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Cozy up in 2024: Minimalism, fast furniture are out; quartz countertops, vintage pieces, wallpaper are in

By Kaitlyn Keegan, Hartford Courant
Published: December 30, 2023, 6:00am
4 Photos
Quartz has earned the top spot for its color selection, durability and scratch resistance.
Quartz has earned the top spot for its color selection, durability and scratch resistance. (Martinmark/Dreamstime) Photo Gallery

It’s been quite a year for interior design. As houses are swept off the market in minutes after listing and new homeowners tackle what they want their home to be like, 2023 was marked with white, clean designs along with minimalism, shiplap and fast furniture.

The design world has shifted gears for 2024, ushering in an era of quartz, vintage furniture, wallpaper, cozy and divided interiors and bold colors and design. Sharon McCormick of Sharon McCormick Designs shared some tips on what’s hot and what’s not for the new year.

What’s hot for 2024

In the kitchen, it’s all about the quartz. Quartz and quartzite countertops have become all the rage versus granite, marble or laminate. Quartz has earned the top spot for its color selection, durability and scratch resistance.

As far as design in kitchens, wood grain kitchen cabinets, particularly white oak, or cabinets in vibrant colors are taking over from the white kitchens that were in the last few years. Statement hoods also make a big difference. Beverage stations for coffee, smoothies or a wine bar are also becoming popular if you have the space.

Another big change is the flip from open space layouts to more traditionally divided rooms. The allure of smaller, more intimate spaces began with the pandemic and the trend has only become more popular. Cozy, more nurturing spaces are taking over from wide open layouts.

To furnish those rooms, think vintage. Upcycling and acquiring antiques has become very trendy. This keeps furniture out of landfills and also brings character to a home. For that vintage furniture, 2024 is bringing the curves. Curved designs in furniture and lighting are taking over this year. Consider wavy, wood furniture that adds a bit of pizzazz into a room.

When laying out your furniture in a room, maximalism without messiness is in. It plays into the want for cozy spaces. Accessorize as much as you want, but don’t let things get too cluttered or overtaken, especially in smaller rooms.

It’s also time to play with colors, fabric and wallpaper. Bold patterns, especially striped and plaid fabrics, are very popular. This year, designers also like checkerboard patterns and tassels, fringe, braids and cords for window treatments and upholstery details.

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On the color wheel, neutrals have taken over from gray. Think warm tones like beige, tan, cream, brown, caramel, amber, honey and butter. Beside neutrals, blue is the top color. Vibrant tones, especially teal and aqua, are hot along with purple, red and earthy greens.

As far as lighting spaces, layered lighting is popular. This can be done with bold, sculptural chandeliers, wall sconces, art lights, decorative ceiling lights and fixtures made of natural materials such as rattan, wicker and leather. If you have to do recessed lighting, canless LEDs are preferred.

Anything that adds character to a room is trending. This can be paneling or wall moldings, or customization and personalization. A big trend coming in for 2024 is decorated ceilings. You can achieve this look with paint, moldings, wallpaper or millwork. Wallpaper on the ceiling? It’s in! Wallpaper can also be used to create murals to bring the outside in.

Did you go out and get a lot of midcentury modern furniture while it was trending the last year or two? While midcentury modern is falling out of style, you can mix in other styles with existing furniture to make a more eclectic look.

In the bedroom, layers are the key. Take multiple layers of bedding and use pillows, throws, upholstered furniture, wallpaper, art, lamps, moody colors and decorative lampshades. Have fun with it. Off of the bedroom, dressing rooms are becoming more popular, if you have the space. Large walk-in closets you can get changed in, dressing rooms are a way to declutter your bedroom and move those things to their own separate space.

What’s on its way out

Some of the things falling out of favor have been slowly dropping in popularity over the last few years. For example, gray has been consistently dropping in the trends. Also dropping are all-white interiors and midcentury modern.

Other trends that are not so popular anymore include granite countertops, open floor plans and minimalism.

One of the biggest changes in trends is fast furniture or furniture that is cheaply made, easily broken, and short term. These are the pieces most likely to end up in a landfill. The push to sustainability has driven this fast furniture industry out of favor.

Inside, there’s a few design aspects you won’t see as much of. These include boxy furniture, accent walls, matching furniture sets, can lighting and oversized bathtubs.

Also with the push to more individualism in design, sleek, generic, shiplap and impersonal hotel-style bedrooms have fallen from favor.

Overall, the trends are going toward having fun with your home design. Add more of your personality into your home. Don’t be afraid of color or texture.