Living room color trends for 2023 - 10 insider palette picks to help reinvigorate your space
From spice-inspired shades to powdery purple and rich green, discover 10 different ways to fill your living space with color
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If you’re wondering what living room color trends will be big for 2023, read on. Unsurprisingly, after the events of the last two years, we’re leaning more and more towards uplifting and invigorating shades, whether that’s a playful palette of candy colors or grounding hues drawn from nature.
Feeling freer – and less wedded to classic neutrals such as greys and off-whites – we expect to see a rise in warmer, more cocooning colors such as deep browns and coffee-tinged creams, as well as earthy reds and terracotta tones. Nature is still an unwavering source of inspiration for interior design trends, albeit in richer, bolder hues. Meanwhile wellbeing remains a priority, with greens of all shades standing in for neutrals, and stronger blues acting as a calming presence in our living spaces.
In keeping with an optimistic outlook and an expressive approach, pastels look set to grow in popularity, particularly in muted – and perhaps more timeless versions – such as powdery purples, muddy pinks and desaturated yellows. At the other end of the scale, refreshing brights will breathe new life into our homes.
‘At the moment, it’s all about breaking the rules, and doing it with conviction,’ explains Australian interior designer Simone Haag. ‘The palettes in our homes have broadened to encompass combinations one might previously have assumed wouldn't work. We’ve included some great color combinations in projects lately, such as emerald and navy, or lilac and mustard,’ she continues. ‘And I’ve seen some amazing projects using tones of turquoise recently. I think this will be a hot color coming through next year.'
Feeling inspired? Discover more predictions for the top 2023 color trends below.
10 LIVING ROOM COLOR TRENDS FOR 2023
1. RICH NEUTRALS
'Rich brown hues, soft creamy shades and greenish-grey details create a sophisticated and soothing space, and I think we will see more of these deeper neutral colors in 2023,' says Knut Bendik Humlevik, creative director at New Works.
The Danish brand's ethos centers around natural materials, tactile textures and restrained color palettes, which is reflected in their designs, as well as in the settings they create. Its the height of current living room trends. 'These colors offer the perfect frame for artisanal pieces, inviting you to dwell on details and qualities. When combined with textured textiles, it results in a room surrounds you with warmth.'
2. GREEN AND BLUE
Tiffany Duggan, Studio Duggan's founder and creative director, agrees with the above color trends. 'I think nature-inspired hues, alongside rich browns and pale creams, will dominate color choices in 2023,' she says.
'I’m really into fresh and invigorating blues and greens at the moment and they work surprisingly well together.' Tiffany recommends offsetting these cool-toned hues with warmer tones such as a dirty pink or warm caramel, as illustrated by this view through the doorway of a living space the studio designed for a recent London project.
3. MUTED PASTELS
Cheerful and reassuring, pastel colors will continue to pop up in living spaces throughout 2023 - we're seeing them in bedroom trends too, unsurprisingly. If a palette of sugary shades feel a little outside of your comfort zone, why not look to muted, more 'grown-up' alternatives instead?
This space, which is the work of Swedish design studio Note, combines enduring heritage colors that nod to the original features found in this 19th-century building. 'We devised an 8-tone color scale to complement the bright yellow paint we discovered on a door frame,' say the designers. 'The result is a harmonious but rich color experience inspired by the apartment's original splendor, which turned a white office space into a contemporary home.'
4. COORDINATING WOODWORK
'We're seeing a move away from white woodwork and skirting, with more people choosing to incorporate it into their design scheme,' says Ruth Mottershead, creative director at Little Greene. When it comes to how to pick a living room color scheme, Ruth recommends replacing bright white woodwork with softer hues, such as stone grey, rich green or deep brown. Alternatively, choosing a bold highlight color that contrasts with your wallpaper pattern is a big part of next year's wallpaper trends.
'Blacks and dark greys also work fantastically well on woodwork and skirting,' she continues. 'Pair a dark hue such as ‘Lamp Black‘ with the delicate and pretty 'Massingberd Blossom' wallpaper in grey for a modern twist on a traditional wallpaper.'
5. COOL AND WARM
Looking for a way update a pink-walled living space? Consider a splash of 2023's 'it' color for paint trends: lavender. Collective Works partner Siri Zanelli collaborated with Koi Color Studio's Dagny Thurmann Moe on the scheme for this Victorian home.
'The subtle pink-and-beige combination on walls and historic features makes the north-facing living room warm, and the contrasting cool-toned sash window creates enough complexity to make the interior exciting,' explains Siri, who used Pure & Original paint throughout the house. 'Mixing cool and warm tones in the same room requires skill, and needs to be composed alongside the rest of the material palette. Timber is, in many ways, a neutral that can be used safely in any color combination,' the architect advises.
