Episode 363: Interior Design Trends for 2023 Pt. 2

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In today’s episode, we’re back with part two of the 2023 interior design trends. In addition to the trends, I’m also sharing some of my current obsessions so press play to learn more about what’s trending this year. 

This episode, we discuss…

[02:02] Design Trend #4: Dark reds 

[03:52] Design Trend #5: Velvet 

[08:33] Design Trend #6: Decorated laundry rooms

[12:32] Design Trend #7: Designing for entertainment 

[15:03] Betsy’s Favorite Trends #1: Light fixtures with crystals 

[17:51] Betsy’s Favorite Trends #2: Collections

[22:11] Betsy’s Favorite Trends #3: Art picture hangers and art wires

[02:02] Design Trend #4: Dark reds

Although I do love red, I don’t think that no room is complete without it like some other designers do. Deep reds can be dangerous when it comes to wall paint. Deep Burgundy or deep russet can be very difficult to paint effectively because you need multiple coats or paint with a very expensive good base. The other issue with deep reds is it is a color that has connotations of passion, but also of anger. It is said to increase heart rate and to incite anger in some people so you want to be very careful with intense reds.

I would prefer that if you’re going to lean into this trend. You do it in small doses. Whether it’s the upholstery in an armchair or whether it’s the drapes instead of say the wall paint or something small like even pillows. It is not something I’d be indulging in terms of big doses due to these reasons. 

[03:52] Design Trend #5: Velvet 

A trend that I’m really upset about is velvet. Velvet is everywhere. Velvet is ubiquitous. You can find it in every store. it’s not just for the Hollywood glam or those really over the top looks anymore. Now Velvet is at every store for almost every type of item be it an ottoman, sofa or sectional. The thing I don’t like about velvet is it’s often very directional so when I rub my hand along it one way I can clearly see a mark that’s left and of course when I rub it a different way there’s a different type of mark. It also tends to collect pet hair.

It’s typically pretty easy to wipe off, but it tends to be just one flat tone as well which is pretty rough for camouflaging stains.

The thing that’s making me upset about velvet these days is anytime I want to buy a colorful piece of upholstered furniture, be it that bench that I mentioned earlier or a small loveseat or an armchair – if I want something blue, if I want something yellow, if I want something green, the only fabric that it’s available in is velvet. Velvet is such an interesting textile, I mean you can tell from across the room if something is velvet so I don’t like to repeat it in a room. I like one piece to be velvet and the rest to be other types of fabrics.

[08:33] Design Trend #6: Decorated laundry rooms

if you’ve seen Pinterest lately, if you’ve been scrolling through Instagram, you’ve probably noticed a lot of people are putting wallpaper in their laundry rooms. They’re using really cool tile on the floors. They’re having fun, playful backsplashes, they might even be putting a bright color on the ceiling or even wallpaper on the ceiling. I think this is lots of fun, especially if you have a sizable laundry room or a laundry room that’s in a conspicuous space like near an entryway right? 

Where I think it goes wrong is when your laundry room is too small or very utilitarian and the design elements that you’re putting in there are actually going to look shabbier due to the wear and tear that a laundry room gets. 

I like the idea of doing playful tile, because typically there’s not a lot of tile in a laundry room. So it’s just this really unique kind of moment. Tile is much more durable than wallpaper so it can keep on looking great.

I think another great way to jazz up your laundry room is by putting interesting handles or knobs on the cabinetry. By making a little change like that you can give it a total upgrade without spending a lot and without worrying that it’s not going to be durable. 

[12:32] Design Trend #7: Designing for entertainment 

For the past three years, ever since COVID, people have sort of been in their shell, they’ve been designing for themselves, because they’re constantly there while they’re working from home.

They’ve been kind of just wanting to make the place their own and cozy and comfortable for their families since they’re spending so much time there but they weren’t really stressing the entertaining.

Now people are like, I want to start having barbecues, I want to start having weekday game nights, I want to start, you know, having those parties, again, not just centered around the holidays. So I’m hearing more and more that people are using their formal dining room once or twice a month, rather than once or twice a year. 

 It’s getting me jazzed to decorate those formal areas and think about how I can create community, especially because we moved during this COVID time.

[15:03] Betsy’s Favorite Trends #1: Light fixtures with crystals 

 I have never been a Hollywood glam gal, I have never been an over the top girly girl. As I was selecting all new light fixtures for my home, because as you may remember, the people who lived here before, took all their furniture and they took the light fixtures, and I kind of knew about it from the contract but I didn’t realize what an impact it would have until we moved into our new house, turned on lights, and nothing came on. This house is double the size of our previous house. I had given a lot of things away that I didn’t feel match the style I wanted to lean into with this home so we were stumbling around in the dark for weeks before committing to new light fixtures. 

