02.08.2023 Lifestyle

Renovation And Design Trends in 2023

Renovation And Design Trends in 2023

Property has always been important to Sydneysiders.

But during COVID, our homes took on a new significance, and our thinking about lifestyle, work/life balance, and comfort changed.

Now, in 2023’s post-lockdown world, we’re still continuing to reimagine our homes as sanctuaries. Here are the renovation and design trends we’re seeing right now.

First, let’s talk about money…

As we wrote last year, a COVID-induced renovation boom coincided with – and contributed to – a massive rise in construction costs. But it didn’t stop people from embarking on home improvement projects. According to ABS data on building approvals, the total value of residential alterations and additions rose 2.7% in December 2022 to $1,020,000,000.

Interestingly, after a record 11.9% rise in residential construction costs over 2022, the latest data from CoreLogic forecasts there will be a slowdown in the growth of construction costs over 2023, which may help those wanting to make home improvements.

If you’re thinking of redesigning your home, we always recommend investing in an architect. They should guide you through the design and renovation process and show you how to add value to your home by making it more stylish and functional. In fact, a big-name architect can be a selling point in itself.

Get inspired

When it comes to home design trends in 2023, Harper’s Bazaar is saying minimalism is out while nostalgia and escapism are in. That means your travel finds and grandma’s mid-century furniture are having their moment. Vintage pieces and vacation vibes are in, as are the pleasures of dining rooms.

It’s all about bringing out your own eclectic, individual style. Architectural Digest is also homing in on vintage and says colour, craftsmanship and plants are trends to embrace in 2023.

Meanwhile, Vogue chooses mid-century modernism, including brutalism,as the trend to watch this year. Think of exposed concrete floors.

Pantone’s Color of the Year is Viva Magenta 18-1750: a “new animated red”, a shade “rooted in nature” that “vibrates with vim and vigour… expressive of a new signal of strength”.

The rise of the home office

It’s no surprise that Vogue Living forecasts home offices and workspaces will remain top of design wish lists into 2023. A survey by Statista in late 2022 shows that New South Wales has the highest work-from-home rate in the county, with the average person spending 2.53 days working from home across the two-week survey period.

When we’re presenting a home for sale, our stylists always look for ways to showcase the possibilities buyers will have to work from home. This can include study nooks and space for a desk to a dedicated home office space, or even demonstrating how the space could function for two people to work separately at home.

The great outdoors

In recent years, gardens and green spaces and outdoor entertaining areas, and play spaces have taken centre stage because we needed them more than we ever have before during the pandemic lockdowns.

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Data from realesate.com.au shows that outdoor features were the most desirable items on buyers’ lists last year, with eight out of ten of the top growth keyword searches of 2022, including either a garage or a swimming pool. Regardless of whether a pool will actually add value to your property, they’re certainly a popular feature with those searching for property.

Search terms, such as “outdoor area”, also proved popular, demonstrating that buyers really are paying attention and that a well-designed garden, terrace or balcony really can make or break a property.

Small can be beautiful

We help people at all stages of their property journey, which means we see and sell a wide range of properties – from grand luxury homes to smaller apartments. In recent years we’ve seen smaller properties rise in popularity. There are many factors at play – from rising property prices to the trend for city crash pads, downsized lifestyles, sustainability and minimalism.

Many buyers are also interested in smaller properties because they often offer the potential to redevelop a prime Eastern Suburbs address into something larger.

A lot of properties offer scope to add more bedrooms, parking, larger living spaces and more. Some even come with a Development Application (DA) for a renovation or a complete rebuild. Others are artfully and carefully redesigned into tiny homes with clever, multipurpose, space-saving solutions.

But bigger is better, too…

Knockdown rebuilds have also grown in popularity in recent years, and we see this particularly in lifestyle buyers on the Eastern Beaches. In fact, many buyers will pay a premium to buy the brand new finished product, built for today’s way of living, rather than go through the renovation process themselves.

And, with a scarcity of larger apartments and terraces, and strong buyer demand, we’ve seen an increasing number of people supersize their property through major renovations such as apartment and terrace amalgamations.

Sustainability is here to stay

Sustainability is not just a trend; it’s a movement. It’s also a crucial change to the way we live our lives that isn’t going to go away anytime soon.

Homeowners who embrace sustainability and green features in their properties are rewarded in many ways, not just when it comes to helping the environment and climate change. They also reap benefits including lower power bills and broader market appeal. For this reason, as we wrote a few years ago, sustainable homes could even attract a higher sales price.


Increasingly, technology is a form of infrastructure that many buyers put at the top of their search list. This can include anything from reliable NBN to smart home integration, where you can control the door entry, lights, blinds, temperature, security system, sound system, garden irrigation, pool heating and more.

Want more?

Thinking about buying or selling in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs this year? We’re here to help. Get in touch with my team today.