Interiors will get weirder in 2023 with bolder colours, mushroom materials and less birch plywood, designers have told Dezeen.
As the new year begins, Dezeen asked 12 interior designers and architects about their predictions for the interior design trends that will dominate in 2023.
Interiors to feature maximalism and weirdness
British interior designers Jordan Cluroe and Russell Whitehead of 2LG Studio believe interior design this year will be wilder and weirder.
“It’s a violent time we are living in,” the duo told Dezeen. “There is anger in the world and design needs to reflect that dynamism and not shy away from it. The deco period has been important to design for several years and we are now looking to expressionism and cubism for bold inspiration.”
“Weirdness has always been there and we’ve always been here for it. Think Haas Brothers. But now it feels like we are in such a wild historical moment that weird is becoming the norm. See Nicolas Devlin and Charlotte Kingsnorth.”
“When the world gets too weird to comprehend, the designs of the moment reflect that. Let’s all get weird and express our wonderfulness.”
One of the overarching design trends this year looks to be maximalism, as the world gradually moves on from the more pared-back interior designs that have been popular over the past two years.
“Last year saw a shift towards maximalism, experimenting with patterns and rich colour schemes,” Sanchit Arora of New Delhi studio Renesa told Dezeen.
“This year will continue this trend with a fresher fervour. There will be bold and forward designs that give increased personality to the space. For both commercial and residential areas, clients are opting for customized patterns and colours rather than going for conformable products that suit just any space but compromise on standing out.”
Bolder colours and prints will take centre stage
While interiors last year often bore a discrete, natural colour palette – as evidenced by the homes in our list of top 10 home interiors of 2022 – 2023 looks set to be colour-drenched.
“I think I am seeing, after a few years of mostly conservative approach to colour, a more fresh and daring use of colour,” Raúl Sánchez, founder of Barcelona studio Raúl Sánchez Architects, told Dezeen.
“We are leaving the haven of neutrals and stepping into a rainbow!” added interior designer Pallavi Dean of Roar.
“The safe beige, grey and white walls are on their way out and we are experimenting with bold hues and darker tones to add depth to the space,” she added.
“Tread with caution when you choose your shade; it can impact your mood and change your perception of the size of your space.”
Spatial designer Adi Goodrich thinks the use of colour will be especially prominent in kitchen interiors.
“I think people are finally embracing colour and will choose to redesign their kitchens in a wash of colour,” she told Dezeen.
According to interior designer Kelly Hoppen, neutrals will still be going strong but will be increasingly complemented by bold prints.
“The way we use our homes has evolved over the last few years as we appreciate the comfort and warmth of our own spaces, especially as many people are still in part working remotely or hybrid working,” she told Dezeen.
“This will continue to reflect our colour choices and so for multifunctional yet homey rooms, calming neutrals will be favoured including cosy greys to classic beiges and taupes,” Hoppen added.
“That said, bold prints are making a resurgence and the asymmetrical feel in rooms is going to be huge. Wallpaper, which is also having a comeback, will be used through 2023 decor. For example – textural walls being used as a backdrop for artwork or asymmetrical wallpaper borders being used to add contrast.”
Rich and tactile materials to dominate
Tactile, rich materials will be especially popular in the coming year, according to the designers.
“We are craving a ‘multi-sensory palette’,” said Dean.
“The recent pandemic deprived us of one of our most ‘human’ senses: touch. In response to that, I feel it will become increasingly important for designers to make use of materials that bring tactility to the interior scheme and to devise spaces that provoke an emotion in its users.”
“In the post-pandemic space, the wellbeing of the end user is considered more than ever,” agreed interior designer Tola Ojuolape.
“Humble materials and finishes that give rise to a relaxed sophistication will continue to dominate the interiors landscape. Lime plaster walls and finish, brick, natural wool will be visible.”
Meanwhile, an increasing appetite for bold designs could lead to some currently popular materials falling out of favour.
“I think the era of birch plywood might be coming to an end,” Goodrich said. “I believe richer woods like walnut, cherry and red oak will be seen more in interiors moving forward.”
“Bold, colourful marbles balanced with neutrals will be particularly trendy,” predicted Hoppen. “People will be eating in a lot more in 2023, so table tops (especially marble) and dining spaces will make a huge comeback–perfect for those looking to entertain.”
Studios are also open to working with new materials this year as they strive for more sustainable designs.
“Materiality excites us as a studio,” 2LG said. “Mushrooms are going to become more important. Brands like Mylo Unleather are making waves and getting us excited about the possibilities mushrooms offer as an ethical and sustainable alternative to animal skin.”
Interior designer Kelly Wearstler agreed, saying: “Sustainability will continue to live at the forefront of all design conversations and innovations. I have been very interested in the rise of mushroom leather.”
“This fabric innovation has already been revolutionary for the fashion industry, offering a sustainable alternative,” she added. “I expect we will continue to see its presence grow within interiors and design.”
Sustainability becoming a “necessity”
Designers are also more focused on sustainability than ever before and wary of greenwashing.
“Sustainability is an evolving subject in the interiors space; this will continue in 2023,” Ojuolape predicted.
“Designers will continue to find ways to ensure it is considered and adapted into the life cycle of an interiors project from the onset.”
“Intentional and deliberate education will continue to ensure resourceful materials selections, upcycling and reuse of furniture and smart reduction of plastics and waste,” she added.
“As we confront ourselves with the ever-increasing issues of energy consumption and global warming, interior design projects will be greatly affected in many aspects,” Japanese designer Keiji Ashizawa predicted.
“I believe projects that trace the context of sustainability will become a necessity, and it will no longer be something that is merely spoken about as an idealized concept,” he added.
“I think it’s safe to say we are all sensitised to greenwashing,” Dean said.
“Designers and clients are both better educated about the impact their work will have on the environment and are steering clear from box-ticking certification goals. Instead, the focus is on long-term strategies – waste disposal, efficient MEP systems and better construction methodologies.”
Human connection important after pandemic
The importance of working together as a community was also highlighted by many of the designers Dezeen spoke to.
“Due to the pandemic we have all been more or less isolated – so what we see is a longing for truly connecting and interacting with the world around us again,” said Norm Architects partner Frederik Werner.
“Translate that into the field of interior design – and we see how we as humans seek tactility, sensibility and natural materials in the constant pursuit of wellbeing.”
Australia-based designer Danielle Brustman agreed, saying: “There seems to be a sculptural and more organic design trend growing in interior design. There is a return to the soft curve and using more organic materials. We have all been rocked by the Covid pandemic and I think people are in need of some nurturing.”
This theme of community will also play out in the production of design projects, predicts Ashizawa.
“After experiencing the Covid-19 pandemic, I believe that there will be more opportunity to reflect on the community – along with the cost of import and logistics leading to a slower progression of projects,” he said.
“This would spur the expansion of community-based projects that focus on cultural values of local production for local consumption.”
Similarly, Alex Mok of interior design studio Linehouse believes the difficulty of the past year will enhance the need for collaboration.
“2022 was a difficult year for many countries and cultures so we look towards 2023 with a focus to human connection, authenticity and social interaction,” she told Dezeen.
“We’re seeing a greater consideration on the use and purpose of spaces beyond form and instead activating communities. We hope to see more projects that revitalise existing buildings or connection to local crafts.”