“The trends that stand out for me are a lot more emotionally based than they are aesthetic,” says HighCraft General Manager of Design Kira Koldeway.
“We have all lived through an extremely trying time, and it has taken a toll on our hearts, minds, and bodies. When it comes to interior design, I see people craving comfort and a sense of safety in 2023.
Places to Gather
“I see homeowners really focusing on friends and family in a big way,” Kira says.
After too much together time in 2020, homeowners were desperate for privacy, closed-door offices and “away rooms” in 2021 and 2022. Now the pendulum is swinging back toward shared spaces in 2023.
“We’re seeing more and more clients asking us to create spaces where they can gather to celebrate, play games, snuggle, and just spend time together in the same shared space.”
Examples of sought-after shared spaces include eat-in kitchens with oversized islands, large game rooms with open layouts, and spacious outdoor living spaces with oversized furniture, fire features and hot tubs.
“We are seeing a lot more communal seating, like shared benches and built-in banquettes in the dining room and kitchen,” Kira says.
Explore photos of the kitchen shown above in “Second Story Pop Top: Part 8, FINAL REVEAL”
“We are currently building a custom bunkroom that can sleep five guests,” Kira added (shown in the rendering above).
Catch up on this custom home’s progress in our blog series “Home on the Range.” You can read the latest post HERE.
Craving Warmth and Optimism
Color trends have been a roller coaster ride over the last three years. In 2020, moody shades of deep blue dominated paint and kitchen cabinetry. In 2021, the sunny warmth of friendly yellow was forecasted to reign supreme. In 2022, industry experts favored calming, cool hues of blues and greens again.
Industry experts, including top paint manufacturers, announced their “Color of the Year” picks for 2023. Nearly all skew toward warm colors, especially vibrant red tones.
Pantone Color Institute, the international authority on color trends, announced Viva Magenta as their 2023 color of the year. As in past years, Pantone has selected the boldest of the industry’s top picks. According to Pantone, the unconventional red hue “… vibrates with vim and vigor. It is a shade rooted in nature descending from the red family and expressive of a new signal of strength. Viva Magenta is brave and fearless, and a pulsating color whose exuberance promotes a joyous and optimistic celebration, writing a new narrative.”
“The Pantone color of the year is very fun and bold,” says HighCraft Interior Designer Danette Handyside, “but I have a hard time seeing it being used too often with architectural finishes, especially in Colorado. Maybe as a statement door, or in soft goods with interiors – like furnishings, pillows, rugs, other décor – and even clothing.”
HighCraft Design Manager Jill Sanchez agrees.
“When it comes to interior finishes in the red family, we are bigger fans of Redend Point,” says Jill, pointing to the Sherwin Williams 2023 color of the year. Sherwin Williams describes their 2023 top paint pick as “minimal yet cozy” creating a “comforting backdrop for the everyday moments that matter.”
“Redend Point is softer than Viva Magenta,” Jill adds, “and seems like a nice neutral that could be used as a paint color on the walls or on cabinetry.”
Raspberry Blush, Benjamin Moore’s 2023 color of the year, is another stand-out saturated red. The paint manufacturer says, “A vivacious shade of coral tinged with pink, Raspberry Blush enlivens the senses with electric optimism.”
“Raspberry Blush goes along the lines of Pantone’s color for me,” says Jill. “In my eyes, it’s pretty bold for Northern Colorado. Like Danette said about Viva Magenta, I think Raspberry Blush is fun when integrated as the soft goods in a room, like furniture and accessories. Or used sparingly as an accent wall for a pop of color.”
Bucking the trend to embrace red, Behr announced Blank Canvas as its 2023 color of the year because it “renews every room in the home.”
“I think Behr’s Blank Canvas is on-point for a neutral,” Jill says. “It adds a little warmth to walls, but it’s a breakaway from the starkly clean white we’ve seen in years past.”
Danette agrees. “We’re moving away from the bright and crisp white and gray colors that have been so popular the past few years, toward warmer and natural colors with paint, cabinetry, countertops and other architectural finishes.”
Learn how different colors can affect emotion and mood in “The Meaning of Color in Your Home”
In addition to warmer paint and tile colors, Kira says people are craving physical warmth. “We’re seeing more in-floor heating, towel warmers, upgraded water heaters for unlimited hot water, and instant hot water dispensers at the kitchen sink for tea and warm drinks.”
Check out photos of the updated kitchen (shown above), powder bathroom, mudroom, living room, dining room and foyer in “Mountain Avenue Remodel”
When selecting interior finishes in 2023, Jill admits that red is cropping up everywhere. “Different materials, not just paint, are leaning toward the color red,” she says. “We’re seeing it in tiles, even some metal finishes.”
Jill points to Kohler’s Purist® sink faucet in a Vibrante Rose Gold finish (above) as a good example.
Health and Wellbeing Spaces
“A big focus in design this year is establishing the home as a sanctuary and safe haven,” Kira says.
