthy space that’s a reprieve from the rest of the house. Look-at-me glass and metal light fixtures that bend, and branch and poke have lost their lustre, as plaster chandeliers make a poetic, muted statement this year. And a fascination with sustainability and a concern for Earth will guide our choices. Atleast that’s what the design pros say. Read more, ‘Interior Design Trends To Know for 2023.’
Here are 30 trends that offer a splash of moody colour, inspiration, and an insightful glimpse into the unfolding year and tomorrow’s home.
Corresponding with nods to nature, interior design that closely considers a homeowner’s mind and body is a growing movement. People are going to think more about how the interior design of a house makes them feel and, from there, dive into how design can make them happier, healthier, and more productive in their space. This can range from how colour affects mood to how lighting impacts daily productivity.
The desire to dig deeper into the relationship between a home and the health and happiness of its inhabitants will dominate all design decisions in 2023.
As inflation decimates our spending power and fast furniture becomes ever more uninspiring and ethically dubious, we can expect lots of talk of shopping for tasteful “investment pieces” in 2023. But for those of us with neither the budget nor the interest in high-end designer pieces we hope this year ushers in a resurgence of do-it-yourself crafting. Thrift stores may no longer offer the inexpensive hidden gems that they did 10 years ago, but they still provide plenty of raw material to customise, paint, bead, mirror, and otherwise mess with to create one-of-a-kind statement pieces.
High-end vintage: got a handy hand-me-down?
The social-media platform Pinterest recently revealed its forecast of leading trends for this year, one of which is what it calls the “hipstoric home” – an interior that blends antiques and vintage pieces with contemporary style. It’s a different approach: rather than buying what you want, you look at what you can find, or what you have already, and see how to make it work with the other pieces and the palette you’re using.
The Home Office Loses steam
During the height of the pandemic, homeowners across the world turned their attention to their home offices. In the last couple of years, however, there has been a decline in the number of actual requests made to designers to create home offices for their clients, from 28% in 2020 to 19% in 2022, a decline of 9% points. Designers anticipate that design requests for home offices will decline from a very high 66% that had been predicterd for 2021 to 32% in 2023, a drop of 34% points. Read more, ‘The Big Picture Home Designs Taking Off Right Now.’
Makeshift WFH Offices are out
A work-from-home command centre at the dining table or kitchen island imposed a “Will this workday ever end?” feeling few of us need to tote into 2023. Covid is not as big a threat, and the burden on homes’ square meterage to do everything is not as great, according to Wall Street Journal trend poll this month. “The WFH sprawl had also cramped our entertaining style. In the past, a junk drawer or two would be filled and shut when entertaining. This is much harder when an entire room has turned into an eyesore”. Read more, ‘How To Work From Home If You’ve Never Done It Before.’
The Return of the Dining Room
The reclaiming of the dedicated dining room dovetails with our waning love of the open plan, says this month’s Wall Street Journal trend poll. A work-from-home command centre at the dining table or kitchen island imposed a “Will this workday ever end?” feeling few of us need to tote into 2023. People are looking for the intimacy and coziness a formal dining room brings – we want to spend dinner parties and holiday gatherings in conversation, not shouting above the clamour of dishwashing and a TV on in the background. Read more, ‘Tablescapes: Elevating Dinner At Home During Isolation.’
Both new and regained dining rooms offer the opportunity to create a romantic, almost restaurant-worthy space that’s a reprieve from the rest of the house.
The Bouclé Bust
We noted the boom in bouclé in 2021, but the creamy looped fabric is already a victim of its success, according to WSJ. “We do love bouclé, but every single vendor is upholstering their furniture with the fabric, making us believe that in future, bouclé will denote. The fad started at the Paris flea markets [as a way] to display vintage pieces for sale. It lacks imagination”.
The ‘It’ Chair of 2023?
Folksy wooden seats that hail from midcentury Europe and Scandinavia are showing up everywhere, according to Wall Street Journal this week. The unfussy, midcentury vintage chair designs are getting high marks in 2023 for a wabi-sabi style that celebrates imperfections, thanks to exposed bolts, obvious joints, plain-Jane planks and unpolished wood. Some look like little more than two pieces of wood attached to legs, but keyhole details or sculpted backs can make them sweeter.
