2023 Real Estate Design Trends

Question: What design trends are you seeing in homes these days?

Answer: Every year we cycle through new color, material, and design trends but it’s also rarely anything actually new just recycled trends from past generations (e.g. wallpaper is making a big comeback). Design isn’t exactly a strength of mine, so I defer to the experts for my annual design trends column. This year I pulled from Apartment Therapy, Architectural Digest, Forbes, National Association of Realtors, The Spruce, Veranda, Wall Street Journal for their expertise and selected trends that I’ve been seeing more of.

Here’s a sharable link to the full presentation of design trends.

Red(ish) Defines Colors of the Year

Design Getting Darker, Warmer

Moody Space: A return to rich, dramatic color palettes (purple, sand, maroon, cream, chocolate brown) swathing an entire room. These spaces will maintain their minimalistic integrity, with a focus on intimate and moody forms and textures. Painted or wallpapered walls in the same color as the ceiling, trim, shades, furnishings, and/or fabrics can be modern and cool. Moody tones make spaces feel intentional.

Organic Materials and Earth Tones: In today’s chaotic world, nature has a calming effect, because of this, organic materials and earth tones are timeless and unlikely to look dated any time soon. Expect lots of wood and colors inspired by nature such as peaceful blues and mossy greens. Nature-inspired art and live edge tables are other ways to incorporate the elements in our homes.

Art Deco: Bold patterned fabrics, rounded shapes and profiles (think round kitchen islands), and “lavishly unnecessary” nostalgic trinkets. Exploded in the United States in 1920’s and represented luxury, glamour, and exuberance.

Plush, Luxe Textiles: Expect to see more overstuffed sofas and armchairs; thick, plush area rugs; and ultra cozy bedding and bath accessories. Luxury textiles such as velvet are in high demand. Fabrics in jewel tones for an upscale look and high contrast colors in your fabrics and throws.

Accents with Personality

Wallpapered Power Rooms: This trend is going to get bigger in the new year. We can experiment in powder rooms with pattern play and colors that we may be cautious to put in our larger rooms. Lauren Robbins Interiors calls the powder room the “jewel box of the home” as they can add an element of surprise when you open the door.

The Slab Backsplash: April Gandy at Alluring Designs Chicago calls this one of her favorite design trends for 2023. “Slabs of quartz or marble are perfect for any design aesthetic and help to create a clean, seamless look in any kitchen,” Gandy says. “The lack of grout lines makes this backsplash super low maintenance and so easy to keep clean.”

Dark & Textured Countertops: With a focus on nature, leathered granite and soapstone countertops have an earthy, approachable quality and will start to appear in more new kitchens. Darker countertops will often be paired with lighter stained cabinets.

Lighting As a Mood: People are recognizing the importance of ambient lighting and the role it plays in giving a space a feeling. There is a growing interest in task lighting and layered lighting and creating different moods for different activities.

To see how these trends have shifted over the years, you can reference my 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, and 2018 design trend articles.

If you’d like to discuss buying, selling, investing, or renting, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at Eli@EliResidential.com.

If you’d like a question answered in my weekly column or to discuss buying, selling, renting, or investing, please send an email to Eli@EliResidential.com. To read any of my older posts, visit the blog section of my website at EliResidential.com. Call me directly at (703) 539-2529.

Video summaries of some articles can be found on YouTube on the Eli Residential channel.

Eli Tucker is a licensed Realtor in Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland with RLAH @properties, 4040 N Fairfax Dr #10C Arlington VA 22203. (703) 390-9460.

2021 Home Design Trends

Question: What design trends are you seeing this year?

Answer: Over the last few years, home design has turned from neutralized white/grey trends that have been popular for most of the last decade, especially in new construction, to include warmer colors and more natural looks, although these trends have yet to show up in most new construction projects I’ve seen (single-family and condo).

Each year every design magazine, paint company, and furniture store comes out with their annual design trends. I collected some of the most common trends I found across all of them, as well as those that I’m seeing show up more in homes in the DC Metro, and compiled them into some fun graphics.

The impact of COVID shows up in a big way in many trends including trying to bring the outside in (plants/indoor gardens and wood-grain kitchens) and getting more out of existing spaces (closet-offices and outdoor kitchens). Let me know what you think and if you’ve introduced any of these colors, designs, or improvements to your home recently!

If you’d like to discuss buying, selling, investing, or renting, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at Eli@EliResidential.com.

