We’re Calling It: Burgundy Will Be the Biggest Color in 2023

by | Mar 1, 2023 | Signature Kitchen & Bath Blog | 0 comments

Patricia Shannon for Better Homes & Gardens on the biggest color for 2023. Let the professionals at SRB Signature Kitchen & Bath help you create your perfect bathroom or kitchen .

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And it’s delivering a completely different look than it did in the ’90s.

Burgundy is officially back. But if it recalls visions of ’90s-era wine-soaked walls, rest assured there’s a lot to love about how this rich color is playing out today. “Similar to how brass, with its warm, deep undertones, has taken a strong stance, this unique chameleon is quickly becoming a favorite for its ability to evoke the feeling of opulence, luxury, warmth, and sophistication,” says Lisa A. Haude, vice president and director of interior design at LK Architecture. 

Contrary to what you might think about this bold shade, much of its appeal lies in its versatility. Anna Brockway, cofounder and president of Chairish, says the hue works remarkably well with even vibrant colors like sunflower yellow, terra-cotta, chartreuse, and sky blue.

Figuring out how to go big with burgundy isn’t for the faint of heart though—it takes a design eye to strike the right balance. To make sure you hit the right notes, designers, color experts, and more share their top tips for decorating with burgundy. 

1. Avoid ’90s-Era Styling

We’ve seen burgundy before. Who can forget dining rooms and mahogany-furnished studies drenched in the hue? But burgundy in the year 2023 is a different aesthetic entirely. “When I think of ’90s burgundy, I think of bold walls and art,” says April Gandy, principal designer at Alluring Designs Chicago. “Today, I think of soft fabrics such as velvet and leather that give it a completely different feel than back in the day.” 

Haude suggests mixing it with neutral shades to give it an updated, sophisticated feel, or even rich tones like deep charcoal or inky blue if moodier is what you’re after. “These complementary modern colors are the perfect balance and pairing to the bold, rich deep color burgundy provides,” she says. 

2. Use Restraint

Sometimes when we find something we love, it can be hard not to go all in. It takes self-control, but burgundy is a color that deserves a subtle hand. Enveloping an entire room can make it feel dark and closed in, not to mention it can feel just generally too bold if not executed properly. “Burgundy has a lot of gravitas, so be sure to balance it with lighter and brighter colors and also consider using it on simpler shapes,” says Brockway. “Skip using burgundy on an ornate sofa (too glum), but give it a try with mohair in a midcentury slipper chair.” 

Even when it comes to paint, simple nuances can make all the difference. “Used judiciously, it becomes elegant and sophisticated, especially when used in different finishes, such as full gloss on bedroom cabinetry, to create an exotic lacquer effect, or in the flattest of emulsions to add decadence and warmth to a living room,” says Patrick O’Donnell, Farrow & Ball international brand ambassador. 

3. Utilize Your Accessories

You don’t have to go big to jump on the burgundy bandwagon. In fact, Haude suggests finding small ways, like pillows or even vintage books with burgundy covers, to bring in the shade du jour. “Pillows can easily be mixed into a seating area to help warm up the space,” she says. “Mixing in a couple of pillows with coordinating shades or neutrals … provides the perfect pop of color in a fresh and modern way.”

For imparting a color splash while making a statement, Haude suggests considering art that incorporates the hue. It can skew modern or traditional, take on a bold role, or one that is more subdued. Consider it a defining element to help further your aesthetic.

4. Balance with Neutrals 

Bold colors can sometimes be tricky when it comes to finding a color companion. As for burgundy, striking the right balance is key. “Incorporate the 60-30-10 rule where 60% is your dominant color, 30% is your secondary color, and 10% is your accent to ensure your room’s palette is not too busy and instead feels welcoming and warm,” says Haude. Youngblood also suggests balancing the boldness of burgundy with lighter, creamy colors that err more neutral for a subdued effect.

5. Focus on Furnishings

Incorporating burgundy into your design can be as simple as bringing in a more ancillary piece, which can still have a major impact on the overall look and feel of your space. “Incorporating an accent chair or loveseat in a lush burgundy velvet truly warms up a white, gray, [or] neutral space with a sense of vintage charm and helps anchor the room and provide that rich, timeless level of sophistication to any space, regardless of your preferred design style,” says Haude.

Youngblood provides just one piece of advice when it comes to more statement-seeking furnishings: Make sure you love it, as it will likely be a long-term commitment. 

6. Select Your Space

Determining which space is deserving of the burgundy treatment isn’t a no-brainer. You’ll want to consider how the space is used and how often. You’ll also want to think about what kind of vibe you’re aiming to instill. Sue Wadden, Sherwin-Williams director of color marketing, says red’s invigorating spirit can make it ideal for spaces where friends and family will be gathering. “I recommend using red in spaces where you want to feel awake and energized, and where you want to stir up conversation,” she says. “Communal rooms like kitchens, living rooms, and dining rooms can handle the fiery hue.”

If you’re still having burgundy commitment issues, forgo the full room and instead turn your attention to architectural elements, like exterior shutters or the front door. “Contrasted with a neutral base, painting your front door a rich shade of cabernet provides an unexpected statement of modern elegance that is a fresh new take on the tried-and-true feng shui red door,” says Haude.