Flooring Color Trends Go “Wild” in 2023

Design Colors of the Year Main Image
Photos courtesy of Rob Haley | AkzoNobel.

Wood flooring color trends in 2023 are set to take a leaf out of nature’s book, with a host of colors and hues that are inspired by our natural environment. After the uncertainties of the pandemic, demand for hardwood flooring solutions is expected to increase, driven by both increasing domestic demand and the strength of the construction and residential housing market in North America. And as demand for hardwood flooring takes off, so too does demand for coatings and color solutions that can captivate consumers.

At AkzoNobel, our Global Color and Design team for Wood Coatings works with designers and architects around the world to understand the influence and impact of fashion, lifestyles and, of course, nature on paints and coatings.

Some of the modern design and higher-end influences include the trend for less distressing, the preference for less gray and more color, and the growing popularity of natural finish designs and smoother woods, such as birch, cherry, walnut, and maple. Consumers also are moving away from pale and desaturated finishes in favor of organic elements, such as rattan, jute, sisal, and stone.

Color of the Year 2023

Wild Wonder™ – AkzoNobel’s Color of the Year 2023
Wild Wonder™ – AkzoNobel’s Color of the Year 2023

Wild Wonder™ – AkzoNobel’s Color of the Year 2023 – exemplifies these emerging trends and changing tastes. It is a golden hue inspired by the warm tones of harvested crops, with an upbeat glow that aims to connect people with nature, creating a sense of energy and positivity.

Nature is literally all around us. It inspires us. It excites us. It makes us feel better in our lives and in our homes. This wider trend is apparent across society, where people are turning to the wonders of the natural world to rediscover connection, inspiration, and balance in their lives.

Building on our annual trend research, our Global Wood Studio in High Point, North Carolina, has created four unique color palettes around the Color of the Year that are all driven by this same trend to seek balance and connection through the rhythms of nature.

Nature is literally all around us. It inspires us. It excites
us. It makes us feel better in our lives and in our homes.

To provide examples of the previously mentioned trends, the four palettes – connected by the overarching theme of Seeds of Wonder – are as follows:

Lush Color Palette


Lush – these “forest hues” are inspired by plant-filled habitats: gardens, forests and woodlands. It’s a soothing palette that gives a comforting, familiar, and supportive feel to a space.

Raw Color Palette


Raw – these “harvest shades” are inspired by nature’s raw materials. Reflecting the richness of natural resources and designs, the palette creates a sense of creativity and potential in a space.

Buzz Color Palette


Buzz – these “meadow brights” are inspired by the bustling biodiversity of a wildflower field or grassland. The upbeat palette adds joy and harmony to a space, celebrating what it means to work together.

Flow Color Palette


Flow – these “seashore tones” are inspired by the regular rhythms of nature and the cyclical tides of life. It’s a subtle, timeless palette that brings a feeling of balance and fluidity.

Specially crafted finishes are required for different products, as flooring coatings often are applied to highlight and play with the natural beauty of the wood rather than to cover a blank surface. Our highly trained technical service team works closely with the Wood Design team to ensure finishes are robust and can be industrialized for customers around the world.

Wood flooring continues to be the most popular flooring choice for homeowners in the United States, but consumer tastes never stand still. The latest color trends and innovations shaping the hardwood flooring sector are an opportunity to help producers, specifiers, and designers stay relevant and continue to deliver products that delight, inspire, and excite their customers.

Rob Haley is color trends manager, industrial coatings for AkzoNobel. For more information about AkzoNobel, visit akzonobel.com.

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