 When it came to making my selections, I had to stop myself from making every light fixture one with crystals. 

[17:51] Betsy’s Favorite Trends #2: Collections

You’ve heard me say in previous episodes that I think collection is a naughty C word that allows you to amass a whole bunch of things that you don’t really need. I think collections are problematic. I think they turn into another C word which is clutter. 

All of a sudden I moved into a big house with a lot of shelving. I have not been collecting books because I prefer to read on a Kindle. I don’t collect tchotchkes because I don’t have any place to put them in my previous house, which was 2200 square feet. And I just never have surrounded myself with much shelving because I didn’t have need for it. This house had very expensive well done built-ins.

 As you know, I’ve taken the buildings from one room and moved them around to other rooms, but I really couldn’t bear to throw them out. So I’ve been starting to collect things. 

My husband, his father’s mother collected cranberry glass. Some of you may know cranberry glass. It’s basically differently shaped glass bowls, vases, pictures, that all have kind of this cranberry colored hue. So we inherited five pieces of cranberry glass and I was like wow, this could be a collection. It’s not really my style. And I’m not really drawn to red as you heard me say earlier, but we already have five pieces let’s lean in.

I’ve been on those auction sites, at flea markets buying cranberry glass and I’m up to like 10 pieces now. Just little affordable things I bought here and there. I bought a bell a week ago in New York as I was traveling to Toronto for $10. I bought a bowl at a garage sale that’s actually really cool and now we use it to put our keys in for $4. So it’s fun having something to look for. It’s fun having a reason to go to these shops and these sales, and it does bring in a little bit of history because most of these pieces are relatively old, and I’m just enjoying myself. 

The other thing I’ve been collecting are metal doll houses. So my husband’s mother had this really big Mid Century Modern ranch metal dollhouse from the 50s or 60s with the furniture and the people but it was just big and cumbersome in our house. I don’t want my kids to play with it because the edges are very sharp and rusty. So I think you could probably get tetanus. And the little pieces are so cute and so antiquey that I don’t want anything to happen to them. So I wasn’t really playing with it. My kids weren’t allowed to play with it.

Then my husband’s dad gifted us this little metal ranch like a farmer’s ranch and it came with the cowboys and the butter churn and the cowgirls and the lassos and it is so fun. I moved to this house and again, we have all these built in bookcases, and in my office back here my cottage, the bookcases have these ledges and on top, I’m lining it with old metal doll houses. 

[22:11] Betsy’s Favorite Trends #3: Art picture hangers and art wires

Now you might have seen this at older museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where the artwork is not actually nailed into the wall. It’s attached to either a wire or a chain that then fits up and hooks onto a picture rail. 

When I saw this house that I moved into, I saw these picture rails and I’ve been seeing them for decades designing in New York City because there’s a lot of pre war apartments that have this interesting molding at the top that has a little lip where you could hook over that hook and then hang the wire to hang the artwork. I haven’t always been drawn to this look, because when I saw the house, they had a ton of artwork. The woman that lived there before was an artist and so she was using a zillion art wires to hang lots of pieces, but it causes them to lean away from the wall a little bit. 

When I moved into this house, I started nailing things in but these walls are horsehair plaster. Also I’ve been waiting to hang things because I need my handyman. I can’t drill into horsehair plaster on my own and ensure that a 30 pound mirror is going to be well anchored.

Right before Christmas, we were going to be entertaining and the handyman came but he didn’t have time to do any of the art and I was devastated. I wanted my space to have this really beautiful complete look and without the artwork, it just looked empty no matter how many furniture pieces I had tried to amass no matter what I did, it needed that personalized touch of our artwork. I broke out those art wires and I told my husband to hold the ladder because we are going to try this. I didn’t love the slight lean so I had been resistant to it. But I hung my first piece of art with this art wire and it has forever changed my life.

I love it because even though it leans away from the wall just a little bit at the top, you can easily move this art around. If it’s not exactly centered, I just adjust a little hook and if I want it to be a little bit higher, I just move it higher on the art wire. 

As an interior designer, this is liberating. I can change out my art whenever I want on my own without paying a handyman. It takes less than five minutes. I can stand back. If I ever feel like it’s unlevel. I just raise it one little chink on the chain. 

Not everyone is going to have a picture rail. Not everyone is going to have the resources to have art wires in a bag that the previous homeowner left for them but if you do, this is a phenomenal revelation.






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