Welcoming home design trends that mix the old and new with the beauty and warmth of natural materials and bold optimistic colors By Allison Pollock-Pugh
Each spring, new flower buds emerge from the long-dormant earth, basking the world in color and sparking feelings of renewal, change and fresh starts. Spring is nature’s gentle way of shaking us awake after a period of hibernation—inspiring and energizing us with longer days and more sunlight. While some opt for traditional spring cleaning, others embrace the nudge offered by the season change and choose to rejuvenate their living spaces.
The prospect of design updates often brings visions of the family and friends you’ll host and the memories you’ll make in your new space. As you start researching design trends, it’s easy to get lost down the never-ending Pinterest rabbit hole. The countless options and opinions can quickly become overwhelming, causing major decision paralysis. You want your space to feel like it belongs in this decade (or century), but trends can be fleeting, and any significant changes need to withstand the test of time.
Your home is a personal space—it should be a calm and comforting place that considers your lifestyle and reflects what you like. Connecting with the earth and bringing a feeling of groundedness into your home is reflected in the home design trends this year. People are seeking stability and peace within their homes, reaching for warm neutrals with pops of rich colors, natural materials and versatile pieces that make you feel safe, comfortable and inspired.
A place we often start when considering a home redesign is colors—and not just paint. Wallpaper with bold patterns and textures add visual interest to a myriad of surfaces throughout the house. Colors affect our mood, emotions and energy level, making them an important factor in aesthetic and overall vibe.
While neutrals have a timeless appeal, people are ditching the cool white and gray colors for creamy earth tones that give off a homey feeling and warmer brown shades that anchor the space and make us feel more grounded. Sherwin Williams’ announced their color of the year as Redend Point (SW 9081), a romantic warm neutral that embodies all things cozy and tranquil.
Paired with creamier neutrals are bold colors that elicit a desired emotion from the space. Soothing greens, deep blues and rich berry hues are taking center stage in 2023. Benjamin Moore chose a vibrant red-orange called Raspberry Blush (2008-30) as their color of the year for 2023—this bold and refreshing hue energizes a room for maximum impact. Mossy and deep shades of green are almost considered neutral for their versatility—used to upgrade furniture and décor or make a bold wall color while balancing a room.
Bringing natural elements into your home means embracing the inconsistencies, imperfections and unique beauty in raw, natural materials. Cookie-cutter design pieces from big-box stores made from synthetic materials are being replaced with a newfound (or renewed) appreciation for durable, long-lasting organic materials. Meaningfully investing in a few masterfully crafted pieces built for longevity is being more highly valued as people want a story or connection to the items they keep in their homes.
One of the most beautiful and often underappreciated design materials is front and center: natural wood. Furniture and design elements crafted from light- or mid-toned woods that lovingly embrace the natural artistry of high-contrast grains add warmth and texture to a room. Think 1960’s and 1970’s rich mahogany end tables or dark oak shelving. Even natural wood cabinets are making a comeback, mingling with natural stone to create a mixed material kitchen. Integrate other wood touches with wooden-legged chairs, swap out picture frames for wood versions, or display that one-of-a-kind wood carving you found in your grandma’s basement.
The desire to feel more grounded and connected with the earth means a shift from sterile white kitchens to natural materials, whimsical colors, patterns and textures. Natural stone slabs for kitchen countertops and backsplashes paired with dynamic colored cabinets and warm wood accents are inviting and functional to an area where families often congregate. While quartz remains a more economical choice, colorful marbles, soapstone and limestone with exaggerated, contrasting veining will become more prominent.
Not looking to do a complete overhaul? Swapping out your backsplash, painting your island a vibrant hue, or even installing a warm walnut butcher-block island makes a huge difference and doesn’t require construction.
After all the change and chaos of the past several years, there’s a general desire to reconnect with the things that really matter. Mixing vintage pieces into your contemporary space elicits a sense of nostalgic comfort and further personalizes your space. Adding meaningful objects such as heirloom pieces or sentimental items add character and depth to the space. Who doesn’t love a story about the antique table your great uncle brought all the way from Armenia? Pieces like these are part of your story and bring a sense of history into your home.
Even if you don’t have familial heirloom items, you can create the look by thoughtfully picking out individual pieces that you love. Peruse an antique store for treasures, and refurbish them to make them your own. Or display unique trinkets, vases or sculptures found while traveling. Vintage furniture, heirloom accessories and one-of-a-kind, personalized pieces mix beautifully with modern styles and are more sustainable than short-term, disposable items. Combining antiques with a new, modern design can spark beloved memories while honoring a bygone era and adding timeless elegance to your space.
The architectural design and environment surrounding your home can also help inspire your design. A French country interior can feel out of place in a modern contemporary home, and a mid-century modern style can feel conflicted in a coastal beach house. Additionally, homes with ample shade from surrounding evergreen trees may select light-reflecting colors to brighten the interior. A home basking in warm, golden sunlight may need cool colors to balance the bright warmth.
While these home design trends are things to consider, they shouldn’t be the deciding factor. Your home should be a place where you feel relaxed and content; somewhere that reflects who you are and what you love.