Every year the annual Acme Brick What’s Hot and What’s Not in Home Design list is released to eagerly awaiting homeowners everywhere. The suspense is palpable! And why not?
In the preparation for this, a great deal of research is conducted among architects, interior designers, home builders, social media influencers and the media they contribute to and consume. However, it’s important to state the obvious: There are many more than 10 innovative design trends for 2023. Just click on one of dozens of popular home design websites and thousands of fascinating styles, and products scream, “Try me!” We strive to uncover practical home design elements that work for real families and not merely the trendy.
As this process has evolved over the past eight years, it has become clear that what we have here are trends within larger trends. However, there is a consistent factor - simplicity. Each of these megatrends, and the smaller components within them, proves the adage that great design is simple. As the legendary songwriter/performer Woody Guthrie once said: “Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple.”
With that, let the trendspotting begin!
Acme is more than brick. To get some inspiration for home design in 2023, click here.
The Top 10 Design Trends for 2023
#1 Biophilic Design: Bringing the Outside In
Every industry has technical jargon that is used by its practitioners, but seldom by normal people. For architects and designers, one of those words WAS once “biophilic.” Now the term is picking up some street cred. “Biophilic design means using natural resources to create a sense of harmony between modern architecture and the natural world,” according to Amanda Sturgeon, author of Creating Biophilic Buildings. “Biophilic design is the practice of creating a closer connection to nature through the ways buildings and landscapes are created and built.” For interior design, this means bringing the outside in.
In 2023, this trend will show up in several ways.
- Natural light will be emphasized. As this design site notes, “Natural light is one aspect magnified in current and coming designs. There’s a renewed focus on maximizing natural light with big, bare windows, whites, and reflective surfaces. And why not? Natural light can improve our sleep patterns, focus, and mood.
- “As green design grows, interiors are moving away from colors that feel too artificial. Hues are becoming gentler and easier on the eye. Interior design trends of 2023 and years to come will certainly see many more outdoor- indoor blends.”
- Indoor plants will grow in popularity. The editors at Decorilla note, “As indoor/outdoor living gains traction, the boundaries between the two blur even more. This can mean wilder and larger scale indoor plants as well as rockeries or gardens incorporated in a building’s structure.”
# 2 A Trend With Curve Appeal
A design trend that enjoyed huge popularity in the 1920s and 1930s - Art Deco - is making a comeback in 2023, according to several sources, including this one. “As interiors move away from the absoluteness of minimalism, we’re seeing a renewed interest in more decorative styles, like Art Deco. Hyper maximalism might not be in the cards yet – but ornate details are on the rise. Expect Art Deco’s brighter colors, geometric patterns, and symmetry to take over interior design trends of the past.”
The design editors at The Wall Street Journal report, “Art Deco interiors used scallop shapes extensively. Across cultures and eras, curves and circles in art and design suggest such hard-to-argue-with concepts as infinity, serenity, and perfection. Curves are also associated with femininity, softness and calm, and these values would be especially welcome after the horrific losses of World War I... or during the tumultuous times we are living through today.”
This suggests that curves are back, big time. From cozy curvy furniture to scallops on window treatments and in oven exhaust hoods in kitchens, edges are definitely getting rounded. According to interior design site, Decorilla, “Arcs and rounded shapes have been making their way into interiors for a while now. Crescent sofas, tulip and egg chairs, and circular rugs took centerstage bit by bit. In 2023, cabinets, credenzas, and nightstands also have a curvier outlook for the future.”
#3 Sustainability Is Still Scaling
Construction and home improvement products along with interior design that are “green,” or sustainable, have been a driving force for homeowners for several years. This will only accelerate in 2023. One of the authorities for this sustainability movement for architecture and design - Green Building & Design (GB&D) magazine – notes, “Designers are experimenting with materials, old and new, to create innovative sustainable interior design products” and they are “using different techniques—from 3D printing to hand-weaving”—to create these products.
In 2023 this suggests:
- We will see continued popularity for one of civilization’s oldest sustainable building materials - brick.
- The “Bolgatanga” lamp collection, from PET Lamp, made from old plastic bottles and elephant grass, will continue to delight.
- The “Hidee” vase is getting some love from designers. This open vase from Krill Designs is 3D-printed from orange peels, which give it unique texture, color, and smell.
- The Aurea dining table uses reclaimed oak planks from old mineral water wagons and is perfect for indoors or outdoors.
