Tue. Dec 5th, 2023

Home design trends: A dramatic living room by designer Ashli Mizell / Photograph by Jason Varney

Every year, a new crop of home design trends emerges, offering up a steady stream of style that’s at once inspiring and overwhelming. To help you sort through the noise, we identified six of-the-moment looks that are here to stay, from daringly dark colors to fabulously punchy kitchens.

1. New Neutrals

Forget stark, sterile whites. A palette of rich, earthy tones mixed with warm woods and natural textures is a soft and sophisticated approach.

“Texture is a key part of making a neutral space feel layered. Consider lampshades with pleating, furniture with mixed materials, floor coverings. I’m loving mohairs, natural linens and patinaed antiques,” says Madeline Hause, founder of Northwest Philly-based Madeline Interiors.

home design

Photograph by Brian Wetzel

Shown above, Bryn Mawr’s Far Studio layered a primary bedroom with creamy texture, including a custom bed in a woven fabric, rope-wrapped hanging globes by Cuff Studio, and linen curtains.

Photograph by Jason Varney

In a Wilmington Tudor, Rittenhouse-based designer Ashli Mizell wrapped the dining room — ceiling included! — in a dusky Phillip Jeffries linen wallcovering.

And for an Andorra living room, Madeline Interiors sourced an eclectic mix of furnishings, including a French mid-century lamp, an early 20th-century birthing stool, and a hand-knotted wool rug:

home design

Photograph by Brian Wetzel

Notice a home design microtrend: A blend of Japanese and Scandinavian aesthetics, “Japandi” style — it emphasizes organic shapes and simplicity — is a fresh way to embrace minimalism.

2. Statement Stone

Designers are deploying spectacular slabs with dramatic veining and striking swirls of colors for showstopping effect.

In the Moorestown kitchen of Christina Boschetti, co-founder of Widell + Boschetti, Blue Roma quartzite forms the island and sweeps up the walls.

home design

Photograph by Brian Wetzel

“If a kitchen is too bold, use a statement stone in a powder room. Most often, we design custom-integrated vanities to mix with a bold wallpaper and fixtures,” says Boschetti.

3. Dramatic Dining Rooms

Swathed in sweeping murals, crested by next-level lighting, and highlighted by funky architectural details, dining rooms are taking center stage.

home design

Photograph by James Nathan Schroder

In this Rittenhouse dining room (above) designed by local firms Melissa + Miller Interiors and JAGR Projects, custom mirrored cabinets and a graphic rug lend a playful feel to an otherwise stately space.

Photograph by Courtney Apple

Philly-based Design Manifest transformed a Bala Cynwyd space with a custom hand-painted mural and smart callbacks to traditionalism: high-back Windsor chairs, a rich wood table, and a simple iron chandelier.

Photograph by Brian Wetzel

A Far Studio-designed dining room in Haverford radiates understated drama with a looping Apparatus light fixture, a Cotswolds-inspired wall mural by Susan Harter Muralpapers, and vintage chairs upholstered in a rich velvet.

4. Moody Colors

After years of greige, dark hues — deep aubergines, rich forest greens, inky-blue blacks — are giving walls new attitude.

“When using dark colors, I like to paint all elements of the room, including the ceiling and trim. It’s also important that there are still light elements in the space, like the window treatments or furniture,” says Brittany Hakimfar, founder of Far Studio.

home design

Photograph by Brian Wetzel

This living room by Far Studio is washed floor to ceiling in Sherwin-Williams’s Iron Ore so that artful furnishings shine: sculptural side chairs, a nubby bouclé ottoman, a sinuous sofa upholstered in a warm ochre velvet, a Visual Comfort & Co. bubble chandelier, and a wood-and-stone coffee table.

5. English Country Charm

The cozy alternative to modern glam: a warm, lived-in look with rustic materials, thoughtful collections and plenty of antiques.

“To keep the space from feeling like a time capsule, we love pairing antique pieces with something bold and modern — a light fixture with mid-century shapes, or an upholstered piece in a modern botanical,” says Nicole Cole, CEO and founder of Vestige Home. When you embrace a bit of tension in the design, your space can become beautiful in a very unexpected way.”

In Cole’s early-1900s home, wainscoting in Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter abuts a wall mural by artist Carla Weeks. A family-heirloom wood cabinet holds Cole’s collection of dishware.

home design

Photograph by Rebecca McAlpin

The primary bedroom of a New Hope colonial designed by Vestige Home features woodwork in Benjamin Moore’s Knoxville gray, a four-post wood bed, and terra-cotta linens with a ticking-stripe duvet.

home design

Photograph by Rebecca McAlpin; styled by Kristi Hunter

In a circa-1787 New Jersey farmhouse, Bryn Mawr-based Michelle Gage retained a bathroom’s original fittings — a claw-foot tub and a stained glass door panel — while updating the space with a deep eggplant color and brass fixtures.

Photograph by Brian Wetzel

Note the home design microtrend: Under-counter skirting is a simple way to layer patterns and add charm.

6. Colorful Kitchens

Designers are leaving all-white kitchens behind for punchy, still-elevated spaces imbued with personality.

“We tend to keep the supporting elements more neutral, with white, gray and black tones as well as woods. This keeps the kitchens from feeling too crazy. It’s as much about the cabinet color as it is about the materials that surround it,” says Michelle Gage, founder of Michelle Gage Interior Designs.

Gage gave a New Jersey kitchen new life with lilac cabinetry, a marble checkerboard floor, Caeserstone quartz countertops, an oak island, and unlacquered brass hardware.

Photograph by Brian Wetzel

In a Haddonfield kitchen, (Re)work Architecture and Design offset dark soapstone countertops with soft sage custom cabinetry (Benjamin Moore’s Croquet) and Pratt & Larson glazed ceramic tile.

Photograph by Rebecca McAlpin

And finally, a Washington Square West kitchen by Ashli Mizell features bold blue-green cabinetry, Calacatta gold countertops and backsplash, antique pendant lights, and custom pieces by Philly artisans: Amuneal open shelving, and BDDW counter stools.

home design

Photograph by Jason Varney


Published as “House Beautiful” in the October 2023 issue of Philadelphia magazine.


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