The Top Residential and Commercial Design Trends of 2023 So Far

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We’re almost halfway through 2023, and already a wide range of trends are dominating both residential and commercial design. Whereas 2022 was focused on sophisticated shapes and muted color palettes, this new year in design is looking to the past for bold inspiration.

But, as in many aspects of the construction industry, concern for the future is also shaping trends, and sustainability continues to be a key factor in both residential and commercial design decisions. Finally, as people return to office spaces and hosting others in their homes, large entertaining spaces that merge indoor-outdoor living are proving a key focus in new builds. Read on for four top residential and commercial design trends in 2023 so far.

Environmentally Conscious Design

While sustainability has been a continuous focus in the construction industry for many years now, new (and cost efficient) developments emerge each year that make environmentally conscious design even more attainable throughout the industry. Additionally, as new state and federal regulations are set that impose stricter environmental standards on builds, designs adapt to meet these standards while still pleasing the eye.

In 2023 so far, both residential and commercial buildings have strongly focused on implementing energy efficient lighting. From swapping to LEDs to designing buildings to harness natural light, there are a number of ways to prioritize lighting in new builds. This not only reduces a building’s carbon footprint, but saves on electric bills, too!

It’s not just lighting that’s the focus of the “green” trend. Building exteriors and interior furnishings created from recyclable materials are huge in 2023. Architects and contractors are working together to reuse site materials so that less waste is created, for instance, and entire furniture lines are being produced solely from recyclable materials!

The Return of Maximalism

A standout trend of 2023 so far is the return of maximalism. Whereas 2022 was the year of muted colors and calm spaces, this year marks the return to bold color palettes and strong geometry. Splashes of berry red, emerald green, and royal blue are at home in commercial and residential buildings alike, and triangle cutouts or huge curved walls are meant to be the centerpiece of entire rooms.

In many ways, these eye-catching design trends are drawing inspiration from the 1970s and 1980s. The stark asymmetry of the Memphis school of design is having a resurgence, with many architects and designers eager to play with color and shape again after several years of quiet, unobtrusive design. After all, shouldn’t a return to the office, or a basic hallway, be a little bit fun?

Mixed Materials

Another key trend of 2023 is the use of mixed materials. This trend also relates to sustainability, as contractors and designers are often cutting down on transportation costs by using materials sourced from the area in which they’re working. This is also a way to show respect to the surrounding geography — rather than flying in Italian marble, for instance, you can help the local economy by using granite sourced nearby.

Displaying materials still in their “raw” form, or allowing materials to exist alongside one another in unusual ways, is a key trend in 2023. Tile alongside wood, or woven fabric alongside stone, offers a distinctly human touch that many are craving after several years of isolation. These distinctly tactile elements are proudly on display in both residential and commercial designs, to enhance connection with every aspect of a build.

Blurring the Line Between Inside and Outside

Finally, a key trend of 2023 is indoor/outdoor living. During the COVID-19 pandemic, as people were confined to their homes, there was never a stronger desire for access to green, natural spaces. Now, architects and contractors are making those dreams a reality in both residential and commercial buildings by allowing plenty of nature to seep into traditional builds.

Large sliding glass doors can quickly open an entire wall of a room to a backyard, for instance, or skylights throughout a large space can give extra daylight. Decks and other outdoor entertaining spaces are also a priority, especially for workplaces hoping to build company culture again now that employees are returning to office. Whether allowing access to quiet, solo time with nature, or creating an outdoor gathering space for a community, designers are increasingly blurring the line between “inside” and “outside.”