At first, “interior design trends” can feel like an oxymoronic term. Decor doesn’t tend to undergo seasonal changes or flash-in-the-pan fads—furniture, textiles, art, and wall coverings are too cumbersome, too expensive, too enduring to update frequently. When you design a room, as the saying goes, you need to learn to live with it. For a long time.
Yet the pendulum does swing, albeit over years and decades: 1970s shag-carpeted bohemianism gives way to 1980s glitzy excess, which gives way to 1990s palate-cleansing minimalism. So, as we enter 2023—and finding interior solutions that are kind to both our sanity and the planet feels more important than ever—a sense of permanence is key to understanding which way the 2020s are headed. What will feel timeless or au courant for several years to come, and what is on its way to feeling dated?
Vogue decided to ask 13 interior designers to find out.
For starters: earth tones—which, due thanks to their calming effects and associations with nature, increased in popularity during the pandemic years—still rule three years in. Shades of brown continue their decor dominance, while romantic mauve, Kathryn M. Ireland and Jake Arnold predict, is the color of the year to come. Meanwhile, multiple interior designers are opting for silver accents over gold or bronze. “Its captivating shine and texture lend an everyday sophistication to any space,” says Athena Calderone.
Certain design hallmarks from periods past are also making a return: after the dominance of the laid-back mid-century modern in the aughts and teens, for example, formal accents are now making a comeback. (As Robert D. McKinley surmises, we’re all craving a little more sophistication after spending all that COVID-era time in sweatpants.) A little more controversially, perhaps, brutalism is back in too. Concrete floors anyone?
However, preface this all with a “neo”. 2023 doesn’t copy the past, but merely uses it as inspiration—our newfound interest in brutalism, for example, makes sure to infuse the aesthetic concept with warmer touches. “That’s the cyclical nature of trends I suppose—they always stem from someplace in history, allowing for modern interpretation,” Calderone observes.
What’s falling by the wayside? It seems the “modern farmhouse” aesthetic has hit its saturation point, as have beds adorned with a million pillows. (C’mon, it just ends up being a lot of clutter.) We can also wave goodbye to fast furniture—unsurprising given that more often than not, it just ends up discarded on a curb. A more environmentally conscious approach to interior design is always in.