Pastel and chintz back for 2023

Pastels and chintz from the 1980s look set to be one of the key design trends of 2023, according to the online marketplace for design, 1stDibs.

In the results of its sixth annual Interior Designer Trends Survey, taken by 880 interior designers from around the world, the data indicated a variety of different trends for the upcoming year.

Most Likely to Come Back: 1980s Pastels & Chintz 

When asked which of the past seven decades are most likely to make a comeback in 2023, designers said the 1980s (e.g. pastels and chintz), with 28% of the vote. Following this were the 1950s (Mid-Century modern), with 23%. Interestingly, while the 1970s have seen a resurgence across the design space and just last year were indicated as the top era, the trend dropped from 36% down to only 12% in this latest survey.

Townhouse by Bryan O’Sullivan Studios, 1stDibs 50 (Image credit: Bryan O’Sullivan)

Colour Trends: Emerald & Sage

Regarding colour trends in general, emerald earned the top colour spot of this year’s survey for the third year in a row with 23%, enjoying a narrow lead over sage with 22%. Next in line were burnt orange (20%), mustard yellow (20%), and cobalt blue (18%). The biggest spikes in favorability year-over-year were lavender (from 6% in 2021 to 14% in 2022, an increase of +8%) and mauve (from 9% in 2021 to 13% in 2022, an increase of +4%), supporting the idea that 1980s-era colours are making their way back into style. For living rooms, UK designers deemed light brown/tan the ‘it’ colour for 2023, contrary to the US emphasis on white.


Over the years, the consideration of sustainability has risen greatly – and this is reflected in this year’s survey results. When asked about the likelihood of current trends to continue in 2023, sustainability was the most common answer, receiving a whopping 94% of responses. Other leading trends in the same vein included plants (91%), patterned wallpaper (85%), neutrals (84%) and organic modernism (82%).


The percent of pieces that designers will purchase from artisan makers will continue to grow, expected to be 76% in the UK in 2023. That interest has risen steadily over the years; back in 2019, fewer than 50% of designers expressed this sentiment. This is consistent with the data regarding material choices. When given a list of 18 materials, wood and plaster came in as the top two selections, both receiving 24%. In contrast, shiny surfaces such as chrome were far less popular, chosen by just 6%.

Hot Seats

When asked about which 16 iconic seating products will be popular in 2023, the winning lineup included Eames chairs (16%), Vladimir Kagan Serpentine Sofa (14%), Hans Wegner Wishbone Chair (11%), Ligne Roset ‘Togo’ seating (7%) and the Mies van der Rohe Barcelona Chair (6%). These top five beat several other ‘greats’, including the Mario Bellini Camaleonda Sofa (5%), Marcel Breuer Wassilly Chair (4%) and the Faye Toogood Roly Poly Chair (2%), among others.

Sculptures Are In ​ 

When asked which art mediums designers will use more of in 2023, sculptures netted the top response, with 44%. This beat paintings (43%), drawings (33%), photographs (33%), prints (20%), NFTs and digital art (14%) and ephemera posters (6%).

“If there’s one constant about the design industry, it is that it’s always changing. What we consider ‘good design’ is reliably influenced by a range of sources, from fashion to environmental concerns, pop culture to social media, and more,” said Anthony Barzilay Freund, Editorial Director and trends expert at 1stDibs. “By conducting this survey, we can quantify the designers’ feedback and better understand their recommendations for creating beautiful spaces that not only dazzle and amaze, but also contribute to living in a better world.”
Design elements that look set to lose favour in 2023 include the use of the colour grey on walls, furniture and flooring; animal print patterns; rose gold and rose materials and finishes; requests for home office designs; and items requiring customisation.