Now that the champagne glasses have stopped merrily clinking, we can take one last look over our collective shoulders as we hurtle into 2023. The past year has brought us a plethora of stylistic aesthetics that have materialized on TikTok—regencycore, clean girl, dark academia, light academia, crustaceancore, plazacore, pilates princess, 2014 Tumblr soft grunge and perhaps the latest, “frazzled English woman” – just to name a few. Now extending beyond the way we dress and into the realm of interior design, here’s a new aesthetic that’s already influencing our decor choices for 2023.
Last fall, Vogue called Miu Miu’s elegant, satin-covered ballet flats the shoes in which they can be seen. Since then, “ballet” has flooded our feeds (think Carrie Bradshaw’s double-layered white tulle skirt and pink T-shirt look Sex and the cityOpening credits). In 2023, vivacious streetwear for off-duty ballerinas is here to stay, combined with another ultra-cute aesthetic: “Barbiecore” – dressed like the iconic doll herself. We have the highly anticipated Greta Gerwig film, Barbie (scheduled for release in July 2023) to thank for that. From bubblegum and blush to bright fuchsia, pink has been spotted on numerous catwalks lately, notably in the collections of Prabal Gurung, Chloé, Vetements and Ermann Scervino’s SS23. Not surprisingly, Barbiecore is also making its way into homes, bringing nostalgia for sunnier, simpler times.
Barbie’s Dream House has been a key figure in many of our childhoods – offering an aspirational fantasy world tinged with pink. For a grown-up ode to these upbeat mini-interiors, Martin Waller, founder of Andrew Martin, advises, “start with a soft base of neutral linens and striking fabrics for your furniture, then dress it up with hot pink cushions.” Add more blush accents to the space like the Wiggle Rug by Zandra Rhodes from Floor_Story, a pair of Pink Ikat Pooky lampshades by Matthew Williamson, the handmade Mercedes Salazar “Darling Seashell Flower Vase” from Anna + Nina, and the Maison Balzac strawberry collection of colored jugs, glasses and flutes fruit.
For Barbiecore fans whose decorating style leans less Malibu and more English country, the House of Hackney and Craven Dunnill Jackfield tile collaboration will fit perfectly into the kitchen or fireplace of your dream home. Brimming with feminine charm and crafted in the world’s oldest surviving tile factory, Craven Dunnill Jackfield has glazed this range of glossy screen printed and floral embossed tiles in enchanting shades of blush pink, cream and sage green.
Perhaps the antithesis of Barbiecore – Tim Burton’s Netflix series, Wednesday, stimulated the Gothic fashion revival. Expect to see layers of black tulle and high street interpretations of the little black dress with a collar. For interior design, this means redefining neutrals and embracing grungy hues. Camilla Clarke, creative director of London-based residential interior design studio, Albion Nord, says, “Neutral colors are not limited to ivory, white and beige. Consider ditching soft shades for moodier hues like plum and chocolate brown.” She tends to avoid dull grays, opting instead for earthy greens or deep, dusty blues.
Clarke continues, “darker rooms can achieve a cozy, cocooning effect with the right materials. There’s nothing worse than a flat design, so consider texture as important as color and pattern. Try combining different materials such as natural linen with soft velvet in bold jewel colors or robust leather with thick wool.”
In the kitchen, pair sleek ebony cabinets with oversized black-and-white checkered floors. Choose marble-inspired worktops and countertops to match an inky-colored base washed with spreading cream veins, such as Caesarstone’s 5100 Vanilla Noir or 511 Smokestone surfaces.
Jon Stanley, vice president of marketing at Caesarstone, says, “The backsplash creates a stunning single surface look that continues from your countertop to the wall. In this case, you will need to choose the material carefully because you want the whole design to look like it is made from one continuous panel. This is difficult to do with marble, granite, or any other material that contains natural veins because a mismatched pattern will destroy the cascading effect. However, because Caesarstone quartz and porcelain surfaces are designed and engineered with care, it allows you to create a striking splash that looks like a single piece.”
After all, the “granny chic” style shows no signs of abating in 2023. Jane Macfarlane of creative agency The Digital Fairy told Vice that over the past year, “many trends have paid homage to wholesome, matriarchal housewives (cottagecore, coastal granny), but in AW23, the folkloric granny will emerge.” She explains: “this trend is demure, motherly and comfortable with heavy layers, house slippers and knits. Silhouettes will become tight, leisure will become analog, and accessories will be knitted and crocheted. In terms of beauty, we can expect blush, thin lashes at the corners, flowing hair and overgrown gray hair.”
At home, this looks like chintz or toile-covered walls, deep armchairs with upholstery, wicker and rattan, selected china cabinets, a stack of afghan blankets and a ruffled Laura Ashley set. Think of the interior design equivalent of rummaging through grandma’s closet for an oversized knit sweater. It’s a continuation of the revival of the look we’ve known all our lives, rooted in the incomparable comfort of grandma’s home. I can almost smell the potpourri…