Ok, I’m a couple of weeks late with this one. Each year, I blog about my interior design trend predictions. I do it because, well, mostly because I spend waaaaaayyyyyy too much time researching, engaging, reading and just living in the world of interior design. When you do spend the majority of your days doing such a thing, you begin to notice trends, even when said trends are in their infancy. I love writing this blog because the intention is to catch these trends when they are in their infancy; when the masses don’t seem quite tuned into them yet, but the design world avant-garde is lighting them on fire. The better question is likely this, “do interior design trend predictions matter?” Well, yes and no.
To start with why trends do indeed matter, somewhat, I’ll start by saying that there are two kinds of trends: 1. the type that are uber transient and mostly embraced by a young crowd and 2. the kind that last a bit longer and become part of the mainstream for years to come (think colorful kitchen cabinets, rattan, mid-century modern etc.). The first reason why trends matter is that renovating, designing or decorating a home costs a lot of money (even if done on a budget). This longer-lasting type of trend is the kind that I see as being relatively important, especially in a kitchen renovation, because you’re pouring tons of money into a project and you want to be able to see that equity when it comes time to sell, refinance, etc.
Why do trends not matter? Well, your home is where you live. It should be a reflection of you, your preferences, and your personal style. Just like what you wear each day is a reflection of you, your home is, too. Personally, I love playing with trends. My closet, just like my home, has lots of traditional staples that ground my wardrobe, but I spice those up with trendier pieces that make my clothing feel more like me. A basic formula that I embrace with my wardrobe and my home? Splurge on the more traditional, timeless staples, and use that expendable income on the trendier pieces that aren’t quite as expensive. For example, my simple, white linen Crate & Barrel sofa is studded with an inexpensive bright red bullion fringe and fun trendy pillows.
Ok, so what’s “in” for 2023?
If I had renovated my kitchen in 2022, I would have almost certainly splashed color all over the cabinets (I still might), but leaning into 2023 and having a kitchen renovation on the horizon, I’m noticing more and more wood cabinetry and I am NOT hating it. Our project will likely include a combination of painted cabinetry and stained white oak cabinetry. But before you go all wood in your kitchen, keep a few important details in mind:
- I love that there are no hard and fast rules to what woods are trending with cabinetry. I’m seeing just as much bamboo as I am seeing walnut and white oak, but when turning to stain options, keep the yellow and overly red tones at bay. The type of wood trending is NOT your typical yellowish 1980s oak cabinetry.
- The silhouette of your cabinetry definitely matters if you’re trying to pull off this look. Cathedral top cabinetry has seen its better days, while flat panel/slabs and applied moulding doors are having a moment. Shaker cabinetry is still going strong and is, in my opinion, the current-day kitchen equivalent of the aughts shiplap frenzy, but I do believe we’re seeing a turning point with it. It’s a fairly safe and traditional option, but just like shiplap, I think it’s going to start feeling a little less fresh than it has in years past.
- One last tip: if you are stuck with that cathedral top cabinetry, or some other dated cabinet front, opt to paint it rather than strip it. Painting will bring the focus to the color of the cabinets, and away from the cabinet front itself, while stripping and/or staining will have the opposite effect.
FRINGE + SKIRTS
Say goodbye to all those sleek, sexy mid-century modern legs and say hellllllllooooo to bullion fringe and skirts. Ok, any style that has more or less not entirely disappeared for 70 years is probably not going anywhere anytime soon (yes, I’m looking at you, mcm lovelies). That said, I think the bottoms of our furniture pieces are starting to itch for some more lavish attention. The focus is shifting a bit away from peg legs and reaching even further back into the past, to the Victorian, art deco, and art nouveau styles. Scalloped skirts and bullion fringe have been lighting up my Instagram feed and high-end design magazines alike and this is one trend that is really just catching on.
Nervous about committing? Try adding a temporary skirt or fringe to your current sofa. I recently did this (as aforementioned) and I have zero sewing or upholstery skills. It took me ten minutes. All I needed was the fringe (this is the one I used), some fabric glue and some pins to hold it in place while it dried. $65 and ten minutes later, I had some badass fringe on my sofa (that can easily be removed if I tire of it).
ANTIQUE/VINTAGE WORK TABLES
Yes, in lieu of the kitchen island. Those blocky, but highly functional kitchen islands seem to be taking a back seat to beautiful work tables, often antique or vintage pieces that are placed in the center of the kitchen. I have mixed feelings about this one (and have been going back-and-forth myself for my own kitchen renovation). Do I think these absolutely stunning centerpieces outshine the aesthetics of the traditional kitchen island? Yes, I one hundred percent think they win when it comes to their eye candy power. But, can they serve as much function and purpose as the traditional kitchen island? Definitely not.
These pieces are meant to be an aesthetic statement, while still allowing for great counter-space for prep work (even often offering storage beneath, or a pot rack above), but the biggest downfall of the work table is that it is nearly impossible to add plumbing to them. For this reason, I think they’re a wonderful option for a large kitchen that doesn’t need to place any plumbing in an island. But for the 99% of us lacking the square footage? I think I’ll still opt for my kitchen island.
Red has not been in style for a long time. The last time I can remember red really having a moment was the 1990s (yes, I was that ten year-old devouring each month’s issue of House Beautiful), but I think red is finally finding a modern moment to shine. Not only was Pantone’s color of the year “Viva Magenta,” but Justina Blakeney’s bold red living room graced the cover of Arch Digest a few months back and got a whole lot of eyeballs seeing red in a whole new light.
There are a lot of people out there who prefer little to no color in their homes and, if you’re one of those people, you likely don’t pay too much attention to what colors are trending. But for those of us captivated by the world of color, we definitely know what colors are in style, and which are not. Terracottas have been trending for quite a few years now, but the types of reds I’m really talking about here are dark, sumptuous burgundies and vivid magentas. These shades of red will join their terra-cotta sisters, and all of us are about to see a whole lot more of all three of these tones of red.
I’m excited to see more of all of these trends out in the design world this year. Be sure to also check out my predictions for 2020 and 2022. It’s always fun looking back to see if my predictions really did pan out the way I expected them to!