1stDibs, a leading marketplace for extraordinary design, just announced the results of its seventh annual Interior Designer Trends Survey. Taken by 624 interior designers from around the world, the highly anticipated insights from the data help to predict and define the hottest trends for 2024, as well as year-over-year change and design trends that are falling out of favor.
Key insights include:
- Sage Surpasses Emerald. The years-long reign of emerald as designer’s favorite color has come to an end — sage green narrowly eclipses as the most-anticipated color of the year for 2024!
- Disappearing disco balls. Checkprint, neon signs and disco balls — once beloved accents in projects and on Instagram — are all trending downward for next year.
- For the Love of Limewash. Limewash is the most-anticipated finish of the year, which makes sense given its meteoric rise on social media.
- Goodbye, Geometrics. Geometric shapes have taken an extreme downward spike in popularity since 2021, dropping 18 percentage points.
- Avoiding AI. Artificial intelligence (AI) has not heavily penetrated the design process yet, with just 9% of designer respondents leveraging AI design processes in their work.
Part 1: What’s In for 2024
Color Trends: Earthy sage rises in the ranks against jewel tones
As evidenced by social media and the prevalence of emerald tones in home design, emerald has topped the charts for three years in a row. However, this reign as designers’ top prediction for popular colors has come to an end in 2024, with sage green taking the lead (by three percentage points) as the color that’s predicted to be most popular in 2024, garnering 26 percentage points versus emerald green’s 23%. The next top color contender is dark brown/chocolate at 21%, which moved up from sixth to third place year-over-year. It’s followed by burnt/dusty orange (19%), dark yellow/mustard (19%) and light brown/tan (17%), for an earthy 1970s inspired palette.
Color Trends: Blue Hues Rank High and Lavender Loses its Luster
Ranking just behind the earthy greens, tans and oranges are hues of blue, with light blue/robin’s egg blue trending upward in popularity and cobalt blue trending downward from the previous year. When asked to directly compare various hues of blue, cobalt still slightly bests light blue/robin’s egg blue, as 25% of designers expect this to be most popular in the color family followed by light blue/robin’s egg at 24% and navy at 23%. The purple color family is not predicted to be popular next year; lavender saw the most dramatic decrease, as its popularity dropped by half.
Decades Through the Years and 1970s Bohemianism
While the aesthetics of the 1920s and 1930s have been consistently on the rise since 2021 (from 13% expected in 2021 to 25% for 2024), the 1950s have been slowly declining. Also trending lower are the modern shapes of the 1960s that reigned in 2020-2021 (from 36% expected for 2021 to just 14% in 2024), with designers globally moving to 1970s bohemianism in 2024 (from 13% in 2020 to 27% in 2024).
Patterns in Patterns and All About Aesthetics
When asked what one pattern or motif will be popular in 2024, organic designs, bold/large scale prints and florals are expected to become the most popular looks, although bold scale has declined slightly since 2022. The top design aesthetics that will remain popular for 2024 include mid-century modernism, Scandinavian modernism, minimalism, maximalism and monochromatic schemes (all at 30%+). Meanwhile, rustic themes, brutalism, cottage core and Neoclassicism are trending downward, all at about 20% or less.
Icons of Seating and Lighting
The most iconic seating, especially in the US, includes Eames Chairs, Vladimir Kagan Serpentine Sofas and Hans Wegner Wishbone Chairs. Interestingly, while they still top the charts, their popularity has been slightly decreasing since 2021. On the other hand, the next three in line — Mies van der Rohe Barcelona Chairs, De Sede DS-600 ‘Snake’ Sofas and Afra and Tobia Scarpa Soriana Seating — have all increased in popularity from the previous year. US and non-US patterns are similar.
The most iconic lighting styles/designs include Murano Glass Pendants and Chandeliers, the Noguchi Akari Lamp, the Venini-Style Mushroom Lamp and the Ingo Maurer White Paper Lamp.
The Likelihood of Limewash
When asked which materials and finishes will become popular in 2024, the highest percentage of designers chose limewash (24%), followed by ceramic/terra cotta (21%) and blonde wood (19%). When it comes to popular objects and features expected to be popular in 2024, walls with limewash or plaster and ceilings decorated with wallpaper or paint are rated as most likely by 35% of designers. Not far behind are curvy and irregular shapes (32%), and patterned wallpaper (29%).
