Designers Are Calling These Colors "It" Shades for 2023

A dark and moody room

Design: Bespoke Only / Photo: John Daniel Powers

In all the news surrounding the 2023 Colors of the Year, everyone seems to agree on one key point. Now, more than ever, people are shying away from minimalism and leaning toward more maximalism and more color. And when it comes to which colors, exactly, some are suggesting the darker and moodier, the better. 

We recently connected with designers Sarah Stacey and Killy Scheer who told us which shades they see dominating in the coming year—and why moody hues will be majorly trending.

Meet the Expert

  • Sarah Stacey is the lead interior designer at Sarah Stacey Designs, which specializes in personalized interior design, custom home furnishing, and more for homeowners in Austin, Texas.
  • Killy Scheer is the founder of Scheer & Co., a high-end residential and commercial boutique interior design firm based in Austin, Texas with projects nationwide.
  • 01 of 05

    Moody Works Great in Small Spaces

    A dark and moody bathroom

    Maite Granda Design Studio

    Though it may sound counterintuitive to go dark in a tiny room, as smaller spaces painted or papered in darker colors seem like they’d be claustrophobic, Scheer tells us that’s not true at all.

    “We've found that smaller spaces, such as a closet or long hallway, can be a great place to test your moody palette without taking on too much,” she says. “I love a mix of deep blues and grays with a pop of red, green, and black.”

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  • 02 of 05

    Complement Red and Jewels Tones

    A jewel toned room

    Alvin Wayne

    Anyone who follows the latest Color of the Year announcements knows that Stacey has a valid point when she says: red has definitely made a comeback. But if you’re not sure how to incorporate the tone, Stacey gave us some ideas.

    “Try pairing red accents like dining chairs or smaller accent pieces with neutrals to bring more of an emphasis to the color,” she says. “Jewel tones are also in. I love mixing jewel tones with spicier colors like burnt orange for an unexpected color-blocked look.”

    If you’re not into red, Scheer has a solid alternative. “Aubergine is a big color this year, and I think it would make for a beautiful alternative to red,” she says. “Pair it with creams and greens for an unexpected yet still traditional-leaning combination.”

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  • 03 of 05

    Mix Dark Shades With Vintage Finds

    A moody room with vintage finds

    Mary Patton Design

    Another big trend for 2023? More vintage—and Scheer tells us that these two trends are a match made in maximalist heaven.

    “Moody colors can work really well with vintage and unique accessories," she says. "You can really play around with some more eclectic pieces."

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  • 04 of 05

    Include a Dedicated Lighting Plan

    Moody blue kitchen with wood toned island chairs.

    Ashley Montgomery Design

    If you’re interested in going bold and moody but concerned it’ll darken your home, Stacey says that a proper lighting plan is key—especially in winter. “For the winter months, look towards brightening up your home through proper lighting, light window treatments, and open layouts,” Stacey tells us.


    Another tip? Give your light sources some variety. Use overhead lighting, chandeliers, and table lamps to create a glowing ambiance in the space.

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  • 05 of 05

    Moody Shades Mix Great With Wood Tones

    Traditional living room painted purple.

    Tyler Karu

    As we've seen time and time again this year, organic decor isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Luckily, Stacey tells us this—and in particular, wooden details—pairs perfectly with a moody room scheme.

    “The mix of neutral wood and matte black details looks great with a moody palette,” Stacey says. “We've noticed an increase in these earthy and organic elements for the home. The kitchen and bathroom can be great places to implement these shades without your whole home feeling too overwhelming in darker tones.”