Design Trends 2013: Colour, Layering, Texture, Bold Statements & PERSONALITY

Design Trends 2013

The difference between a “Design Trend” and something that is “Trendy”, is as wide as the gulf between something that has “Style” as opposed to “Trying to be Stylish”.  Design trends are an ephemeral  phenomenon that usually take longer to develop and last longer in interior design than they do in other aesthetically oriented industries such as in fashion, cinema or many types of retail.  Interior design thankfully doesn’t have the same level of seasonal scrutiny  and “trend churn” of fashion; however our tastes DO evolve, materials are improved, refined or invented, fashion trends DO effect colour and aesthetics, and our homes (like our clothes, hair and bodies) reflect who we are and what we believe at any given moment.  This is why when you think of interior design trends you usually think in decades, such as the 1980’s (with pastels and endless window treatments), the 1990’s (and the beige-ification of our homes) the 2000’s (Commercial grade kitchen appliances, master bedroom retreats and the usage of metals).  However, the reality is with our ever quickening paced lives, interior design trends have become a yearly evolution of ways in which the diamond of Design is faceted, cut and displayed.  Some of the biggest Design trends that we can happily embrace in 2013 include:

Trend #1

Trends 2013 muted tones with black and white

Trends 2013 white and natural elements

Creating graphic wall Art displays and groupings that are both meaningful and beautifully arranged/displayed.  Think outside the box and mix “found objects” with family treasures and original Art.  The goal is to convey the 5 W’s whilst adding beauty and Style.  Notice that the frames do NOT all match, but in fact compliment each other, sizes vary as well… I also adore the usage of the natural elements.

Trend #2

Trends 2013 layering unexpected

Adding vintage or antique pieces in modern, clean lined, edited rooms.  Things shouldn’t all be the same finish, age or provenance; it’s about creating environments that speak to you visually, aesthetically and conceptually.  We are NOT all the same and neither should our interiors be the same.  Add volume, surprise, mystery, richness and delight through the contrast and tension between minimal modern elements and beautifully quirky or unique antique/vintage finds.  The end result being both inspirational and inviting.

Trend # 3

Pantone - Emerald green used in fabrics

Orange Design


Pantone Emerald Green Room

 Colour, Colour, Colour and Colour.  While we many still opt for a more neutral or white palette… we are now mixing in BOLD, saturated and sexy “pops” of bright colour through fabrics, paint or objects.  Don’t be afraid of making a visual statement… “our lips are not just for putting lipstick on” as my Grandmother used to say, meaning, make your home speak for you and about you and your passions and interests.  While the Pantone colour of 2013 is Emerald Green… Add what works with your home, your lighting and your style.  Think outside the box… Paint a feature colour wall, or a coloured ceiling, or bold coloured drapes, or paint your trim/doors a rich colour… the options are endless.  Try using deep scarlet, pure orange, mulberry, hot pink, emerald green or sapphire blue.  While your at it, shake things up a bit with your paint finish and opt for GLOSS sheen walls, such as in the emerald green room shown above.  The end result being sumptuous, glamorous and sexy (Just make sure the wall or ceiling is FLAWLESS before you paint it).  The trend and shift being to add the depth, power and vitality that COLOUR brings to your home.

Trend #4

Elle Decor emerald green 2013

Bold feature lighting with an emphasis on pieces that are oversized, sculptural and graphic.  The key here being “to be bold”, meaning NO background pieces, but statement features that emphasize your visual and conceptual design.  The above image also shows the design trend of dark painted trim and ceilings used to a wonderful effect.

Trend #5


BOLD and graphic prints in minimal colour palettes, used in drapes, wallpaper, carpets or accessory fabrics.  The goal being to get AWAY from being “matchy-matchy” and to actually layer various patterns to add energy and dynamism through contrasting stripes, florals, hand sketches and geometrics with a unified edited palette with a white base background.  Think oversized in scale and unexpected in their placement and usage in your space.

Trend #6

bay uph wall 1

EMBELLISHED Walls.  Already a strong theme in 2012, this design trend has become indispensable in both residential and commercial design.  Whether you are opting to upholster your walls in a sumptuous tufted or quilted velvet, suede or mohair, or add a textural wallpaper such as grass cloths or an embellished wallpaper with glass beads and crystals (such as the Swarovski Elements Wallpaper)… the goal is to make the wall ITSELF become a work of Art.

Trend #7

Black kitchen

Trends 2013 chalkboard paint Kitchen

Trends 2013 chalkboard paint

This trend combines 2 elements… the unexpected usage of chalkboard paint and the usage of TEXT in interior design.  No longer to be used in a DIY context or small “framed” manner, chalkboard paint is now to be used as an entire wall treatment that is both ART and functional.  By nature, the medium itself conveys the Design trend of using text in Design… the power of words both conceptually and visually in a space.  Try using it from floor to ceiling on a wall in your kitchen, or across and entire wall in a family room including the doors and trim.

Colour ... using Lilac with yellowLilac, grey and yellow… bold yet inviting.


Vintage and reclaimed elements that have been repurposed give this space a sense of fascination, passion and interest.  Items are NOT simply big box finds, but hold meaning and history.

On a side note… one Design Trend of 2013 I can NOT abide with is the resurgence of Brass… I simply loathe it.  Apart from that try embracing the design trends of 2013 and reinterpreting your space with them.

Bold and humourous pop of colour on a lilac grey wallBold Bright Colour on a deep saturated wall… Design trends 2013

Design Trends 2013