- Those who love sustainability will love the Keeps bed, made from FSC-certified North American white oak and stained with plant-based oils.
- For flooring, natural products like cork, tile, hardwood, and rubber are popular choices for meeting sustainability and health goals.
- Because it is made with a high proportion of recycled materials, MAC Metal Architectural siding will also be a good, sustainable choice for outdoor facing walls.
#4 Pickleball: Fun & Games in the Backyard
Not many saw this trend coming, but in retrospect, it’s one of those “no-brainers'' we hear so much about. Pickleball’s popularity was ensured when everyone from kids to grandma realized it was a fun and easy way to get a little exercise. Like golf, it can be played by multiple generations but unlike golf, it doesn’t take 3 hours out of a day.
This combination of tennis, badminton, and a cute name made it irresistible. Upscale master-planned communities started adding it to their “resort-like” amenities and a few public courts began to spring up. As the pickleball parade grew larger, wait time for courts inevitably followed and, according to this online magazine for the sport, “as pickleball enthusiasm grew and public courts were strained to meet the unquenched demand, some players began looking at their homes and finding out what it takes to build a pickleball court on their property.
‘I guess it’s the new backyard swimming pool,’ said Gary Dannenberg, a Milton, Wisconsin, contractor who accidentally found himself in the pickleball court installation business.”
An ideal footprint for a pickleball court is 64 feet by 34 feet, and it costs about $50K to build one. Installation companies say they are unable to keep up with demand. Like it or not, pickleball is a real thing and designers will just have to dill with it.
This will likely lead to additional backyard improvements in 2023:
- Synthetic turf to withstand the constant traffic from all the neighbors wanting to play.
- Outdoor radiant heaters to keep the picklers warm during a cold snap.
- An upgraded outdoor entertainment area (think “19th Hole”) for players who want to relive their on-the-court triumphs after the match is completed!
# 5 Step Right Up!
It’s not often that a home design trend involves flooring, but multiple design media sources are citing supply chain issues, sustainability concerns and aesthetic objectives, all related to floors. According to this architectural publication, “More people are turning to floor alternatives like engineered flooring now than ever before. Many engineered flooring products cost less and last longer than their natural counterparts. They can also be a solution for supply chain issues. ‘Designers and architects are looking for alternatives to fit the budget and timeline. That has been especially challenging with supply chain issues,’ says Gracie Andraos, director of design at HKS. Engineered flooring like hardwood can also be less time-consuming to install. The boards come pre-stained and can be glued or locked into place.”
No part of a home or commercial building receives more wear and tear than the floor. While it is the foundation of a room’s design, it must also be durable enough to withstand constant foot traffic, exposure to water, pets, and the day-to-day play of young children.
Fortunately, advances in technology in the form of luxury vinyl products have come to the floor and in 2023 all indications are that demand is going through the ceiling!
# 6 Technology Drives Design
Whether, as this post points out, it’s due to the popularity of “playing” in the metaverse, electric vehicles changing garage design or antimicrobial tile serving as a healthy flooring, technology will continue to affect home design in a big way in 2023. For starters, homes will be “smarter.”
According to the technology website “Protocol Entertainment”,” in October, a major milestone was reached with the release of the “Matter standard,” which will “bring some basic interoperability to devices like light bulbs, smart switches, and thermostats. Matter is being introduced by the ‘Connectivity Standards Alliance,’ which counts Amazon, Apple, Google, and Samsung among its members. The primary focus is on simplifying smart home gadgets themselves, but the standard could also have implications for the types of devices people use to control and monitor their smart homes. That in turn could have significant implications for TVs and other entertainment devices.”
Matter matters, and designers, builders and homeowners will take notice.
# 7 The Hue and Cry of the Sea
Color trends are always interesting to ponder, and designers think in 2023 it’s time for something seaworthy and soothing. Rory Robertson, writing for Livingetc, says, “Echoing the reassuring color of the sea, aqua is set to be one of the hottest shades of the season. Opt in with larger pieces of furniture wrapped in oceanic tones, or home in on smaller accessory items if you just want a cooling shot of blue-green brilliance. Glass experts Lalique have announced a new curated edit of mantlepiece-worthy vessels which are perfect for propping a mantlepiece or an elegant little side table or cabinet of curiosities, all in this striking shade.”
Other designers have different hues on their drawing boards.
