At Livingetc, we've seen trends come and go, but some have more staying power than others and have withstood the test of time. There are some we've certainly been glad to see the back of, confined to the depths of design history and branded as 'dated'. But fashion is cyclical, and we've seen a few trends that were once considered 'old-fashioned' starting to make a reappearance.
Throughout 2023, we've seen a slow transition towards a 1970s aesthetic. With this shift from mid-century comes a wave of new styles, textures, materials, and patterns to explore. 'The modern shapes of the 1960s that reigned in 2020-2021 are trending lower (from 36 percent expected for 2021 to just 14 percent in 2024,' explains Anthony Barzilay Freund, director of fine art and editorial director at 1stDibs. 'Designers globally are moving to 1970s bohemianism in 2024 (from 13% in 2020 to 27% in 2024).' Off the back of this move, it's an exciting time for new trends to take to the fore, and old trends reemerging. Here are five interior design trends that we've spotted.
1. Burl wood
I first started noticing burl wood reappearing onto the design scene around halfway through last year, its speckled finish chosen for statement furniture. This example in an Upper East Side residence by New York-based studio, Husband Wife is the perfect illustration of how I've seen burl wood used in the home. I love the look in this dressing room, harmoniously marrying pattern with natural materials for something that has its roots in 70s design, but feels modern and cool.
For Anthony Barzilay Freund, editorial director at 1stDibs, the patterned element is why it's a trend that is resurfacing. 'Patterning can be found in a variety of materials, including wood,' says Anthony. 'We are noting gravitation toward highly grained and figured wood, not just in the objects people are searching for on the site but as an architectural framework for beautiful rooms.'
2. Lacquered paint
I thought I'd seen the back of dark gloss paint on walls for good until it started cropping up again throughout 2023. But I've seen lacquered paint used in the home enough times to convince me it's back.
Last year saw a resurgence of the 1970s aesthetic, and lacquered or high gloss paint has ridden on the coattails of this trend. I love the subtle sheen of lacquered paint in a dark or moody color, like a deep red, burgundy, or plum. It feels dramatic and daring.
Best of all, it offers a solution to the issue of dark rooms feeling too small as it reflects the light and makes a space feel brighter. Because of the process and multiple layers, the finish ends up being quite durable and easy to clean too.
I love this design by Hines Collective. The clients came to the studio with a design brief of a 'vampire speakeasy,' and this oxblood red high glass wall paint works so well to feel smart and chic.
3. Cool metals
Chrome, steel, and aluminum are suddenly everywhere. Pinterest Predicts for 2024 include 'Hot Metals', forecasting the domination of cool silver tones and bold chrome. 'Melty metallics will make their way into the mainstream in 2024 as people trade in their trusty neutrals for something a bit more hardcore. Gen Z and Millennials are driving this heavy metal aesthetic,' says a spokesperson for Pinterest.
Is this a reaction to the earthy paint colors that dominated 2023? Metallic finishes give things an industrial quality that counters that earthy, natural aesthetic that was so 2023. As well as chrome and steel, look out for the ongoing domination of brushed chrome and polished nickel, a slightly dulled-down version of those bright, warm golds we have been seeing in more recent years.
4. Textured wallpaper
Textured wallpaper is also back with a bang. Textured wallcoverings, including materials such as grasscloth, sisal, cork, and jute add depth and warmth to a space. What was once considered a little dated looks sleek and modern. This eye-catching powder room is lined in a metallic ombre wallcovering made of seagrass and evokes a sunset on the ocean horizon, complemented by a blasting brilliant blue custom wall-mounted concrete sink.
The grasscloth material works brilliantly in this space, bringing real depth. 'Our rule for powder rooms is to go maximal. Powder rooms are usually small spaces,' says Susan Work of Homework, who designed this room.
If considering this look for yourself, just be aware that while a powder work might work, a bathroom isn't a great place. The fabric is absorbant, and will just absorb moisture, so we advise playing it safe and sticking to those drier areas of the home.
5. Moody murals
I've also noticed some interesting wall murals crop up over the past few months. While murals were banished to design history, they seem to be coming back with a contemporary edge and abstract in style.
This from Homework is one such example, with a smokey depiction that drapes along the walls for a sultry feel. This trend sees the mural cascade along the ceiling and walls, instead of confining the look to just one wall.
3 buys for an on trend home in 2024
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Oonagh is a content editor at Livingetc.com and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.
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