We Asked 131 Designers About 2024’s Biggest Home Trends, and Their Predictions Were Spot On

published Dec 6, 2023
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As another year wraps up, the time feels right to reflect on the past 12 months — and look ahead to what the new year has in store. And when it comes to home design, the future is looking bright. While many people aren’t spending quite as much time within their own four walls as in the past couple of years, one thing remains certain: Homes, at their best, are havens — places not only to process all that is happening in the outside world, but also to retreat inward for rest and respite. It may come as no surprise, then, that results from our fourth annual designer survey find that “cozy” is one of several words that will describe home design in 2024 — and aesthetics are shifting into darker, moodier territories.

Even as “new” neutrals like chocolate browns, eggplants, and forest greens creep into color palettes, old standbys like beige and blue are also coming back into fashion, as maximalism and minimalism both continue to gain traction.

The 131 interior designers we surveyed for Apartment Therapy’s annual State of Home Design report reflected on a multitude of topics, from emerging decorating styles and specific materials you can expect to see everywhere in 2024, to their own favorite resources for inspiration. It’s indisputably clear that personalized, more expressive touches will reign supreme, regardless of whether people own their homes or rent them.

Meanwhile, white cabinetry and stainless steel appliances are losing their stronghold in the kitchen; prepare to see people taking more risks with color while incorporating practical performance fabrics and smart storage solutions. And all of those natural touches imbuing interiors for the past few years? Expect a continued embrace of biophilic design elements.

There’s so much more, though, so let’s embark on a journey of going through this year’s designer survey results, which are divided up by section below for ease.

Classic Parisian Design Is on the Rise

Designers expect styles including warm minimalism, maximalism, and mid-century modern to stick around into 2024, although MCM has waned a bit in its popularity among the pros since last year. 

Another aesthetic making waves is classic Parisian design, which many cited as an emerging design style last year, as well. The good news is that you can achieve the quintessential Parisian look whether you live in Europe or not — and whether you own or rent your home. If you’re a renter, add a faux mantel or removable picture frame molding to your space to fake architectural interest, and bring in an oversized, ornate mirror or two for a touch of gilded elegance. With these elements, you’ll be well on your way to emulating some of the most popular features in the City of Lights’ interiors.

Neutral colors and finishes also anchor many classic Parisian spaces. That said, the concept of what defines a neutral may be changing, says designer Catasha Singleton of Modchic Interiors. “If a color sticks around long enough, it will be a neutral contender, being produced in shades and materials that can complement most other colors,” the Houston, Texas-based designer notes. 

English Country Style Is Getting Big, and Biophilic Design Will Continue to Spike

Vintage shopping became more popular than ever during the pandemic, both because it circumvented supply chain issues and because it adds something special and one-of-a-kind (not to mention sustainable) to spaces. Designers believe their clients will continue to want storied secondhand pieces in their homes, and perhaps that’s why a new-old design style is coming to the forefront again: English country. Picture lived-in, cozy-looking rooms filled to the brim with artful mixes of patterns, antiques alongside a few modern touches, scalloped trimmings, table lamps with funky fabric shades, and shelves overflowing with books. 

Given that many people want living spaces that are “cozy, inviting, and safe,” according to designer Dorothy McGhee of McGhee Studios in Atlanta, the appeal of this eclectic aesthetic extends far beyond the reach of England. “People want their homes to be a refuge,” and that’s exactly how this charming style speaks to those who adopt it.

The characteristic generous sofas packed with pillows look like they’re made for sinking into, the florals and collections of ephemera associated with the style bring joy, and nothing has to match perfectly; and yet, everything still looks like it all goes together and has been there forever. And although this style isn’t exactly an unabashed expression of maximalism, it’s certainly closer to more is more than minimalist. This may play into its resurgence in 2024, too.

Credit: Design: Apartment Therapy

Speaking of the scallop, designers are predicting this silhouette will be everywhere next year, alongside more curved and rounded shapes. These gently undulating forms are equal parts comfort and sophistication and perhaps speak to the return of refinement in a post-COVID world, where homes are increasingly public again and open for entertaining.

