6 Hot Interior Design Trends for 2013

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If your resolutions for 2013 include not just self-improvement, but also home improvement, you’ll be glad to know top designers are forecasting a year with livable colors, simplified decorating and personality over conformity.

Three interior design experts are giving their advice on what you can expect from home design trends over the coming year.


Throughout 2013, you should expect a surge of gray across fabrics and décor. Just ask Christopher Grubb of Arch-Interiors Design Group,

“After years of wanting dark stains and neutral beige colors, we are moving into a huge trend of using crisp white and grays.”

Grubb is particularly excited about gray and white in the bathroom and kitchen, with gray flooring and countertops set off by white cabinets and walls. It’s a crisp and sophisticated look that appeals to men and women alike.

You might worry that gray is dark or depressing, but it can be a surprisingly soothing and neutral color. A soft gray like the color of the sea on a winter day, or a muted tone of silver, are tranquil and work well with most decorating themes. It’s safest to stick with shades of gray that have warm undertones, as greenish or cool grays can look coldly institutional.

If you’re not ready to use gray on your walls, floors or counters, you can update your style with touches of gray in:

  • Picture frames
  • Lamps
  • Rugs
  • Pillows
  • Upholstery

Emerald Green

Hits of bright color are perfect for sparking up gray or other neutrals. Pantone has declared emerald green to be the color of 2013, so expect to see this elegant shade of green everywhere. Erica Lugbill of Lugbill Designs explains,

“Buy anything emerald green to spice up your home decor. Emerald green is the hottest color for 2013 and small pops of it will make a huge impact.”

That doesn’t mean you need to paint your walls bright green, or overwhelm your senses with color. Follow Lugbill’s advice to add small touches of green in decorative accessories, or go bolder with a chair or couch done over in emerald green fabric.


It’s been awhile since brass has been in style, but it’s making its way back into the limelight this year. Warmer than chrome, softer than gold, the glow of brass isn’t harsh or overly modern. You’re likely to find a good fit for this metal in a rustic styled home.Add a bit of metallic shine to your home with brass:

  • Lamps
  • Mirror frames
  • Vases
  • Wall hangings

Buy American, Buy Green

More of a conviction than a decorating theme, the “Buy American” trend will affect all areas of design. Deanna Radaj, author of “Designing the Life of Your Dreams from the Outside In”, says the enthusiasm has been growing over the past two to three years, but will be huge in 2013. Not only is buying American better for sustainability and environmental issues, it also ties into the rising “Bring jobs back to the US from China” sentiment heard from consumers everywhere.

Radaj also notes the continued interest in eco-friendly furniture and decorating pieces. Knowing where your furniture was made, how the materials were harvested and transported, and even how the piece can be recycled once its life is over lets you make buying decisions that improve your home without a negative impact on the environment.


Touches of pattern that add interest without overwhelming the room will be hot in 2013. Floral patterns are going to be especially popular, but not small, fussy prints or an excess of flower power. All you need is a couple of throw pillows in a large floral pattern, an armchair with a tropical flower print, or a lampshade in a garden design. Avoid saturating your home with the country florals that were popular in the 1980s in favor of the more current, tropical look.

Patterns with unusual or tropical color combinations will move to the forefront, as well as eco-inspired and natural patterns and textures. If you prefer to stick with a more traditional look, another current theme is bright stripes against a white background.

Handmade Crafts

With the growing popularity of Pinterest and Etsy, interest in handmade items and crafts is at a fever pitch. Natural materials, vintage items and whimsical crafts made from recycled goods will all add a touch of current design to your home while keeping your personal style at the forefront. Lugbill recommends,

“Look for quirky, interesting pieces this year. Fun pieces that are full of personality make a great new focal point in your home.”

For the highest level of individuality, find a craft that appeals to you, and try your hand at making crafts of your own. Not only will you save money, but you’re guaranteed to have an original piece!

When it comes to your home, you don’t want to be a slave to fashion or at the whim of the next fad. A home makeover can be expensive and complicated. It’s easy, however, to work a few current trends into your decorating plans, and give your home a look that is just trendy enough, yet still livable and welcoming. One of the most important aspects to keep in mind? If you don’t like something, don’t buy it. Trends fade, but your décor remains, so always make sure your new purchases fit your personal style too.


A special thanks to DeAnna Radaj, Christopher Grubb and Erica Lugbill for their contributions.

Last Updated: January 24, 2013
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About Michelle Ullman Michelle Ullman has lived and gardened in Southern California since childhood. A freelance writer, she covers topics ranging from gardening to home improvement to health issues. She also has experience as a catalog copywriter and poet. Michelle has trained and worked as a respiratory therapist and surgical technologist, but prefers to spend her time gardening, and walking with her dog. Michelle holds a Bachelor's Degree from Redlands University in Business Management. 

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