Everyone gets the urge to refresh or redecorate their home from time to time. It can be harder than you think, though, to find exactly what you’re looking for in the maze of trends published every year. Whether you’re starting a major renovation or simply want to spruce up your home, we’re here to help. From sustainable materials to modern home decor ideas, here are our experts’ favourite 2023 home interior and exterior home design trends.
Interior home trends
1. French–Indian hygge decor
In recent years, various digital content platforms like Netflix have released movies and series (RRR and Indian Matchmaking come to mind) that introduced us to the richness of Indian culture. Now it’s riding a wave of popularity that has surged into our homes! This modern home decor trend rips up the rule book. It combines hygge, the Danish lifestyle that emphasizes cozy comfort and life’s simple pleasures, and French–Indian decorative elements. We’re seeing more and more textiles with eye-catching patterns and warm colours reminiscent of the charms of India, all blended with natural textures.
How to include it: Blend old and new by using Indian elements inspired by Parisian design. You can start with some grand bookcases, crown moulding, and sculptures, but don’t forget to dress up the walls! Pairing the two styles will give you the best of both worlds: a look that’s vibrant and chic.
2. Gradient or digitally inspired gradient
Various creative currents influence each other and that’s certainly the case with this trend. After raising eyebrows in the world of fashion, digital design is now inviting itself into our homes! We watched the gradient trend come back to life in the last few years, especially with corporate branding. Just take a look at the Messenger or Instagram icons! But now it’s not just for our devices – it’s for interior home design, too!
How to include it: For this interior design trend, you can go all out and decorate your walls with some gradient wallpaper. For a more subtle look, grab a glass room divider with a gradient finish, or a mirror featuring a soft gradient.
3. Modern home decor that tells a story
Rather than picking an assortment of objects for their aesthetic value, this year we’re choosing decorative elements with personal meaning. We’re applying a marketing technique known as storytelling and bringing it closer to home! So, pick items that evoke emotion and bring back good memories. This is right up Marie Kondo’s alley: she champions the concept of only keeping what sparks joy.
How to include it: Do you travel? Bring home an item that will remind you of all the good times you had on your trip. Are you a fan of impressionism? Why not decorate with a painting from this artistic period? Nature lovers can choose a set of dishes with irregular edges that resemble stone. But there’s no need to be so literal with this interior design trend – a subtle nature-inspired material or shape will do.
4. Sensory design makes a splash in this year’s home trends
Sensory design encourages us to embrace our surroundings, not only by using our eyes but also our other senses. Play with textures to satisfy the sense of touch, include some scented elements, and experiment with different levels of light intensity to evoke a range of emotions. We book a spa visit to indulge in a sensory experience, so why not bring this concept home?
How to include it: Combine wood, stone, and textiles to stimulate the sense of touch. Include a small indoor garden that will permeate a room with the scent of herbs. You can also up your leisure game with a relaxing indoor waterfall.
5. Limewash finished walls
This modern home decor trend is back! We’re talking about the limewash wall. Combining sand and lime, this ancestral technique adds texture and depth to a room. Not only is it natural and eco-friendly, but it also has insulating and hygrometric properties (which help regulate humidity). It will bring a dose of Mediterranean or desert colour to your modern home decor while pairing well with your existing styles.
How to include it: This type of finish works just as well in the living room as in the bathroom or bedroom. You can decide to keep the entire wall one colour or tint the limewash and apply a darker colour at the bottom and a lighter colour at the top. If going for the latter, leave more space for the lighter shade to make the room seem taller.
6. Animals are king… even in interior home design trends!
Have you heard that Millennials and Gen Z would rather have a pet than a kid? So, it’s no surprise that they’re adapting their houses to better suit their four-legged companions! In the same vein, Pinterest’s annual trends report revealed just how far people are willing to go for their fur babies, and there’s even a name: barkitecture. A house designed for cats, luxury dog room… the sky’s the limit.