Credit: Design: Apartment Therapy

The English country aesthetic is also known for incorporating darker, moodier hues, including forest greens and navy blues — shades that have been rising in popularity over the past 12 months and show no signs of slowing down. As designer Alicia Hassen of Brooklinteriors in Austin, Texas, says, “Clients are excited to play with warmer and deeper colors. This creates a beautiful, saturated design that evokes warmth and comfort.”

Los Angeles-based designer Orlando Soria expresses similar sentiments. “After years and years of light and bright interiors, a lot of designers and clients seem to be finding themselves attracted to darker hues,” he says. “Saturated wall colors, richly colored upholstery, and darker stone and wood finishes will help provide some of this visual drama.”

Some of the hues designers expect to see everywhere come 2024 are camels and beiges (61%), chocolate brown (57%), burgundy (56%), and forest green (49%). So on the whole, palettes are continuing to warm up with the exception of one favorite hue: blue.

Most of the above-mentioned hues are found in nature — leaves, sand, grass, stone, sky — which reflects a continued interest in biophilic design for 2024. “These colors help to establish a stronger connection between the interior environment and the natural world,” says New York City-based designer Mina Lisanin. Adds designer Amy Vroom of The Residency Bureau in Seattle, Washington, “I do see a move toward warmer neutrals and a more organic color palette.” Although it’s no substitute for spending time in the great outdoors, these colors are perfect for cocooning at home.

Credit: Photo: Pottery Barn, Shutterstock; Design: Apartment Therapy

Layering Textured Touches Is Minimalism’s Answer to Pattern Play

Designers are dialing up the drama with fabrics and materials, but in a way that channels quiet luxury, versus over-the-top opulence. Expect warm-colored marbles to emerge as one of the top materials in 2024 for everything from counters and furniture to fixtures like sinks, bathtubs, and lighting. Stone colorways are softening and becoming earthier (think: burnt siennas and almost-aubergines) and veining is getting bigger, bolder, and more pronounced — especially in the large-format stone slabs being used for tabletops, shower surrounds, backsplashes, and floors.

Other materials the pros say will increase in popularity include cerused wood and wrought iron — two substances with highly textured surfaces. As for building materials about to hit it big, look for an influx of rich, colorful tiles and ultra-matte wood floors. 

Credit: Photos: Getty Images and Shutterstock; Design:Apartment Therapy

When it comes to textiles, performance fabrics are designers’ top pick for the third year in a row. People want their upholstered pieces to be practical and durable, and a slew of advanced fabric treatments and manufacturing techniques means you can have that luxe-looking mohair, linen, or velvet fabric without worrying about its upkeep.

That said, 52% of designers see tapestry-style fabrics and wall hangings gaining additional traction in 2024, followed by graphic florals and geometrics. Patterns will be all over the board, from verdure botanical motifs to high-contrast checkerboards. 

Credit: Photo: Amber Thrane; Design:Apartment Therapy

Things Are Getting Personal at Home

Designers are hedging their bets on receiving plenty of requests for cozy spaces in 2024. Other words the pros are using to describe home design for next year: “vintage,” “personalized,” and “maximalism.” These all indicate a greater desire for homes to feel more lived-in and expressive of those who live there. “Design will be heavy on materiality: layering stones with textiles, different furniture pieces in varying silhouettes, and lots of vintage pieces, which will make spaces feel collected rather than ‘catalog-perfect,’” says designer Cathie Hong of Cathie Hong Interiors in Los Gatos, California.

Surveyed designers also weighed in on these vintage items that they say will be big next year: lighting (specifically vintage lighting fixtures, lamps, chandeliers, and beyond), mirrors (antique mirrors and new mirrors in old frames), glassware (vintage glassware and glass vessels are expected to be sought after, especially for table settings and for display purposes), and art and artwork (vintage artwork, frames, and collectible art pieces are mentioned as potential design elements that could become popular in 2024). These elements can all add a sense of story and patina to a home, making it feel unique. 

