a private saltwater pool cut into a cliff face as part of a resort
Carved into the cliff face’s living rock, a Cave suite offers its own private saltwater pool and Sea of Crete vistas; photography: Giorgos Sfakianakis.

A Year in Design: The Most-Read Stories of 2023

What design concepts sparked readers’ interest in 2023? From the tranquil allure of nature-inspired homes to the modern transformation of a Sedona spa and a must-see roster of industry luminaries, this year’s design landscape beckoned readers into a realm of creativity, functionality, and aesthetic innovation. Offering a balance between self-care and adventure, our curated selection of top design reads showcases spaces fueled by boundary-pushing firms, a keen awareness of the natural world, and an eye toward the future. Take a look!

Explore This Year’s Top Design Reads 

Interior Design Unveils the 2023 Top 100 Giants

a building lobby with orange chairs

It’s easy to get hung up on symbolic numbers. Like, say, $5 billion. Nice and round. What could it represent, besides a comfortable retirement? In our case, a growth threshold for the Interior Design 100 Giants. In 2022, fees for the biggest firms came in just shy of that, at $4.97 billion—pretty good when you consider the turmoil of the past few years. That figure also marks 12 percent growth over 2021, beating the group’s forecast by 16 percent. Read more about Giants of Design.

Serenity Prevails in This House Surrounded by Nature

a mid-century home surrounded by nature
Photography by Ema Peter.

Nestled among the trees, this home enticed a young, creative couple to move from New York City to North Vancouver, British Columbia, where they decided to put down roots and raise their two children. The family liked the original proportions of the property and decided to expand the footprint minimally. The mid-century home design, however, didn’t fit their vision so they called on Olson Kundig to reinvent it while Erica Colpitts Interior Design took care of the interiors. Read more about this serene home.

A Historic Brooklyn Brownstone Receives a Modern Update

a living room in a midcentury home with a white sofa, yellow sofa, and a cozy rug underneath both
Tim Lenz / Stylism by Mariana Marcki-Matos.

Young couple Lauren and Will—in their mid-30s—have been living in New York City for almost a decade. A few months ago, following the birth of their first child, they decided to move from their apartment in search of more space. It took them eight months to find this 1901 brownstone in South Slope, Brooklyn. They immediately fell in love with the original features, including the stained-glass windows, but they also needed to make some design changes. They decided to start a renovation with the help of Appel Architecture, who recommended Crystal Sinclair Designs for the interiors. Read more about brownstone interior design.

Unwind in this Updated Sedona Spa Surrounded by Red Rock

sunken seating in the living room of a resort spa in Arizona, in shades of red
Photography by Douglas Friedman.

The Arizona desert town of Sedona is sometimes referred to as the New Age Capital. It’s a longtime mecca for yogis and spiritual seekers, thanks in part to its otherworldly landscape of striated red-rock formations. That’s why Enchantment Group, the Scottsdale-based resort-management company, decided to open Mii amo—now an Interior Design Best of Year Award winner—there in 2001, and why Gluckman Tang Architects decided to put its concept for the project entirely in the service of one goal: highlighting Sedona’s beauty. Read more about this spa design.

Introducing Interior Design’s 2023 Hospitality Giants

a hotel bar with a black and white floor
Photography by Melissa Hom.

Ever since the pandemic devastated the hospitality industry, we’ve been waiting for the comeback—and 2022 might be it. Interior Design’s Hospitality Giants brought in $576 million total fees, up 36 percent from the previous year. It’s a welcome surge: When 2020 went viral, so to speak, fees dropped by more than half, to $423 million in 2021, after having enjoyed a decade-long ascent from $600 million to a record $1.1 billion in 2019. Read more about the Hospitality Giants.

6 Delectable Eateries With Innovative Designs

a deep-blue lounge with an installation that resembles the setting sun
Photography by Alessandro Paderni/Eye Studio.

In an atmospheric deep-blue lounge surveyed by a glowing light-art installation resembling the setting sun, a prep counter hand-troweled with metallic plaster becomes a stage where chefs prepare inventive Michelin–starred fare under the watchful gaze of diners ensconced in Patricia Urquiola’s cosseting Ruff armchairs. See more appealing new eateries.

Kona Villa is the Peak of Chic in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

an installation of canoe sails hangs over a mahogany table in this hotel restaurant
Photography by Douglas Friedman.

In 2011, a tsunami destroyed the beloved Hawaiian resort Kona Village. For five decades, the Big Island hideaway was known for its paradisal location on Kahuwai Bay and a relaxed, convivial vibe; families returned year after year. Frequent collaborators Greg Warner, cofounder/partner at Walker Warner Architects, and Nicole Hollis, creative director and principal of the eponymous interior design studio, had the formidable task of formulating the next iteration of the property: Kona Village, A Rosewood Resort. Read more about striking resort.

Highlights from Interior Design’s 2023 Hall of Fame

attendees at Interior Design's 2023 Hall of Fame gala
Photography by Matthew Carasella.

Interior Design‘s Hall of Fame ceremony honors a select group of designers and creatives who have carved out exceptional—and deeply impactful—careers, leading the architecture and design industry forward. This year, the magazine’s 39th annual gala drew a well-heeled crowd to The Glasshouse in Manhattan on December 6 for a memorable celebration of design, including the debut of four documentary films honoring this year’s inductees. Explore full coverage of the event.

Acro Suites, a Clifftop Resort, Wows in Crete

a private saltwater pool cut into a cliff face as part of a resort
Photography by Giorgos Sfakianakis.

On the Greek island of Crete sits Acro Suites, a new wellness resort near the fishing village of Agia Pelagia. The stunning property, conceived by two local sisters, Danae and Konstantina Orfanaki, heralds the dawn of a more enlightened and environmentally responsible approach to Aegean hospitality design. Sensitive to both the privileged setting and the island’s ecology, the completed hotel comprises a stepped chain of one- and two-story structures perched along the cliff. Read more about the resort design.

Ghislaine Viñas Co-Designs Andra Hem, an Atypical B&B

a teal maximalist cocktail bar in Philadelphia
Photography by Jason Varney.

If you can survive the 2-hour line to get into Andra Hem, Philadelphia’s chicest new night spot, you’re in for a rather delicious cocktail. The recipe: An ounce of hotel, a teaspoon of art, a twist of bar, a shot of lounge. Shake vigorously! Pour over ice and garnish with honey from the rooftop bee farm. Who is the crafty mixologist behind this spirited typological concoction? Why, it’s New York designer Ghislaine Viñas, teaming with her longtime friend and client/muse, art collector and dealer Paige West. Read more about this unique bar design.

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