How to include it: There’s no need to stop at that throw pillow with Rover’s face on it. Go big or go home with a modern dog house. If you’re renovating, give kitty a cat bed integrated into the furniture. You can also think about adding a pet wash station in your laundry room.
7. Interiors that pay homage to sustainable design
Everyone knows that our planet has seen better days, and we’re focusing on the environment now more than ever. Even the 2022 Sustainable Design China Summit’s main topics were circular economy, carbon neutrality, and climate change. So, it’s no surprise that this is sparking conversations around repurposing old furniture, using recycled materials, and choosing sustainable materials when renovating properties. For this interior home design trend, the spotlight is on designers that use recycled materials and manufacturing waste to create something new.
How to include it: Before tearing everything apart, consider recycling, reusing, or donating. Whether it’s wood, furniture, kitchen cabinets, or something else, a person in need would undoubtedly give it a second chance at life. Turn a chest of drawers into a bathroom vanity or use old infrastructure beams as a fireplace mantel or decorative shelf. Some organizations will even pick up your old kitchen cabinets or other construction materials and donate or resell them. That’s what our partner, Habitat for Humanity, does.
8. The art of chromotherapy at home
Used in traditional medicine in Greece, China, and India, chromatherapy is a technique that uses colour to help harmonize the psyche, emotions, and physical state. Many studies have shown that blues and greens induce relaxation and reduce blood pressure. This is often the case with pastel colours like Pantone’s Very Peri made popular by Gen Z.
How to include it: For this interior design trend, start by picking a room that you want to add a splash of colour to and determine your needs from there. For example, it may be interesting to promote alertness and dynamism instead of calm in a home office. You can then distribute colour around the room and use modern home decor items in similar tones to create a harmonious whole.
9. Grand staircase to impress the crowd
Stairs can steal the show in any home, whether they’re colourful, rounded, or transparent. Often overlooked, stairs can be reinvented in several ways. Think handrails as decorative elements, luxurious architectural lighting, or even a floating staircase.
How to include it: Stairs are not easy to pull off as they have to comply with the Building Code. However, you don’t have to alter the structure to embrace this stunning interior design trend. Just add lighting under the railing or steps or get a more original railing.
10. Modern and inviting desert design
Desert design is one of the hottest trends in interior design right now. This style mixes boho chic and modern Scandinavian to create a fresh yet warm atmosphere. Style highlights include overlapping natural textures, furniture with clean and rounded edges, and neutral colours such as cream, sand, and orange.
How to include it: Go with greiges or beiges as the main colours, then accentuate with modern home decor and architectural elements in shades of terracotta or orange leather. Precedence should be given to rattan, wood, and even macramé to complete the soft look. Remember there are no perfectly straight lines in nature, so you should look for irregular, organic shapes. Finish off the look with some succulents or cacti.
Outdoor home trends
1. Fences as stylish as your home
Fences are often installed as a practical consideration and unfortunately aren’t always the most pleasing to look at. This year, we’re letting creativity shine in fence design. Trends are embracing vertical wooden bars for a contemporary look. You can also use horizontal planks in a variety of sizes to design a pattern.
How to include it: Pick a shade that matches the colour palette of your home’s façade. When it comes to materials, it’s more a question of how much maintenance you plan to do. Wood wins on an aesthetic level but requires more upkeep.
2. Arched entry doors
Arches are back in the thick of things as we’ve been seeing in the latest kitchen and bathroom trends. We’re delighted that entry doors and windows have not missed out! We love ourselves a house with an original front door.
How to include it: To ensure an aesthetically pleasing look, this project is more suitable for homes with ceilings over nine feet tall. Consider hiring a structural engineer if you want to add an arched doorway or window to an existing home. They will determine the project’s feasibility and recalculate the load for the new opening.
3. Outdoor shower to commune with nature
Outdoor showers are appearing in more and more residential homes! From rinsing off after a dip in the pool to taking a moment to reconnect with nature, there’s a lot to love about this home trend.