Part 2: What’s Out
The Death of “Dormcore”
The “dorm room-esque” combination of checkprint rugs, DIY disco ball decor and custom neon signs that have been adorning homes all over social media are trending downward this year. Specifically, checkprint lost over half its expected popularity, dropping from 10% to 4%, and both disco balls and neon signs are fading into the background as the least likely objects to be featured in 2024, with the percentage of designers expecting to see checkprint in 2024 decreasing by over half of their 2023 expectations, from 10% to 4%.
Goodbye to Gingham, Geometric Shapes and Pesky Insects
Geometric shapes have taken an extreme downward spike in popularity since 2021, dropping 18 percentage points. Gingham also saw a sharp decrease from 8% of designers expecting it to be popular in 2023 to a mere 1% for this upcoming year. Interestingly, while florals and plant motifs rose to the top of the charts, butterfly and insect motifs dropped from a consistent 16% of designers expecting popularity in 2022 and 2023 to only 4% in 2024.
NFTs and Digital Art
While NFTs have been a hot topic in the news the past couple of years, they didn’t quite translate to interior design. A full two-thirds (67%) of respondents have no plans to use NFTs or digital art in 2024, and while 19% of designers expected NFTs and digital art to be popular in 2023, only 9% have maintained this belief for 2024. Conversely, abstract, contemporary and modern art are the most popular in both US and non-US markets, with contemporary art expected to be more popular outside of the US in 2024.
Brightest Colors Fare the Worst
Bright red, neon yellow and bright orange are at the bottom of the list for trending colors for 2024 at 3%, 1% and 4% respectively. For now, the design world seems to have forgone these fiery hues in favor of more grounding earth tones. (Editor’s note: funny enough, the most recent FS Color Forecast predicts a swing in the opposite direction in the next two years.)
Part 3: Room by Room Design Requests
The Number One Room Designers Recommend
Over half of designers expect kitchens to be the most requested room design in 2024, holding steady from last year at 56%, with living rooms trailing closely behind at 48%. The biggest dip is in home offices, especially with 90% of companies planning to implement return-to-office mandates by the end of 2024. This translates to a drastic decline seen for home offices design requests, from 66% in 2020 to just 23% expected in 2024 (-43 points).
Taking a position in the top three are bathrooms, which have been consistently rising since 2020 from 22% to the current 37%. Also overtaking home offices are transitional indoor/outdoor spaces, which are expected by 29% of designers, on par from last year’s 31%.
What If Money Were No Object?
If project budgets had no cap, storage and fashion seemed to be top-of-mind for interior designers. The number one project that designers would recommend incorporating into a home is an extra spacious walk-in closet (noted by 57%). Next comes more space for entertaining, with 53% recommending guest suites and 43% favoring outdoor kitchens. Even in the age of streaming, more designers would recommend a library (40%) than a movie theater or media room (31%). The least recommended spaces were a bowling alley or a pet spa.
Part 4: The Impact of Inflation and AI
Inflation Makes Waves
Designers are noticing some areas where their clients are citing sensitivity to inflationary pressure and budget issues. When asked what effect, if any, inflation and the macro-economic environment are having on projects, 75% of designers said budget and cost increases are the largest roadblocks. Despite the economic impact that many industries face, designers still remain positive about the future and confident that 2024 will continue to prove the value of good design.
AI’s Impact Remains Unclear
Artificial intelligence (AI) has not yet heavily penetrated the design process, with just 9% of designers leveraging AI in their work. Almost three quarters of designers indicate that they will not use AI-powered processes in their work or are currently undecided about implementing this technology. Designers’ responses in the open-ended survey comments reflect awareness and expectation that the influence of AI will certainly grow.
1stDibs commissioned researchers with Surveys & Forecasts, LLC, a full-service strategic research consultancy based in South Norwalk, CT, to conduct 624 online interviews between August and September, 2023. The interior designers who were interviewed are part of the 1stDibs Trade 1st Program.