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Let’s put a bow on 2021, our second year of pandemic living. As many elements of daily life began to ease back toward normalcy—bolstered by vaccines—we started to venture out into the world and gather again with family and friends. But for many, our homes remained our center of existence.
The desire for comfort and stability drove many of our decorating and design choices this year, and these same themes will continue to dominate interior design trends in 2022, experts say. “The last couple years have given so many of us the opportunity to reflect on who we are and how we want to live,” says interior designer Joshua Smith. “Our homes should inspire our mind and nourish our spirit, and that can be expressed in so many various ways for different people.”
To determine what styles, colors, and materials we can expect to see more of in the coming year, we tapped a variety of interior designers and industry pros for their expert insights. These are the top 8 home design trends experts say are about to be everywhere.
1. Shades of Green
If the picks for 2022 color of the year are any indication, green is having a major moment right now. Paint companies including Sherwin-Williams, Benjamin Moore, PPG, and others named a shade of green as the top color trend for the coming year, and designers like Ginger Curtis of the Texas firm Urbanology Designs say the lush hue is starting to edge out blue as the most popular color to decorate with. To explain this newfound affinity for green, she notes that the color is “a comforting reminder of the outdoors and our need for a connection with nature.” After the COVID-19 pandemic compelled us to move many social gatherings and activities outdoors, we’re bringing nature’s influence back indoors with us, Curtis says.
2. Curved Lines
In furniture, patterns, and architecture, the angular, geometric shapes popular in years past are being replaced by softer, wavier lines. Curves were called out in Pinterest’s trend prediction report for 2022, which noted significant surges in search interest for curved walls and living room couches over the past year. Now, soft lines, arcs, and curves are popping up across furniture collections from a wide variety of retailers, notes North Carolina interior designer Kristin Bartone. She traces this trend back to our collective desire for comfort amid stressful times, as curves and rounded forms inherently feel softer and more calming than sharp angles and straight lines. “Right now, recovering from the global health crisis and economic strain, people want to be embraced by the furniture, lighting, and fabrics that we interact with in our everyday environment,” she says.
3. Warm Neutrals
Crisp whites, steely grays, and other cool neutrals are long-time favorites that deliver a clean, contemporary look, but preferences are starting to shift in a warmer direction. “I predict that we’ll see the resurgence of warmer color palettes and a subtle shift back to creams, beiges, and nudes,” Smith says. Expect to see these comforting neutrals—as well as richer, earthier shades including taupe, camel, and rust—applied to walls, upholstery, and other furniture to foster a cozy, inviting atmosphere. In addition to these more conventional shades, Texas-based designer Kim Armstrong also predicts we’ll see blush emerge as a go-to neutral. Incorporate variations of tan or taupe with soft pink undertones to warm up a room and establish a happy vibe, she suggests.
4. Layers of Texture
Of all the 2022 interior design trends, texture was mentioned most often. South Carolina interior designer Caroline Brackett predicts “anything furry, nubby, or cozy” will be popular in the coming year, while Erin Coren of Curated Nest Interiors sees more fringe and decorative trim on the horizon. “Layers and textures are everywhere right now in fashion, and interior design is usually not far behind,” Coren says. Even walls are receiving textural treatments through techniques like lime-washing and paint products that mimic plaster finishes, says California designer Lindye Galloway. To achieve a cozy, layered look through furniture and accessories, look for a variety of materials such as natural stone, leather, wood, and metal, as well as highly textured fabrics like bouclé.
5. Mixing Vintage and New
Instead of purchasing all new furnishings, people are increasingly sprinkling in antiques and vintage pieces among more modern designs, says Milwaukee-based interior designer Anna Franklin. “Antiques and vintage-sourced decor and furniture is not only eco-friendly since you are repurposing items, but it allows there to be a juxtaposition between old and new in a space,” she says. Especially amid supply-chain disruptions and months-long backorders, shopping vintage is more desirable than ever. According to a report from online resale marketplace Mercari, Americans spent more than $17 billion on secondhand furniture and other items for the home last year, and that number is only expected to grow.
6. Biophilic Design
Also distinguished as a top trend in the 2022 Pinterest Predicts report, biophilic design aims to bring the outdoors into your home through natural materials, colors, and—of course—plants. Moving beyond a few pots on the windowsill, plant parents are now experimenting with plant-covered walls and unique hanging installations. Bartone explains that this nature-inspired trend is rooted in our basic human makeup. “Historically, being connected with nature has provided food, clothing, and shelter,” she says. “These connections are imprinted in our brains and we are subconsciously comforted by these colors, textures, and patterns.”
7. Decline of the Home Office
As much of the workforce transitioned to remote work at the beginning of the pandemic, home offices became a necessity rather than a luxury. Nearly two years later, many people are heading back to the office, and the need for at-home workstations may be waning. According to a 2022 trend report from Modsy, 81% of people would prefer to work from home at least part of the time, but the online interior design company experienced a 30% decrease in the number of people designing home offices this year compared to 2020. As needs shift, expect many homeowners to transition their makeshift office setup back to the guest bedroom, game room, or walk-in closet it once was.
Stacy Zarin Goldberg
8. Locally and Sustainably Sourced Furnishings
“Sustainability and consciously-made decor, accessories, and furniture are continuing to rise as more people are being cognizant of their environmental impact and where their products come from,” Franklin says. More consumers are now looking into how their furniture is made, including the wood, glues, and fibers used to create it, as well as how far it has to travel to get to their homes, Bartone adds. Materials matter, but shopping local and using regional suppliers are also great ways to reduce your carbon footprint as you outfit your home.