Design Trends for 2023

For the new year, we will see the continuation of some existing renovation and design trends, and the increasing popularity of others.

For floors, the majority of homes in the DMV have existing natural-stained 2-1/4” red oak, and we are continuing to see many clients retain what they have, then tooth in matching hardwood into their kitchens, then sand and re-finish all the hardwood a matte or satin warm walnut-brown stain. This look allows for a sense of continuity throughout the home (replacing a lot of choppy flooring that was a little bit of tile, maybe some linoleum or laminate), bringing kitchens and Great Rooms into greater cohesion.

If budget allows, we are hearing the desire for new wider plank white oak hardwood. And if budget is more tight, we’re seeing highly durable LVP (Luxury Vinyl Plank) creeping out of basements and into main levels, often in more grey or cooler brown tones.

What we’re continuing to notice is the decline in orangey tones (think golden oak), less dark ebony, and less shiny gloss.

For bathrooms, we’re still using elongated plank tiles and 12×24 (and lots of Calacatta-looking patterns). But we’re also noticing a huge trend in the square encaustic tiles with repeat patterns, and not just for floors, but for shower walls and kitchen backsplashes as well. Sometimes we see these patterns on 6×6 Hex shapes, which are also gaining in popularity (whether patterned or solid colored).

That being said, kitchen backsplashes are still predominantly subway style (typically a 3×6 or 3×9 size). But we’re also using more modified shapes like picket and elongated hex. And we’re loving the introduction of brass and mixed metals combined with marbles and glass for more glamorous bling (especially when coordinated with brushed gold fixtures and hardware)!

White Calacatta-looking quartz continues to reign for countertops, though we’re still installing stunning marbles and quartzites that look brilliant as counters with matching full height backsplashes or islands with waterfall sides. Thinner porcelain slabs are making their way into kitchen counters and backsplashes, so we predict to see these become more popular in the year ahead.

For cabinets, we rarely incorporate raised panel doors, as shaker or modified shakers (and extremely thin shaker profiles) and slab doors have become the norm. Bright painted whites are still the top request, though we are seeing a decline in white on white, and the steady rise in navy blues and every kind of gray accenting islands and other secondary cabinets. We’re absolutely seeing a big increase in walnut or white oaks for range hoods, matching island cabinets, or island tops. This tri-color scheme (white + grey + walnut, or white + navy + white oak) combines simple straight lines and contrast to add character without a lot of fuss.

Thick matching wood shelves are often replacing wall cabinets that flank the sink window or the range hood, and we’re designing more bar spaces within dining rooms. These spaces used to be occupied with smaller furniture style buffets or hutches, and are now being replaced with tall customized pantry cabinets flanking base cabinets with wine coolers and extra storage.

Customized range hoods have become focal points in the kitchen, with matching paint colors and wood highlights tying them in to the rest of the kitchen cabinetry. Big islands with barstools in open concept layouts are still requested over enclosed kitchens. Modern families want to enjoy having children or guests in close proximity to the chef, so we continue to think of ways to add hidden storage (whether they be laptop/iPad cubbies under island counters, or storing our multitude of small appliances in countertop ‘appliance garages’).

For plumbing fixtures and hardware, we continue to see the demand for brushed gold and even more matte black. Industrial with a hint of glam has replaced traditional, and exposed Edison-style bulbs are spec’d more often than shaded light fixtures. We’re also seeing an increase in the demand for black framed windows, whether more traditional with divided lites, or more modern full-panel glass with no lites. This looks helps blend the age of some of the area’s older homes with newer design trends, and black seems to be a more acceptable upgrade for husbands, especially when we start to replace all door hardware and light fixtures throughout the home (out with the old brass, in with something new we can all agree on).


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