6. UPLIFTING ORANGE
Whether zesty and energizing or in more muted, terracotta tones, orange looks set to continue its comeback in 2023. Choose softer shades for a more subtle approach, or go bolder for a nostalgic nod to 70s style.
We love how this orange B&B Italia Tufty-Too sofa defines the living area at Dun Aluinn, a beautifully designed destination in the Scottish Highlands that spearheads current sofa trends. 'I took cues from the landscape: predominantly the burnt orange heather hills of winter, as well as the warm yellow glow from the sun setting through the adjacent window each evening,' says architect Susie Whyte. 'I was adamant about changing up the traditional Victorian interior, and this sofa seemed like the answer.'
Tufty Too sofa, B&B Italia at Archiproducts (opens in new tab)
This stellar sofa comes in a variety of different colors. Not so keen on orange? Try grey. Or red. Or black. Or cream....
7. SPICE-INSPIRED SHADES
In line with a steady resurgence in bold, spicy colors, de Le Cuona's new Terra Firma fabric collection includes names such as 'Peppercorn' and 'Mustard', and features a strong, earthy aesthetic. 'Nurturing neutral shades sit alongside the warmth of mud brown and hot shots of terra rossa,' say the collection's designers of the distinctive scheme, a line that could also apply to next year's carpet trends.
For this space, interior stylist Alex Kristal chose a limewash paint by Bauwerk in 'Clove'. 'The rich, brownish red completes the autumnal palette, complementing the textures of the natural yarns, cork daybed and coffee table made from salvaged oak sleepers,' she explains.
8. RESTFUL BLUES
'The renaissance of dark colors continues with gusto and will carry on into our decorating repertoire through 2023 and beyond,' says Farrow & Ball's color consultant Patrick O’Donnell. 'Have we become more brave? Or do we understand that dark colors are often an appropriate proposition for poorly lit spaces?,' he muses.
Whatever the reason, Patrick notes that people are leaning more towards the darker end of the blue palette - primarily because there are a lot of fantastic colors that go with blue. 'Dark blue effortlessly teams with a multitude of colors to create striking living spaces, from cool, architectural greys to bold pinks, tobacco tones and jeweled greens like emerald & malachite.' The room above features a color called Wine Dark from Farrow & Ball's latest collection. 'Inspired by midnight skies, this spiritual shade is perfect for creating an intimate space,' say its creators.
Wine Dark, Farrow and Ball (opens in new tab)
One of the brand new colors from Farrow and Ball, Wine Dark is a standout, and not just for its evocative name. Ideal for creating a sophisticated space.
9. PALE PURPLE
Trend forecasting authority WGSN, in collaboration with Coloro, named Digital Lavender their color of the year for 2023, so expect to see more variants of this soothing shade infiltrating fashion and interiors.
If you're keen on pale purple, but not quite sure how to make it work in your living space, take inspiration from this sophisticated example by Simone Haag. The Australian interior designer chose a chalky purple hue for the walls of this creative agency breakout area, which provides a contemporary backdrop for a carefully chosen collection of monochrome furniture, objets and art. It's also a soft shade for a functional space, meaning we expect it to be big in kitchen trends.
10. GROUNDING GREEN
'There is something especially beautiful about colors you can't describe in a single word,' says Studio Kaya founder Deniz Bayern. 'Castle Grey from Farrow & Ball (opens in new tab), which I used in my living room, is one of them. It changes throughout the day from a blueish grey to a deep, muddy green depending on the light.' We're pretty sure you can expect to see more of these moody greens about in 2023, as well as shades at the opposite end of the spectrum, like pale sage and pistachio.
'Other than deep greens, greyish browns and tones of terracotta are my current favorites,' Deniz adds. 'I recently noticed that the poles on the Bakerloo line are a great shade of warm, reddish brown. I think I'll try to get it matched at the local paint store.'
Castle Grey by Farrow and Ball (opens in new tab)
Castle Grey has been archived by Farrow and Ball, meaning it's off the main paint chart but not off the market. Those in the know can still ask for it and buy it online - a delicious prospect as this means you won't see it in every home.
Tessa Pearson is an interiors and architecture journalist, formerly Homes Director at ELLE Decoration and Editor of ELLE Decoration Country. When she's not covering design and decorative trends for Livingetc, Tessa contributes to publications such as The Observer and Table Magazine, and has recently written a book on forest architecture. Based in Sussex, Tessa has a keen interest in rural and coastal life, and spends as much time as possible by the sea.
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