The death of the sitting room, and other design trends you’ll see in 2023

Country Life's interiors expert Giles Kime has spent three decades living and breathing the world of design. Here's what he foresees coming next.

The death of the sitting room

When was the last time you were entertained by someone in their sitting room? Or did you enjoy a preprandial snifter propping up their kitchen island? Or leaning against their Everhot? Or warming your toes by the stove in the intimacy of their snug? The inexorable rise of the all-singing, all-dancing multi-functional kitchen has already done for the dining room and it seems that the sitting room will soon be redundant, too.

Fruity fabrics

Everyone from Caravaggio and Zurbarán to Cézanne and William Morris knew the visual appeal of fruit. So, too, did William Hooker, whose beautiful illustrations in the RHS Lindley Archive have been brought to life in a new collection by Sofas & Stuff.
Alwinton sofa, from £2,907, from Sofas & Stuff —

Jute mats

Before the wall-to-wall seagrass and sisal revolution (about 1986) — and the subsequent rush-matting renaissance — jute mats offered a simple and inexpensive way to add a rustic look to floors. Today, they provide a textured look that is very much in keeping with the spirit of the times.
Robertson jute rug, £450, from Tate & Darby —

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In the scramble for rich, atmospheric colours, we’ve forgotten the simple joys of white — not dazzling, send-you-round-the-twist white, but easy-on-the-eye hues that magically create instant calm.
Chichester Kitchen, from Neptune —

Fabric borders

Anyone who remembers the 1980s will be familiar with the fabric border, a key component of the interior decorator’s armoury, together with fringes, tassels and tie backs. Now, borders are back, adding a discreetly decorative look to upholstery, cushions and blinds.
Pop art border trimming, £95 per m, by Kit Kemp for Christopher Farr —

Surface spotlights

The fight back against the massed ranks of fixed spotlights has started. Salvation lies in the judicious use of discreet directional lights that provide light where it’s needed, rather than swamping the space with blinding light. Corston leads the field with elegant designs, such as its Baylis, as well as the Brompton, which can be painted the same colour as the ceiling.
Perryn single spotlight, £76.80, from Corston —

Terracotta floors

Much as we remain wedded to stone in all its wonderful incarnations, terracotta looks set to enjoy a renaissance not seen since the 1970s.
Alicante Terracotta Hexagon, £59.85 per sq m, from Mandarin Stone —