At online marketplace 1stDibs, searches for “brutalist chair” are up 115% year over year.
Performance Velvet Rises
Like bouclé, velvet invites you to touch it, but until now, you couldn’t eat ice cream anywhere near a sofa upholstered in it. Good news according to WSJ: Technology has made performance velvet indistinguishable from real. These hard-wearing velvets can hold a deep, rich colour in ways other performance fabrics cannot. This fabric can be put to the test, so you won’t have to sacrifice style and sophistication when designing your child-friendly home.
Retiring Lights are In
Plaster chandeliers will be making a statement in 2023. Their statement, however, will be rather muted and poetic. The chalky white finish blends into décor delicately and keeps fussiness to a minimum while the organic imperfections of plaster is key to this trend’s appeal. Angular, hard, and sharp metal and glass chandeliers feel angry and call to mind martial-arts weapons. There’s a cold frigidity to them which doesn’t fit with the post-pandemic world that craves coziness.
Angular fixtures are out, as are cold, brushed metals.
Grout Is Out
Before 2022, subway tiles had already sadly gone from classic to commonplace, says WSJ in its annual Top 5 Interior Design report. “But now even the refreshing installation tweak of neatly stacking the tiles either vertically or horizontally instead of offsetting them like bricks has been overplayed. The affordability and ease of slapping up grids of rectangular tiles may have led to their lethal overuse.” The other reason, they are on the wane? Read more, ’10 Renovation Trends You’ll Be Seeing a lot of in 2022.’
Everyone is over cleaning grout for days and dealing with tiny tiles.
The rise and rise of splashy slabs
When there are wonderful ways to install a seamless bench or splashback, dirt-catching grooves hold no appeal. We flagged strongly coloured marbles as ideal for this purpose in 2020, and now swaths of quartzite are gaining favour. Quarried deep in the mountains, quartzite is ultra-durable and comes in transfixing shades, from blush pink to blues and greens that can be used to fabulous effect.
Return to Pretty
This year, we’re seeing a “return to pretty” as our overarching theme, with all of our individual trends marking an embrace of traditional styles and ideas. With painterly palettes and time-honoured patterns and materials, our 20 trends serve up a sense of inviting elegance, charm and—of course—an abundance of exquisite antique touches.
There’s a notable warming up of the colour palette on the cards this year, according to Financial Times UK, with rich reds, maroons, and chocolate brown tones on the rise. Deep reds, the colour or raspberry jam, look wonderful in low lighting and candlelight with entire rooms swathed in the deep colour. It’s a shade which Pantone, has anointed it as the colour of the new year, and describes as “rooted in nature”. Or beetroot juice. Stylish paint shades top designers recommend, include Bronze Red from Little Greene, Venetian Red by Zoffany, and Terre d’Egypte by Farrow & Ball, a softer red that she particularly recommends for woodwork. The recently in-demand light oak will be supplanted by dark woods such as walnut and mahogany.
Prioritize Wellness Showers Over Baths
This year will be all about the elevated shower routine with Pinterest predicting that showering and spa-like showers, in particular, will be taking on a whole new level of importance in today’s fast-paced world, where wellness and self-care have never been more important.
No bathtub? That won’t be a problem in 2023.
Boring homes, begone. Homes designed for emotional uplift are helping people spark joy, says Wunderman Thompson Intelligence in its Future 100 report out this month. “We want vibrancy, strength, and uplift to brighten 2023, with energizing self-expression and empowerment. The pandemic has accelerated society’s focus on prioritizing health.” As we predicted at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the way people are thinking about their health and wellbeing has evolved to include their homes, environments, and communities. Coming out of the pandemic, people realise having this balance of life and appreciating physical and mental health is defined by their environment, and home, and not something they should leave as a part-time pursuit.
This year we all go soft. As the world looks set to continue being a challenging place, people will definitely look to their homes to feel cocooned, comforted and protected. Surrounding ourselves with softness in a visual tactile and acoustic perspective, is a powerful emotive way to counterbalance the difficult times in which we are living in.
