On this episode of our podcast Megan Bringman and Amy Girard discuss 2023 home design trends, including some exciting things showcased at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Vegas.
1. Nature-inspired spaces, so natural stone and woods.
For so many years, we have been doing painted cabinetry, and we’re seeing that flip back to natural stain, wood movement, grain, exciting textures, and feels just that nature-inspired and bringing the outdoors in so it could.
A walnut slab, just like a piece of art, is incorporated into a design—also, serene spaces, so wellness centers bring that vibe in. So for sure, we see a lot more stain, and our companies are offering some exciting wood grains to catch up with the demand of where we’re heading.
2. Multifunctional spaces, making one room serve several purposes.
Multifunctional spaces are some of my favorites to design; people don’t want an unused room in their house. So those formal dining rooms that are only used a few times a year are a thing of the past. Our clients are done with that. We have this footprint; we have this valuable space. It’s right here, central to everything else we’re. Let’s convert it to something we will enjoy and use more than two times a year. So, this is some of the most fun we get to have. I’m currently working on converting a dining room into an office. She needs an office on the first floor, a dedicated space with natural light. She has a whole host of activities she wants to do in this office. So it’s her kids’ homework. It’s working on her laptop. It’s her doing projects.
We just converted a dining room into a library and listening room. They have a passion for book reading. They have a passion for audio. Let’s convert that dining room to something you’ll enjoy and get excited about. A lot of multifunctional spaces serve a lot of different individuals.
I have clients that love putting together puzzles and want a place to do so. It is really fun. It’s one of the most exciting things we can do is take an existing space and transform it into something that they’re going to use.
3. Bold Tile.
For years, we’ve been doing a lot of shades of white, and one of the things that we saw at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) show in Vegas is bold tile choices. We saw lots of gem tones and vibrant colors. Colors like maroon, navy, dark hunter green, and mustard are all making a comeback. Seeing the color return as a fresh new look is so fun. We’re still seeing gold hardware accenting spaces. So overall, lovely design vibes.
And the Zillege tiles are trendy. They have a natural handmade look with lots of different shades. So when you order one tile color, it may come in eight shades. They’ll be very custom in your space. It’s not just one shade of blue, and that’s all you get. These collections have a very high variation, which you must be comfortable with. We may purchase several extra boxes and spread it all out to lay the variations out.
4. Heritage, basically old, is new. Antique, vintage, heirloom furniture, anything you want to call it, is being worked into spaces again.
Whether it’s a very special item down through generations or they’ve collected something they feel passionate about on their travels, we’ve done it all. For us, it’s about ensuring the space is appropriate for the collection. It’s about lighting it with dimmable lights.
I was just at one of my projects this morning, and we are displaying a Lego collection. It’s a costly Lego collection. He’s collected Legos for 30 years and has some really monster pieces. They want them in cabinetry; they want the cabinets lit; they want them behind glass doors. We are highlighting a unique collection. Sometimes it’s vintage; sometimes, it’s just a collection that they feel passionate about. We can customize anything to match up with what it is we want to feature.
5. Maximalism, heavy woodwork, and where more is more.
Yes. Layers. Layers of color, layers of texture, layers of paint versus stain versus stone. It’s everything that builds a space from the ground up. And really, there’s one portion that we do in remodeling, and then there’s another layer that happens when the curtains, upholstery, artwork, and rugs come in. It’s layers of all of that, very intentional layers.
I’m working on a project, and they have some art pieces. We are at rough-in on electrical; we are talking about those art pieces right now because we want to ensure they will get lit correctly. So it always has to be a plan at the very initial stages of construction for it all at the end to look very intentional. We have it planned.
Another fun way we’re lighting the space is by using an origami collection. They are 12×12 LED panels, and they’re art. Their light will illuminate the hallway in our client’s primary wellness bathroom.
Its illuminated artwork on the walls adds another layer.
6. Mixed Eras, including the 70s
Yes, the 70s are back, with textured wallpaper, colors, low furniture, and light fixtures in coarse gold. A couple of weeks ago, GE Monogram revealed its new styles at the show. They showed high-end refrigeration wholly covered in a brushed gold finish.
We’ve been waiting for some exciting alternatives to stainless, so it was fun to see gold. The other thing we saw was detailed handle options for refrigeration. You have a selection of five different handles to select from and customize your appliance.
That retro gold is here, specifically brushed finishes, not shiny gold, but staying in brushed matte.
7. Color in moody and dramatic shades.
Jewel tones, like burgundies, hunter-greens, and dark navy. So funny because when my parents built their house, those were the colors at that time. She still has the sofa. Let her know; hang onto it.
The whole room is often united; there’s a dark, emerald hunter-green shade on the cabinetry, and the walls are also that color, so it’s wrapping the whole room in that color walls and cabinetry. It creates a closed-in feel and creates these very dramatic rooms.
There is no overhead lighting in a library we recently did; it’s all ambient and accent lamps, sconces, dark, and cozy—a place to read a book.
Again the Monogram display, for which I had a wait in line for 30 minutes because it was one of the most sought-after displays, featured lots of dark wine burgundy with gold.
8. Pattern on pattern. Tone on tone.
Small spaces are the perfect spaces to do this because it’s a bit high risk. Think of a first-floor half bath. You spend little time in it, but there’s a lot of punch while your guests use it. It’s a place to have fun. It might be a patterned floor with patterned wallpaper. We just completed a powder bath with lots of layers and textures. It has green graffiti wallpaper, a layer of rattan on the mirror, and gold sconces.
It’s a place to have fun, where you can play with many patterns and almost exaggerates in that small space. You may want to avoid going big with patterns in your whole kitchen or primary bath, but it’s really fun to pack a lot of punch in a small place.
Another thing from the show we saw is colored toilets by Kohler. They do a great job showing us what they’ve done over the years. They had every color they had in previous years out on display. I got a kick out of the spring green as it was labeled, coming in 2023. Color is coming back, and it’s here to stay. We’ll see things we didn’t think we would ever see again, and I’m pretty excited about it. Think, lavender toilet.
9. Return of separation of spaces, like dining rooms
We see people not necessarily wanting wide open spaces but moving away from formal rooms. Sometimes the furniture’s a little more casual, like, you know what? Let’s make all our spaces usable every day. Let’s make them super user-friendly so that even though they’re in a separate room, they’re still very inviting. The chairs and upholstery are comfortable. Dining rooms and how we use them will continue to evolve.
We do spend a lot of time talking about dining rooms. The biggest question of, do we get rid of it? Do we use it for another purpose? How can we change it, so you use it more often? So if we’re going to keep a formal dining room as a separate room, let’s talk about how we can even pull different functions into it. I’ve done a lot of projects where we’re pulling in custom bar cabinetry for entertaining.
10. Spa-like bathrooms
We’re taking bathrooms to the next level. I’m getting ready to do a dry sauna, and this is the third one. Our local resource, Sunlighten Saunas, offers an infrared spa. I’ve done them in bathrooms, do them on lower levels. But yes, it’s time to invest in a spot at home for destressing. Clients use them as stress-relieving spaces to build up their immunity. These clients can do these at home vs. going to a gym and save time.
I am doing a wellness bath right now, including a cold plunge, steam shower, infrared sauna, soaker tub, dual vanities, and dual closets. It’s a large-scale space. But on a small scale, we can do steam showers and tubs with air bath functions. We can do a small single-person sauna. As I said, it doesn’t have to be within the bath. It could be on the lower level. Saunas are relatively easy to assemble. They need a pretty simple electrical outlet. So we are finding ways to integrate self-care into our projects.