Consumer and Home Design Trends

Time to Reflect: Five 2023 Trend Predictions We Nailed and One We Didn’t See Coming.

Anja Seng photo

Anja Seng

September 20, 2023
Closeup group of Asian business people meeting discuss project plan and financial results in office.

Trendflation: the rapid cycle of new trends 

We anticipated that design noise would muddy trends, and this year, McKinsey put a name on it: “Trendflation.” Thanks to social media, trends no longer have a shelf life of 20 years and what’s hot today is old news tomorrow (remember Cottagecore and NFTs?). With trends falling from grace just as quickly as they popped up, consumers and experts alike are tapping out on keeping up.

Check out Trend 19 from our 23 Trends for 2023 report, “Design Noise” Muddies Trends. 

Lennar dips into the tiny-home market

Not everything is bigger in Texas. McMansions make for big talk, but Lennar is going in the opposite direction. Outside San Antonio, this national homebuilder delivers detached homes of 350 and 651 square feet. Beyond city limits where lot size is unregulated, one has the freedom to go small, and smaller = more attainable. The homes at Elm Trails started at $130,000. (Don’t laugh at the small one (left) – It’s sold out until the next release!) Lennar’s tiny homes are just one of a few ways builders are rethinking the starter home as we expected to happen in 2023.

Check out Trend 4 from our 23 Trends for 2023 report, Rethinking the Starter Home.

Let me RIP: Rot in Peace

Our prediction of resting intentionally took a morbid turn with “Bed Rotting” emerging as one of the latest TikTok trends. However, this gloomy-sounding trend actually has a positive slant. Instead of feeling guilty for taking it easy or being lazy, you can tell yourself that “bed rotting” is a restorative, self-care method. Like any TikTok trend, this one particularly captivates students and young professionals, who want to take a break from the hustle and rot in peace.

Check out Trend 16 from our 23 Trends for 2023 report, Resting Intentionally.

Is “The Great Resignation” over?

The balance of power between workers and employers continues to shift. Texas A&M professor Anthony Klotz, who coined the term “The Great Resignation,” thinks it has ended. June 2023 employee quit rates were back down to June 2019 levels, not to mention economic uncertainty has many hesitant to make a career change. On the flip side, some experts argue that more hurdles remain. A survey from FlexJobs found 62% of workers are “actively thinking about quitting or have recently quit.” Today’s work culture continues to be a push and pull between change and stability.

Check out Trend 12 from our 23 Trends for 2023 report, Transition Pains: Hybrid vs. Office.

“Honey, I’m dome!” Will your next home be a disaster-proof dome?

In the wake of horrific events like the Maui wildfires, hurricanes, and other natural disasters, Americans are re-evaluating the security of their shelters. Census data shows 1.6% of American adults (3.3 million people) say they were displaced by a natural disaster last year. Companies are responding with weather-resilient products, like Minnesota-based Natural Spaces Domes that have fire-resistant exteriors and are designed to withstand earthquakes, strong winds, and heavy snowfall. This company has seen a surge in demand and expects to sell around 40 domes this year, twice as many as last year. 

Check out Trend 15 from our 23 Trends for 2023 report, Resilient Design.

Generative AI has entered the chat 

While most of our predictions hit the mark, we don’t have a crystal ball for everything. One trend prediction that didn’t make the cut, but should have, is artificial intelligence (AI). AI has had a profound impact on every industry. In the world of home design, generative AI like Midjourney, software that generates images based on a text prompt, helps design professionals work smarter. “Just type what you’re trying to imagine, and the machine does all the work for you,” says interior designer and building designer, Annilee B. Waterman. Take the image here, for example. A designer who is pressed to rethink the starter home, as we mentioned earlier, can explore an array of tiny-home interiors that combine density with dignity. 

What’s next for 2024?

Stay tuned! In December, we will be hosting our 24 Trends for 2024 webinar to cover consumer, home design, building product, and community trends that we expect to make an impact next year.

Complete this form to learn about becoming a New Home Trends Institute member. For current members, reach out to Anja Seng to learn more about trends we are seeing and how they are impacting the housing industry.

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About The Author

Anja Seng photo
Anja Seng
Senior Research Analyst, Design
Anja assists in the production of monthly DesignLens features and manages the New Home Trends Institute (NHTI) Instagram account. Additional responsibilities include helping run New Home Trends Institute’s Master Plan Trends Council and designing external presentations.

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