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Interiors: The must have design trends for 2023, from sustainability to block colour

Vibrant pink is the must-have colour for the new year and Soho House Pink 13 by Lick creates an on-trend bedroom.
Vibrant pink is the must-have colour for the new year and Soho House Pink 13 by Lick creates an on-trend bedroom.

As we say goodbye to 2022, many homeowners will be looking more critically at any peeling wallpaper, patchy paintwork and old-fashioned interiors – after all, isn’t the January refresh all about “out with the old, in with the new”?

Whether you are planning big renovation work or just a few updates to your living space, there are lots of new and emerging interior design trends to provide inspiration, from paint colours and lighting fixtures to furniture and wallcoverings.

Here, trend specialists and interior experts share the top design and decoration trends to consider for 2023 and beyond.

Shout about sustainability

Limiting our impact on the environment has never been more important, and sustainability will continue to be a key focus for many in the coming year. Matilda Martin, trend specialist at home décor brand Lick, explained: “A form of design that is being talked about over and over again is ‘circularity’ – a move away from a linear design process to a circular, sustainable one, in which products are ‘made to be remade’.”

From rattan and bamboo to cane and linen, says Tash Bradley, Lick’s director of interior design, environmentally friendly materials will take centre stage – but it’s cork and aluminium that she predicts will become increasingly popular.

She said: “We are all wanting to be more mindful of our design choices and decorate our homes with materials that positively benefit our mental wellbeing, as well as the wellbeing of our planet. You’ll notice that the colour palette found in sustainable materials is very grounding – typically earthy neutrals.

“Unlike its polished counterparts, cork is an approachable material. Its natural brown colour gives it a grounding, earthy feel – instantly making you feel more relaxed – while its rugged bark appearance adds texture, warmth and cosiness.”

An olive green with golden undertone of Green 05 Rome House by Lick

And aluminium, which can be recycled infinitely, brings a sleek, shiny and contemporary finish: “The key to ensuring your space doesn’t look sterile is by mixing the aluminium with warmer tones, such as those found in wood and cork,” Bradley added.

Colour, colour everywhere

The key colours for 2023 include vibrant pink – like the 2023 Pantone Colour of the Year, Viva Magenta – milky and almond-toned neutrals, and soft blue hues that evoke the sky. When using these shades, Sheenagh Green, colour expert at premium paint brand Colourtrend, recommends picking only one paint for an entire room, as “colour-drenching” becomes a popular look.

She said: “The look of a deep, moody room all done in the same colour, from walls to furnishings and fabrics, are predicted to be big for next year. Along the lines of more dramatic themes, Gothic styles are also said to be making a comeback. We are expecting to see more and more black décor and paint that creates a moody vibe.”

When it comes to choosing colours for accessories and accents, Bradley recommends pops of primary colours: “From a colour psychology perspective, the three primary colours of red, blue, and yellow represent the body, mind and our emotions respectfully. Loud and unapologetic, primary colours are high saturation and will add a playful charm to a space, bringing with them an unmistakable energy. Anything painted in a primary colour creates a focal talking point in a room, sparking conversation.”

Layered lighting

According to Sam Bramley, Lick’s lead colour consultant, after colour, lighting is the second most important design element in any home. She said: “In light of Shy Tech and technological advancements, lighting has taken on many new forms – different materials, sculptural shapes and gorgeous colours – but what we are seeing more and more is an increase in layering and in particular, the rise of wall lights.

“Layer your lighting with illuminated pockets on the walls, striking linear lines in your floor lamps to zone areas for their function and style, and oversized pendants hanging from the ceiling for added drama.”

Conversation starters

Forget “standard sofas” says Dani Burroughs from modern sofa brand Snug. Rather than opting for traditional two and three-seaters, modular and flexible seating options will be most popular in the coming 12 months.

With trends changing from open plan to broken plan and back again, we need the flexibility to switch up our spaces whenever we feel like it,” explained Burroughs. “Rather than having to look for new furniture, a modular sofa will give you all the freedom you need. Similar to life-sized Lego, simply separate the units to reconfigure from one large sofa to two smaller sofas to completely reinvent the space. Choosing modular means you’ll never have to worry about your sofa being left or right aligned. Or, if you fancy a makeover, simply swap out the sofa arms for a designer-inspired side table.”

Charlotte Cropper, Lick’s international colour consultant advises looking for curved seating to encourage more conversation: “We predict that curved, convivial seating arrangements will increase in popularity in 2023. Curved lines and shapes are much softer compared to geometric lines and sharp angles. We feel safer and more protected in curves as they wrap round us like a hug; they’re inclusive and inviting. The simplicity of curved shapes makes us feel physically secure, welcoming us into a room by encouraging moments of connectivity and togetherness.”

New nostalgia

The 2022 trend for up-cycling and vintage décor will continue, according to Bramley, and that means shopping for one-off pieces that will take pride of place in your home for many years to come. She explained: “Investing in craft and unique handmade pieces is a fabulous way of adding history and character to your home – the pieces tell a story, and having unique finds scattered around your home is a fun way to add bolder colours without having to overwhelm a space.”

Earn your stripes

Wallpaper, textiles or paint will all be adorned with stripes for a bold statement, said Burroughs: “Bringing the original high-contrast design element, stripes can help make a confident statement within the home. Having a feature or accent wall painted in either colour-clashing stripes or complimentary shades can help a magnificent interior look.”

But don’t get your measuring tape and ruler out just yet – Cropper recommends waving hello to sea-inspired stripes: “On the walls, wavy striped wallpapers bring height, softness and fluidity to a space, whilst also offering a contemporary take on the traditional stripe. We associate these shapes with water and the ocean, which are known to evoke feelings of calm and relaxation, so patterns with wavy stripes are the perfect recipe for encouraging moments of mindfulness in the home.”