It’s that time of year when industry associations and experts analyze and predict which home design trends will rise to the top and which will fall to the wayside. To see what’s in store for 2023, BUILDER compiled predictions from a few design sources, such as Houzz, the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), and Zillow, and a couple single-family production builders, including Taylor Morrison and Ashton Woods.
Overarching themes include a continued focus on remote work and outdoor living, a resurgence of color over neutrals, functional kitchens paired with spa-like bathrooms, and the rise of the transitional style. Read on for nine design features that will be popular in single-family homes in the coming year.
1. Natural looks: The all-white trend has finally started to see its decline, as many homeowners now prefer the look of natural wood. “We love the crisp, clean vibe an all-white kitchen has delivered for the last decade, but this year, let’s embrace some cabinets with natural character,” says Leigh Spicher and Jay Kallos at Ashton Woods Homes. “Consider the transition to lighter woods or add a light, natural stain cabinet with the grain of the wood orientated vertically for additional height.”
2. Dedicated workspaces: With remote and flexible work here to stay, both Taylor Morrison and Ashton Woods report getting creative with home office spaces. “As long as there are companies allowing employees the flexibility to work from home, we need to accommodate that in our home designs,” shares Brian Juedes, Taylor Morrison’s national vice president of product design. “Rather than sharing one full-sized office, home buyers can opt for two smaller tech spaces—which is especially beneficial for households with multiple individuals working from home.”
3. Front yards: Outdoor living now encompasses the entire perimeter of a home. While backyards have been the focus for the past couple years, Lee Crowder, Taylor Morrison’s national director of design and model experience, says the front yard experience will also be important this year. “We are seeing more and more homeowners setting up inviting outdoor seating areas right in their front yards,” she says. “As an added bonus, you might even befriend your neighbors.”
4. Color and texture: Several sources report a renewed interest in bright, bold colors and layered textures. “The shift away from mostly neutrals and whites is something many pros attribute to the pandemic,” says Houzz’s design predictions. “These days, homeowners seem more adventurous and willing to take a chance on creating brighter, more vibrant spaces.”
5. Well-designed kitchens: Homeowners are looking to open the look and feel of the kitchen while adding elements that hide clutter, maximize island function, and extend the space into the outdoors. According to the NKBA, the top designs include large islands that function as dining tables, taking down walls so the kitchen is open to other areas of the home, a working pantry, easy-to-clean flooring, outdoor living areas, and sanitary counter surfaces.
6. Closed floor plans: While the open floor plan has dominated the industry for years now and will remain popular for some, designers should rethink room and wall placement to make both private and public spaces. “As home buyers and homeowners seek out privacy, calm, and quiet, expect the closed floor plan to make a return to style in 2023,” says Zillow’s trend forecast. “Closed floor plans create cozy, comfortable, enclosed spaces within a home, allowing for bold color and design statements in each room.”
7. Transitional trends: Craftsman and farmhouse designs have reigned supreme over other elevation styles in recent years. However, homeowners are starting to show an appetite for exterior designs that are a mix of both traditional and modern, also known as transitional. “Modern farmhouse continues across the country, but right alongside that is modern contemporary, transitional styles,” explains Juedes. “These designs continue to grow in popularity on both the inside and outside of our homes.”
8. Relaxing bathrooms: Today’s homeowners are using their bathrooms as the ultimate escape. If designed properly, they can truly provide a break from the other duties of a home. According to the NKBA, top emerging trends are removing bathtubs to increase shower size, removing walls to increase the primary bathroom footprint, and connecting to the closet/dressing area.
9. Clutter-free spaces: Organization is key to well-being, especially with so many workers operating in a hybrid environment. It will be important to incorporate smart storage solutions that homeowners can utilize to hide clutter. “Living in a home that works for your lifestyle makes life easier,” says Crowder. “When you have a home that is in order, it creates a calm and relaxing environment. You can spend more time with family and less time stressing over your space.”