At this time of year, we always look forward to the 2023 interior design trends. We would never advise people to follow interior trends slavishly, but they are a great way to glean inspiration and information; not dictate your home’s design. We are sensitive to the fact that times are hard and families are facing tough times.
Resist rushing out to spend lots to be 'on-trend' because they could easily fall out of trend and you may be left with an expensive piece or an entire room that you regret having spent so much on not to like anymore. Your home reflects you and the other people you live with. A home should really be about living with what you love and treasure. Sooz Gordon, Dundee-based interior designer says: ‘Home for me is about being surrounded by personal and meaningful objects. I am drawn to pieces that have character and an interesting narrative. As a designer and maker, I look for quality materials, and appreciate craftsmanship and artistry'. Read Sooz's blog about making a house a home.
Organic materials and shapes
Connect to nature with organic materials and shapes. Whether through the warm earthy tones of reddish browns of terracotta or the cool soothing curves of an aged marble bowl. Organic materials bring warmth and grounding to clean crisp interiors. Look to metals, stones and natural / bare woods to create a contrast to other shapes and materials. They can be refined and more sophisticated or bare and raw. Terracotta and stone are a wonderful way of bringing a cosy and calming environment to 2023.
How do you incorporate organic materials and shapes into your home? Try to fuse decorative patterns, earthy colours and natural textures found in handmade crafts and interiors mixed with authentic vintage, antique and contemporary interiors from across different eras. So imagine hand-thrown terracotta pots , mixed with bold block-print textiles, old stone bowls with time-worn edges and rough cut honey-coloured hardwoods mixed with vibrant coloured 1970s pop-art and subtle 60’s Scandi cool. It’s a celebration of rich tones and rugged textures from distant lands and eclectic mixing. It’s a trending style we have loved for years and have written about eclectic styling.
If Like Scaramanga’s founder, Carl, you like collecting and buying handmade curios and eclectic vintage and antique items on your travels then it’s a style that’s not hard to recreate. Read more about making your house a home by Dundee-based interior designer Sooz Gordon.
Inspired by tranquil oceans and exotic beaches, blue is the colour of calm and evokes images of the sky and sea. Unsurprisingly there are many blues: deep indigo to sky blue and hundreds in between. Of course, Mediterranean blue can be used on its own with different shades across a variety of furniture pieces or as a flash of blue in a statement piece. Try contrasting it with greenhouse plants for that balmy tropical vibe.
As many of you know blue has been a favourite colour of ours since we started sourcing interiors over 15 years ago. Our blue comes from the ancient blue city of Jodhpur, at the edge of the Great Thar Desert, Rajasthan, Northwest India. Much of the walled city still retains many blue-painted houses. Many houses also have blue interiors with walls, doors, windows and furniture all painted a vibrant blue. We are fortunate to be able to acquire blue interiors from the amazing fortified desert city.
If painting an entire room blue is a step too far look to create smaller areas or pockets of blueness. So vibrant blue textiles here or a faded blue cupboard or armoire set against a satin grey polished concrete floor. Go even more micro with a collection of blue antique medicine bottles in a vintage bathroom cabinet or a stack of small vintage tins. Top tip: use Sheweta Mistry's large-scale Tropical wallpaper to really inject a tropical landscape.
Brown and brown furniture
Yes, brown is back. It's been away for a long time. Anyone who watches Drew Pritchard on Salvage Hunters, will know he's been tipping ‘brown’ furniture’s return for a little while as he scours antique furniture dealers' yards and warehouses. The idea of using only lighter wood tones across an entire room will become less popular. Does that mean Scandi is on its way out? Not really. Look to add more mixed wood tones. it is perfectly OK to mix blonde ash chairs with a golden oak table in front of a sleek mahogany sideboard.
Brown furniture, typically made from dark oak, walnut and mahogany from Victorian, Edwardian, 1970s retro furniture right up to the reproductions made in the 1980s. It has a strong, but warm feel to it. It's sophisticated and it might just be time for it to come back. You have no problem finding well-made mahogany, oak and teak pieces at reasonable prices. If walnut is too dark, then try golden teak or oak.
Tip: if you are new to buying ‘brown furniture’ opt for classic styles and of course buy what you love. You will not make a mistake buying a simple 5-drawer chest of drawers or a Georgian oak coffer for storing linen and clothes. Of course, there is a lot of darker mid-century modern Scandi and British furniture with sleek curved lines. We love Jimmy's Retro Furniture in Edinburgh.
They stock a good selection of well-priced prices. You can dip your foot in the style using old dark industrial wooden crates as shelving to frame your favourite decorative statement pieces.
The huge demand for mass-produced furniture and interiors is being questioned. Fast furniture has been said by many to be on its way out and the era of master craftsmanship is upon us. We are big believers in people expressing their values through what they buy. People are more conscious of where purchases are from and how they are made. Antique and vintage furniture offers an alternative to fast interiors that are often unique, well-made, are more sustainable and look beautiful.
Sustainability has become a priority for many people and there has been a visible movement away from cheap furniture in favour of antique, vintage, upcycled and used pieces. This usually well-made furniture were made by highly-skilled craftspeople from strong durable hardwoods and often are expected to last for over 100 years. Carbon footprints for vintage and antique furniture is many times less than mass-produced furniture. Bill Bowie (above in his workshop) who has restored and repaired hundreds of pieces of furniture for us worked with wood for over 75 years, having started as an apprentice at the age of 15 in 1945. He only recently stopped repairing for us 3 years ago at the age of 89. Loved the challenge of repairing furniture that would have been consigned to landfill.
More people are moving away from coordinated sets and matching spaces and going for eclectically styled spaces. People are also Repurposing antiques and vintage furniture for every room at home. There is an element of achievement too. Taking a collection of mismatched pieces and creating a unique environment is more fulfilling than copying a ubiquitous scene that will be repeated by so many other people. Vintage and upcycled sellers are usually highly knowledgeable and super passionate about their areas of expertise.
What is not to like about a gentle curve? Look out for rounded corners, soft edges and smooth edges on furniture to arches to tables and chairs and arches on door frames and windows. But look further at curved storage and smaller everyday objects like bowls, pots and tins. Curves give us a calming and relaxing feeling due to the softness of their shape and organic appearance. Elements are borrowed from nature by using wood, stone and natural fibres. Think pebbles and woven baskets. The image below shows a curved wire side table, antique measuring pot used for a tropical plant and a repurposed fire extinguisher plant pot. See our range of repurposed vintage planters.
We hope our 2023 interior design trends have inspired you. Look for schemes or pieces that have a personal meaning and that have character. Our predictions of organic materials and shapes, Mediterranean blue, brown and brown furniture, vintage and curves do not require a huge outlay and can be tried in a small scale before you invest more. Look our vintage furniture for examples and further inspiration.