Neil Kelly, an award-winning design-build remodel and home improvement company, forecasts the top 10 home design trends for 2023. Neil Kelly Design Director, Barbara Miller, describes each trend and shares how homeowners can incorporate them into their homes.
Trend #1: Bringing Comfort into the Kitchen
“We live in our kitchens. We always have, but they were traditionally a work zone and now they’re a hybrid work and living space. We still have to be able to accomplish the tasks with the right lighting and surfaces, but with a softer side we can keep our family and friends at the table longer and have better conversations," shares Miller.
Trend #2: Multi-Functional Spaces
“When we were trapped in our houses, we quickly realized that every square inch mattered. So, we started being smarter and started analyzing how we actually live in these spaces and then designed to fit that exactly," shares Miller. One example is shown above: The kitchen booth above fits the "comfort meets storage" demand in the kitchen, while creating a workspace, a meeting space, and an eating space all in one. Similarly, the laundry/mud room directly off the kitchen-living room (below) typifies the sort of "utility meets comfort" needed in our daily lives.
Trend #3: Featured Range Hoods
Of the kitchen range hood, Miller says: “It’s a focal point, for sure, and it’s about style. We’re pairing down the ornament on the cabinets, we’re pairing down the backsplashes—or continuing the countertop with a slab backsplash—so it’s a place to feature some texture or interesting color, but still keep all the work surfaces light and bright and easy to work on.”
Trend #4: The Color Green
“Color trends are always in response to what’s happening in the world. Whenever there’s a stressful time, we look for those calming environments and natural materials. Green is a restful color that’s also reflective of nature—it’s calming. When people have been reclusive for a while, bright vibrant colors that get us moving again tend to be the trend," shares Miller.
Trend #5: Hideaway Storage
Clean, uncluttered countertops is a a continuation of being minimalist. "Now we are taking it to a new extreme," Miller explains, "of having nothing on the countertop, if possible. People want things completely cleared off. They’re wanting to hide the practical everyday stuff, so they just see the pretty things when they come into the kitchen. It also continues the living room feel because you’re not seeing the appliances that make it a kitchen," adds Miller.
Trend #6: Combining closed cabinets and open shelving
“We’re making more space for art and a little bit less space for storage in our kitchens. We can have balanced displays on the shelves and then all the ugly things hidden in the cabinets," shares Miller.
Trend #7: Layered Lighting
“Task lighting allows you to accomplish what you need to accomplish, but then the accent lighting and the decorative lighting allow you to change the function of the space to a relaxing retreat. Kitchens and bathrooms become more stressful if there’s not enough light in there to do what you need to. If you can’t get a sliver out of a child’s foot in a bathroom, you’re going to be super frustrated, but you don’t want that much light all the time. You need to be able to turn it off when you want to take a relaxing bath. It’s one of the keys to making a space multi-functional," states Miller.
Trend #8: Flexible Home Office
“Some of us are returning to work, but we still want to be able to work from home. The workspace in this home is especially great because kids can do homework there while a parent makes dinner, but it’s also where you can look up recipes or sit down and answer emails. Desks were built into the kitchen in the 80s and 90s when we started having desktop computers, and we’re ripping all those out now in favor of wet bars. But, this one doesn’t take away from the kitchen space because it’s small, it has all this storage down below, and a multi-functional desktop with these pull-outs," shares Miller.
Trend #9: Two Islands
“There’s a working kitchen island and then there’s an entertainment island that’s more like a bar. It’s a gathering space that’s not interfering with the cooking space, and we’re seeing that a lot," explains Miller.
"Of course, you can’t have two islands unless you have an enormous kitchen, so it’s an incredible luxury," Miller adds.
Trend #10: Pet Accommodations
"We’re considering the needs of the entire family, pets included," Miller says. "You don’t want to have a beautifully finished kitchen and then boxes of pet food lied up at the end," she explains. Instead, the Neil Kelly design team includes functional pet spaces- adjacent to kitchen and living spaces that allow the home to keep that minimal, clean look while pets to have their own spaces.