June 24, 2024
San Diego Home Decor Trends 2023, According to Experts | Neighborhoods

pastel pinks, home decor

In comparison to fashion and even food (remember when butter boards were the hottest thing on our Instagram feeds?), home design trends move slowly. A house full of comfortable furnishings and beautiful art can often take years to acquire, and we tend to remain loyal to our favorite styles as the decades pass.

Ever walk into your grandma’s house to find she got a new coffee table? I have, and it’s startling. Nevertheless, there comes a time when even our most beloved décor darlings—farmhouse furniture, fog-colored cabinets—start to feel a little stale.

To help you decide on the best home refreshes and interior tweaks you can do to offer your sanctuary a refresh (and you know, maybe dust off those pandemic vibes), we asked professional designers throughout San Diego to offer their insights.

Here are the hottest home décor trends (and the styles saying goodbye) in 2023, plus the best ways to bring them into your place on any budget.

mirror, home decor trends 2023

Home Décor Trend:

Focus on Organic Architecture

Many San Diego transplants chose the city for its natural beauty: near-endless sunshine, wildflower-framed hiking trails, and sweeping shorelines. And, as founder and CEO of Kearny Mesa firm Blythe Interiors, designer Jennifer Verruto has seen an uptick in homeowners aiming to bring the coastal climate indoors. “They’re wanting these flowing, comfortable, simplified, organic spaces,” she says.

Architects are replacing hard edges with arched doorways and rounded windows. Paint and accents often come in beach-inspired palettes: soft neutrals with touches of blue and terracotta. Local designer Michelle Harrison-McAllister adds that stylish décorators are increasingly drawn to natural materials and interesting textures, from stone backsplashes to seagrass wallcoverings.

San Diegans can easily echo the environment outside their door with tactile elements like faux fur throws or accent pillows in creative shapes (think spheres, clouds, or even squiggles). Try replacing a sharp-angled, mid-century modern chair with softer seating, like a chair with curved lines and nubby boucle upholstery. Or capture the vibe of domed windows sans major construction with an arched mirror.

M. Swabb Interior Design

Home Décor Trend:

Return to Warm Woods

Somewhere around 2008, homeowners began lacquering dark-toned dressers, bookshelves, and sideboards in white as a way to streamline and lighten up the aesthetic of their furnishings. However, it might be time to haul that cherry-wood estate sale find out of storage.

“We’re seeing a lot of mahogany [and] espresso-colored furniture in living rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms,” says Oscar Bravo, a San Diego–based décorator and blogger who focuses on budget-friendly home upgrades. “It’s less of the white-painted, shabby-chic [look].”

If you ditched your teak dining table around the same time your Ugg boots started to lose their shine (those are back now, too, by the way), you can often dig up heirloom-quality furnishings on resale sites like Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, and the old-reliable Craigslist.

“I’m redoing my bathroom, and I just found a beautiful, solid-wood curio cabinet for $30,” Bravo says. “A lot of the older furniture [pieces] from the ‘50s and ‘60s have those warm wood tones that are really in style right now.”

Deb Shields Photography

Home Décor Trend:

Show Off Your Eclectic Side

“Homeowners are tired of generic interiors that look like they were styled for a social media post,” says Esteban Lopez, chief creative officer at Old Town’s Esteban Interiors. “People are wanting home design that conveys their personal story.”

Eclectic spaces are trending, giving DIY décorators the opportunity to buck old rules about consistent design styles and matchy-matchy finishes in favor of embracing whatever brings them joy. Varnish your kitchen island with your favorite color, or hit local art fairs and maker’s markets to discover one-of-a-kind pieces from hometown painters, ceramicists, and artisans.

Verruto points out that traveling can be an excellent way to slowly build a collection of homewares that hold personal memories. “I’ve had [clients] pick up a rug in Turkey, then use it in their kitchen and think of that trip every day,” she says.

And, while a chabudai table from Japan may not fit in your suitcase, you can still draw inspiration from past adventures when searching for new décor. “Maybe Tahiti is [your] favorite place on earth,” Verruto says as an example. “[You] can order a huge print from Tahiti on art.com and have it framed.”

Oscar Bravo Home green accents

Home Décor Trend:

All Green Everything

“The color green is super, super in style right now,” Bravo says. “All shades of green: olive, emerald, hunter, sage.”

Especially appealing to outdoorsy San Diegans, verdant accents reflect nature, injecting extra oxygen into interior spaces (literally) when green décor comes in the form of live plants. “Statement plants are here to stay, but the fiddle leaf fig is overused,” Lopez says. “Instead, aim your sights toward the black olive. [It’s] become the darling of designers and stylists.”

Folks who bring doom even to the most resilient houseplants can turn to throw pillows or framed art for emerald adornments that require zero watering. Bravo suggests switching artwork out on the cheap with downloadable prints from Etsy.

Search the site for high-res JPGs in your preferred shade and style and shell out a few dollars to download them. Then order poster-sized prints from Walgreens for less than $20. “Get an inexpensive frame and put it on your wall,” Bravo says. “You can incorporate color within a day or two.”

M. Swabb Interior Design

Home Décor Trend:

Hidden in Plain Sight

Ever watch a celebrity home tour on YouTube and wonder, “Where’s all their stuff?” The answer is often, “In the walls.” Many contemporary homes maximize storage space with built-in cabinets and shelving, not only in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms, but also in living rooms and bedrooms, where permanent bookshelves might flank the television and drawers may hide beneath window nooks.

Painted in neutral tones and ornamented with the simplest possible hardware, the built-ins typically disappear, but designers might also use bold lighting or statement colors to draw attention to cupboards and make them part of the décor.

If you’re not ready to replace your gallery wall with 70 square feet of immovable shelving, North Park–based designer Maegan Swabb recommends investing in furniture that comes equipped with hidden storage. “There are nice benches or banquettes with storage in them that you can use in your dining space,” Swabb says. Bed frames, too, might have cubbies and drawers for kids’ toys or linens, and some even bear bookcase headboards for easy access to bedtime reads.

Deb Shields Photography, yellow wallpaper

Home Décor Trend:

Pretty in Pastels

Perhaps struck by beige fatigue after the endless off-white walls that surrounded us in the ‘90s and aughts, designers and homeowners spent the 2010s making real life resemble an Old Hollywood movie with paint, furniture, and textiles in every shade of gray. According to Harrison-McAllister, on-trend homeowners are now ditching pewter and dove in favor of equally soft pastels, including lavender, avocado, Champagne pink, and butter yellow.

The muted hues function like neutrals, adding visual interest without clashing with other colors or patterns in the room. “If you have a green sofa and you add a graphic pastel print, it’s still going to go,” Harrison-McAllister says.

Bringing pastel into your home can be as low-commitment as a vase of pale pink carnations. But if you want a larger-scale refresh (without losing your security deposit), Harrison-McAllister recommends investing in a roll of peel-and-stick wallpaper. Start small, giving your bathroom a single accent wall or papering behind your headboard in the bedroom.

Or grab a ladder and transform your view above. “Our firm likes exploring the [fifth] wall, ceilings,” Lopez says. “Adding wall covering can make a great impact.”