Designers say these emerging 2023 home trends were made for small spaces

2023 new year trends that work perfectly for small spaces according to designers

Kitchen space with teal cupboards, white countertops and backsplash
(Image credit: Erika Bierman Photography)

As you prepare your New Year’s Resolutions going into 2023, designers around the world are taking stock of design movements and making forecasts for ever-changing tastes and trends. For smaller homes with less square footage, every design decision can have a big impact on the look and feel of the space. Finding fresh ways to reset your home for the new year can be a challenge. When it comes to refreshing our own 2023 styles, both emerging trends (like Pantone’s new color of the year Viva Magenta) and old ones that are bound to stick around (including sustainability and multi-functional design) can help guide us to transform our homes. 

From trendy furniture pieces to complete style eras coming and going, making decisions that will last in a space can feel like it's beyond your psychic abilities. Thankfully, we know what designers themselves have forecasted for the New Year
no crystal ball needed. 

Forecasting design trends is all part of a designer’s job to stay ahead of the curve but some trends transcend the year. One big theme of this upcoming year’s design trend actually began before the new year: lots of color. 

Bold and Bright Kitchens

Kitchen space with teal cupboards, white countertops and backsplash

(Image credit: Erika Bierman Photography)

If you’re searching for which area of your home to illuminate with color, Leaman knows just where to start. “I suggest utilizing vibrant color on kitchen cabinets or built-ins,” says interior designer Rande Leaman from the Los Angeles-based firm that shares his name (opens in new tab). "While color will have a strong impact, so will mixing bold patterns. “I also love using a mix of patterns in smaller bathrooms as it diverts your focus on the size of the room,” says Leaman. 

Ideal for renters, peel-and-stick wallpaper is a great way to incorporate this new trend, without the pricey (or more permanent) commitment.

Playful Colors

Kitchen space with teal cupboards, white countertops and backsplash

(Image credit: Erika Bierman Photography)

"Color will continue to have a strong impact as one of the main trends of 2023,” says Leaman. “This is particularly suited for smaller spaces as it brings a lot of personality to a more petite apartment or home.”  A diversion from the white-washed minimalist we’ve seen dominate in the 2010s and 2020s (and for a while, our Instagram feeds), adding more color to a space can serve to change your mood and the ways you can incorporate your personal preferences in a space. 

Romantic Florals

Bathroom with vanity, wallpapered wall and gold framed mirror

(Image credit: Erika Bierman Photography)

While your kitchen and living room have permission to be colorful and bold, it's time to incorporate that same maximalist energy in your bathroom, with an Earthly twist. “Another trend we will see continuing to grow in 2023 is using floral wallpapers in powder rooms. Its romance and natural beauty is something we can all use more of in our hectic world,” says Leaman. 

Timeless Materials

Black console with two modern leather seats in contemporary home space

(Image credit: Garett Buell from Studio Buell)

For Justin Orton, a designer at Of Origin Studios (opens in new tab) in Nashville, Tennessee, a focus on timeless natural materials will always remain in vogue. “Our design aesthetic leans toward a modern edgy-luxe aesthetic, with a focus on timeless natural materials rather than passing trends,” says Orton. “We’ve seen a movement away from synthetic and faux finished elements, and more natural stone, wood, concrete, wool and leather.” 

Funky Natural Elements

Nature-inspired living room space with leather seat and large indoor plant

(Image credit: Garett Buell from Studio Buell)

If the thought of decking out your home in colorful tones and prints is too bold for your liking, you can also try incorporating more funky natural elements into your space, achieving a more personal style, no matter how little square footage you have. These natural materials can even work to make your space feel bigger. “In a smaller space, the repetition of these materials can create a more cohesive, uncluttered look that actually makes a space feel larger,” says Orton.

Keeping it Personal

Marble top dining table with contemporary round vase in the center

(Image credit: Garett Buell from Studio Buell)

Although it can be fun to play around with new trendy paint colors, wallpapers, accessories, and more easily-adjustable elements of your home, an emphasis on timelessness for the bigger pieces of furniture in a room is crucial to keeping a style that transcends trends. Mixing trends and choosing what works best for your personal taste is what this new year is all about.

Kate Santos

Hello! I’m Kate Santos, a writer and photographer based in Los Angeles. In the design world, I got my start working as an Editorial Intern for Dwell magazine in San Francisco. Since then, I’ve written about design and architecture in many national magazines and online publications, including Playboy, Hunker, and The Culture Trip.

I grew up in a very old house in North Carolina and am still influenced by the rustic, charming, antique and aged elements of a home. Sustainability and longevity is extremely important to me and I believe learning to reuse materials or purchasing items you’ll love forever goes a long way. I also lean towards the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi when designing my own home, embracing the perfectly imperfect items I can find.