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Interior design trends are a great way of exploring new looks, new colors, new materials – but once something gets into the design zeitgeist, it's quick to take hold. Before you know it, every other new home has gone all-in on a particular trend, making it lose its impact.
Our editors spend pretty much all of their time looking at beautiful houses, so I asked them what trends they've seen enough of around the house, and what they'd rather see instead.
Every trend has a time and a place but sometimes there comes a point when it's been so overdone that it doesn't feel as special. This isn't about regretting design choices, it's more about moving forward with different interior design trends that speak to the mood of 2023, 2024 and beyond.
1. Marble bathrooms
Marble is, undoubtedly, a luxurious finish for a bathroom, but it's become such an easy shortcut for these spaces to feel elegant and elevated that it runs the risk of being overused. So, should you be looking beyond marble for your bathroom remodel? Our Global Editor in Chief, Pip Rich, thinks so.
'As I plan my own bathroom remodel, I'm moving away from marble. I still love it, and still see it as a shorthand for luxury - but I'm nervous about how much we've all embraced this finite and ancient resource,' explains Pip.
There are, as it turns out, so many gorgeous alternatives to marble to embrace in the bathroom. 'Instead, I'm looking at more unusual bathroom materials, such as waterproofed wood. I never would have used wood in a room where water gets splashed about, but advances in how it can be sealed mean that it's now a really durable choice. Pair with linen curtains for light to softly filter through and you get an instant Scandi-spa vibe.'
2. Curved everything
'I love a curved silhouette in a room filled with other more angular pieces, but a curved sofa and armchair and coffee table is a bit much for me,' says Livingetc's deputy editor Ellen Finch, '– it ends up feeling a little one-note.'
The revolution of the curved sofa pioneered a new path for design, and we are grateful for that. The silhouette works so well because is contrasts with the rest of your space. 'The best designers are paring it back, coupling a sinuous sofa with pieces that are more mid-century and linear in style, for example,' explains Ellen, 'which feels like a much fresher way to use the trend – and make you less likely to tire of it.'
3. Gallery walls
Shopping editor Oonagh Turner reveals her least favorite trend of the moment is the infamous gallery wall. The decor trend that has been splashed over social media it overdone, its time to move on.
'I’m over gallery walls and hoping to see the back of them as we enter the new year,' says Oonagh. 'While they're an easy way to add interest to a spare wall, I’d like to see more carefully considered wall art. Go big and bold with a piece you absolutely love instead of five or so average prints you mildly like. Pick out colors from the art to inform the rest of the room’s scheme and remember that the frame as important as the art itself. If you're really wedded to the gallery look, maybe tone it down with two smaller frames, one on top of the other, perfect for a narrow alcove space that needs cheering up.'
This one surprised me, but deputy editor of Livingetc.com Hugh Metcalf says that Mid-Century is a design trend he's happy to see the back of. At least, in the way that we decorate our homes with these pieces.
'Mid-Century furniture tends to be timeless in its design, but a few years back there was a lot of 'retro-inspired decorating' that went all in on Mid-Century decor. The sofa, the armchair, the sideboard all being a Mid-Century style can feel a bit 'theme park' for my tastes,' Hugh says.
There are, however, ways you can include your favorite pieces of furniture without falling into this trap. 'To embrace Mid-Century instead, I'd say you can definitely still invest in a piece of classic mid-century furniture - just include it in a design that's a little less thematic, and embraces a more eclectic style approach to decorating your home.'
5. Pointless ornaments
'My pet peeve is ornaments that don't have a purpose or a deeper meaning,' says Ellen. 'A beautiful vase or a sculptural candle holder feels much classier, and I love sculptures if they're original pieces, but there's something really impersonal about off-the-shelf decorative objects that feel like they've been picked just to fill space!'
Perhaps it is time to say goodbye to all those random objects that are collecting dust on your shelves and embrace a more minimalist perspective on design. Or, if you still love pointless objects approach them with more consideration for a minimaluxe aesthetic.
Is Asymmetry the way forward when it comes to design? According to our content editor Aditi Sharma Maheshwari, it is.
'I think design-wise, we are over the perfectly symmetrical way of hanging art,' she says. 'It's no longer in style to hang artworks that are directly above or in line with the sofa dimensions. If you are hanging two or three artworks, you don't need to have them all equidistant.'
Having symmetrically placed art feels too considered and obvious, but this is easily rectified. 'Hanging artworks off-center and creating a little bit of a negative space that can be filled with a tall plant is quite an eye-catching way to decorate the living room,' advises Aditi.
7. Word-y wall art
'This one might be a little controversial,' starts Hugh, 'but including words and quotes on your walls has been overdone to death, and I don't think it makes quite the statement people think it does. Even though things have moved on a little from 'Live, Laugh, Love' living room wall decor, there's a new generation of slightly more sweary slogan wall art I've been noticing. In my opinion, it's just as cringe, just in a slightly more edgy way. I'm always in favor of decor that "shows" you've got that rebellious spirit, rather than "tells".'
Hopefully, you have learned that everyone has different styles and tastes, even our editors don't agree on everything. But take inspiration from this, take a look at trends in your home, and consider what's no longer working and how you might change it for the better.
The Livingetc Newsletter
For style leaders and design lovers.
Amy recently completed an MA in Magazine Journalism at City, University of London, with experience writing for Women’s lifestyle publications across arts, culture, and beauty. She has a particular love for the minimalist aesthetic mixed with mid-century furniture, especially combining unique vintage finds with more modern pieces. Her previous work in luxury jewellery has given her a keen eye for beautiful things and clever design, that plays into her love of interiors. As a result, Amy will often be heard justifying homeware purchases as 'an investment', wise words to live by.
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