If you’re looking to up your secondhand shopping game in 2024, you’ll want to remember these pro tips. For one, visit your favorite thrift and antique stores frequently. “Go and go often!” says designer Michelle Fahmy of Haus of Meeshie in Los Angeles, California. “It’s how we have the best luck.” And while you’re at a secondhand store or flea market, don’t rush yourself (unless you frequently stop at a particular haunt and you know the inventory well). “Take the time to dig through those stacks and stacks of art leaning against the wall or tucked in the corner,” urges designer Tera Janelle of Tera Janelle Design in Lynchburg, Virginia. “There are treasures to be found.”

With that being said, patience is also paramount. “The best finds often take time and effort to uncover, so don’t feel discouraged if you don’t find anything right away,” notes designer Sarah McCarty of Sarah McCarty Interiors in Northern Virginia, who is partial to colorful coffee table books and vintage chinoiserie pieces when vintage shopping. Designers encourage sourcing these kinds of pieces in person, but if you want to take advantage of online auction sites or resale marketplaces, do so like a pro. “Set up alerts for your favorite designers,” encourages designer Noz Nozawa of Noz Design in San Francisco, California. 

Naturally, individual and family lifestyles play a role in how many want to furnish their spaces, too. “I see my clients really value highly personalized spaces that discard ‘rules’ and historical expectations around their home and instead focus on making their home work best for the people who inhabit it,” explains designer Mary Kathryn Wells of Mary Kathryn Wells Interior Design in Nashville. Maximalist spaces are often seen as highly personal, and Lisanin predicts this aesthetic to “make a statement” in 2024. She adds: “Phrases like ‘eclectic decor,’ ‘bold colors,’ and ‘artistic interiors’ will be used to describe vibrant and expressive design choices.” 

Color in the Kitchen Is Encouraged

Whether or not you’re a die-hard maximalist, don’t forget to pay attention to your kitchen and kick up the vibrance a notch or two. That’s what designers are doing in their professional projects these days, and it’ll pay dividends in terms of how much joy the heart of your home can bring you. Specifically, non-white cabinetry and bolder appliances and countertop choices are two of the trends designers see making a major comeback. Shades of red and purple are among the next big colors for kitchens, Singleton says, which feels like a pointed departure from the greens, grays, and greiges that have dominated alongside white the past few years. If you prefer something slightly unexpected but more muted, opt for light blue cabinetry.

“It’s a little coastal, English, traditional, and timeless,” says designer Paige Garland of Paige Garland Interior Design in Chicago. “It’s adventurous without being too bold, so it’s a comfortable color that will fit a lot of different homes and client’s tastes.” 

If you can’t imagine straying from neutrals in the kitchen, you still have plenty of options. Natural wood tones, for one, are full of warmth and coming on strong again in the kitchen, says designer Kelcey Huff of Waterlily Interiors in Bethesda, Maryland. Don’t be afraid to mix light and dark stains and various textures, she says. Other colors will also be relevant again, too; in fact, brown is likely to be a leading new neutral in 2024 in the kitchen and beyond. “I think chocolate hues will be more prominent in cabinetry,” says designer Liza Nicole Angelucci of Liza Nicole Interiors in Wilmington, Delaware. “Browns with purple undertones, gray undertones, or beige undertones can stand the test of time while still giving some mood where wanted.” 

Credit: Design: Apartment Therapy

You Can Embrace Trends on a Budget 

If reading about next year’s trends has you itching to transform your home from top to bottom, you can make small changes within your space for $50 here and there to refresh your surroundings. For example, consider sourcing lightbulbs in the same Kelvin number for all of the rooms of your house; doing so will make a major difference in how your space appears.

“I see so many houses with different color light bulbs,” says designer Julieta Alvarez of Julieta Alvarez Interiors in Montclair, New Jersey. “One room is a hospital, while another one is sunset.” Rectifying this inconsistency in your lighting can make your home feel more cohesive on the whole, and the pros recommend 2700 K as a baseline for a welcoming glow. Start small and go room by room, if you can’t make the investment for new bulbs throughout your home all at once. 

Another designer-approved hack for brightening up your home is purchasing plants and flowers. If buying a new bouquet seems like too much effort (or simply isn’t in the budget), going the artificial route is fine. Whether decorating with fresh or faux, “adding a little bit of greenery to a room can make it feel so much fresher,” says designer Barbara Brosnan of Barbara Brosnan Interiors in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.

