Home Design and Garden Trends to Love in 2023
By Charlie Albone & Juliet Love
About Charlie & Juliet
Landscaper designer Charlie Albone and his interior stylist wife, Juliet Love, embrace the latest design trends over many years. Hosts of Channel 7’s Better Homes & Gardens (Charlie since 2020 as landscaping expert and Juliet from 2022 as decorating presenter) they are known for achieving beautiful and practical designs – both inside and out.
It is going to be a big year for design! After the past few years of global crises, including the pandemic, extreme weather events, and even war, the focus in 2023 is on making our homes and gardens into sanctuaries.
While making our homes as gorgeous as possible, our designs over the coming year will also reflect these emerging personal and worldwide concerns, as well as the rising cost of living. This re-focus is exciting in that it means that we can pivot to new looks and cutting-edge innovations to make our homes and gardens better and better.
Cosy up to a return to natural materials, rich colours, quality Australian-made furniture – all with an eco-element.
Ask most designers these days what is at the top of their list of priorities when making decisions, and nine times out of ten the answer will involve the environment. Making a positive impact through ecological choices in materials and fabrication has become de rigueur. We find ourselves in a swirl of climate change talk, manifesting as a move away from the mass produced, and towards unique, refined items that will stand the test of time and won’t be discarded like the disposable flat packs of the past couple of generations.
This makes for a much more interesting interior look, less like a furniture store showroom, and more like a curated, considered and artistic European home. Think one-of-a-kind antique finds, second-hand treasures, artisan-made items, Australian-made furniture and upcycled pieces and you’ll be on the money.
Marble with strong veining, interesting colour, and dramatic natural qualities will provide the drama needed by most interior environments to create that elusive wow factor. Stripping synthetic looks back to the natural form is what is on trend now and will be into the future.
We’ll see this focus on hyper-texturality in other natural materials too, such as timber and other stones. Anything with a high contrast grain like quartzite, granite, travertine, or limestone fit into this category.
Tying in with the natural materials and sustainable theme, biophilia is a word you’ll see thrown around in the decor world a lot more. In essence, it’s making your space as sympathetic with nature and the surrounding environment as possible. Flooding natural light in through windows and glass doors, introducing masses of indoor plants, and reducing chemicals are just a few of the ways we will see this trend play out.
Far from bland and boring traditional symmetrical design, playing with size, shape and creating a deliberately off-balance look is on trend. An example of this would be oversized items such as an artwork, mirror, or lamp as a focal point in a room, juxtaposed against a small side table or chair. Part of this is creating whimsy with the unexpected, usually through furniture with a unique twist.
In terms of colour, Pantone (the global authority on colour trend forecasting) has announced the colour for 2023 as Viva Magenta, a bright, unexpected shade of crimson that is both “powerful and empowering”. It reflects our need to find fun, passion, and liveliness again after the events of the past few years. Every year when the Pantone colour is announced, it is often unusual and difficult to imagine in an interior setting, but surprisingly as the months pass, you’ll start to notice this colour, or variations of it, trickle down from highbrow galleries through to high street stores, until it’s quite simply everywhere!
As for what’s not in? Fast furniture, matchy-matchy finishes, farmhouse, and stark white walls are all on their way out.
Connect with your own backyard and embrace a more relaxed style of garden design, through low-maintenance plantings and family-friendly layouts.
The grow-your-own movement has been strong over the past few years, I certainly haven’t designed a garden in the last five years without a vegie patch and I’m so pleased to say this landscape design trend isn’t slowing down. People want to know where their food comes from, how it grows and they want their young families to benefit too.
Contemporary garden design is moving away from structured formal gardens and towards free-flowing spaces. Part of this landscape design trend is textural plantings. This encompasses foliage and floral textures, colour and shapes intermingling to create a tapestry of interest all year round. Although we have had a few wet years, there will be dry periods in the not-too-distant future so the ever-so-trendy succulent will continue to grow in popularity. With this admiration, a more diverse variety of species will be available, which will add to your textural contemporary space.
The garden is moving up in the world, especially when it comes to finishes. High-end stone, splashes of metals such as brass and copper and unique pots are all finding centre stage in the garden this year. If you’re wondering how to achieve this Iook at home, think of all the luxurious hotels you want to visit and emulate that style.
Lawn is back in a big way with the latest variety TifTuf Hybrid Bermuda taking the garden world by storm. This lawn gives a fine leaf, high-end look while being the most drought-tolerant lawn on the market, ticking both the luxe living and sustainable boxes. Gardeners are falling back in love with their lawn as it gives a bit of space from the riot of textures in the garden beds and is a wonderful space to create memories with the family.
The biggest trend in landscape design for 2023 is actually one that is happening below the ground. Gardeners are realising the importance of soil health and how a healthy well- balanced soil will yield greater harvests, bigger blooms and less use of pesticides, thus making a lower maintenance area. It all comes down to improving the soil by digging through compost (making your own is even better), well-rotted manures and finishing off your garden beds with organic mulch. By doing these simple three things your soil will hold onto moisture and nutrients for longer and your plants will love you for it.