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A dark and bold design trend takes over home décor styles in 2023

  • Ideas & Inspiration
Jun 20, 2023
Dark Gothilicious trend - Beautiful Homes

As one of 2023’s trends to look out for in the Asian Paints trend forecast report, ‘Gothilicious’ is unapologetically bold and sensual. Darker colours with edgy and scarred surface textures take centre stage 

Over the past few years, our need for self-expression and quest for authenticity has heightened—from how we portray ourselves on social media to the way we display our personalities through our fashion choices. By stepping into the limelight and consciously rejecting uniformity, we not only embrace the brilliance of light but also acknowledge the presence of shadows. And, it is within these shadows that our unexplored depths lie—absorbing, mysterious, and evocative. Enter darker colours, edgy and scarred surface textures that take centre stage with vulnerable yet evocative finishes. In a large shift from neutrals, we’ve been making way for darker, rawer sentiments—a definitive aesthetic with an understated gothic essence. This has sparked the latest trend in design for 2023—‘Gothilicious’.



As one of 2023’s trends to look out for in the Asian Paints trend forecast report, ‘Gothilicious’ is unapologetically bold and sensual, with lush palettes that are reminiscent of the past, while being utilised with a new twist to hint towards the future. But, it doesn’t herald doom and gloom. The use of darker colours is also symbolic for finding acceptance in the most unlikely places. In the past year, everything from TV shows to the music, fashion and culinary industry have embraced darker palettes. Series such as Only Murders in the Building and Stranger Things captured this mood with deconstructed walls, vintage furniture and revivalist Victorian buildings; while HBO’s House of the Dragon builds even further on Game of Thrones’ gothic legacy. American singer Billie Eilish led this trend in the music industry, while fashion labels such as Blumarine, Khaite and Chanel made goth the central theme for their collections in 2022. And, what started as an in-the-know Tumblr trend for students with a penchant for gothic buildings, classic literature and vintage clothing, went on to become a TikTok sensation last year called dark academia. This movement led by a young audience gained momentum as schools closed and social media users built their own romanticised ones online.

To encompass ‘Gothilicious’, think of engulfing and daring colour palettes comprising smoked chestnut, sun red, silver leaf and black sea paired with hard materials such as charcoal, Japanese burnt wood, cracked glass and molten metal. There’s also a strong focus on statement-making, old-world fabrics like black lace, velvet, zari, leather and faux fur.


Encapsulating the continuing motion of turning a page in a sculptural form, this ‘Fold’ bookend by Stem reveals bold character within its seemingly simplified and darkened form. Sand cast in solid gunmetal bronze, each piece of this broody monolithic bookend (which somehow reminds us of Stonehenge) has been hand-crafted by master artisans. Its sinuous fold and unique layers echo a metaphor for space that stands timelessly, while ageing beautifully with nature around.

Folded bookend - Beautiful Homes

‘Fold’ bookend by Stem.

Kim Kardashian - Beautiful Homes

Kim Kardashian's all-black Balenciaga ensemble at the Met Gala 2021.


In a striking display of power and symbolism, Kim Kardashian commanded attention at the Met Gala 2021, donning an all-black Balenciaga ensemble. Clad in a silhouette that spoke volumes, her presence transcended the need for facial recognition. Balenciaga's designer, Demna Gvasalia, astutely captured the essence of Kim's celebrity, affirming that her influence extended far beyond her visage. Kardashian's attire resonated profoundly in a year overshadowed by masks. It stood as a testament to the transformative power of fashion—a seamless fusion of art and personal expression. The black ensemble, with its enigmatic allure, encapsulated the very essence of the theme—transcending conventional boundaries and captivating all who beheld it. 

Just as Kardashian's silhouette exuded authority and recognition, ‘Gothilicious’ beckons us to explore our own unique narratives, where our individuality takes centre stage, transcending the limitations of mere appearances.




Last year, for their single The Loneliest, Italian rock and roll quartet Måneskin shot a spectacularly cinematic music video featuring a funeral, a backdrop of torrential rain and a slew of dark gothic visuals. From the opening frames, a haunting atmosphere takes hold, immersing us in a dimly lit, mysterious setting. The band members, adorning edgy and unconventional attire, exude a sense of raw individuality and captivating magnetism. Their appearance, coupled with the video's meticulously crafted set design, invokes a gothic essence that is both alluring and provocative. The mise-en-scène itself is a testament to the power of gothic aesthetics. It boasts ornate and decadent details, and an otherworldly charm. The use of dim lighting, dramatic shadows, and intricate props sets the stage for a captivating narrative that unfolds within a gothic dreamscape. 