- Gentle gold - Earthy and neutral
- Verdigris - Pantone’s teal-like hue
- Digital Lavender - A gentle purple pastel
# 8 Let There Be Glorious Light
Nothing affects mood like light, and contemporary designers are magicians with this element. Well-known designer Tom Dixon recently shared his opinion with the website Livingetc.com about the importance of “light washing.” This involves “using bulbs cleverly to cover your walls in light rather than just beaming down on them from on high. And it isn't a coincidence that wall lights are becoming ever more sculptural, scene-stealing, sensational and stellar.”
Look for wall lights to set a wide array of moods in 2023.
# 9 Putting the Fun in MultiFUNctional Rooms
With COVID (hopefully) in the rear-view mirror, many are begrudgingly returning to offices and other workplaces, at least for a few days each week. This leaves that room that served as a home office available for other duties. For designers who have been singing the praises of rooms with multifunctionality, this is sweet music indeed!
According to several sources, including this one, “Interior design trends in 2023 are sure to support multifunctional homes. Bespoke interiors will cater to everyday activities as well as entertainment and exercise. They bridge the gap created by situational isolation. As a result, the numbers of luxe movie and game rooms, gyms, and saunas are sure to grow.”
# 10 Irreverence Rules
Let’s face it. For the past couple of years, we have not had enough fun! Home interior designers have noticed this, and they are ready to lighten the load. This will show up in 2023 in several trends:
- Those fun-lovers at The Wall Street Journal report, “The style, known as ‘Danish Pastel’ and currently populating TikTok and Instagram, riffs irreverently on Scandinavian and mid-century design. The look maintains its antecedent’s simple shapes but replaces the restrained palette of neutrals and natural wood with pastels. Mid-century mushroom lamps pop up in lavender and sage. Accessories have googly eyes.” If you like TikTok, you’re going to love this look.
- Interior design can conjure a sense of nostalgia. According to this source, “The interior design and color trends of 2023 will play on nostalgia to suggest a pleasant, quaint air. Pastoral patterns and bucolic artwork are sure to add a poetic touch to interiors.”
- Trompe l’oeil (meaning to deceive the eye) is making a comeback, especially in the form of Bonaldo’s “New Perspective Mirror". It plays with depth and perspective, giving the illusion of a room beyond the mirror and leaving space for the imagination of the person standing before it.
Turn Out the Lights. The Party’s Over for These 10
Where to begin? Design detritus can be painful. This is especially true if we’ve spent a few thousand dollars on some objet d’art with a very short shelf-life. Here are some design elements and trends that are KAPUT.
Where’s that design dustbin when you need it?
- Locker-room chic is a loser
Do you have fond memories of gym class in high school? Of course not. Then why insist on wall-hung toilets and red metal lockers in the mud room? Lose ‘em.
- Animal-shaped rugs are no longer wild
Unless you live in a hunting cabin in Alaska, this is no longer a cool look.
- That little artificial olive tree is so pre-pandemic
Seems like everyone has a fake olive tree. The design gurus suggest replacing it with a “small, faux red oak tree.” The “faux” adds a certain je ne sais quoi.
- Ceiling cans should be canceled
To quote The Wall Street Journal, “Too many recessed (or can) lights overhead make a ceiling look like an airport landing strip.”
- Big-screen TVs over the fireplace are a pain in the neck
What’s the optimal height for that big, black, distracting rectangular squawk box? The answer is 45 inches from the floor.
- Herringbone wall tiles seem dated
That same style in flooring is timeless. Who knew this doesn’t apply to walls? A good replacement is glossy, zellige tiles.
- Diner decor is so Waffle House
Unless you really, really love “Grandma Chic,” remove those kitschy cafe curtains hanging from the giant brass curtain rings. Smothered hash browns are still okay.
- Ceilings can cause claustrophobia
Sure, your trendy friend painted her living room ceiling a dark color, but we know she’s always tried WAY too hard.
- Library larceny is a crime
Who started building bookshelves that are “cubbies” in the shape of rhomboids or hexagons, or books arranged by color to create a rainbow effect? A non-reader, that’s who.
- Barbiecore furnishings will not get you a date with Ken
We know you want to, but for the love of everything plastic, don’t. Bubblegum-colored walls and pink laminate dressers are vintage Barbie, and fine, if you’re 6. And yes, Miss “B” will come to life on the silver screen in 2023. But check this space this time next year. Barbiecore will be at the top of the list of the What’s Not Hot for 2024.
Interior design trends come and go, but quality is timeless. Before planning your next design product, click here to see what’s hot from Acme Brick.