One additional decorating project that doesn’t have to always break the bank? Replacing dated or worn drapes with linen floor-to-ceiling curtains, a favorite of designer Kevin O’Gara’s. “They soften the space and add visual interest,” says the founder of Kevin Francis Design in Atlanta. “I also love using curtains to hide poor architectural decisions!” 

There Are Key Splurges to Prioritize

On the other hand, if you’ve been saving and aren’t sure how to spend your home decor nest egg, designers are here to help. Many professionals will agree that quality lighting makes a major impact in any room. Designer Rashida Banks says it best: “Beautiful lighting throughout your home is jewelry to any space. It’s not only visually appealing, but it also sets the mood of the space during certain times of the day.”

Take that as your sign that you can’t go wrong splurging on a statement light fixture if you truly love it. Don’t be afraid to go big, and if you want to really up the shimmer or sparkle factor that good lighting can introduce into a room, consider metallic finishes or glass chandeliers.

Designers also suggest springing for mid- to large-scale artwork, if you can. “These pieces don’t have to be collector items, per se, but they will last you a lifetime and completely transform the look and feel of your space,” Hassen says.

Finally, a great sofa is worth every penny, according to the pool of surveyed designers. “We spend a lot of time on it, and we need something comfortable and livable that stands the test of time,” says designer Anais Chaumien of Design by Anais in Brooklyn, New York. 

Credit: Photo: Delbarr Moradi; Design: Apartment Therapy

It’s Time to Say Goodbye to Shiplap, Neutrals, and More

Each new year brings with it the opportunity to start fresh and part ways with relationships, commitments — and, yes, even design styles and elements — that no longer serve you. Designers weighed in on the looks they can’t wait to leave behind in 2023, and many advised leaving behind flash-in-the-pan trendy pieces and features that have become overused, such as modern farmhouse-eque shiplap wallcoverings. Designer Maggie Stephens of Maggie Stephens Interiors in Seattle urges people to say goodbye to “anything they bought just because it’s trendy.” She adds, “If you don’t love it, then skip it. Authentic design is very 2024.” 

Other pros are eager to bid farewell to neutrals, particularly various shades of gray and bland beiges versus the complex, warmer ones. They emphasize the importance of embracing bolder and more vibrant colors in home design. Brosnan puts it simply: “There are so many amazing fabrics out there — let’s stop picking beige!” 

And if you’re unsure how to start 2024 off on the right foot at home, consider taking some time to declutter and donate items that no longer speak to your aesthetic. Respondents were all about cutting excess clutter going into 2024. One person’s clutter may be another’s treasure, though, and if you truly love something that’s super-trendy or deemed overused, you should still go for it. It’s your home, after all. 

Clients Are Seeking Color, Privacy, and Storage

Designers have already begun the projects they’ll be installing in 2024, and many are seeing an increased desire for color and pattern. Clients are seeking some drama in their design choices by moving away from the all-white or all-neutral-everything color palettes; they’re asking for bolder, more vibrant elements in their palettes and design schemes. 

Designers are also seeing an increased focus on privacy within homes — even ones shared by couples and families. To that end, many people are embracing the closed floor plan, even as people are hosting again, post-COVID-19. “I think a lot of my clients have tried the open-concept thing and realized quickly how this style results in a lot of noise pollution and a general lack of privacy,” notes designer Kate Figler of Kate Figler Interiors in Nashville.

While totally open-concept floor plans are a no-no for many, people are craving more openness between the indoors and out. “Clients are looking for their outdoor spaces to be an extension of their indoors,” explains designer Chrissy Jones of Twenty-Eighth Design Studio in Riverside, California, which marks a little bit of a reversal from the start of the pandemic, where people were bringing the outdoors in as much as possible. And in regions that experience all four seasons, clients are enhancing their outdoor spaces to be usable year-round. This includes adding heating elements, screens, and other climate-control features for comfort during colder months.

