Even if you're living in your absolute dream home, browsing beautiful interiors online is loads of fun. And if you've taken to real estate sites in 2023, you're not alone – millions of Americans took to Zillow last year, completing billions of searches on the platform.
Zillow analyzed 250 billion of these searches to compile a list of the top 10 search terms, and the results reveal quite a bit about what potential homeowners want in their spaces. Although searches varied by location, a few interior design trends made it onto the final list. This is what Homes & Gardens editors had to say about the trending terms.
What topped Zillow's search terms in 2023?
But when it came to interiors, four particular terms resonated with H&G: fireplaces, walk-in closets, open floor plans and granite counters. This is how they see these interior design staples staying strong in 2024.
Fireplaces proved especially popular in 2023 as the third most-searched term of the year. Though they provide physical warmth, crackling ambiance, and a homey environment to any room, fireplaces work best in living rooms, dens or other comfort-forward spaces. Jennifer Ebert, Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens, says this interest in fireplaces is part of a larger push toward prioritizing calm and inviting interiors.
'Fireplaces have seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years, and with a growing desire to make our homes feel warm, cozy and cossetting, this is no surprise,' she says. 'It is not just the heat that makes an indoor fire so enticing, it's the whole package: the smell, the sound, and the soft light. The ambiance they create is unbeatable. They also emit a deliciously woody aroma.'
'A statement mantelpiece surrounding an indoor fireplace also adds an elevated and personalized design element,' adds Jennifer. When decorated with artwork, candlesticks or other unique accessories, a mantelpiece quickly becomes an eye-catching addition to a room.
Jen is the Editor (Digital) of Homes & Gardens. Before starting this position, she had completed various interior design courses at KLC Design School, as well as working across Ideal Home, LivingEtc, 25 Beautiful Homes and Country Homes & Interiors as an interiors writer.
It seems that potential homeowners are looking to invest in large and luxurious walk-in closets in the new year, with the term coming in at number four on Zillow's list.
Providing seamless storage and a dedicated space to dress, walk-in closets are well worth the use of space. Zara Stacey, Managing Editor at Homes & Gardens, says it's no surprise that walk-ins got so much attention in 2023.
'A walk-in closet is a coveted design feature for a reason, offering opportunity for clever organization, elegant design and a space to get ready each morning in peace,' says Zara.
Zara is the Managing Editor at Homes & Gardens. She joined the brand in February 2022 as an Interiors Content Editor, specializing in writing content on interior color trends, decorating ideas and design inspiration. After studying English Literature at University, she worked as an Ecommerce Website Editor, Content Writer and Buying Intern at multiple independent businesses within the luxury retail and lifestyle sectors. She enjoys nothing more than discovering new trends, brands and products, whether that be in fashion, interior design or lifestyle.
Open floor plans
The constant back-and-forth between open plan layouts and closed floor plans swayed in favor of open layouts last year, with the term coming sixth on the list. As Hebe Hatton, Head of Interiors at Homes & Gardens, says, the consensus is clear that open plan layouts let our homes and lifestyles flow.
'There was a lot of talk in 2023 around open plan layouts falling out of fashion, and we were returning to more traditional layouts including separate spaces for eating, dining, and relaxing. After hearing a lot of designers on the topic, I was almost swayed, but for me there are just too many pros to an open plan layout, and as this data proves, we are all still keen for open, airy, multi-functional spaces.'
Hebe is the the Head of Interiors at Homes & Gardens. She has a background in lifestyle and interior journalism and a passion for renovating small spaces. You'll usually find her attempting DIY, whether it's spray painting her whole kitchen, don't try that at home, or ever-changing the wallpaper in her entryway.
Perhaps unexpectedly, granite kitchen countertops are back in a big way, coming in at number 10 on Zillow's rundown. But Jennifer says that the material's many benefits justify its place on the list.
'For me, the popularity of using granite for kitchen countertops centers on three defining factors – it's wonderfully unique, supremely durable, and relatively low maintenance,' she says.
The one-of-a-kind finish found on each and every granite countertop means that your kitchen is just that – yours. Plus, any material that can endure the wear and tear a busy kitchen is bound to face throughout the years deserves quite a bit of praise.
'Granite is one of the most hard-wearing countertop materials, perfect for a hardworking family kitchen. As a natural material, each granite slab will be individual, ideal if you want an individual look with a timeless sense of beauty,' says Jennifer.
Gabriella Dyson, Solved Section Editor at Homes & Gardens, agrees that granite's durability and versatility contributes to its popularity.
'Granite is a hard material that resists scratches and heat, making it ideal for busy kitchens or family bathrooms. This practicality is a big selling point for homeowners who are looking for a long-lasting and low-maintenance option,' she says.
Countertops made of granite are a 'desirable upgrade' that can increase property value, adds Gabriella. Plus, the design possibilities are nearly endless – classic gray and neutral tones are just the beginning.
'Granite can be cut and shaped to fit any countertop layout and can be finished with various edge designs. It’s hardly surprising, then, that this highly customizable material topped Zillow search terms in 2023,' says Gabriella.
Gabriella Dyson is Head of Solved at Homes & Gardens, editing and writing practical advice for homeowners in the process of cleaning, decluttering, or attempting home improvements and DIY projects. Gabriella previously worked on Homebuilding.com, writing features about issues surrounding historic and listed building projects.
What other terms were most-searched on Zillow?
Aside from these interior-related favorites, potential homeowners were all-in on the outdoors, searching for garages, patios, backyards and pools. In Nashville, Tennessee, covered porches saw a spike in searches, while tennis courts topped the charts in Naples, Florida. And, depending on location, city, water and mountain views got the attention of browsers in Seattle, San Francisco, Miami, Colorado Springs and Atlanta.
In New York, Zillow users sought out basements, doormen, hardwood floors, terraces and gyms, while Los Angeles users were focused on central heating and air conditioning, pools, fireplaces and garages. Eat-in kitchens and contemporary-style homes also proved popular across the board.
It seems that Zillow surfers were onto something in 2023, searching for terms that the H&G team loves. The new year is sure to bring comfortable fixtures, open-plan living and sleek finishes across U.S. homes.
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I am a News Writer at Homes & Gardens, with a focus on interior design. Most recently, I worked with Better Homes & Gardens, where I wrote and edited content about home decor, gardening tips, food news, and more. Before that, I studied Journalism and English Literature at New York University. I’ve moved around quite a bit in the last several years, most recently making the trip to London, and love transforming each new space into a comfortable retreat that feels like home. When it comes to decor, I’m most drawn to unique vintage finds and calming colors.
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