In March’s Marketing and Branding Month, we’ll go deep on agent branding and best practices for spending with Zillow, Realtor.com and more. Top CMOs of leading firms drop by to share their newest tactics, too. And to top off this theme month, Inman is debuting a brand new set of awards for branding and marketing leaders in the industry called Marketing All-Stars.
In these times, double down — on your skills, on your knowledge, on you. Join us Aug. 8-10 at Inman Connect Las Vegas to lean into the shift and learn from the best. Get your ticket now for the best price.
This post was last update Mar. 9, 2023.
Keeping up with the latest styles ensures you can help your clients make the most of their spaces, especially if they’re preparing to list their homes this spring.
2023 has been the return of fun, playful and daring style trends that we all love. Moving slightly further away from sleek minimalism, we are adding some style and organic forms back in and allowing creativity to come through.
This is the year to let your unique style shine in all of your spaces. Don’t be afraid of color, don’t be afraid of texture, don’t be afraid of movement, don’t be afraid of mixing and matching and making things more unique this year.
1. The return of color
Yay, color is back. And we are so thankful for it. Gray is gone, and the land of dreary is becoming bright and beautiful.
A lot of the warm earth tones are in right now. Think cozy and comfortable. Earth tones such as clay, sun, cream, stone and mosses play strongly into an overall feeling of comfort for your everyday use. Color is coming back in everything from lighting and accessories to furniture, pillows, paint colors, clothes and household goods.
And, yes, black accents are still in. We love our black accents and they are not going away. Black and white really hold strong as an impactful background to all of these wonderful colors.
2. Texture is everything
Think texture in essentially every aspect of design and trends. With products you will see a lot of papier-mâché, clay and plaster returning to us with strong force. From plaster tables to Venetian plaster on walls we are seeing a big comeback with this.
Think chunky reclaimed wood, jazzy wood grains, macramé, the use of grasses and natural elements in the home from light fixtures to vases. Chunky wool, sumptuous velvet and fur are further reinforcing the feeling of warmth and coziness we want.
3. Geometric and curvy
Keeping on trend with nature and natural elements, curves are making a comeback. We are seeing it in curved windows and doors, built-in bookshelves and niches creating intentional design impact with the feeling of permanence and stability.
The curved sofa is making its debut this year, and is back in the homes of many. Chunky swivel chairs and barrel chairs complete this curvy craze with soft movement in every room.
Even natural, organic curves for coffee, tables and asymmetrical seating arrangements bring a bit of surprise around every turn. We’re still keeping our clean lines as the main backdrop, but adding in the soft elements gives us some whimsy and playfulness for this year.
4. Natural elements
We are seeing the return of heavier wood grain with beautiful stains. Natural furniture, cane, burlwood tables, and patterned wood floors make a significant design impact. Beautiful moldings on walls add a nod to the 60s and 70s, with walnut being one of the strongest contenders. Think built-in shelves, beautiful mantles and dining tables with movement and interest.
Travertine and warm stone with movement and textures are making their way back into kitchens, bathrooms and all types of furniture, including dining tables, coffee, tables and side tables plus decorative elements for shelves and even seating.
5. Color in kitchens and baths
Bye bye boring white, see ya! Ok, I like white, but we are adding on, especially in cabinetry. This is making a comeback from the 60s and 70s when painted cabinetry, trim and doors were all the rage. This adds a further feel of warmth in the home with color in unexpected places.
Again those earthy colors make their debuts in warm terracottas, coral, dusky greens and creams to really add depth and character to kitchens and baths.
6. Moving away from open floorplans
People are really looking to add a little bit of separation for all of those special things that we spend time doing — separate offices, butlers (baking) pantries, bars, nooks, meditation, spaces, yoga and workout spaces, dedicated homework areas and spaces for Zoom calls. All of these are giving us a little bit more separation between the spaces and tasks. As we start to add more to our schedules after the shutdown years, we need our houses to be multi-functional to the max.
7. Mixed metal finishes in every room
Since we’re adding a little bit more color and excitement to our rooms, we are also adding a little bit more sparkle with dynamic finishes that last a lifetime. Black is here to stay so don’t be afraid to use black hardware, plumbing fixtures and trim in all areas.
High gloss is in so remember that a little shine goes a long way. Mix gold with black or a polished nickel faucet with a gold mirror and gold sconces. Remember to repeat the elements throughout the room so that they feel grounded and not lonely.
8. Mood is everything right now
Elevating our living spaces with ambient lighting is the best way to create an optimal mood. Recessed lights are moving by the wayside as we see creative, interesting lighting installations with decorative bulbs, protruding can lights with a special finish and more interesting adaptations for overall lighting, coupled with wonderful lamps, textured floor lamps, plaster or stone table lamps, and papier-mâché chandeliers.
The bigger the better this year. Switch from the standard, overdone three pendants over the island to either one or two and make them a bit oversized. Chandeliers in bedrooms and bathrooms or pendants over the sink give special moments to areas that may be overlooked.
9. Outdoor living is still in.
Because we spent so much time in our homes over the last couple of years, making sure we have cozy spaces outside has been at the top of everyone’s list. Spending more on outdoor furniture, coordinated rugs, plants, outdoor throw pillows and decorative lighting really equalizes the importance between our indoor and outdoor spaces. They are equal now, so don’t forget about them.
10. Ceilings are just another wall.
They’re actually becoming one of the most important walls. Singular accent walls are generally out but painted ceilings and wallpapered ceilings are making their dramatic entrance this year. Try black ceilings or bold printed wallpaper on the ceiling which gives a romantic vibe and makes the room feel lush and cozy.
Chair rails and moldings also lend themselves to using some more saturated colors on the walls in moderation if a whole room or ceiling is outside of your comfort zone.
Overall, don’t be afraid to be bold and daring with your design choices this year. We are venturing into better, brighter times, and our homes are a direct reflection of that. Keep it fun and happy and layered with color, textures and natural elements that make you happy every time you walk in the door.
Antoinette Fargo is the co-founder and creative director of DOORA Collective + DOORA Design in Ventura, California.