Bright colors, eco-friendly features, and entertainment hubs are popular this season.
Statement-making colors and an eco-conscious approach are two of the main driving factors behind our design decisions both inside and out this summer. To find out what’s hot this season, we turned to the experts from Houzz and Yelp for their trend predictions based on consumer insights.
With property prices soaring right now, homeowners want to make the most of what they already have—which is where the design experts come in. For summer decor inspiration, interior designers Carmeon Hamilton and Maggie Griffin weigh in on popular decorating styles and explain how to embrace this season's trends. These are the top home decor trends of summer 2023.
1. Small Outdoor Features
Having outdoor space is a luxury, especially in the city, and homeowners aren’t letting an inch of it go to waste. Whether it’s a place to cool off or cook up a tasty summer meal, we’re searching for ways to maximize space for maximum enjoyment. According to Mitchell Parker, senior editor of Houzz, searches for 'small plunge pool' and 'small pool house' have tripled since last summer, and interest in 'small outdoor kitchens' more than doubled. Searches for 'small screened-in porch ideas' are also up more than 500% since this time last year, proving that homeowners are looking to add small-scale remodeling projects to their summer to-do lists.
2. Coastal Decor
Bring the beach to you this summer with coastal decor. The distressed, relaxed look is gaining popularity, particularly as environmental concerns increase. The coastal aesthetic presents the perfect opportunity to upcycle and DIY old furniture and materials. "This eco-conscious approach reduces waste and adds a sense of character and individuality to interiors," says Sue Kim, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams and Minwax. "The act of repurposing aligns with the era’s emphasis on handmade craftsmanship and resourcefulness."
Get the coastal look with a barely-there wood stain, like Minwax’s Color Wash Transparent Layering Color. "The stain adds a touch of age and character to bare and already-stained wood," Kim says. "This allows the natural grain of the wood to shine through and adds a weathered and sun-bleached appearance reminiscent of coastal cottages and beachfront homes." She also recommends sticking to a soft, desaturated palette of neutrals and blues to evoke the tranquility and rejuvenating energy only found by the sea.
3. Outdoor Entertainment Features
Barbecues move over—the pizza oven is moving in. Don’t be surprised if burgers are off the menu this summer, as searches for 'pizza ovens' increased more than 100% from March to April this year, according to Yelp. “Pizza ovens have become a must-have for outdoor entertaining aficionados,” says designer Carmeon Hamilton. “Not only are they less intimidating than your average charcoal or propane grill, but they’re also extremely versatile and create the perfect pizza, roasted veggies, or even bread.”
Search interest for 'outdoor bar' projects jumped 56%, too, so you can expect drinks to flow with bottled beers making way for refreshing cocktails.
4. Extend edYour Interior Living Space
“Lots of folks want to stretch their living space, but with a tight real estate market, going bigger isn’t always an option,” Hamilton says. “The next best thing is to extend your indoor living amenities to the outdoors.” And that’s exactly what homeowners are doing. Yelp users have taken a massive interest in outdoor living spaces since April of last year, including searches for 'outdoor seating' and 'patio enclosures.' The same spike in interest was recorded by Thumbtack, with gazebos and deck and porch remodels and additions making the list of most popular exterior home improvement projects this summer to create extra square footage for gathering and entertaining.
5. Hosting Hubs
As we’ve seen, it’s all about creating the perfect space for hosting this summer. "Outdoor spaces that encourage people to gather outdoors, extending the home's livability, is Cabot’s 2023 Trend of the Year," says Kim, who is also the color expert at Cabot. Familiar, inviting, and functional, "they are ideal for spending quality time with those who matter most—family, friends, and neighbors," she says.
Interior designer Maggie Griffin of Maggie Griffin Design agrees and encourages homeowners to dress their tabletops to impress. "Layered tabletops for outdoor dining are huge for summer," she says. "Think mixing patterns, color, and style to make it your own. Cut flowers from the yard, and enjoy time around the table."
6. Bold Colors
Homeowners are feeling daring this summer, adding pops of rich and vibrant colors to their homes. According to Yelp, searches for 'jewel tones,' like emerald and sapphire, jumped higher than last summer, while searches for 'earth tones,' like olive, clay, and terracotta, were up 99%. And it seems summer is the time for painting, with August consistently hitting the highest level of searches for 'interior home painting' since 2021.
"Neutrals will always have a place in design, but there’s nothing like adding rich earth tones or vibrant jeweled hues to a space,’ Hamilton says. "They have a magical ability to transform a room, infusing it with warmth, depth, and even a touch of opulence." She recommends going all out with the color-drenching technique or opting for something unexpected, like a colorful painted ceiling.
7. Backyard Architectural Interest
Homeowners are investing big time in their outdoor space big time this year, sprucing it up for summer and fall entertaining. According to Thumbtack’s statistics, 36% of their users are refreshing their homes’ exteriors with paint jobs or redesigning their front and back yards. Over half of those users are undertaking a complete renovation, including hardscaping (the structural and functional elements). To boost curb appeal, designers are getting creative with material combinations.
"One particular trend that has gained traction is the integration of wood accents into the exterior," Kim says, following Cabot's release of their Summer 2023 Color & Design Trend Report. Designers combine wood's warmth with contrasting textures, like brick and concrete, to add character, depth, and originality to garden design. "This trend reflects a growing appreciation for integrating natural elements and diverse textures as homeowners strive to create visually captivating and inviting spaces," she says.
The much-anticipated release of Barbie has seen Barbiecore take the world by storm this summer. In the wake of the film’s premiere, the trend has gone viral, flooding the internet, runway, and now our homes with all shades of pink.
Take a leaf out of Barbie’s style book with a Barbie-inspired color palette. Create your own Barbie Dreamhouse with shades like Amaryllis HGSW6591 by HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams, Frosty Berry 1003-1B by Valspar, or Just Pink Enough (DE5091) by Dunn-Edwards. Combine your favorite pink shade with a burst of sunny yellow and sky blue to complete the fun, fanciful, and wholeheartedly optimistic trend.
There’s a call for landscaping to become more efficient, and Yelp has answered it. Whether it’s strict HOA requirements, a lack of time for maintenance, or a desire to be more water-conscious, searches have risen for xeriscaping-related topics. If you haven't heard of it before, xeriscaping is landscape design that's intended to reduce or eliminate the need for irrigation. Searches for 'sustainable lawn care' and 'fake grass' both rose by more than 20% since last year.
Homeowners also started searching for drought-resistant plants and flowers, no doubt inspired by the record-high temperatures recorded this summer. Searches for low-water plants like philodendrons and hydrangeas both spiked compared to this time last year.
10. Dark, Monochrome Exteriors
Homeowners are taking a paintbrush to their front and backyards to spruce them up and give them a sleek, contemporary look. Popular shades include deep charcoals, browns, and blues, says Kim. "Monochrome exteriors, characterized by a restrained palette of shades, create a sense of harmony and elegance," she says. "This trend embraces the home's architectural details and creates a striking visual impact."
The shift from light, high-contrast exteriors to moody monochrome schemes demonstrates homeowners’ desire to update their property with a contemporary and personal touch.
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