The new year is a great time to start fresh—whether that means finally organizing your closet and decluttering your kitchen, or taking things a step further by updating the aesthetic of your home. To get a sense of the top design trends that will dominate our living spaces in 2022, we asked several trusted architects and interior designers for their predictions, and also gathered insights from recently published industry surveys.
As it turns out, many of the top home design trends of 2022 are iterations of concepts we’ve seen in recent years, but it’s not due to a lack of creativity. Instead, it’s likely because we’re continuing to lean in to our personal tastes and needs. “We are living in the future where individuality and confidence rule,” says interior designer Andee Hess, principal of Osmose Design, an award-winning interior design studio in Portland, Oregon.
Jean Lin, founder and curator of Colony, a New York City design cooperative, gallery, and studio that represents independent furniture, lighting, textile, and object designers, shares a similar outlook. “There is a movement against the big-box retailers that pushes back on the homogenization of our homes and design in general,” Lin says. “We are settling for what’s readily available less and less—and seeking out our most expressive and genuine lives at home.”
Read on for the top home design trends that architecture and interior design experts have seen steadily emerge—and those they expect will fade as we move into 2022.
Even before COVID-19 lockdowns had people spending an increased amount of time indoors, studies showed that having plants in your home can improve concentration and reduce stress levels, not to mention improve indoor air quality. Now that we’ve settled into a work-from-home lifestyle that’s seemingly here to stay, it’s only natural that people are trying to find ways to bring the outdoors into their homes. Biophilic design principles have steadily risen in popularity in recent years, with an emphasis on creating calming, plant-filled environments that establish a visual connection with nature. In 2022, it looks like our collective love for lush indoor environments will continue to bloom.
According to the recently released Pinterest Predicts 2022 report, which analyzes emerging global trends based on the platform’s findings between October 2019 and September 2021, searches for “biophilic architecture” increased by 150 percent on the website during that period. The terms “biophilic design bedroom,” “staircase garden,” and “floral ceiling” also jumped up significantly. But it’s not just greenery-filled living and working spaces that will flourish in the year ahead: Green-painted interiors—from playful accents on kitchen cabinets to fully painted living room walls—will be ubiquitous too
Major brands like Benjamin Moore, Farrow and Ball, and Sherwin-Williams all included various shades of green on their lists of top paint colors for 2022. Flora- and fauna-patterned wallpapers and fabrics will also be popular picks to add playful touches to spaces throughout the home. Whether you embrace the trend by nurturing your own indoor garden or decking out your interiors with emerald- and moss-toned accents, just think: channel leaf motifs and forest-inspired hues.
Similarly, it seems like we’ll also be looking toward “greener” materials in the year ahead. In the Interior Designer Trends Survey from online marketplace 1stDibs, which asked 750 interior designers from its trade program about their tastes going into the new year, roughly 97 percent of designers said sustainable materials will reign supreme in 2022.
“The years 2020 and 2021 saw a frenzy of ‘what can we get now’ purchasing for the home,” says Lin, adding that many people felt “a rush to purchase items for utility over longevity.” The Colony founder and curator thinks more consumers will start to leave those behaviors behind: “In 2022, we’ll see the antidote to that, with interiors that reflect a longer lifespan, and furnishings that are timelessly chic and functional,” she says.
Isabelle Dubern-Mallevays and Anna Zaoui, cofounders of The Invisible Collection, a curated online platform and showroom for designer furniture, say reclaimed wood and stone will be popular elements in both architecture and interior design.
The upward trend toward repurposing existing materials can extend to construction methods too. “More and more, we find ourselves working to improve the performance of existing historic structures rather than building anew,” add Tal Schori and Rustam-Marc Mehta of Brooklyn firm GRT Architects. We’ve seen this trend emerge steadily over the years, with clever adaptive reuse projects ranging from barn conversions to warehouse renovations.
Next, expect to see more tactile materials—wood, plaster, bronze, and leather—and finishes with textures derived from nature. “I think we will continue to see a lot of earthier finishes like plaster, clay, and lime washes in 2022,” says architect Frederick Tang, principal at the eponymous Brooklyn architecture and interior design firm.
