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?