Why I dislike interior trends (and how to decorate for you in 2023)

Why I dislike interior trends (and how to decorate for you in 2023)

It might not be the fashionable thing to say but, I really dislike the new year obsession with interior trends. Almost everywhere you look in December and January there’s an article telling you what will be on-trend in the next year. Of course, we’ll always see trends emerging through interior design retailers and suppliers: there’ll be sought after styles and popular patterns, as well as forecast colours of the year. It can be fun to see what is predicated BUT it can also distract from the real heart of interior design: how you want a space to feel.

Trends are great for inspiration, for gathering ideas, for pushing you out of your comfort zone. But simply incorporating design ideas because they are popular or on-trend can lead to a design which feels disconnected from you and your lifestyle. Take Instagram and Pinterest, for example – an image of a trending interior may look fabulous but simply replicating a “look” does not take into account your space, how you use it, and how it connects to the rest of your home. Of course design is about the aesthetic, but it’s also about finding an aesthetic that works for you and your space.

So how should you be approaching your interior design in 2023? You should absolutely be designing for YOU: not to create something on-trend (something else will be “on-trend” next year anyway!), not to create something for Instagram or Pinterest. I’m not saying ignore trends, I’m just saying don’t follow them. If you love it and it works for you, whether it’s forecast on-trend or not, then great.

So here are my three tips to make sure you’re designing for YOU this year:

1/ Think about how you want a space to feel.

I ask clients to choose three words which set the tone for any design I create. Keep your three words in mind and then, when you’re making choices along the way, ask yourself whether they help create that feeling. It helps create consistency with your design and can stop you getting carried away with discreet items or trends which take your fancy along the way!

2/ Choose colours and patterns that make you happy.

A good place to start is your wardrobe: what colours are you naturally drawn to and like to surround yourself with? What patterns make you smile? It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use forecast colours-of-the-year, or on-trend colour combinations – it just means you do the work first and make sure they create the feeling you want for your space. But don’t be tempted to play it safe; if you love something bold and beautiful, use it. Don’t be afraid. But similarly, if softer neutrals are your thing, then use them to create a space that works for you – regardless of what is set to be on-trend.

3/ Think about well-being and sustainability. 

Well-being and sustainability may still be mentioned as being “on-trend” but I think they go way beyond this now. They are far more integral to any design process – or at least they should be. Well-being is at the heart of what we’re trying to create as designers; a space, a home that supports and enhances your lifestyle and well-being. It doesn’t mean your bathroom needs to resemble a spa but it does mean you should approach your design by thinking about how you live and what you can do to enhance your sense of well-being (both physical and mental). It’s the same with sustainability; we have a responsibility to consider any purchase we make (for our homes or otherwise) and to source sustainably wherever we can. That’s not a trend – it should be integral to how we live.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on interior trends for this year? Do you enjoy reading about them? How do you make sure you decorate for you?


Interior Design Trends for 2021

Interior Design Trends for 2021

I don’t normally write about trends. Don’t get me wrong, trends are fun, and they can bring unexpected inspiration. And as a designer, it’s part of my job to be aware of emerging trends. It’s just I don’t think people should be led by trends, and I think too many new-year-new-trend posts can perpetuate this. So this post isn’t one of those. I won’t be telling you what colour I think will be hot this year, or what material you should be sourcing for your kitchen island unit. Instead, I’ll be talking about how I think 2021 is an important one for interior design. After 2020, the year we stayed at home, our relationship with our homes has changed dramatically, and even when (hopefully) covid is a distant memory, I’m sure lockdown living will have a lasting impact on our homes.

So here’s how I think the pandemic has changed how we design our homes, and the general trends we might see as a result in 2021…

More Multifunctional Spaces

Staying at home means working from home, learning from home and teaching from home. And most of us have compromised with our space in some way, at some point. The kitchen table has seen it all. It has been a craft table, school table, office and breakfast spot. Many a spare room has become a make-shift office. But even after the pandemic eases, the reality will be more working-from-home, and more learning-from-home than before. So it makes sense that we’ll be looking to create stylish work and learning zones within our homes, and often they’ll be within rooms or spaces that already have a function. Homes will need hard-working, multifunctional spaces and in the long-term these have every right to be as beautiful as the rest of the home.

Biophilic design

There’s nothing like a global pandemic to focus our mind on health and wellbeing. There’s also nothing quite like lockdown restrictions to make us crave the great outdoors. Biophilic design has becoming increasingly popular but expect to see more in the coming year. It’s all about connecting with the natural world through design, and is aimed at promoting wellbeing. Adding plants is a good start but there’s also so much more. Think natural patterns, organic shapes and designs that work with, and maximise natural light and space.

Homemade Home

Online shopping has been a saviour throughout lockdowns. But let’s be honest, it’s not the same as browsing the shops in person, and I’m sure most people at some point have found it hard to get hold of exactly what they want or need. Many people have also found themselves with more time (although with 4 children at home all day during lockdown I can confirm I am not one of those people!) so it’s not surprising that people are becoming more creative, and more resourceful. With more time to craft, knit, draw, paint and generally DIY, 2021 could see a much more imaginative and inventive approach to making a home. And that’s before we discuss the increasing financial hardship faced by many which means that being resourceful and reworking your home with what you have already got will be here to stay for a while.

Considered shopping 

The shopping that we are doing has become more considered. It’s not as easy to pop into a showroom, fall in love with a piece and hand over our credit card. Instead, there’s a greater need (and opportunity) to research, to think, to consider. Its been a thought-provoking year in other ways too; diversity, sustainability and environmental issues have all been under the spotlight. I suspect (or hope) as a result there’ll be a shift in shopping patterns; that there’ll be a move towards sustainable materials, support for local and independent brands, and a move to promote and support a more diverse range of artists, designers and brands.

Keep it personal 

Having spent so much time at home, having really lived in our homes, my hope is that people start designing for themselves. Not for visitors, not for trends and not for resale. People have spent more time than ever within their homes and I’m sure, as a result, now really get what works, and what doesn’t. We’ve all realised the impact out home has on our mood and our wellbeing; we’ve experienced the impact our surroundings have on us. It may be as simple as changing a layout, or decluttering and improving storage. Or it may be taking your maximalist styling to the next level, or embracing a few more minimalist clean lines. I think we’re moving away from needing a perfect home to wanting a home that reflects our family life, that lets us tell our story.

And don’t forget the children

I’ve had so many new enquiries about childrens’ bedrooms, and in the main it’s prompted by a feeling that kids are spending so much more time at home, in their rooms, learning, playing and sleeping that they need (and deserve) and functional happy space to do this. Interior design can have such an impact on mental wellbeing and we shouldn’t forget that this applies to children too. Making sure they have a safe, creative space to play, work and sleep is so important. I think there’ll be some fun childrens’ room designs this year!