Throughout his illustrious career, the visionary Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto has elevated the artistry and mystique of the colour black with an unwavering commitment to its quiet power and evocative moodiness. For his riveting menswear collection of 2022, Yamamoto drew inspiration from the interplay of diverse influences. He artfully merged the haunting universe of Polish painter Zdislaw Beksinski's dystopian visions with the sombre Victorian world conceived by Charles Dickens, infusing it with an intriguing twist reminiscent of the enigmatic Edward Scissorhands. The result? A symphony of darkness that unfolds on the runway, capturing the essence of ‘Gothilicious’ in every stitch and silhouette. Yamamoto's masterful craftsmanship immerses us in a realm where shadows dance and emotions stir. The fusion of these influences births a collection that resonates with those who seek to embrace their darker, more complex aspects—their inner gothic souls.

Black menswear collection - Beautiful Homes

Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto's riveting menswear collection of 2022.

Mesh curtain in Barcelona by Kengo Kuma and Associates - Beautiful Homes

Kengo Kuma and Associates craft a mesh curtain within the Casa Batlló building in Barcelona.


Kengo Kuma and Associates have utilised 1,64,000 metres of aluminium chains to craft a captivating mesh curtain within the renovated Casa Batlló building in Barcelona. This intervention by the Japanese architect is a significant addition to the extensive restoration of the renowned gothic-style house designed by Antoni Gaudí in 1904. The curtain, produced with Kriskadecor's aluminium chains, adorns the atrium and a new staircase, enhancing the immersive experience for visitors. It not only pays tribute to the symbolic use of light in the house but also envelops the emergency staircase, reflecting beams off the metal links to create a shimmering effect. As the curtain descends, it transitions from a lighter shade to black, reminiscent of daylight filtering through a central courtyard.


When American filmmaker and animator Tim Burton made his TV debut with Netflix’s Wednesday in 2022, he brought its namesake’s (Wednesday Addams) gothic and edgy style to life. Her character has even inspired fashion designer Miuccia Prada’s fall-winter collection in 2019, where the models wore Wednesday’s characteristic braids as they sashayed down the catwalk to the theme song from The Addams Family. In this series, while she still has her side plaits and loves the colour black, Wednesday also wears designer goth fashion by the likes of Miu Miu, Prada and Alaïa. Embodying the essence of dark academia, her outfits draw inspiration from the hallowed halls of English boarding schools and preppy Ivy League universities. With an impeccable sense of style, she effortlessly adorns herself in Schiaparelli's ‘Claw’ gloves, and adds a touch of eccentricity with a coffin-shaped Thierry Mugler purse, pairing dark aesthetics with high fashion. 

Wednesday on Netflix - Beautiful Homes

Wednesday on Netflix by American filmmaker and animator Tim Burton.

Home in Chilmark by Alan Organschi - Beautiful Homes

Family home in Chilmark by Alan Organschi of Gray Organschi Architecture.


Architect Aaron Schiller approached his former Yale professor, architect Alan Organschi of Gray Organschi Architecture, for mentoring him and collaborating on the design and construction of his multigenerational family home in Chilmark, Martha’s Vineyard. Christened Chilmark House, the duo built the 6,200-square-foot five-bedroom barn-like home with a gabled wood exterior comprising charred cedar. The duo used the centuries-old Japanese craft of shou sugi ban—a decorative and architectural wood-burning technique that preserves wood by charring it to create a textural surface that is beautiful to look at, and offers practical advantages. Today, the house stands as an architectural symbol of grit and character—a stark contrast to the spectacular azure views of the Atlantic Ocean across it!


Set against the backdrop of the enchanting Mexican countryside, the hauntingly captivating novel Mexican Gothic weaves a web of creepy intrigue that leaves readers enchanted and unnerved. Author Silvia Moreno-Garcia masterfully crafts a tale of mystery and suspense as the protagonist ventures into the remote and decaying surroundings at High Place. The story unfolds with a blend of gothic elements, folklore and a touch of the supernatural, immersing readers in a world where ancient family secrets and dark forces converge. As the protagonist unravels the mysteries surrounding the sinister Doyle family, the eerie atmosphere and palpable tension becomes sinister, drawing readers deeper into a labyrinth of secrets and chilling discoveries. Moreno-Garcia's vivid descriptions evoke a sense of both beauty and unease, its unsettling allure lingering on long after the final page is turned.


Click here to buy a copy of Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Mexican Gothic Novel - Beautiful Homes

Novel Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.

Gothilicous trend - Beautiful Homes

With alluring metallic colour, ‘Gothilicous’ creates accent points against dark, broody styles.


Asian Paints’ Colour of the Year in 2023 is Silver Escapade, which symbolises a fluid interaction between time and space—both virtual and physical, through the past, present and future. The chromatic illusory shade echoes the mind of a traveller—one who’s moving through virtual and physical worlds. It heralds a coexistence between magical stories from our childhood, a brighter optimistic present, and a future that will be consciously created by us. If you’re looking for the perfect way to complement this year’s trending design theme, ‘Gothilicous’, look no further than this alluring metallic colour to create accent points against dark, broody styles.


Discover Silver Escape, the Colour of the Year and its trending design pieces here

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