• 5 min read

8 Design Trends for 2023

We’ve given ourselves permission to go beyond beige, be lavished, and feel good

by Haworth, Inc.

For the most part, life is getting back to (a new) normal. We are, however, continuing to see accelerated evolutionary changes resulting from the challenges and obstacles we have endured over the last couple of years.

Today, many aspects of life are impacting our mental and physical health, as well as all the important decisions we make. Technology, our workplaces, home life, politics, climate, inflation, and so many other inputs can influence our mindsets, behaviors, and how we feel. All these things also affect our decorating tastes and the design choices we make for the places where we live, work, and play.

Let’s look at how the stories of our lives and the colors, materials, and products we choose translate into trending design themes of the future. Here are 8 top design trends we see, heading into 2023:

1.   Opulence

A new maximalist design trend theme is starting to take hold everywhere—in stark contrast to the minimalism narrative we’ve been experiencing for many years. We’re now giving ourselves permission to surround ourselves in opulent luxury and embellishments that make us feel like royalty—and we deserve it.

According to Wallsauce, you can achieve this look with rich fabrics, exciting textures, and saturated colors. Look for Pantone’s Color of the Year, Viva Magenta to make its appearance as part of this trend. For an instant injection of grandeur, add warm, brilliantly polished metals. Shiny gold and copper pieces accent organic elements, like floral fractals, bring a comforting indulgence to a space.

2.    Grounded

A resurgence in time spent outdoors is driving an emerging trend that seeks to deepen our innate human connection with nature. Earthy Nordic elements and a modern palette of neutrals evoke feelings of security and stability.

Wood veneer, blackened cork, mottled steel, and rugged textures are used in daylight-infused environments to create a dramatic contrast, while helping to define the borders of spaces. Organic materials and biophilic décor add an inviting softness and soothing shades of green.

3.    Feeling Swell

Much-needed optimism for the future is permeating our spaces via shapes, materials, and textures. This trend is all about creating spaces that let us immerse ourselves in ultimate comfort.

Rounding out hard edges is the perfect metaphor for how we’ve survived the past few years. Look for lots of curves and overstuffed pieces with a plush feel and cushions you can practically melt into. Warm and neutral colors combine with organic textures, adding to the serenity of these spaces.

4.    Autumnal Spice

Moving forward, we see a yearning for colors that are lively and unexpected. As we regroup and reinvent our lives, we’re drawing parallels with nature’s change of seasons.

Hues of autumn in red, orange, green, and terra cotta are bringing an expressive mood to spaces. Breaking with more recent neutral trends, these colors create an inviting glow—like a room lit by warm fireplace. Adding some greenery brings to mind energizing hope, new life, and the promise of spring to come.

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5.    Virtual Visuals

Virtual meetings have become part of the way we work every day. Not only does videoconferencing allow us to collaborate and communicate, it also helps us feel more connected to one another—even when we’re oceans apart.

The surroundings we choose for our colleagues to see on screen are essentially an extension of ourselves. Adding colors, patterns, and textures to your space can bring some interest and dimension to your background when on video. Wallpaper trends that first became popular in the Victorian age are back in style. Florals, textures, and colors in tapestries, screens, and other decorative elements are giving designers a plethora of options to make spaces fit into any style. The right pieces can also make spaces more functional by providing visual and acoustical privacy.  

6.    Digital Dream

With societal shifts accelerated by unexpected global changes, the world has become a blur of in-person and virtual interactions. The metaverse, robots, and digital… well…everything… have only added to our escapist desires. Time spent with our imaginations has inspired new designs and a re-envisioning of the future office.  

A key color of choice for 2023—Digital Lavender—reflects new attitudes toward both escapism and well-being. This pastel purple color has a calming and protective effect on our mental health and provides a sense of security and serenity. Other digital hues in blue, yellow, and green complement and enhance the concepts that converge across virtual and physical worlds.

7.    Good Natured

Infusing our designs with sustainability and social equity is good for people and the environment—and that makes us feel good. Using new materials and technology, we can support people at work and corporate responsibility goals, while creating beautiful, comforting settings.

Look for eco-conscious colors, materials, and sustainable products that push design boundaries and create layered landscapes inspired by nature.

Repurposing old or abandoned real estate is another way this trend is manifesting. See how one university transformed empty mall space into a higher education campus that gives students easy access to education.

8.    Retro Comfort

Even as we become increasingly future focused, we have a fondness for the simplicity of times gone by. A new twist on retro design takes our wistful nostalgia and adds a focus on well-being to create spaces that support mental and physical health through the comforting familiarity of the past.

Look for the soothing repetition of old-time patterns that incorporate organic elements and geometric shapes. Furniture has soft edges and textures and is built with ergonomic comfort in mind. Muted color palettes are reminiscent of days gone by. Spaces are also filled with living plants and soft, acoustic materials for sound absorption and added privacy.

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