Expect to see an interest in supersized texture, heavily quilted fabrics, padded details, and chubby designs.
Colour gets supercharged
Colour vibrantly paints 2023. As last year’s unbounded optimism shifts to an exuberant need for uplift and play. Pantone’s bright choice for its Colour of the Year 2023, Viva Magenta, captures the spritely sentiment: it’s an unconventional shade for an unconventional time. A joy-conomy is in motion this year, offering uninhibited play for all ages, says Wunderman Thompson in its Future 100 report. We want homes that mimic the feeling of tossing confetti.
The stress of the past years has put an emphasis on optimizing both the mind and body to empower an elevated self.
Lots of lacquer
While raw wooden textures are perennially stylish in an understated way, glossy lacquered surfaces on tables and accessories are one of the key trends for 2023. Forget the cheap and nasty shiny-white minimalist storage units and kitchen cabinets that were all the rage in the noughties; this is a sophisticated take on shine that works really well with rich colour and playful detailing.
Look down in 2023
High-impact Flooring is big news. It doesn’t have to blend in. Take advantage of high impact materials such as painted wook, or colourful silk rugs to bring bold dimension and unexpected interest and individuality to any space.
Sweaters for furniture
Cosy textiles are hardly a new obsession for the design world, just think about the boom in popularity boucle has enjoyed in recent years, but what if swapping fabrics at home was as simple as putting on a new pullover, says future forecasters, WGSN. Soon consumers will dress and undress furniture with the same ease they switch between summer and winter wardrobes. Of course, reupholstery has long been possible, for those who grew tired of a sofa or armchair, but we’re talking about the rise of a simpler, more instant option. Slipcover covers in the latest must-have fabrics. It’s all about customisability and the sofa brand Cozmo is currently leading the way. It offers a range of jackets from velvet to ecru to snuggly fleece, that transform its modular sofa. Expect to see more of this approach as brands commit to helping us maximise the life of much-loved pieces.
Jewellery for the home
Improve, don’t move seems to be the homeowner motto of the moment and, with mortgage rates unlikely to fall soon, this is an approach that has real legs. A new era of focus will be the literal nuts and bolts of interiors, according to WGSN, with people looking to give their homes a glow-up rather than fully refurbishing or replacing elements. It’s all about taking the practical and making it more fabulous – think ceiling lamps connected by gold chains, diamond cut knobs on sideboards, and accents that elevate the everyday. Don’t believe us? Even Tom Dixon recently expanded his ‘Fat” collection to include architectural ironmongery.
Yes, even hardware is getting luxe.
Wellness in the Home
Wellness rooms could replace home gyms in 2023—as they’re about to be a lot more chic. Instead of hiding a Peloton in the corner of your home office, people want more thoughtful focus on wellness at home. As people look to improve their holistic health physically and emotionally, homes will further lean into the benefits that health can have on mental wellbeing – as we collectively develop a deeper understanding of the health value of our environments. Read more, ‘Exploring the Home of Tomorrow: Top 10 Design Trends.’
Look out for the rise of intentional spaces that feel like an escape for activities like meditation, yoga, exercise, and last but not least, home spas. Just what the doctor ordered.
Colour Trends: Emerald & Sage Prevail
One of the leading interior design trends of the past couple of years has been the use of green as a powerhouse hue—and in 2023, 1stDibs’s insiders don’t expect that to change. Green still dominates palettes with emerald earning the top color spot of this year’s 1st dibs survey for the third year in a row with 23%, enjoying a narrow lead over sage with 22%. Next in line were burnt orange (20%), mustard yellow (20%), and cobalt blue (18%). The biggest spikes in favourability year-over-year were lavender (from 6% in 2021 to 14% in 2022, an increase of +8 percentage points) and mauve (from 9% in 2021 to 13% in 2022, an increase of +4 percentage points), supporting the idea that 1980s-era colours are making their way back into style.
