In 2023 we have some fun with design. Interior trends embrace a little whimsy in the form of playful dopamine dressing, we look to the seventies for our references and a refreshed color palette, and warmth, comfort and relaxation will be at the forefront of our design decisions.
While life has resumed in one form or another post-pandemic, we will constantly discuss its impact on our homes and lifestyles, and 2023 is no different.
A desire to cocoon ourselves in our homes is driving most of 2023’s biggest interior trends, whether it’s in the creation of a self-catering ‘spare room’, immersing ourselves in joyful colors, or the introduction of sagging soft materials such as bouclé for a more literal cocoon effect.
Below, we ask experts to share their design predictions and tips on how to integrate 2023’s hottest trends into your home…
1. Dopamine connection
“Dopamine decor can be interpreted as using color, pattern and tactile furniture in your home as a way to make you feel happier,” says color and design consultant Suzy Chiazzari. “You could start small – introducing a print here and a colored piece of furniture there, or you could commit fully to vibrant colours, such as punchy yellows, sharp pinks and brilliant blues to dress up homes and feelings of engender happiness.”
Dopamine upholstery was identified in Wayfair’s 2023 trend report as part of the broader ‘comfortcore’ trend – that is, turning to joyful decoration and design lightness as a form of escapism.
“As we enter 2023, home lovers crave a dose of frivolity that ups the fun factor and provides an escape from the uncertainty of the outside world,” the report said. ‘Give your space a boost with bold colours, look-at-me art, dreamy wallpapers and mood-lifting accents.’
2. The 70s are coming back
Influenced by the never-ending popularity of mid-century modern, as well as the long-awaited migration of vintage and antique shops online, interior design is looking back to the seventies.
‘The concept of vintage has never been more en vogue,’ says Ben White, design and merchandising expert at Swyft. ‘Interior design trends, like fashion, seem to be cyclical and the 1970s reign as a key influence in 2023 interior design. You can exploit this key trend by using warm brown, gold and red colors such as clay, honey or paprika as a base for your interior and with fun colors and shapes to make your home more interesting.
‘Soft shapes and relaxed style seating designs not only fit in with the 1970s aesthetic, but are comfortable and have a cocoon effect that joins in creating a happy and enjoyable interior. We’re seeing customers buy into couches with deeper seats and padded cushions for a true “sink in” experience.’
‘Cocoon furniture and finishes, rounded shapes, tantalizing textures and whisper-soft colours’ have been identified by Wayfair as defining aspects of ‘comfortcore’, a design trend that offers resignation and rest.
‘Calming textures really came to the fore during the stressful years of lockdown uncertainty,’ says Kelly Collins, interior designer and head of creative at Swyft. ‘Unsurprisingly, they haven’t fallen out of favour. People want their home to feel like a peaceful retreat, especially in the bedroom and living room – both designed for relaxation and filled with plush, soft furnishings.‘
In application, this means lots and lots of warm neutrals. “Lovers of gold accents, warm wood tones and cream couches rejoice!” says Anne Haimes, interior designer and founder of Anne Haimes Interiors. ‘Warm shades will continue to dominate over cooler color palettes in 2023.
‘We’re also seeing the return of minimalism, but in a more sophisticated and homely way than we’ve seen before. Warm wood colors and natural textures will become a feature of their own, without sacrificing the simplicity and cleanliness of minimalist styles.’
4. Painted borders
Painted borders are an inexpensive way to play with a room’s structure and perspective, and offer opportunity for interesting color combinations. It covers a wide range of painted techniques such as color blocking and stencilling, and can highlight interesting alcoves, high ceilings, cornices or even hide unsightly features such as radiators.
‘Painting the ceilings or baseboards 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 color for a cozier effect. It can also be a bold and interesting way to introduce your favorite color palette.’
5. Sunset shades
Many of the most popular colors predicted for 2023 are reminiscent of therapeutic and nourishing sunset hues – Benjamin Moore chose a rosy Raspberry Blush, a fresh Digital Lavender comes from WGSN, while Dulux’s Wild Wonder introduces undertones of yellow and gold that add significant add warmth.
‘Raspberry Blush 2008-30 embodies an infectious optimism, full of hope and joie de vivre,’ say the experts at Benjamin Moore. ‘Our color and design experts are drawn to the transformative qualities this vibrant color possesses. More subtle than scarlet, with just the slightest hint of orange, Raspberry Blush 2008-30 is an energetic color with the impressive ability to completely change the mood of a room, bringing a positive, vibrant feel to a fresh new look. injected with flair.’
Heritage is a trend that has started many in our kitchens – we’ve seen traditional design details such as farmhouse sinks, pantries, sweet ruffled curtains and classic shaker cabinets emerge.
Also fueled by the migration of antique and vintage shops online, the heritage trend has made its way into the rest of our homes in the form of traditional patterns such as bold stripes and ticking, herringbone floors, wall panels, cane glass accessories, ruffles and beveled edges.
Heritage color palettes have a lovely vintage influence – mustard yellow, letterbox red, black, sage green and a bright Yves Klein-esque blue.
7. Splash rooms
The splash room – a spa-inspired bathroom – was a bit of an interior design inevitability, influenced by the increasing popularity of small self-catering spaces within the home.
‘Bathrooms are arguably the most ritualistic room in the home and we’ve seen an increase in demand for spa-inspired spaces that can double as a private retreat,” 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 luxurious feel. Outdoor fabrics work particularly well as a pretty patterned shower curtain or upholstered on a chaise longue, and modern scalloped blinds or artwork add softness to the room.’
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