Why 2023 Is The Year Of Colorful Home Decor

After years of white kitchens, gray walls, and neutral upholstery, we're now craving color in our homes, which as of late have become our cocoons to a degree many of us have not experienced before. We want our homes to comfort and nurture, but also to allow a fresh perspective while staying functional. "Since the pandemic, our houses have to work so much harder for us, as we need to zone areas to cook, work, and play in. So, we are introducing more color and using it in different ways," notes Joa Studholme, color curator for Farrow & Ball (via Martha Stewart). "We now want colors that are lasting experiences in our homes and reflect a little more of our personality," she continues. In response, we've grounded ourselves while embracing the regained freedom to roam via plentiful shades of green, earthy reds, warm ochres, and myriad blues by way of walls, furniture, and fabrics. 

It's not about what's hot in the world of interior design (or cool, as both temperatures hold sway), rather we're celebrating individuality and choice in tandem with practicality. "It's all about our desire for creative expression," Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute explains in Veranda. "Understanding that our surroundings influence our mental health, many are expressing their creativity in the home as a way to enhance their feelings of joyfulness and well-being." There's no need to saturate your spaces beyond soothing; it's best to do whatever is good for you.

Colorful walls win

Walls are the logical place to start when adding color to interior spaces; they envelop us and impact the mood significantly. To that end, paint is an inexpensive and effective vehicle for wall color that offers fast results. Although designers love warm neutrals for adding coziness and depth, they'll also frequently opt for assertive and immersive hues. Kathleen Walsh notes in Luxe, "While there is a time and place for quiet, neutral greige, we're advocating for something a bit more opinionated — we look for color with a point of view." Likewise, Andrea Schumacher remarks, "We love color and always will. Gray is a trend we are definitely over. Instead, we use a lot of blues and greens." These hues and additional new favorites, such as terracotta, deep plum, and rich tones of brown, are associated with nature and may help us feel connected and balanced. They aid in constructing stunning spaces, too. According to Living Etc., browns are refined, providing a complex and complementary foundation for an abundance of hues in fabrics and artwork. 

While we began with color in small or isolated areas, designer Nicole Fisher explains in Luxe that we are getting braver: "Instead of one bold room, we're seeing [color] throughout. It's about creating beauty in every space, not just one." In general, pastels are an approachable and fresh alternative to strong colors; Fisher suggests a pink-tinged clay for an inviting vibe and, per Living etc., lavender, jade, and pistachio are currently popular.

Paint is not the only path to knock-out walls

Paint is not the sole medium for creating spaces with personality and drama, a fact wallpaper aficionados have always known. "Prints that are large and loud will be at the forefront of 2023 interiors as we move away from minimalism and towards more bold maximalism-inspired trends — think eye-catching, large-scale colors and prints like geometric patterns, abstract paint strokes, or moody florals," designer Shanade McAllister-Fisher says in House Beautiful. "These add both color and dimension to a room but also create a bold impact that paint alone can't achieve." 

According to wallpaper and fabric company Milton and King, substantial murals, delicate chinoiserie, and graphic floral patterns will lay claim to their vertical territory. House Beautiful includes wiggly stripes, tropical prints, and 70s motifs in the mix as well. "Alongside maximalism, trend-focused consumers are turning to dopamine colors to brighten up their outlook," remarks Lucy Mather of furniture company Arighi Bianchi in the outlet. "The idea of dopamine decorating has been a buzzword for the past 12 months, but this desire to add fun and energy into our interiors is very much here to stay," she adds. The term dopamine decorating refers to picking items, colors, and patterns for our surroundings because they induce feelings of joy and optimism within us. Wallpaper can be better than paint at efficiently and clearly relaying that spirit.

Let tile do the talking

Wellness is a major theme of home décor this year and that often translates into sanctuary spaces. According to Forbes, sterile bathrooms aren't as appealing as they used to be and we'll be seeing more colorful tiles to invigorate our self-care routines. Hollis LaPlante and Jordyn Grohl of Hollis Jordyn Design told the outlet, "Gone are the days of the boring all-white bathroom. The bathroom is the perfect place to go bold with tile and let your personality shine." Further, they explain that a tile feature makes the design feel more considered and acts as a centering focal point. Of course, it's also a practical moisture-resistant material.

There are other welcome places to add color with tiles such as a living room fireplace surround, kitchen backsplash, and flooring. Tilezz lists vertical rather than horizontal layouts, geometric patterns, and printed botanical motifs as updated options for this timeless application. Yet, Homes and Gardens expects to see more checkerboard designs along with hues inspired by nature like classic terracotta. "As life takes on a slower pace and the world around us pauses to breathe and reflect, more and more of us are gaining pleasure from recharging and relaxing at home," says Hamish Smith, creative director at Ca'Pietra. "With this in mind, when it comes to tiles think lush greens, deep moss tones, and the rich, rustic reds of autumnal leaves." 

Accessories to the design

HomeGoods style expert Beth Diana Smith told Hello Giggles that she anticipates the popularity of strong hues, especially earthy shades of red and pink, in the home décor sphere for 2023. "Being bold and living authentically have been the lifestyle theme the last few years. This has carried over into how and where we want to live," she says. Accessories are simple, affordable, and a potentially temporary means for introducing color or objects that bring us pleasure. Smith suggests accent pillows as an avenue for print or jolts of a particular hue via textiles; bedding falls under the category as well. Lamps possess both purpose and aesthetic — a base made from organic pottery or vibrant metal is very apropos. Likewise, candlesticks, vases, or other decorative items can be used to repeat a design element.

For something with more staying power, try an upholstered chair or a painted cabinet. Oversized art provides a big payout in design rewards, and layering area rugs over tile flooring creates a nuanced design. "You might start off small by introducing a print here and a colored piece of furniture there, or you might fully commit to vivid colors, such as zesty yellows, punchy pinks, and brilliant blues to... evoke feelings of happiness," encourages color consultant Suzy Chiazzari in House Beautiful. Either way, just start, because some color is far better than none, and there's plenty to go around.