A lot of today’s favorite home décor trends have been a direct result of the many changes we have seen in society and around the globe. While we embraced home and wanted to make the most of it during the shutdown, we also realized we had deferred maintenance. We not only needed to increase the comfort and beauty of our homes, but also we needed to update and maintain them. Many of us added new doors and windows, decided to paint or get that new roof. Lots of people purchased new items like appliances and furnishings. Many of us added decorative updates such as wallpaper or an accent paint color and nearly all of us made our gardens, yards, patios and pools even better than before.
Several of the above trends have been coming for awhile. For example, in our firm, we continue to see interest in wallpaper. While 5-10 years ago, we had to convince clients to wallpaper a powder room and maybe a single wall in a bedroom, today they ask us how many rooms they can paper in their houses. We tell them the sky is the limit and even the ceilings can be papered.
Some of the wallpaper trends we are seeing include:
- Vintage Tropical designs — think big palm leaves and exotic flora and fauna — à la Beverly Hills hotel (more on that below).
- Black and white, in traditional or modern prints. Black and white papers are popular because they create instant chic.
- Neutral, monochromatic papers also work well. Their softness and subtly makes them suitable for multiple styles.
- Textures are always in style. We favor grass cloth with metallic accents such as silver, platinum, champagne and gold and either small or bold patterning.
I just returned from the Kips Bay Show House Palm Beach, where not a ceiling was left unadorned. One of my favorite rooms was by Katherine Shenaman Interiors, where she used an iconic Gracie Wallpaper called waves, which not only is perfect for a house sitting on the Intracoastal Waterway but also reminded me of the famous Japanese wood block prints of waves. She combined the coastal blues with some pretty blush furnishings and then combined the two influences on the ceiling, which boasted marine crown molding that matched a blue background with a white and blush pick-up sticks design. Truly coastal inspired.
Speaking of coastal and inspired, another big trend this year is travel and travel-inspired design. Not only are we getting out of town more, but we are also bringing design home with us. We are currently finishing a media room in a new home in the Garden Oaks neighborhood in Houston. We used a deep blue wall color with a client-selected dark blue leopard carpet. We selected a Modern Forms sconce with a sleek chrome and bubbly crystal design for a sleek and sophisticated look and set it all off with a series of black and white photos of famous hotels.
Those choices really created a luxury hotel vibe for that space. The resort look and feel is also a big draw in today’s design in other areas of the house. We routinely have clients ask for a luxury hotel bedroom feel, a classic European marble bathroom design or a tropical extravaganza à la Beverly Hills Hotel.
Some exoticism is coming to kitchens too with clients gravitating away from white quartz. Many are selecting quartzite in soft tones like Perla Venata (below left) and Mont Blanc (below right) which have subtle shading and veining and will provide a light-colored counter with some delicate movement.
Additionally, we are starting to see clients consider bolder countertops with lots of movement and deep, exotic colors. This includes real stone selections as well as man-made quartz options. We are finishing a lake house in Livingston, Texas for a favorite client and they bought the most beautiful slab for their island. We call it Starry Night because it reminds us of the Van Gogh painting but the official name is Santorini Quartzite. Below is part of the design board that we created for this client to illustrate how all the design elements would come together.
Stained cabinets are definitely hot. Nearly all of our current clients want at least wood-stained cabinetry. Even people who lean toward painted or laminated cabinets will select to stain a few key areas. Consider staining the island, a wall of cabinetry on just one side of the room or a specific area such as a beverage center or built-in china cupboard. These are all great ways to add the warmth of stained wood to your kitchen without making it feel heavy.
Another big trend is glamour and we are seeing that in shiny surfaces, the most jewelry-like hardware and interesting options such as metal grills and mesh insets in built-in cabinets and many furniture pieces. Mixing metals is big and it’s a fun way to put your own spin on your home in a fairly easy and economical way. You can start with small steps like updating the cabinet hardware in your butler’s pantry or maybe a bathroom. Select a finish that looks nice with your other selections but doesn’t necessarily match. Let the new hardware shine for a fresh look.
I’ve already mentioned vintage in wallpaper and art, but it’s also still cool in decorating too. Have you noticed all the puffy, white furniture out there these days? It has a strong ‘70s vibe. Add earth-tone velvet ottomans and a bunch of houseplants and you’ve been transported back. Since I lived with ‘70s design as a kid, I am not a huge fan but I can see some appeal in the comfort and the relaxed, almost defiant style. It’s almost saying, “I’m big and comfy and plump and round. Just come sit down!”
One of the best trends in design these days is the practicality that everyone strives for in their homes. They want the house to work for the whole family. That might include things like an office for all adults in the household and study carrels or desks in their rooms for the kids. Appliances that offer easy access to after-school snacks and drinks are popular so that the kids can serve themselves. When it comes to bathrooms, many clients consider universal design and older clients are keen to create a home where they can age in place.
We have some brilliant design trends in 2023. Recognizing these trends and incorporating the best of them always inspires me. Until next time, find your inspiration or call us and we’ll help you discover it.