Most Likely to Come Back: 1980s Pastels & Chintz
According to 1st dibs data, when asked which of the past seven decades are most likely to make a comeback in 2023, designers said the 1980s (e.g. pastels & chintz), with 28% of the vote. Following this were the 1950s (mid-century modern), with 23%. Interestingly, while the 1970s have seen a resurgence across the design space and just last year were indicated as the top era, the trend dropped from 36% down to only 12% in this latest survey. The fact, shiny surfaces like chrome only captured 6% of the vote is telling, as the gleaming accent adorned everything from chair frames to coffee tables in the 1970s, the decade that dramatically tumbled in interest this year (from 36% to 12%).
Introduce Simplicity Outdoors With Naturalistic And Drought-Tolerant Planting
A new aesthetic of naturalistic and drought-tolerant planting compositions with a simplicity of design inspired by the surrounding landscape is emerging – creating backyard retreats that look and feel completely at home in their environment.
The back garden is your trusty fallback— but in 2023, all eyes will be on the front of house! Rising searches on pinterest suggest that Boomers and Gen X will be pampering their porches and dolling up their doorways.
Invite Celebrations Back Into Your Life
By Creating A Social Space Parties and joyous celebrations are making a welcome return for 2023. From layouts to armchairs, Pinterest expects us to create a place that’s a haven for entertaining. To do so, make sure you include the right elements. Eating and drinking arrangements are at the top of the list, followed by practicalities such as heating, lighting, and seating. Then all you have to think about is styling up the different spaces you’ve created to add comfort and adding the finishing decorative touches for special occasions.
The Artisan Wave
The percent of pieces that designers will purchase from artisan makers will continue to grow, expected to be 65% in 2023, according to 1st dibs’ research. That interest has risen steadily over the years; back in 2019, fewer than 50% of designers expressed this sentiment. This is consistent with the data regarding material choices. When given a list of 18 materials, wood and plaster came in as the top two selections, both receiving 24%. In contrast, shiny surfaces such as chrome were far less popular, chosen by just 6%. Wunderman Thompson Intelligence also notes in its Future 100 report for 2023 that Disaffection with the daily grind is driving an artisan renaissance. As industrialized economies creak, experts predict the rise of a new artisan economy. In Return of the Artisan, published in July 2022, anthropologist Grant McCracken charts the rise of an artisanal movement that is shifting from the margins to the mainstream. Prompted by post-pandemic malaise, disillusioned workers are ditching the 9 to 5 to become ceramicists, knife-makers, and more.
Sustainability becomes a “Necessity”
Designers are also more focused on sustainability than ever before and wary of greenwashing. Designers will continue to find ways to ensure it is considered and adapted into the life cycle of an interiors project from the onset, to ensure resourceful materials selections, upcycling and reuse of furniture and smart reduction of plastics and waste. Sustainability being a priority is reflected in 1st dib’s annual survey results. When asked about the likelihood of current trends continuing in 2023, sustainability was the most common answer, receiving a whopping 94% of responses. Other leading trends in the same vein included plants (91%), patterned wallpaper (85%), neutrals (84%) and organic modernism (82%). Propelled by increasing anxieties over climate change and a slew of quality, good-for-the-planet products on the market, eco-friendly design approaches will continue to gain momentum.
Mending Goes Mainstream
We will all have to be more careful when it comes to spending money on interiors, but this enforced parsimony will produce wonderful creativity with repairs going mainstream. Inflationary pressures added to eco-aspirations are driving a resurgence of the make-do-and-mend mentality. We will reshape buying habits, advocate for quality and longevity, and shift the thinking of those who value novelty above durability.
The make-do-and-mend approach is becoming the smart and conscious choice for everyday homemakers under pressure to save money.
Rewilding our homes
Is it possible to change the way we think and act? The BBC posed the question in a May 2022 article. We can all find this sense of wonder and meaning in nature. Not only in our homes’ connection with it, but in the sense of hope and renewal it seems to offer us. Conscious homeowners are following nature-minded home refits into an age of rewilding and sustainability, that celebrate the power of nature, with foliage and trees integrated into the architecture.
Lean into nature for a wellness refresh.