2023 Design Trends: Color, Texture, Function Take Center Stage

2023 Design Trends: Color, Texture, Function Take Center Stage

Weeks before you gave the first thought to New Year’s resolutions and holiday celebrations, home design publications published their annual lists of trends to look for in 2023.  From Pantone’s color of the year, Viva Magenta, to room layouts and drapery designs, here’s a roundup of design predictions for 2023.



Vibrant color palettes are pushing aside the now-common white and neutral interiors, according to Architectural Digest.  Even if used only as accents, look for bright, cheerful colors to bring zest to the beiges and “greiges” many embraced over the last decade.  If the color plunge is daunting, designers advise incorporating shades of blue and green that appear closer to white.

Pantone’s annual color choice is aimed at a variety of applications, including home design.  More specifically selected for home design are the colors of the year from popular paint manufacturers.  This year’s list includes greens, blues, earthy hues, and neutrals.  Valspar chose “12 livable paint colors, including soft neutrals, sweet pastels, and soothing shades of blue and green,” says Better Homes and Gardens.  Spanish Moss by Krylon, Terra Rosa by Dunn-Edwards, Redend Point by Sherwin-Williams, and Vintage Ivy by Glidden make up the earth tone list.  Though some designers say neutrals are not on trend, 2023’s list of colors includes Blank Canvas by Behr and Rustic Greige by Dutch Boy.  For the more daring, take a look at Raspberry Blush by Benjamin Moore and Canyon Ridge by Better Homes and Gardens at Walmart.

Color is not limited to four walls, according to U.S. News and World Report.  Increasingly, ceilings are treated as a fifth wall incorporating color to highlight or accent the vertical walls.


Open Concept vs. Dedicated Rooms

Don’t panic. Open concept homes are not passé, yet. Veranda magazine says homeowners today are seeking cozy spaces to gather such as a dedicated dining room. A separate dining room allows bolder choices in colors, fabrics and furniture, according to Southern Living.

Designers maintain there’s a way to accommodate open living spaces while carving out nooks for reading, listening rooms for music, and spa or wellness rooms for relaxation and meditation.  Southern Living recommends creating the feel of a separate dining room in an open space using a rug as an anchor and placing a sideboard or bar cart to provide room separation.

Design experts agree that most homeowners prefer homes and rooms that can multi-task. Kitchens double as entertaining spaces and family rooms incorporate homework stations. Older homeowners are “right-sizing” their homes, according to Better Homes and Gardens. Either by selling to be closer to grandchildren or renovating, grandparents are creating homes to accommodate their lifestyles and to attract their children and grandchildren for visits. 


Kitchen/Bath Trends

Arguably a home’s most important and utilized room, the kitchen is always the focus of upgrades and renovations.  For 2023, pantries, backsplashes, and islands are the leading ladies of the kitchen show. Larger homes will feature hidden pantries or butler’s pantries (even if there’s no butler) as homeowners enjoy their clutter-free, minimalist kitchens with the air fryer, slow cooker, and other appliances stored out of sight. Veranda says these functional pantries also will offer behind-the-scenes work space – a kitchen behind the kitchen.

Marble remains a popular choice for countertops and backsplashes, but look for slab backsplashes rather than tiles. “More and more homeowners are incorporating bold statement pieces of marble in their kitchens to create a focal point and add a touch of drama," says designer Hilary Matt for Better Homes and Gardens. "You can achieve this look with a bolder use of colors, unique veining styles, or both!”

Another kitchen focal point is the range hood. Veranda points toward sleek, less dramatic designs that don’t draw attention away from the overall kitchen design. Designer Caren Rideau recommends a plaster or drywall hood that’s boxed in and painted the same color as your wall, “so it kind of just blends in and goes away.” 

Primary bathrooms continue to move away from simply functional to simply fabulous. The new spa-like additions to baths in 2023 include a refrigerator for towels and beauty products, slab stone showers instead of tile and grout, and luxurious mood lighting. Veranda notes designers are creating separate areas for his-and-her vanities and even toilets. Finally, this year’s bathroom designs welcome the bidet.  An accepted bath feature in Asia and Europe, America is beginning to embrace either stand-alone bidets, the (ahem) high-end Japanese toilet/bidet combinations, or more affordable toilet-seat bidets, according to House Beautiful.


Wallpaper Redux

Remember grass cloth?  Back in the day (read 1960s and 1970s), grass cloth, a wallpaper made from natural fibers, was in vogue. With an increased emphasis on natural fibers in 2023, expect to see wallpapers made of grass, sisal, and jute, according to lifestyle website The Spruce.  

Wallpaper designs also will be bolder than ever and may turn up in unexpected places – like ceilings. “I see more color and bolder, statement wallpapers for 2023," said designer Jennifer Hunter. "Clients are becoming more inclined to add more color to their bedrooms, but I love wallpaper in any space. It adds a dimension that you cannot attain with paint."

Good Housekeeping’s top wallpaper prediction for 2023 is bold, colorful prints and florals.  Especially in small spaces, like a powder room, rich colors and patterns can transform the space into jewel box glam. Other trends on the horizon, says GH, are stripes (horizontal or vertical), bold prints with subtle colors, black and white motifs, murals and textured wallpapers. 



Darker exterior paint hues and earthy tones are the basis for 2023 curb appeal.  Dark blues, greys and black make a dramatic color statement.  Look for combinations of traditional and farmhouse designs with contemporary touches such as dark wood trim or industrial metal finishes.  

Exterior and landscape lighting will go bold in 2023.  Energy efficient LED lighting will illuminate plantings, porches and architectural features.  Increasingly, exterior lighting is a feature prospective buyers have on their must-have list.


Outdoor Spaces

Sure, nature creates your outdoor space, but you have a hand in the design.  More homeowners now consider their patio, deck or garden an extension of their indoor spaces. Bob Vila’s website recommends merging outdoor and indoor spaces using folding glass doors and enclosed verandas with indoor-style furniture.  Just as color and texture add to the flair of indoor spaces, outdoor areas benefit from designs incorporating natural-colored stones, gravel, and bricks for walkways and walls. Outdoor kitchens, showers, firepit living rooms, and built-in seating will be popular additions to backyards in 2023.


Everything Old is New Again

Finally, as you evaluate the latest paint hues, materials, and layouts, keep an eye out for pieces that can be reused or repurposed. Most design publications emphasize working antiques, treasured heirlooms, and personal collections into home décor. Whether it’s a collection of teacups in the kitchen, a hand-me-down rocker in the home office, or an old metal glider in the garden, personal touches transform trends into a space that’s uniquely yours.