The classic white-washed Hamptons style has long been Aussies’ go-to when building a dream house. This year, however, creative director and founder of Landart, Matt Leacy, predicts that the soft coastal aesthetic of the Mediterranean style will soon overtake it.
“One design influence that’s here to stay is Mediterranean – I would say it is the new Hamptons. While a Mediterranean influence is not new as such, it does continue to grow in popularity globally – and it’s very well suited to the Australian climate and way of life,” Matt said.
“The key is to draw inspiration from the style and to then ensure this marries well with the interiors of properties as well as existing external architecture. The design aesthetic has to work as a whole.”
What does the Mediterranean influence look like in 2023?
Matt says to think of natural materials like timber and stone, offset by soft white renders and large sweeping curves around pools and garden beds. Aussies will be keen on a more bespoke, custom-built approach to space with hardwood furniture and linen fabrics. It also incorporates oversized planters, warm mood lighting, multipurpose seating, edible gardens, recycled materials, art pieces/sculptures and cabanas.
“Natural materials like recycled timber, tea tree sticks, overhead shade structures, floorboards and natural stone all layered with a bit of interest and texture like crazy paving, cobbles and random shape walling that is beautifully offset by soft white renders are what we will see more of this year,” said Matt.
Colour-wise, the trend leans towards natural, earthy colours, the blues and greens – including strong emerald green. A white-based palette will also become a popular choice that works well as a base to layer natural products such as stone and timber.
Rooftop gardens remain very popular in outdoor spaces. Done right, they’re a beautiful design feature in a garden and such a smart use of space that also has practicalities in terms of water capture and insulation for homes.
Watering will also be back on the agenda in 2023 after what was a very wet year. La Nina is set to end around the end of February – and Australia is already experiencing a drier start to the year. “All the hand watering habits need to start re-emerging – as we’re finding gardens are drying out very quickly even at the moment when we are still getting some good rainfall. Alternatively, Aussies may opt for some amazing new technology to help keep gardens hydrated when the skies will no longer do it for them. The technology looks at the forecast and automatically irrigates the garden when it is predicted as a non-rainy day. The system can be controlled from a phone – making garden care a much simpler experience.”
Pools also remain popular, with recent reports revealing they add significant value to properties*. “Pools and outdoor kitchens are quintessentially Australian and two key elements of outdoor spaces that are not so much trend-driven but a prerequisite for most of our design briefs,” said Matt.
The popularity of the plunge pool will be one of the biggest trends in pools in 2023. Along with curves. “We’ll still be seeing more traditional rectangular shapes, and they will always have a place in our landscapes as the shape of the pool is driven by the look and feel that suits the property and the client.”
When looking at trends for inspiration, homeowners can be influenced, but should not be entirely led by, fashion. “No design style or colour choice should be adopted just because it’s on-trend. It’s important to consider how the look of the moment works within a space and not just blindly follow trends.
“Trends inevitably date. If you can, bringing in a landscape designer to help maximise space, place all the important elements and work on a design style and plants that will thrive in your environment, is a fantastic investment,” Matt says.