2022 was a unique year for design trends. Because homeowners were excited to finally finish projects they couldn’t complete in the previous years due to COVID-19 and supply chain issues, there wasn’t anything major or new to hit the market. So, styles didn’t quite have the evolution they would have had in the years prior to the pandemic. Still, homeowners were thrilled to finally refresh their spaces.
Overall, real estate agents saw homeowners gravitating toward practical elements that will stand the test of time. This will likely continue in 2023. Here are four interior design trends that are here to stay.
Wood Alternative Floors
Wood flooring is nice but, for many homeowners, alternatives that look almost as good as hardwoods are a more practical and cost-efficient choice. Agent Dianne Van Volkenburg of Long & Foster tells me that wood alternative flooring, such as luxury vinyl tile and luxury vinyl plank aren’t fleeting fads. “Luxury vinyl tile and plank flooring has been growing in popularity over the last decade and has taken the spotlight in recent years. Emerging in the 1970s, vinyl flooring provided the visual appeal of traditional hardwood floors without the expensive price tag. As a result of new technology, vinyl flooring has been produced in a variety of designs including those that mimic cobblestone, ceramic tile and distressed wood flooring. This ensures that there is a style that fits the aesthetic and needs of every homeowner.”
Another reason why this type of flooring is here to stay is that it’s easy to install. “It was a popular option for homebound do-it-yourselfers during the height of the pandemic,” the agent tells me.
It’s also a far more durable option than natural wood flooring, making it an excellent choice for homes with young children and pets. “In comparison to traditional flooring options, vinyl flooring is substantially more resistant to scratches and water damage, positioning it as an optimal choice for high-traffic areas in your home. If damage occurs, however, individual planks and tiles can be easily lifted and replaced.”
Traditional design elements, such as wainscotting and chair rail, had a resurgence in 2022. “While decorative wainscoting, such as beadboard and board and batten have been a staple in traditional homes for years, they have recently been serving a new purpose,” says Van Volkenburg.
The agent believes this popularity is essentially the evolution of accent walls, which reached their peak several years ago. Wainscotting is an eye-catching element that truly elevates a space to an entirely different level. “So long are the days where an accent wall was simply a different color paint or patterned wallpaper. Now, wainscotting is being used to add elements of interest and dimension to the room.”
The agent also thinks that homeowners love this trend because they can truly customize it to their taste. “Using wainscotting as a design element has evolved from rows of hardwood planks on the walls and ceilings to more intricate designs and 3-D patterns being displayed on the foyer, living, dining and primary bedroom walls. These architecturally appealing details immediately garner the attention of visitors and serve as a great conversation piece during dinner parties.”
Plants, biophilia and Earth tones have been mainstays in recent years and it looks like this trend is here to stay. “A lot of design trends come and go and seem to repeat themselves over the years. However, one trend that I think is here to stay is the use of natural materials and elements in your home,” says agent Barak Sky of Long & Foster. “I think more than ever people are wanting that natural look as well as being cautious of materials being used and off-gassing in their home. Also natural color tones never really go out of style. I think the use of indoor plants is also a trend that will last, adding green natural color along with oxygen.”
It’s easy to incorporate nature-inspired elements into any room of the home. While plants are the obvious choice, nature-inspired art and naturally scented candles as well as blue and green accents bring the outdoors inside, creating a sense of calm.
While traditional design began to fall back in favor in 2022, many homeowners are still afraid to stray too far away from modern looks, especially if they are planning to sell their homes in a few years. So, many are leaning toward more transitional aesthetics according to agent John Romfo of IS Luxury. “Transitional designs that balance traditional style with a more contemporary/modern sensibility are here to stay. A true amalgam between classic, time-tested design and modernity, will always have a place in interior design.”
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