We haven’t yet stuffed the turkey or trimmed the tree, but when it comes to our homes, we’re already looking ahead to the new year. In considering how we might refresh our spaces in 2024, we asked several Southern decorators to share their home design predictions and what trends we can expect to see grow in popularity—and which ones will lose their luster. From thoughtful details to painted wood walls, these are the biggest decor trends of 2024 according to Southern designers.
A Show of Restraint
“Design is currently embracing restraint and I think we’ll see more of this pared-down aesthetic in 2024,” says Marie Flanigan, a decorator based in Dallas. “I love working with homeowners to create and then edit a room. I start designing a space with the essentials and then look for thoughtful ways to incorporate additional finishes and textures. Then, we remove anything that feels superfluous or unintentional. This approach ensures that each detail makes a statement and impacts the overall aesthetic.”
A Shift Towards Neutrals
“Honestly, I am super into color,” says Jacksonville, Florida, designer Andrew Howard. “But I think we will start seeing a turn towards more neutrals in 2024 and into 2025. Fabrics will become plusher and more inviting, and they will be interesting enough that color and pattern won’t always have to set the tone.”
“I think we will see a lot of rich, earthy tones such as Farrow & Ball’s Setting Plaster and French Gray, two of my favorites,” says Richmond, Virginia, designer Lizzie Cox, who also loves sunny yellows and turmeric-like hues. “Painting rooms all-out (trim, ceilings, walls) in these warm tones will be a beautiful, elevated look for any space.” Jessica Davis of Atlanta-based Atelier Davis also anticipates a continued embrace of earthy tones, like “browns, mossy greens, raisins, and ambers,”
Designer Laura Kay was ahead of the curve in her own Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, home, shown above.
Saturated Cabinet Colors
While some designers are predicting an overall trend towards neutrals and earth tones, others are embracing bolder hues in utilitarian spaces. North Carolina designer Charlotte Lucas is calling on purple hues, like eggplant and plum; she’s so sold on aubergine that she’s even using it as the cabinet color in her personal kitchen renovation.
“We think there’s more of a desire to have pleated upholstery details on furniture,” says Dallas designer Jean Liu. “It’s a twist on a traditional style that still looks crisp and fresh.”
Gainesville, Georgia, designer Maggie Griffin predicts that next year will bring “interiors using eclectic, found pieces where a beautiful antique is paired next to a modern object.”
Above, homeowner and writer Frances Macdougall took this approach in her Birmingham home with charming results.
An Appreciation for the ’70s
“Another trend [we’re seeing] is this return to a ’70s style of dressing a bed,” notes Liu. “I’ve heard it referred to as a ‘monastic bed-making style.’ Our clients are definitely embracing this more simplistic bedroom look these days.” Raleigh, North Carolina, decorator Niki McNeill Brown anticipates throwbacks as well: “I’m looking forward to see all the ’70s-inspired colorways entering wall coverings and fabrics!”
“Right now I am seeing homeowners wanting to invest in furnishings and finishes that will stand the test of time, children, and pets,” says Atlanta designer Liz Williams. “In 2024, I think performance fabrics and rugs, as well as indestructible flooring and countertops, will be even more popular.”
“Windows keep getting bigger and bigger, and we are letting the view and the light outside become our focal point rather than the furniture,” says Howard. “And if that is the case, I feel like a more neutral backdrop is important. Sort of a return to cozy.” Atlanta decorator Andi Morse echoes this, noting that next year’s design priority will be homes that are “comfy and cozy.”
The dining room pictured above, designed by Laura Hodges for our 2023 Southern Living Idea House, makes the case for natural light and a neutral palette.
A Move Away from Wide-Open Spaces
This spirit of snug decor will apply to homes’ layouts too, notes Morse. “[I think we’ll be] seeing less open floor plans and moving into more smaller and intimate arrangements,” she says.
More Painted Wood Walls
“They create such a warm environment inside a house,” says Howard. “I know some of us have tired of them from hearing the word ‘shiplap’ on every design show, but it is a great look and it always has been. We don’t need to fight against it because we want to buck the trends of the shows!”
The above family room by Allison Allen proves his case.
Conical shades with a very narrow opening at the top and much larger, wider openings at the bottom are a current go-to for Birmingham, Alabama, decorator Caroline Gidiere. Cox agrees: “Whether in a custom fabric or a simple paper or linen, this style of shade takes any lamp up a notch.”