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Ask Eli: 2023 real estate design trends

This regularly scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Eli Tucker, Arlington-based Realtor and Arlington resident. Please submit your questions to him via email for response in future columns. Video summaries of some articles can be found on YouTube on the Eli Residential channelEnjoy!

Question: What design trends are you seeing in homes these days?

TL;DR (0:37)

Answer: Every year we cycle through new color, material, and design trends but it’s also rarely anything actually new, just recycled trends from past generations (e.g. wallpaper is making a big comeback). Design isn’t exactly a strength of mine, so I defer to the experts for my annual design trends column. This year I pulled from Apartment Therapy, Architectural Digest, Forbes, National Association of Realtors, The Spruce, Veranda, Wall Street Journal for their expertise and selected trends that I’ve been seeing more of.

Here’s a sharable link to the full presentation of design trends.

Red(ish) Defines Colors of the Year

Design Getting Darker, Warmer

Moody Space: A return to rich, dramatic color palettes (purple, sand, maroon, cream, chocolate brown) swathing an entire room. These spaces will maintain their minimalistic integrity, with a focus on intimate and moody forms and textures. Painted or wallpapered walls in the same color as the ceiling, trim, shades, furnishings, and/or fabrics can be modern and cool. Moody tones make spaces feel intentional.

Organic Materials and Earth Tones: In today’s chaotic world, nature has a calming effect, because of this, organic materials and earth tones are timeless and unlikely to look dated any time soon. Expect lots of wood and colors inspired by nature such as peaceful blues and mossy greens. Nature-inspired art and live edge tables are other ways to incorporate the elements in our homes.

Art Deco: Bold patterned fabrics, rounded shapes and profiles (think round kitchen islands), and “lavishly unnecessary” nostalgic trinkets. Exploded in the United States in 1920’s and represented luxury, glamour, and exuberance.

Plush, Luxe Textiles: Expect to see more overstuffed sofas and armchairs; thick, plush area rugs; and ultra cozy bedding and bath accessories. Luxury textiles such as velvet are in high demand. Fabrics in jewel tones for an upscale look and high contrast colors in your fabrics and throws.

Accents with Personality

Wallpapered Powder Rooms: This trend is going to get bigger in the new year. We can experiment in powder rooms with pattern play and colors that we may be cautious to put in our larger rooms. Lauren Robbins Interiors calls the powder room the “jewel box of the home” as they can add an element of surprise when you open the door.

The Slab Backsplash: April Gandy at Alluring Designs Chicago calls this one of her favorite design trends for 2023. “Slabs of quartz or marble are perfect for any design aesthetic and help to create a clean, seamless look in any kitchen,” Gandy says. “The lack of grout lines makes this backsplash super low maintenance and so easy to

Dark and Textured Countertops: With a focus on nature, leathered granite and soapstone countertops have an earthy, approachable quality and will start to appear in more new kitchens. Darker countertops will often be paired with lighter stained cabinets.

Lighting as a Mood: People are recognizing the importance of ambient lighting and the role it plays in giving a space a feeling. There is a growing interest in task lighting and layered lighting and creating different moods for different activities.

To see how these trends have shifted over the years, you can reference my 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, and 2018 design trend articles.

If you’d like to discuss buying, selling, investing, or renting, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at [email protected].

If you’d like a question answered in my weekly column or to discuss buying, selling, renting, or investing, please send an email to [email protected]. To read any of my older posts, visit the blog section of my website at Call me directly at (703) 539-2529.

Video summaries of some articles can be found on YouTube on the Eli Residential channel.

Eli Tucker is a licensed Realtor in Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland with RLAH Real Estate, 4040 N Fairfax Dr #10C Arlington VA 22203. (703) 390-9460

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