Cliché sounds a bit negative, but what I mean by 'cliché' trends are simply the ones we have seen a lot of this year. The ones that you couldn't scroll through Instagram without coming across. And admittedly, 2023 was the year I tried out more of these popular trends than ever. I often say I don't follow interior design trends, but there was something about the trends of this year that drew me in and I invested in new (well vintage) furniture and decor, as well as tried our trending paint colors and tile designs.
But which ones will still work in 2024? And how can I make these cliché pieces timeless? Here I take a deep dive into the key trends I embraced this past 12 months and how I will be adapting them so they don't date as new trends start to emerge.
5 'cliché' trends I tried in 2023 (and will be taking into next year)
My rule when it comes to trends is to never lean too much into one look, it's about transitional design. Mixing different styles, different eras, different trends, so you get rooms that are full of depth and character, and what this then creates are timeless spaces that you can bring new trends into without the risk of them dating super quickly.
So with that in mind, I would like to think the trends I embraced in 2023, no matter how cliché and how popular they might have been, work in my space, and will work for years to come.
1. Tulip tables
This was my first furniture purchase of 2023. I was looking for a small(ish) table to turn my kitchen into an eat-in kitchen for daily use and more casual dinners with friends. I wanted it to be circular so it wouldn't feel so solid in the corner of the room, so I purchased a tulip shaped table second hand.
I think mine might be the IKEA version, but the original Knoll Saarinen Tulip Table is a classic piece. It's been around for decades and has come in and out of style, but it seems like Gen Z decor is all about these retro classics, so it's seen another resurgence in 2023.
I am not worried about this looking dated. I had one in my family home growing up and it always worked even as styles changed from modern to rustic and back again.
2. Retro seating
Again, Gen Z are to blame for this one. Retro chairs and couches were huge in 2023. Very sculptural, very Mid-century. So to go with my tulip table I bought some Cesca Chair look-a-likes. I toyed between this vintage style and the Wishbone chairs I already have in my dining room but figured I could always switch them around to change the look.
I do think this style will fall out of fashion and I am already seeing far less of the look, however, I like them and they do work with my mixing of old and new. The key to stopping them from looking too dated is to mix and match them with other more rustic-looking wooden chairs to create a more transitional space.
3. Checks and stripes
What's been lovely about this 'cliché' is it doesn't take much investing in and it can be very low commitment. Bringing in checks and stripes can so easily be done with smaller, more affordable accessories - cushions, tablecloths, napkins, prints. And I have found these patterns haven't dated over the year, I have just changed the colorways. Back in spring, it was all about yellows and sage greens, in fall I switched to timeless beiges and light browns, and then for Christmas deep reds and greens.
I am a bit wary of decorating with patterns, but in checkered prints, I have found a way I like to bring them into my home that I know will continue way into 2024.
4. Wavy edges
Much like the checkered prints and stripes trend, I like this one because it made my home feel more current but I didn't need to invest in large pieces of furniture. The first investment I made with this 2023 trend was a mirror. Even at the time, it felt cliché, I was seeing the same design everywhere but I had a bare wall I knew this would work on.
The piece I bought is bare wood, not painted in a high gloss primary shade like so many of the designs I was seeing at the time. And I do think this has made it more of a timeless piece as I am not stuck with a color that can dictate how I decorate the rest of the room going forward, this piece will work with most styles and color schemes.
5. Zellige tiles
Towards the end of 2023 I wanted to give my kitchen an update without having to remodel. Tiling over the kitchen backsplash seemed like the most impactful change that wouldn't take too much time, effort, or money.
The old tiles were white subway, perfectly fine but in my view subway tiles in this most basic form are a dated tile trend that was bringing down the room. I wanted something more interesting, with more texture and less so glaringly white.
Zellige tiles were the natural choice, and yes I know they are everywhere now but they are popular for a reason. They bring interest into a room that can be tricky to add character and depth to, creating a slightly rustic feel to any style. I do not regret going for this interior design cliché, tiles of this style have been around for centuries and I think this resurgence will be long-lived.
So, those are the top five interior design clichés I really embraced in 2023 and it's nice to see I don't regret any of them. This year was clearly my year for trends that spoke to me and worked with my current style.
I will say, with all of these trends, I didn't jump on them as soon as I saw them on Pinterest, especially with the larger investment pieces. I'd always say to wait and see if the trend is really short-lived, and how it adapts before investing too much into one trend. And of course, think about how these trends will work with your current space and style.
Sign up to the Homes & Gardens newsletter
Decor Ideas. Project Inspiration. Expert Advice. Delivered to your inbox.
I am the Head of Interiors at Homes & Gardens. I started off in the world of journalism in fashion and luxury travel and then landed my first interiors role at Real Homes and have been in the world of interior design ever since. Prior to my role at H&G I was the digital editor at Livingetc, from which I took a sabbatical to travel in my self-converted van (not as glamorous as decorating a home, but very satisfying). A year later, and with lots of technical DIY lessons learnt I am back to writing and editing, sometimes even from the comfort of my home on wheels.
7 mistakes you are making with transitional style – and expert strategies for avoiding them
These are the errors designers see in transitional style interiors and their advice on creating a chic blend of old and new
By Sarah Warwick Published
Jennifer Connelly's 'outdated' floor tiles are back in style for 2024, and experts say they are an easy way to add subtle color and pattern
The actress's floors embody a simple, elevated style with subtly patterned geometric tiles – here's what makes this look timeless
By Sophie Edwards Published