Step aside, light Scandi interiors – we’re welcoming the return of darker woods that have long been a staple in vintage and modern Victorian-esque home decor trends.
You and I know all too well that lighter-coloured Scandivanian-inspired woods have been dominating home trends, seen in abundance within neutral living room ideas, neutral bathroom ideas, and more.
Surprisingly, however, word on the street is that darker, more traditional woods—like teak, walnut, and mahogany—have fallen back in the public’s favour.
Dark wood interior trend
According to Etsy’s 2023 Home Decor Trends Guide, dark wood is making a strong comeback, so if you’re especially into vintage living room ideas and modern Victorian interior themes, this one’s for you.
In fact, they also revealed that every 15 seconds, someone searches for handmade or vintage furniture on Etsy.
‘On Etsy, there has been a 337% increase in searches for walnut desks and accessories and a 28% increase in searches for brown seating or furniture,’ confirms Dayna Isom Johnson (opens in new tab), trend expert at Etsy.
Dayna Isom Johnson is the trend expert for Etsy and a judge on the NBC primetime series ‘Making It’. As part of her role at Etsy, Dayna is responsible for keeping her finger on the pulse of the hottest trends on the market. She is in constant pursuit of new and unique finds on Etsy in an effort to unearth the latest and greatest designs, up-and-coming Etsy shops, and sellers with exciting stories.
‘Meanwhile, we’ve observed a 24% decrease in searches for Scandinavian decor, a 14% decrease in searches for raw or light wood, and a 29% decrease in searches for beige decor on Etsy (so long, sad beige), indicating these styles might be on the way out.’
And to be fair, we’ve also been a little bored of beige, constantly scouring for new paint trends to tell us what the new neutral to know about is, so seeing the return of dark wood is a pretty exciting change.
Dayna adds, ‘Darker woods create a sense of warmth and cosiness into a space, while also providing a touch of character and sophistication to a room. Another reason why darker woods are popular? Their timeless quality. Just ask our 2023 Collections Curator, Martha Stewart, (opens in new tab) who recently shared that ‘brown furniture is alive and well’ and that ‘what’s old is new again.’
Our suggestions of what to buy to bring dark wood into your home
Set of 4 Leaf Pattern Wooden Coasters
If you’re looking for an easy way to bring the darker wood to your home without fully committing just yet, this sweet handmade table accessory will work just the charm.
This handmade candle holder will look elegant and sophisticated on any table, shelf, or windowsill. I know because I saw them as part of a beautiful table setup at a recent event – and they were gorgeous.
How to source and style dark wood interiors
In an interview with Ideal Home, BBC’s Interior Design Masters winner, Monika Charchula shared her love for vintage and modern Victorian interiors.
Her top tip for sourcing dark, vintage interiors are internet marketplaces (for example, sellers on eBay like betterthannewofficial (opens in new tab)), as well as car boot sales in the summer. ‘It’s also really important to check quality. It’s important to be cautious, to ask questions, and check the piece underneath and at the back.’
When styling dark wood in a vintage-inspired space, Monika Charchula stresses the importance of having a balance between old and new. ‘As much as antique furniture and decor is amazing and it will never go out of style, it’s important to mix it with something new and mix it with something current,’ she advises.
Tala Fustok (opens in new tab), designer and founder of Tala Fustok Studio agrees saying, ‘When styling dark wood furniture, it’s important to think about contrasts. Light hues and colourful accents can cheer up a somewhat dated dark wood aesthetic and bring a contemporary edge.’
‘Cohesion is also a significant factor – introducing multiple dark wood pieces, sourced from travels or perhaps passed down generations, cements the direction being channelled and adds an elevated richness to the space that now appears considered and purposeful,’ adds Tala Fustok.
This is because ‘darker woods are typically considered much more decadent and richer if we think about the origins of where they are sourced’ says Athina Bluff (opens in new tab), lead designer for Topology. ‘So make sure that if you’re using dark woods that they are sympathetic to their surroundings,’ she adds.
This darker wood is the perfect way to spruce up any living space and give it a more sophisticated, curated edge. We’ll be looking forward to seeing how interior stylists and the public alike continue to style it throughout the year.
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