How to include it: If you have neighbours close by, think about setting up some privacy screens or even plants to hide the shower from view and leave you feeling like you’re in the middle of nature. A pebble floor would look awesome and also permit water drainage while your feet get an appealing sensation to step on. Don’t forget the towel hooks!
4. Garden pavilions that take home trends into the yard
Pool change room, guest room, backyard office, meditation or yoga cabana, plant room to grow herbs or vegetables… An outdoor pavilion will be all the rage this year! People lack space and it’s hard to move at a time when there are fewer house listings and interest rates are rising. An outdoor pavilion is the perfect way to add more space!
How to include it: You can hire a contractor or find a company that specializes in this type of product. Much like modular homes, these companies build studios in a factory and deliver them directly to your yard.
5. Informal outdoor kitchens
We want to see people again and gather together for a good meal. We also want to enjoy the smell of grilled veggies and meat on the BBQ. If you love cooking outside, then an outdoor kitchen will be right up your alley! And we’re not just talking about a chef-worthy kitchen either – it’s about creating comfortable places that come together.
How to include it: Pizza lover? Why not set up an outdoor kitchen with a real pizza oven? Target your needs and passions and build the kitchen around them. Consider a large table with benches to make seat switching easier. You can also make a bar area with stools.
6. Transitional style for inviting façades
Transitional style is a blend of traditional and modern styles. We’ve seen a lot of farmhouse-style homes in recent years but transitional is taking over the home front this year! This style tops the list whether you’re planning a new build or changing the façade.
How to include it: Choose a colour palette with white, black, or gray. The preferred cladding for this style is stone masonry mixed with CanExel in white or dark wood. Pair classical doors and windows with straight lines or A-frame homes.
7. Stylish mini pools
Who hasn’t dreamed of a little oasis in their own yard? Refreshment or mini pools are front and centre this year to beat the heat! Taking up less space than a regular pool, they’re also very aesthetic and luxurious. You’ll be forgiven for thinking you’re in some opulent hotel suite in paradise.
How to include it: Since it has to fit in a small space, you’re allowed to tile up the walls! Moroccan or Turkish-inspired patterns are very in. If that doesn’t float your boat, you can also pick a small concrete pool or a premade fibreglass shell. Be sure to consider safety features so that children and animals don’t get hurt.
8. Chic cottage look with vertical cladding
Exterior cladding installed vertically is very popular this year. Whether you use it as an accent or all over your home’s exterior, it’ll make your home look bigger and taller. It mimics the look of those chalets often covered in vertical wood siding.
How to include it: There are many material options now available for vertical installation, previously a realm reserved for wood. To really nail this home trend’s look, consider using vinyl or even CanExel.
9. Moving towards a more energy efficient home
Ecology plays a role in every renovation project, and this is being reflected in home trends. Consider your ecological footprint in all choices you make, from redoing the roof and replacing exterior siding to changing doors and windows. Solar panels could really make a difference on your electricity bill.
How to include it: Energy-efficient home renovations not only have a positive impact on the environment but also your wallet. You can save big both through energy savings and the Canada Greener Homes Grant! Consider installing LED lights instead of traditional bulbs as well as using recyclable materials and non-toxic paint. Leave more room for a garden instead of installing a patio or huge pool that’s rarely used. Plant small trees native to your area. Espace pour la vie suggests serviceberry or white elder in Quebec.
10. Grand outdoor fireplace mantels
Why not add a bit of flair to your backyard by installing a fireplace mantel? This is an interesting home trend that makes a place to eat or relax the focal point. Perfect for those chilly fall nights, your guests will certainly appreciate an outdoor fireplace, both for its heat and ambiance! Add some modern home decor elements to keep it chic.
How to include it: You can do it in limewash, tile, metal, or even wood siding. It just has to meet the standards for non-flammable materials and respect clearance heights. Check with your municipality about current regulations in place.
Marilena Tricarico has been a key figure in the interior design world for over 15 years. Her expertise and designs have been featured on the hit TV show Décore ta Vie for 10 years. Today, she shares her knowledge of the renovation industry with RenoAssistance as a video content producer and host.
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