New year, new design influences — from magenta to ‘meaningfulness’ and master craftsmanship, here’s your insider’s guide to the 10 essential interiors trends for the coming year
Magenta is having a moment. Somewhere between blue and red, warm and cool, this year’s Pantone colour of the year is ‘Viva Magenta’, likened to a “fist in a velvet glove” by Pantone Colour Institute director Leatrice Eiseman. It’ll be breaking the white mould with its bold, vibrant beetroot hue, so expect to see plenty of this colour splashed across homewares this year. It’s brave, it’s fearless, it’s pulsating and promotes optimism and joy — exactly what we all need starting a new year.
From messy beds to wonky vases and one-of-a-kind pieces, there has been a move away from manicured interiors to design that’s less than perfect, with a lean towards handmade, artisanally crafted and incomplete. Think antiqued furniture, distressed rugs, drip glazes, imperfect handmade ceramics and left-of-centre patterns.
Who doesn’t love a sophisticated room styled with loose textiles and a nod to the unpredictable? This relaxed design ethos is hanging around for a while, as the ‘slow living’ trend gains more momentum and people return to a simpler lifestyle.
The chequerboard print has had a long history, from the timeworn black and white tiles of French palaces and Egyptian temples to the classic American diner, moving in and out of style over the centuries. But the feel-good print bounced back with aplomb during the pandemic, splattering everything from bedding to bath mats, cushions, vases and tableware. It also took a scenic departure from its classic chessboard black and white to pastels and bold colours, still managing to maintain the nostalgic feel, but with a slightly more disruptive edge.
Yes, it’s functional, but lighting also has the power to define a space and showcase your personal style. This year, statement lamps are all about catching and keeping your eye. Etsy’s trend report revealed a 344pc rise in searches for sculptural, decorative, vintage and colourful lighting. Retailers are answering the call with a huge, interesting and eclectic pool of lighting, from wall sconces to oversized floor lamps and lights in every conceivable material. In the words of designer Kelly Wearstler, “It can change and alter architecture, make art look important, raise the ceiling of a room and create a mood.” Enough said.
It was big in 2021, and it looks like it’ll continue to be a leading trend for the coming year. No surprise, really: with an increased focus on climate and sustainability, and a hangover from Covid, we’re still lusting after the outdoors, with nature-inspired interiors taking a front seat in trends for the year.
Dulux named ‘Wild Wonder’ its colour of the year for 2023, a yellow neutral and “glowing, upbeat tone that celebrates and reflects awe-inspiring nature”.
Blame it on that time hunkered down at home during lockdown, when we had to stare at the four walls for what felt like five years, or the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi, which celebrates the beauty in imperfections — but something about the warmth and texture of plastered walls has gripped us. That aged, imperfect look has become the poster child for ‘warm modernism’; some would say a reaction to all things digital and a return to items that are handmade. Either way, tactile, interesting finishes are going to be big this year.
Flat-packed, mass-produced furniture has its place, but our throwaway culture is, mercifully, being reframed. This is thanks to our yearning for more sustainable options and a more discerning eye for craft — and the time and effort that go into it.
Luxury is no longer associated with bling and instead we’re seeing it stated in more subtle, natural ways, such as hand-hewn details, the reverence for wood and variations in each piece. Craftsmanship is back on the interiors radar and hopefully here to stay.
Part laundry, part hallway, part pantry, part storage, part pet salon: it’s one of the hardest-working rooms in the home, usually reserved as a hiding place for the washing machine and dryer. But it’s about to work a lot harder this year as a multi-purpose space that accommodates just about everything from muddy boots to kids’ scooters, laundry and dog beds. It’s nothing new, but often considered a luxury add-on to a home; now, home owners are getting savvy with their spaces and finding ways to rework even a limited footprint to include this genius space.
It’s often far more interesting to be surrounded by things that have been made with care and have stories to tell. Thrift-shop and second-hand finds are proving a hot interiors trend, but one that has longevity.
Sustainability is a key trigger for the trend, but there is also huge empowerment in finding and owning your personal interior style. Now more than ever, there seems to be a shift from co-ordinated spaces and matching furniture sets to interiors that incorporate unique pieces, antiques, heirlooms and thrifted finds, in a bid to inject some personality and character into a space.
With a major move away from perfectly curated spaces, it’s no surprise that we’re leaning heavily towards filling our homes with more meaningful pieces and objects. The buzzwords for the coming year are ‘authenticity’ and ‘nostalgia’. Maybe it’s your grandmother’s soup terrine, your uncle’s treasure chest or your mum’s collection of ceramic figurines or antique sideboard — whatever it is that brings you joy, evokes memories and reflects your true self in your living space is on trend.