DESIGNERS have forecast the trends set to influence our homes and decor in 2023 – and playful colour, warm comfort and jazzed-up walls are all in the mix.
Curious about the interiors trends in store? We asked the experts to share their insights…
“From the resurgence of ‘modern farmhouse’ style – which is up by 135% in searches on Houzz year-over-year – to the recent interest in cottagecore, homeowners are looking to the familiarity and comfort of the past, and bringing elements of this into their modern living spaces,” says Houzz UK editor, Victoria Harrison.
Within the most-saved photos on the website, she says they’re increasingly seeing warm wood, rich colours and carefully chosen vintage pieces being featured, along with heirloom textiles such as patchwork blankets, tapestries and antique rugs. Nature is a strong theme here, too.
“Nature is our go-to when it comes to sourcing inspiration for our interiors,” says Emma Sims-Hilditch, founder and creative director for Sims Hilditch.
“Our clients have come to expect a homely and welcoming aesthetic inspired by country style, that is uniquely tailored to meet the needs of their contemporary lifestyles.”
Repurposed antiques, natural textures and plenty of layers provide comfort, character and depth. “And playful colours, patterns and artwork bring a sense of fun to the design,” Sims-Hilditch adds.
2. Warm colours
At the beginning of 2022, designers predicted a move away from cooler tones to a warmer palette. Now we’re seeing shades of terracotta, pink and mustard creeping into room schemes, with searches for ‘dusky pink’, ‘brown’ and ‘mustard’ increasing (up 81%, 25% and 24% respectively), notes Harrison.
“These colours are warm and relaxing and, along with the trend for nostalgia, could also be a result of homeowners looking for rooms that offer comfort and reassurance,” she says – adding that Pantone’s newly announced 2023 Colour of the Year, Viva Magenta, a vibrant pinky red, certainly ties in with the trend.
“It’s definitely a bold shade but for the brave, all-over magenta can really energise a room,” she notes. “It also works equally well as an accent colour.”
3. Temperature-regulating design
Climate control inside the home seems increasingly popular right now.
“With greater extremes in weather and rising energy bills comes a need to rethink the way we regulate the temperature in our homes,” explains Harrison.
In the past year, she says they’ve seen an uptick in searches for ‘external shutters’ – with heat-reducing window treatments set to play a much bigger part in keeping homes cool in the summer months.
“Overheating is a common problem exacerbated by the modern trend for large areas of glazing without consideration of solar control,” says Sam Cooper, director for E2 Architecture + Interiors.
“Passive solar control can be incorporated into the glazing, but will often cut out some of the light and colour.
“East and west-facing glazing will suffer the most from solar gain, so it’s best to consider shading it with deciduous trees or shutters, so you can benefit from the winter sun, and control the summer sun,” Cooper adds.
Harrison thinks effective insulation will become a more pressing concern as homeowners seek out ways to improve the thermal efficiency of their homes.
Cooper says: “Careful consideration needs to be given when specifying insulation to a wall, particularly solid masonry. These more traditional structures ‘breathe’, to allow moisture to travel in and out of the construction.”
For this reason, he suggests it’s best to use complementary natural materials like wood fibre or cork in conjunction with lime plasters, and not too much insulation.
4. Interesting wall coverings
It looks like wallcoverings are set to play a big part in 2023 home decor, with murals, bold papers and interesting textures all emerging as growing trends. Searches for ‘decorative wall panels’ and ‘modern wall panelling’ are already up by 132% and by 116% respectively.
“Nowadays, our clients are more open to bolder suggestions than they have ever been before,” says Omar Bhatti, CEO of Space Shack – and wall coverings are becoming a big part of their interior design projects.
“Clients want to liven up bare walls and give them some life,” Bhatti adds.
“Previously, we may have achieved this by hanging artwork or creating gallery walls.”
With so many different options – from micro cement, raw plaster and limewash paint, which can give walls texture, as well as textured wallpapers and wall panelling – Bhatti says the common theme between all of these options is they give the space much more character.
5. Biodynamic lighting
Interiors have increasingly been inspired by nature in recent years – a trend that keeps evolving.
“The latest iteration is biodynamic lighting, where artificial lighting is designed to replicate daylight as much as possible,” says Harrison.
Searches for ‘lighting design’ are up by 73%, according to Houzz.
6. Playful design
Harrison says designers are moving away from the safety of neutrals and instead “having fun with colour and texture – and being creative when it comes to designing spaces for clients.” Searches for terms like ‘colourful living room’, ‘colourful bedroom’ and ‘colourful bathroom’ have all increased (up by 197%, 192% and 42% respectively), while ‘painted ceiling’ saw an increase of 112%.
Bhavin Taylor, owner of Bhavin Taylor Design, says clients want to be braver when it comes to injecting colour and pattern, but generally don’t have the confidence to take the step.
“When designing a space that has traditional features, take inspiration from how the home may have been decorated when it was first built – and then choose fun, modern and colourful finishes to bring this look up to date,” suggests Taylor.
He says colourful and fun pattern can be used on both walls and curtain fabric, creating a seamless look around the room. “The look is then tied together with paint and furniture that pick up the same colour tones within the pattern “If you struggle with choosing colours that go together, let a pattern do all the work for you,” Taylor adds. “It’s that simple!”