How to make your home on trend
for the coming year and beyond
This year, design is all about the earth. Interior design trends for 2023 are rife with evocations of the natural environment: earthy colors and tones, sustainable furniture and materials, natural textures.
“Something that’s going to be on the forefront for us is sustainability,” says Julia Maleski Putzel of JMP Interiors in Clifton Park. “Not just sustainability in materials but in how people experience any kind of space.” In other words: Does your space inspire a closer connection with the environment, with durable building and furniture? That’s going to lead the charge in 2023.
So here are a few things to look out for this year.
Wallpaper is in!
“Wallpaper is very on-trend for every room and space in the home,” says Amy Krane, of Amy Krane Color in Ghent.
Look for floral, nature-inspired prints and bold colors and designs, such as geometrics and other Southwestern-style patterns (more on this in a bit). And look for more environmentally friendly paper. Wallpaper technology has come a long way. You can find paper made with water-based inks or sustainable materials like hemp.
Make the textures natural
“A high emphasis is going to be on natural materials,” Putzel says, “how they’re harvested or produced, what is their impact on the psyche of a human. Something like pampas grasses or sisal grass, which are traditionally considered very rough, coarse textures but when you can balance them, they’re very durable. It’s a natural element so it’s very sustainable.”
Sustainability in this context isn’t just about where these things come from, but also about how long they’ll last. These are meant to adorn your home for a long time, and not end up in a landfill by 2024.
The beauty of the hand
“Seeing evidence of ‘the hand’ is an important characteristic of many design elements today,” Krane says. “From the hand-painted look of tadelakt [a plaster finish that originated in Morocco] and limewash for walls, the use of rattan, caning and ceramic in furnishings, the hand-painted look of tiles — all point to the importance of moving away from the sleek machine-made and [instead] celebrating the craftsmanship of artisans.”
The flaws and quirks in a handmade piece are a testament to its worth as a reflection of what is human and creative in us and around us. These objects and designs give your space a highly personal and warm feeling.
Bringing the Southwest up north
Southwest styles are coming in hot in 2023.
Putzel says colors will be “more muted and in that terra cotta and earthy palette.” That’s because those colors and textures conjure “a warm part of the country. Plus there are ties to Indigenous people who create those textiles and fabrics that are very much of the earth. When we see those palettes, we think adobe, wrought iron, elemental. They play on that human experience of emotion when we see and interact with these textiles and fabrics and colors.”
Trends and micro-trends
With the acceleration of how we metabolize trends and information thanks to TikTok, social media and the internet in general, Maleski says micro-trends have rapid cycles. While more broadly we’re anticipating a prolonged rise in sustainability in practice and aesthetics, you’ll find outlier trends alongside them.
“With TikTok you really see the micro-trends,” she says. “Something as simple as trim on fabrics, so where there might be highly embellished fabric on the edges of curtains, pillows and bedding.” Crocheting is one of these micro-trends you may have noticed in fashion, too. And, it turns out, fashion is the main driver of trends in interior design.
“If you watch the fashion trends, you’ll notice this cyclical style that happens every three to five years — sometimes even in two years, depending on how popular it is. What happens in fashion will reinvent itself in interiors.” So if you want to know what’ll be happening in 2026, Maleski says, pay attention to the runway this year.
Aging in place
Sustainability means accessibility, too, and for people who are aging in place, this is especially important. Putzel says universal design is also a growing trend for this coming year and beyond.
“Sustainability in this context is about being able to customize a space to truly fit the person,” she says. “How do we incorporate smart elements like zero-threshold showers, integrated lighting and smart technology? We’re going to be putting a lot more emphasis on the human that’s in there rather than cookie-cutter designing. How can we prolong their time in a space and make it more pleasing for everybody? These are some of the buzz topics that are going on in the design community.”
And the winner is?
“Almost all of the paint brands chose warm colors like bronze, orange and clay as their 2023 Color of the Year,” says Amy Krane. “So you’re going to see more and more of these types of colors in home decor. But the prevalence of olive green is still being felt all over the design world. When venturing beyond neutrals like white, beige and warm gray for kitchen cabinets, deep greens are playing an outsized role there as well in other spaces in the home on walls, millwork and exterior siding.”
You’ll find purple on that palette this year, too. Again, thank the fashion industry for what’s about to be a very purple ’23.
Because it’s fairly quick and easy to paint a wall, the very on-trend may find themselves getting out the drop cloths. But mostly the color of the year is a reflection of broader trends in design, and isn’t necessarily a prescription for how to decorate your home. And anyway: There are lots of colors of the year.
“Dark paint colors like black, deep green, navy and charcoal are still gaining traction as exterior house colors in most of the country,” Krane says. “Vintage-inspired patterned tiles that appear to be handcrafted are popular and zellij tiles continue to be used for kitchen backsplash and bathroom walls in droves.”
Tadelakt plaster image: iStockphoto.com/stigua.