HighCraft’s design-build team has seen a huge surge in health and wellbeing spaces, including home gyms, reading rooms, float rooms, meditation spaces (shown above), sun rooms, and yoga areas. “We’re even building safe rooms for physical security and protection,” she adds.
Slate and Travertine Looks
“We’ve had several material vendors come in and show us their new releases over the past few months, and we are seeing lots of slate and travertine looks for tile in 2023,” Danette says.
“The real/natural stone materials have been popular for several years,” she says, “but the new trend we’re seeing is more slate and travertine looks replicated in porcelain, ceramic, and even luxury vinyl tile (LVT) to help with price point and also maintenance.”
Matte and Honed Finishes
Back in 2021, our designers predicted that matte and honed finishes would really take off in coming years. Did their prediction ring true?
“We’re seeing lots of matte and honed finishes that incorporate texture and the look and feel of natural materials,” Danette confirms. “This seems to be getting very popular with countertops especially, and even tile products.”
“I think this is my favorite trend,” Danette adds about the natural feel of matte and honed tiles and countertops (shown above). “The look and texture of natural materials is so beautiful and timeless. It’s perfect for the Northern Colorado area.”
“This trend is really starting to hit Northern Colorado in full swing,” Jill adds. “Many of our clients prefer matte tiles for backsplashes. And the quartz countertop manufacturers are coming out with more and more options for honed finishes, including leathered textures and satin surfaces with a velvety feel.”
While laminate cabinetry is not new, it is rapidly growing in popularity and is predicted to go mainstream in 2023.
More people are asking for textured melamine, an engineered laminate used in home cabinetry. Melamine has gotten an undeserved bad rap over the years – mostly because it’s a cost-effective material, and the terms “cost-effective” and “affordable” are often associated with low durability and performance. With melamine, nothing could be further from the truth.
“The product has come a long way, and its realistic grain and texture can be really beautiful,” Danette says. “Manufacturers are making more door styles than in the past to give people even more finish options. The finish is durable, easily cleaned, and spans lots of different design styles.”
“Jill designed a gorgeous kitchen near Horsetooth Reservoir in a neutral melamine laminate,” Kira adds.
Read more about this kitchen remodel and its textured laminate cabinetry in “Modern Melamine Kitchen”
“Even in these digital times, world-wide trends – like laminate cabinetry – can sometimes take a while to arrive in Northern Colorado,” Jill says. “Laminate cabinetry is finally catching on here. I love the consistency and look of the finished product, and so do our clients. It’s not just a flat, printed image on a cabinet door front. Like Danette says, it has beautiful grain patterns and three-dimensional texture.”
“People are learning about the versatility and durability of laminate cabinetry for kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, wet bars, walk-in closets, and so much more,” Jill says. “I expect laminate cabinetry to really take off in 2023.”
Extra-Large Format Tiles
A large format tile is a wall or floor tile that exceeds the average 12-inch by 12-inch dimension. HighCraft has been installing large format tiles for several years now, but we’re preparing to see extra-large format tiles in 2023.
“Everyone is really loving the larger sizes that are becoming available,” says Danette. Beyond the 24-inch by 24-inch, and 24-inch by 48-inch tiles, much larger dimensions will hit the market in 2023.
“The larger tiles create a more modern, seamless look,” Danette adds
“There’s definitely a big shift toward large format tiles,” Jill agrees. “Clients are leaning toward shower surrounds that have fewer grout lines, but still have the look and feel of a tiled shower. I have several upcoming projects in 2023 where we’re installing extra-large format tiles in the shower.”
How big can these large format tiles get? The Italian porcelain tile company, Florim, makes the oversized “Magnum” tile that measures more than 62 inches by 125 inches. That’s a single piece of residential porcelain tile that is over five feet wide and ten feet tall!
New Uses for Tape Lighting
“LED tape lighting is huge right now,” Jill says. “I know it’s been around for a few years, but the big trend we’re seeing is the new, creative way in which tape lighting is being used in design.”
“In a recent custom home project, we used tape lighting as toe-kick and under-shelf lighting for the kitchen and wet bar.”
“We also used it underneath the handrail to illuminate the stairs to the second floor.”
“And we installed it above the lower shelf of the floating vanity in the master bathroom.”
Explore photos of this custom home in the blog series “Mid-Century Mountain Home: Part 6, FINAL REVEAL”
“LED tape lighting is an awesome way to provide light in a minimal fixture look. It’s bendable so it can go around curves,” says Jill. “It’s being integrated into modern light fixtures where you don’t want to see bulbs.”
“It’s also being used within clothing rods to illuminate closets,” she adds.
“We’re also seeing more and more city codes mandating ‘dark sky’ compliant exterior light fixtures,” says Jill. “Dark-sky friendly exterior lighting should point down, not out and up, to limit light pollution. LED tape lighting is a great way to light outdoor stairs, railings and seating areas and meet the requirements of these new city codes. I expect to see many more creative uses of versatile LED tape lighting in 2023.”
Whether you build new construction, or remodel what you have, HighCraft’s experienced design-build team is here to help with your project, large or small. Contact HighCraft with questions or to schedule a free consultation.