2020 Home Design Trends

Question: What changes are you seeing in design trends this year?

Answer: Every year I look forward to the Pantone Color of the Year selection (released annually since 2000) and this year is one of my personal favorites – Classic Blue. I’ve noticed blues showing up a lot more in homes lately, especially in kitchens (it makes for a beautiful cabinet color, in my opinion).

Pantone Color of the Year 2020 Classic Blue & Steve

But trends go well beyond colors so for an expert opinion on the latest design trends, I’d like to re-introduce Caroline Goree (caroline@madiganschuler.com), a Designer with a boutique Residential Interior Design Firm, Madigan Schuler, located in Alexandria Virginia, to provide insight into what trends we should expect to see in 2020.

In 2018, Caroline introduced us to one of my favorite design quotes from Matthew Frederick’s book 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School, “Being nonspecific in an effort to appeal to everyone usually results in reaching no one.”

Take it away Caroline… 

Thank you, Eli. I am really excited for the trends we see happening in 2020 primarily because people are experimenting with color, textures and patterns much more than in the past few years. While those “safe” design decisions like all white kitchens aren’t necessarily going to go of style, I like seeing more personal flare and individuality come through. Below are some of my personal favorite trend hello’s and goodbye’s of 2020.

Goodbye One-Stop Shoppin’

Thanks to Restoration Hardware, the “all gray everything” trend was popular for the better part of the last 5+ years. Thankfully, that “one-stop shop” mindset is shifting to consumers wanting a more collected look.

Maybe that means a sofa from a known store, such as Restoration Hardware, mixed with vintage velvet club chairs found at Miss Pixies in Washington DC. Add in your grandmother’s fabulous antique chest for a coffee table (hard to believe you once referred to is as old “brown” furniture) and a natural fiber rug so your room has that layered, collected look.

Personally, I am thrilled the trend is moving towards an appreciation for a well curated space using unique items that are not all new and mass produced. Interior Designer, Nate Burkus, once said “Your home should tell the story of who you are, and be a collection of what you love.”

Hello Square Tiles

Thanks to Chip and Joanna Gains (and 90% off the local flippers) subway tile is officially overused and seen in just about every kitchen or bathroom completed since 2015. While timeless (after all, it is named after the 3×6 tiles installed in 1904 in the New York Subway Station) we are ready to explore other shapes and textures.

My personal favorite, square tiles, offer a more unique look but keep the space simple and sleek. From matte concrete tiles in mudrooms, to hand painted terracotta tiles for kitchen backsplashes, many manufacturers are using this traditional shaped tile with an artistic or creative twist. If square tiles still feel a bit out of your comfort zone, try playing with the scale of rectangular tiles such as sizes 2×9 or 3×12. 

Goodbye Gray Walls

Walk into just about any house on the market in the last five years and you will notice one similarity – gray walls. Many Realtors, Interior Designers (including myself) and Homeowners had their go-to list of grays that would cover entire house interiors top to bottom.

With a new decade ahead of us it is time for a new paint color trend (finally).  White paint brings a sense of sophistication to a space, allowing the walls to highlight artwork, architecture and give a bright yet quiet background to your beautifully collected furniture (see topic one above).

From bright white to milky white and crisp white to creamy white, there is a white for everyone. If you are considering going with a white wall, it is important to keep in mind your trim and cabinetry colors. All whites are not the same so be sure to use samples and see how they blend with your existing paint colors. 

Hello Color and Florals!

Tired of seeing the same styles over and over again? Us too. For example, one of the patterns I have been ready to retire since 2015 is Geometrics. Thankfully, with this 2020 concept of originality and pushing the envelope, we are seeing people much more willing to experiment with color and patterns such as florals.

From Peacock Blue velvet sofa’s to floral fabric covering barstools, furniture is being used to express clients style and favorite colors. For years, many folks associated floral fabric with that Chintz Living Room sofa never to be sat on at an elder family member’s house. Not anymore! We encourage and welcome the new wave of florals as they add incredible interest and naturally create wonderful color schemes in a room.

Thank you, Caroline! I’ve been seeing a lot of these trends pop up lately myself so it’s pretty clear that homeowners and buyer tastes are shifting back to an older generation of design, with a more 21st century touch. Caroline and her team at Madigan Schuler are excellent design resources so feel free to reach out to Caroline at caroline@madiganschuler.com for advice on your own interior redesign or remodeling efforts.