As pandemic panic wanes and economic concerns linger, how we think about our homes will shift accordingly in 2023. Recent years required us to turn inward, perhaps confronting unfortunate domestic decisions made before lockdown or reevaluating the sometimes blurred boundaries between work and home. Now that we’ve dealt with the sins of our past and settled back into our ergonomic office chairs (wherever they may be), home design trends for the coming year address emerging personal and global concerns.
“We enter 2023 with a lot of uncertainty, and cost of living is a priority,” explains Gemma Riberti, head of interiors at international trend forecasting agency WGSN. “So whatever product or space we are going to interact with will need to be meaningful to engage with, to deliver something beyond the mere item or room.”
The upcoming edition of Maison&Objet, titled “Take Care!” echoes this idea. The concept for the January 2023 edition reflects the value consumers place “on the origins of products, the manufacturing methods, and the commitments of companies,” says the fair’s communications director, Caroline Biros. “But it also means—take care of yourself, of others,” she says, citing a renewed interest in wellness, natural materials, and rejuvenating experiences. “Design is committed this year to preserving the beauty of living on earth,” Biros sums up. Here’s how it all takes shape.
Warm ’90s neutrals return.
Bring on the beige, brown, and cream. Cool neutrals will be passed over for hues that are, we dare say, evocative of the ’90s. “There is a move away from the harder gray tones so beloved for the last decade to those that feel kinder and warmer,” says Farrow & Ball color curator Joa Studholme. Designers agree. When 1stDibs asked 880 interior designers about the most on-trend colors for their sixth annual trends survey, light gray received the fewest votes by far, at just 5 percent.
This change seems to be as much about our post-pandemic emotional state as it is about a murky financial future. “It will be more practical to invest in versatile and comforting neutrals,” reasons WGSN’s Riberti. But Studholme has a different take: “The neutrals we are now choosing for our homes reflect how we want to capture peace and optimism, wrapping rooms in warmth and a sense of well-being.”
Raw, natural materials reign.
It’s no secret that dramatic, colorful marble is everywhere. And that’s part of a larger trend that highlights the “natural qualities of materials, stripped of all synthetics,” says Tina Schnabel, an interior designer at BarlisWedlick. While organic shapes and materials have been popular in the past, this is more specific. Riberti has dubbed it “hyper-texturality.” What does that mean, exactly? “A stronger focus on exaggerated veinings and textures in marble, stone, and wood as well, as high-contrast and high-pattern grains are seeing more interest,” Riberti explains.
Sustainability has staying power.
The top trend that will continue in 2023? Designers say it’s sustainability, according to 1stDibs. This is, perhaps, not a revelation. However, earth-friendly practices will reach further this year, from objets d’art to our gardens. A-List designer Kelly Wearstler has seen an evolution while working with artists for her new online gallery. “It’s exciting to see how sustainability and the natural world continue to manifest in new works by both emerging and established talent,” she says. Meanwhile, searches for natural sustainable gardening solutions, like “harvesting rainwater” and “drought-tolerant landscapes,” are rising on Pinterest, according to the company’s 2023 predictions report.
Maximalism, but make it modern.
The maximalist “grandmillennial” style of years past isn’t going anywhere, but we will also see more layering of streamlined sculptural silhouettes, rather than prints and patterns. “While we are moving away from stark minimalism toward a more expressive approach to interiors, we will be talking more about spaces built around valuable works of art and collectible objects,” says Enis Karavil, creative director of multidisciplinary studio Sanayi313 Architects. In fact, designers are advising clients to invest in sculpture this year, over other types of art, 1stDibs finds.
Though interiors stylist and product designer Colin King’s personal spaces lean more minimal, he finds himself incorporating more layers into his work for editorial and retail brands. “There is a return to maximalism, and I find that when arranging objects, I am using more and more objects to create a layered feel,” he says. “Whether grouping by a similar color or material, I look for complementing forms with varying heights to create compositions that feel loose and evoke a sign of life.”
Green will be the accent color of choice.
Expect to see green everywhere. ELLE DECOR editors have seen grassy flooring crop up in homes from Paris to Woodstock, while leafy-hued furniture was on display at the most recent High Point Furniture Market. Studholme, of Farrow & Ball, points to the increasing popularity of the paint company’s deep moody greens, like Green Smoke, while Studio Green is a perennial favorite. Emerald earned the top color spot of 1stDibs’ designer survey for the third year in a row and sage was the runner-up.
Hand-formed textures take hold.
Like the continued interest in sustainability, a focus on handmade artisan goods points to the shift toward design with global impact. The majority of the designers 1stDibs interviewed said they will be sourcing work from artisan makers this year. “Hand-formed textures are key to celebrate artisanality,” Riberti says, citing materials like clay. For that reason, she predicts that papier-mâché is a medium that we will see much more of. “It is lightweight, relatively affordable, and doesn’t require much energy consumption,” Riberti explains. “It has an engaging tactility. That’s why we’re seeing high-street retailers and higher-end brands working with it in lighting and decor—think vases, mirror frames, and table lamps, but even in furniture, like the work of Polina Miliou.”
A move toward transparent touches.
Ethereal details will rule the fashion scene in 2023. The experts at Pinterest predict a wave of lace, tulle, ruffles, and shimmer. At Maison&Objet, the transparent trend will also be on display. “New transparent objects, with an airy and lightly tinted design, help us free up space to move, escape, and let our thoughts wander as we dream,” Biros explains. Designers with a TikTok presence are also tapping into all things transparent. Briellyn Turton (@studiobrie) thinks the trend will manifest with an onslaught of glass brick. In his top liked video on the platform (42K likes to be exact), Design Daddy (@mrphoenixgrey) says alabaster lighting will be the next big thing.
Holding onto history.
Pinterest calls it the “hipstoric home trend.” Boomers and Gen Z are searching for new ways to honor vintage and inherited pieces in their homes. “Comfort is a key quality here—reassurance, familiarity, a feel-good aspect like bringing up a smile seeing it or touching it,” says Riberti. Her prediction for how we’ll breathe new life into old furniture this year? Sweaters. “It’s one of WGSN’s top trends for 2023 and beyond.” She reasons that consumers can bring new life to old furniture and fixtures with textiles and knits at a minimal cost. Think of it as yarn bombing, but in your home. Will this rather specific forecast materialize? Only time will tell.