In 2023, we’re having a bit of fun with design. Interior trends are embracing a bit of whimsy in the form of playful dopamine dressing, we’re looking towards the seventies for our references and a refreshed colour palette, and warmth, comfort and relaxation will be at the forefront of our design decisions.
While life has resumed in some shape or form post-pandemic, we will be perpetually discussing its influence on our homes and lifestyles, and 2023 is no different.
A desire to cocoon ourselves in our homes is the driver in most of 2023’s biggest interior trends, whether that is in the creation of a self-care ‘spathroom,’ immersing ourselves in joyful colour, or introducing sink-in soft materials like bouclé for a more literal cocooning effect.
Below, we ask experts to share their design predictions, and tips on how you can integrate 2023’s most popular trends in your home…
1. Dopamine dressing
‘Dopamine décor can be interpreted as using colour, pattern and tactile furnishings in your home as a way to make you feel happier,’ says Suzy Chiazzari, Colour and Design Consultant. ‘You might start off small – by introducing a print here and a coloured piece of furniture there, or you might fully commit to vivid colours, such as zesty yellows, punchy pinks, and brilliant blues to dress homes and evoke feelings of happiness.’
Dopamine dressing was identified in Wayfair’s trend report for 2023 as part of the broader ‘comfortcore’ trend – that is, turning to joyful decorating and design frivolity as a form of escapism.
‘As we head into 2023, home lovers are craving a dose of frivolity that ups the fun factor and offers escape from the uncertainty of the outside world,’ reads the report. ‘Give your space a boost with bold colours, look-at-me art, dreamlike wallpapers and mood-lifting accents.’
2. The 70s return
Influenced by the never-ending popularity of mid-century modern, as well as the long-overdue migration of vintage and antique stores online, interior design is looking back to the seventies.
‘The concept of vintage has never been more en vogue,’ says Ben White, design and trade expert at Swyft. ‘Interior design trends, just like fashion, are proving to be cyclical and the 1970s is prevailing as a key influence in 2023 interior design. You can tap into this key trend by using warm brown, gold and red tones such as clay, honey or paprika as the base for your interior and layer with fun colours and shapes to add interest to your home.
‘Soft shapes, and relaxed style seating designs not only tap into the 1970s aesthetic but are comfortable and have a cocooning effect which tie into the creating a happy and enjoyable interior. We are seeing customers buying into sofas with deeper seats and plumped up cushions for a real “sink-in” experience.’
‘Cocooning furniture and finishes, rounded forms, tantalising textures and whisper-soft tones’ were identified by Wayfair as defining aspects of ‘comfortcore,’ a design trend that offers reassurance and respite.
‘Calming textures really came into the limelight during the stressful years of lockdown uncertainty,’ says Kelly Collins, interior designer and head of creative at Swyft. ‘Unsurprisingly, they’ve yet to fall out of favour. People want their home to feel like a tranquil haven, particularly in the bedroom and living room – both designated for relaxing and filled with plush, soft furnishings.‘
In application this translates to lots and lots of warm neutrals. ‘Lovers of gold accents, warm wood tones and cream sofas rejoice!’ says Anne Haimes, interior designer and founder of Anne Haimes Interiors. ‘Warm hues will continue to dominate over cooler colour palettes in 2023.
‘We’re also seeing the return of minimalism, but in a more sophisticated and homelier manner than we’ve seen previously. Warm wood tones and natural textures will become a feature of themselves, without compromising the simplicity and cleanliness of minimalist styles.’
4. Painted borders
Painted borders is an inexpensive way to play with a room’s structure and perspective, and adds opportunity for interesting colour combinations. It covers a wide range of painted techniques like colour blocking and stencilling, and can highlight interesting alcoves, high ceilings, cornicing or even disguise unsightly features like radiators.
‘Painting the ceilings or skirting boards in your home a unique shade is a great alternative to just painting the walls,’ says Kelly. ‘Homeowners can either opt for the same shade as their walls to create the illusion of more depth and space, or opt for a contrasting colour for a cosier effect. It can also be a bold and interesting way to introduce your favourite colour palette.’
5. Sunset hues
Many of the most popular colours forecast for 2023 are reminiscent of therapeutic and nourishing sunset hues – Benjamin Moore has selected a rosy Raspberry Blush, a fresh Digital Lavender came from WGSN, whilst Dulux’s Wild Wonder introduces undertones of yellow and gold that add considerable warmth.
‘Raspberry Blush 2008-30 embodies an infectious optimism, full of hope and joie de vivre,’ say the experts at Benjamin Moore. ‘Our Colour and Design experts were drawn to the transformative qualities this vivacious colour possesses. More subtle than scarlet, with just the slightest hint of orange, Raspberry Blush 2008-30 is an energising colour with the impressive ability to completely change the mood of a room, injecting a positive, vibrant feel for a fresh new look with flair.’
Heritage is a trend that very much began in our kitchens – we’ve seen traditional design details like farmhouse sinks, pantries, sweet ruffled curtains, and classic shaker cabinetry come to the fore.
Fuelled too by the migration of antique and vintage stores online, the heritage trend has made its way into the rest of our homes in the form of traditional patterns like bold stripes and ticking, herringbone flooring, wall panelling, reeded glass accessories, ruffles and scalloped edges.
Heritage colour palettes have a delightful vintage influence – mustard yellows, postbox red, black, sage green and a bright Yves Klein-esque blue.
The spathroom – a spa-inspired bathroom – was a bit of an interior design inevitability, influenced by the increasing popularity of small self-care spaces within the home.
‘Bathrooms are arguably the most ritualistic room in the home and we have seen a surge in demand for spa-inspired spaces that can double-up as a private sanctuary,’ says Rosie Ward, Creative Director at Ward & Co. ‘Bathrooms are naturally clinical spaces so we like to balance this with materiality, using warmer textures and fabrics for a luxe feel. Outdoor fabrics work particularly well as a pretty patterned shower curtain or upholstered on a chaise longue, and on-trend scalloped blinds or artworks add softness to the room.’
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