In the design world, there are trend followers, trendsetters, and those who excuse themselves from the trend game altogether. While I like to pretend I’m in the camp nonchalantly minding my own business from the sidelines, I would be absolutely delusional to declare I’m not watching the 2023 interior design trends unfold on the glossy pages of the latest magazine issues and Instagram posts. Occasionally, I convince myself I’m not affected by trends, but I’m most certainly aware of them. And honestly, sometimes I love them! Regardless of how the latest trends hit me, I certainly notice others making the same mistake year after year of jumping in too deep.
That’s right. You’re doing the 2023 interior design trends wrong!
“You’re Doing It Wrong”
“You’re Doing It Wrong” is a blog series where I reassess interior design practices and home life in general. While the title is brash, it’s far from accusatory. Rather, this series invites us to reexamine how we approach life and design in our homes. Now, let’s find out what we’re doing wrong.
Good Design is About Finding the Right Inspiration
Just because something is trendy doesn’t mean it’s good design. Good design is about finding the right inspiration, whether it aligns with trends or not. Researching design history, examining the work of icons, subscribing to well-edited publications, and eschewing trends when needed set the stage for becoming a design leader rather than a trend follower.
I follow one of the least trendy design magazines, The World of Interiors, and I have a 20-year collection stacked in my design library. While I like to think this publication is immune to trends, I can see influences of the times emerge from the cover images alone. Elle Decor, while popular, also surprises me with compelling designs that break the mold. The editorial may eschew the trends, but the ads tell a different story. All this to say, trends have a place in the design world. However, we don’t always have to make room for them in our homes.
Trends Have Their Place (But That Doesn’t Have to Be in Your Home)
I’m not here to condemn trends. Trends have their place. They keep us feeling connected, young, current, and relevant to the world around us. While they can be the death knell to independent design and set off a domino effect of shiplap walls across the country, they can also bring a breath of fresh air to the room. (I’ll be the first to admit I was a big fan of the ‘80s design trend comeback.) While trends have their place, that place doesn’t have to be in your home.
The 2023 Interior Design Trends Catching My Eye
These are some 2023 interior design trends I’m watching emerge. I must say, I actually like them!
1. Maximalist Interiors
Maximalist interiors, with their layers of accessories, patterns, and colors, have made their return. These trending rooms don’t have a clean line in sight! (And I couldn’t be happier about that.)
2. Reimagined ‘80s Designs
No question about it. Molly Ringwald was chic. Now, interior designers are referencing her iconic pink taffeta dress in trending ‘80s interiors. The ‘80s are back with a vengeance. Bring on the Nagel and breathe in the smell of Poison by Dior.
3. Closed-concept Floor Plans
It’s official. The open-concept trend is over, and rooms with closed doors are back. Who thought it was a good idea to have a view of the kitchen sink from the sofa anyway? Yuck!
4. The “New” Conversation Pits
I think we finally caught on that we were entertaining wrong. TV-centric furniture layouts are giving way to what I’d like to call the “new” conversation pits — a la 1970s chic. Homeowners want people-centric furniture plans designed for conversation and activities rather than passive Netflix binges. The reign of the TV in the living room may finally be coming to an end.
5. Bold Color and Pattern Combos
We’re trading in the monotone room for bold color and pattern combinations. Get ready to add dynamic contrast with decorative wall finishes, paneling, color selections, wallpapers, and textiles.
6. Artisan Wallpapers
Wallpaper has been climbing the design trend ranks for a few years. But now we’re seeing a return to classic artisan patterns from the Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts eras. William Morris patterns are back in a big way — nearly 200 years after their debut!
What You’re Doing Wrong: It’s Unnecessary to Jump on Every Trend
Trends have value and tell a story of the times. Classic design styles like mid-century modern, Art Deco, and Art Nouveau all started as trends, after all! The mistake folks make is paying too much attention to trends and blindly applying them whether or not they serve their lifestyle and home. Remember, jumping on every trend is unnecessary (and just plain exhausting). Blindly grasping trends in the moment will leave your space feeling dated and your soul unfulfilled in just a few short years.
The Solution: Design Your Home Around You
Don’t let trends own you and your home. Instead, use them lightly, and let them be a small part of your design project that can be updated down the line. When a trend appears that speaks to you, that’s when you can lean in! You’ll stick with this design element long after others abandon it. It’s what will make your space yours.
In my interior design projects, I design for better living. Meaning I honor my clients’ lifestyles, needs, aesthetics, and homes rather than apply a “one-size-fits-all” trend. Home is personal and should be designed around you.
If there’s one trend I hold on to through the decades, it’s comfort.
Amity Worrel is an award-winning interior designer based in Austin, Texas. She has worked on high-end interior design projects for celebrities and tastemakers in NYC, LA, and the Bahamas. In 2008, Amity decided to bring her passion for diverse design back to her hometown of Austin. Her spaces pull from timeless design concepts ranging from coastal contemporary to cozy cottage to Austin eclectic. Emotional connections, functional flow, and a touch of humor remain central to every interior design scheme. Her work has been published in national and local publications, including The Wall Street Journal, House Beautiful, HGTV Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, and Austin Home. In her free time, she loves perusing estate sales and diving into design history. Learn more about Amity.