Like our clothes, our homes are the place where we express our tastes. Inside the walls where we eat, laugh, cry, work, nurture, grow and sleep is a space totally ours. We can design it however we want: move the furniture. Color the walls. Hang wild art and display memories. As I see it, the only mandate when decorating our homes is that we stick to what we truly love, even if that means supporting or avoiding any of these outdated home decor trends for 2023.
Yes, there is the crutch: there are decoration elements that go along the way. Ask any interior designer “what is a look that you no longer have?” and they’ll probably pause and say something like, “I’d love to never see [fill in the blank] in a living room again.
It makes sense, given that we are often changing and calculating what we wear to match the latest sartorial breeze. Our houses are equally subject to falling on an antiquated crutch. But what exactly are those drawbacks? I asked three design experts for their thoughts on the top outdated decor trends to reconsider in 2023. While some of their responses surprised me, all of them got me excited to switch, paint, and even donate a few things.
But just like any “rule”, these are bound to be broken. Take from here what speaks to you and leave the rest. It’s your house Hell, I still pair my skinny jeans with all the “wrong” footwear, and I love it.
Outdated Trend 1: Fast Furniture
Here’s a sobering fact: The EPA estimates that Americans generated more than 12 million tons of furniture waste in 2018 (the most recent year reported), of which nearly 10 million tons ended up in landfills. That is reason enough to live with less. And it’s an inspiration to rethink low-quality, mass-produced furniture, believes interior designer Liz Lipkin. We’re likely to get rid of quick and fast parts in a few years, “because they don’t hold up or become obsolete,” she says.
The next time you’re considering that super cheap coffee table, take some time. Lipkin suggests vintage and antique shopping. “In addition to having more character and being a lot more fun to shop for, antique furniture is built to last. Buying vintage saves money in the long run and reduces environmental impact.” This is a total win-win.
Outdated Trend 2: All White Kitchens
There is an undeniable freshness in a completely blank space. Clean and neutral, it’s a palette that complements any and all decorative inclusions. However, washing every wall in this shade is playing it safe these days, say Lyndsey Scott and Wendy Robinson, co-founders and directors of How We Haven. “All-white kitchens can feel very sterile and flat,” Scott believes. “Having little diversity and a lack of personality, they lack the ability to evoke inspiring emotion.”
The solution? Let the rainbow shine in this room. The same goes for the different materials and finishes. “Right now, we’re seeing a lot of mixed-tone kitchens,” Robinson tells me. “A mix of white and colored cabinets with wood islands creates more interest with texture and color.”
There was a time when I would have lapped all the walls. The look is textured, cozy and warm. Of course it still is, however the more modern options warrant a look today. “Shiplap is overkill,” say Scott and Robinson. It has been to too many places and graced too many surfaces.
For a fresh, contemporary vibe, Scott and Robinson believe you don’t have to part company entirely with shiplap. Flip it over, literally. Install it vertically. Doing so draws the gaze up, making the space feel larger. The design duo also recommend trying a batten wall as another way to add some depth.
I love a good reminder. Something that marks where I am or tells me how to feel. (You know the old lipstick in the mirror statement? It’s still a winner, in my book.) But hanging certain phrases in the home needs a rethink, say Scott and Robinson. “You don’t need a sign telling you you’re in the kitchen or bathroom,” implores Scott, who believes all farmhouse decor is slowly fading away.
Now this is not to be confused with the more overall rustic look. According to Robinson, the European country house style, which features antique furniture, stained tables, utilitarian pieces and lots of books, is “in right now.”
Is it without obligation? A partial solution? A quick dose of interest in decoration? Whatever the accent wall is for you, Lipkin says it’s time to “leave it behind.” So is. Confining a beautiful color to a single dimension limits its potential and belongs to the past, the designer believes.
If you have a tendency to wash only one wall in one color, consider all the other walls. “It’s time to level up and give the entire room the attention it deserves,” says Lipkin. Painting an entire room completely transforms the total look, feel and vibe of a space. So does wallpaper, Lipkin continues. “If you love him, set him free in the four walls.”
What decorating trends are you willing to leave in the past?