Top interior trends for 2023: floor art and rainbow colours

Pallavi Dean, founder and creative director of architecture and interior design studio Roar in Dubai, shares her top decor predictions for the coming year

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Let’s first establish that trends are mainly shaped by external influences.

Interior trends filter inward from many different sources, from the latest runway shows to places people travel to. Bigger-picture elements, such as inflation, oil prices and a global pandemic, can also drive the economics of what a home, restaurant or office features.

Two keywords to keep in mind when redecorating are: seamless and stylish. Here's what's likely to be on-trend yet timeless in the coming year.

Boucle fabric

Many of us are currently craving a multisensory palette. The pandemic deprived us of one of our most “human” senses: touch.

In response to that, it will become increasingly important for designers to make use of materials that bring tactility to the interior scheme and to devise spaces that provoke emotion.

Designers have a particular fondness for boucle, which is a yarn with a looped or curled ply. I have specified this fabric to upholster every single piece of furniture you can think of, for projects from hospitality to residential spaces.

Boucle has a gorgeous weave and evokes a very Chanel-esque luxury; it is trending in every home retail store across the UAE and I believe it is here to stay.

Many homeowners and design enthusiasts have put away the leather and velvet couches, and are opting for this nubby texture in their upholstery. It works best on soft, rounded forms of furniture, although throws and cushions are popular choices, too.

Floor art (previously known as rugs)

Rugs are an economical way to refresh the decor of your home. It’s amazing how one single element on the floor can pull together different pieces of furniture in a room and create a cohesive look.

This year, bid adieu to conventional circular and rectangular forms, and bring in playful, organic shapes.

Statement art is moving from the walls to the floor, and we are seeing bright and bold signature pieces as well as graphic and abstract vintage patterns in rugs. Natural textures such as sisal and jute are taking a back seat, as yearnings lean more towards luxe underfoot feels.

Bespoke joinery

This has always been a fundamental feature in most well-designed homes, but now we are seeing even those leasing homes investing in one-off pieces in a bid to bring a hospitality look-and-feel into their home.

On a more practical note, a built-to-suit piece is the best way to utilise any awkwardly shaped nooks and crannies that are often “lost” real estate.

As such, maximising every single square foot of your home is well worth the investment. This is also an effective way to create eye-grabbing features, such as a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf, a panelled wall with a built-in AV/ IT centre and headboards that touch the ceiling.

Rainbow colours

We can’t have a conversation about interior design if we don’t talk about the colour palette, and in the coming year, we are leaving the haven of neutrals and stepping into a veritable rainbow.

Safe beige, grey and white walls are on their way out, so feel free to experiment with bold hues and darker tones to add depth to your space.

Do tread with caution when you choose your shade, though, as it can affect your mood and shift perceptions about the size of your space.

WFH spaces

The pandemic might be drawing to a close, but its parting gift was the work-from-home revolution. Many continue to do so in some capacity, citing an increase in productivity, savings on commutes and much-needed downtime between meetings to exercise or indulge in other work-life balance activities.

This does mean, though, that you need to set up a permanent home office and, as such, think about creating multifunctional spaces if you are short on square footage.

Some of this will be instinctive and inevitable; for example, you will find your dining table or kitchen counter doubling up as a work desk. However, don’t be tempted to use a dining chair or bar stool; it’s crucial to invest in an ergonomic chair.

Those with a bit more space should consider converting a spare bedroom into a functional office, complete with a stellar video call backdrop, great acoustics and a sit-stand desk. Those aren’t going out of style anytime soon.

Updated: January 05, 2023, 4:00 PM