As for outdoor entertaining, clients are prioritizing entertainment features, such as outdoor kitchens, fire pits, and even home theaters with comfortable seating areas. Outdoor entertaining and lounge spaces are one of the positive lingering effects of the pandemic, says designer Melissa Mahoney of Melissa Mahoney Design House in Chicago. “I see people investing in covered seating areas and soft seating much more willingly — even in four-season climates,” she says. 

While designers are eager to see their clients pare down, they also understand storage is a necessity. Survey results indicate that effective, thoughtful, and stylish storage solutions are in demand, and there’s a growing interest in spending on home renovations again, particularly in areas like kitchens and bathrooms. People are investing in making their current homes more suitable for their needs, and that includes adding practical built-ins and making swaps for pieces that either provide hiding spots for all their odds and ends or put prized pieces on display. 

Credit: Design: Apartment Therapy

Inspiration Can Be Found in So Many Places 

For many designers, travel fuels their creativity. “Travel is for design inspiration — always,” says designer Laura Umansky of Laura U Design Collective in Houston, Texas. ”Getting lost in a city or countryside is my source.” 

Discoveries made close to home can be inspiring as well. Designers talk about visiting art galleries, observing artwork in museums, and being influenced by artistic elements in their own peers’ or predecessors’ design work. “I find art very inspiring and will often choose it first before anything else in a room,” McCarty says. “My design revolves around it.”

Pay a visit to a local historical home, or flip through a vintage interior design book for additional inspo. “I try to always look to history for inspiration,” says designer Laura Jenkins of Laura W. Jenkins Interiors in Atlanta. “The decorative arts, art, and historic interiors are a great place to start, especially if you are working on a home with context. I also love to use vintage furniture as inspiration for custom millwork.” 

You don’t have to leave your block, town, or city to expand your design horizons, either. Nature is a common source of inspiration as well; for example, respondents often mention the colors, organic shapes, and textures found in the natural world as fodder for their project moodboards. Parks, woods, beaches, and outdoor settings provide a rich palette of inspiration. “Recently, I’ve strolled through public parks, beaches, gardens, and wooded areas,” says designer Marilyn LaVergne of Marilyn LaVergne Interior Design in Montclair, New Jersey. “I return with color combinations that are fresh and intriguing. As seasons change, my color stories become richer and more complex — but always approachable.” 

Fashion and interior design go hand in hand, so pros are looking to the runway — or just their favorite retailers — frequently, too. “Whether it’s a subtle cashmere stripe at a suit shop or a fantastical display in the window at Bergdorf’s, half an hour of window shopping in New York often does the trick when I’m feeling uninspired,” says New York City-based designer Tara McCauley

Credit: Photos: Erin Derby, piranka/Getty Images ;Design:Apartment Therapy
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Last, but Not Least: This or That 

Who doesn’t love a rapid-fire “this or that” round? We asked designers to choose between two finishes, looks, or trends (i.e., dark wood versus light wood) and share which is likely to be more popular next year (this year, dark woods took the lead — a change from last year!).

A few other especially interesting findings to note: Maximalist style won out over minimalist style (which won last year), bold shades won over neutral colors, and traditional wallpaper is preferred over peel-and-stick wallpaper. Perhaps unsurprisingly, 84% of designers prefer curtains over blinds or shades, and 96% are all about warm lighting versus cool lighting. 

Stressed about hanging up that gallery wall? Note that 79% of designers actually prefer the look of just one statement piece of art. Colorful kitchen cabinetry is significantly more popular than white cabinets at the moment, and 60% of pros are drawn to closed floor plans versus open-concept spaces, which signals the continued desire for some division and privacy. 

In Conclusion

Going into 2024, it’s clear people are eager to make their homes feel unique to them, and they won’t shy away from expressing their personal preferences through bolder color, accessories, and beyond. In doing so, don’t underestimate the impact that small, wallet-friendly upgrades can have on your day-to-day life at home. In a world where major makeovers often take center stage, it can be easy to forget that inexpensive but thoughtful tweaks can be meaningful, too. 

And keep in mind that while following trends and incorporating new design ideas and motifs into your home can be fun, your home isn’t about keeping up with your peers. Outfitting your home so it can serve as a nurturing space for you to recharge, connect with loved ones, and grow personally is what’s of the utmost importance. Cheers to more of that in 2024!