“There will also be greater experimentation with textures like raked plaster, rougher clay, or grainy stuccos,” Tang continues. “These have been really popular interior finishes because they’re so durable and can be made water-resistant, but I think they will start moving outdoors, and even onto custom furniture.”
Many of our experts agree that a growing number of consumers are seeking out vintage, antique, and handcrafted furnishings and decor for their homes. “Since slowing down has given people the opportunity to explore hands-on activities like ceramics, painting, and baking, we’ve seen a draw toward craft pieces that can be appreciated even more now that there’s an understanding of how challenging they are to make,” say Andee Hess and Makrai Crecelius of Osmose Design.
“There’s a greater appreciation for craft knowledge that tracks with the rise of natural wine or use of archive textiles in fashion,” add architects Nicko Elliott and Ksenia Kagner, founders of New York City architecture and design studio Civilian Projects. “The smoothed-out Scandinavian and Memphis-influenced design trends are starting to give way to a greater interest in intricately crafted and historic decorative forms.”
Elliott and Kagner think we’ll see “more vestibules, hallways, libraries, console desks, pantries, and dressing spaces with a focus on displaying object collections” in 2022. “For furnishings, think: throne-like chairs, consoles, and sideboards. For accessories, look for generously scaled table lamps, large candlesticks, quilts and rustic linen, patterning, and heavily textured ceramics,” add the duo.
“In upholstery, I think we will move away from more minimalist textures and see more experimentation with edge details including ruffles, pleats, tassels, and ball fringes,” adds Tang. “Some of these decorative elements may have felt stuffy before, but I think paired with bolder colors and patterns, they can feel less traditional and more playful.”
Rounded details will also stick around in 2022, but the motif will expand to new areas of the home and take shape in new iterations. “Wavy undulations have been showing up a lot in furniture, but I think we will see it in millwork, stone backsplash detailing,” says Tang, continuing: “The motif can work in so many different settings.”
Beyond sofas with softened corners and arched windows or doorways, we can expect to see an increase in curvilinear elements throughout the home. You can hop on this trend by incorporating circular structural details such as waterfall corners on consoles, countertops, desks, and headboards. Or, opt for less-permanent decor choices, such as drum tables and rounded area rugs.
Still, there might be two specific parts of the home where circular details will make the biggest splash in the year ahead: The 2022 Pinterest Predicts report detailed a 140-percent increase in searches for “curved bar design” and a 170-percent jump for “round pool decking ideas” driven by boomers, millennials, and Gen X.
Hello, Multifunctional Spaces (Goodbye Open Plan)
With the continuation of hybrid and remote work into 2022, flexible live/work spaces that accommodate that needs of various generations under the same roof are paramount. “Owners are now wanting homes to be ideal places to not only live, but also places where they can work, where children can learn, and where multiple generations can live together—and where there’s a possibility that the dwelling can be used as a rental property,” says architect Cavin Costello, principal at The Ranch Mine, a Phoenix firm Costello cofounded with his wife, Claire.
“The obvious spark that ignited this trend was COVID-19, but it has been ramping up for years,” Costello continues, pointing to improved technology enabling more people to work remotely, as well as multigenerational living arrangements resulting from high costs of housing and elder care.
“Convertible and communal space is at a premium,” add Schori and Mehta of GRT Architects. “For example, in Manhattan’s West Village we’re designing a kitchen that converts into a soundproof office, and in upstate New York we’re working on an entry that doubles as a solarium for a client’s plant collection.”
However, while flexible spaces that accommodate multiple generations and functions may continue to be popular in the year ahead, you can expect more separation between common spaces like the kitchen, home office, dining area, and living room. “Open floor plans have been trending out in workplace design for a while, and we’re now seeing a lot of demand for carefully proportioned and sequenced spaces in residential projects,” say Elliott and Kagner.
While open floor plans once soared in popularity, the trend may taper off in 2022 in favor of layouts that distinguish between living and working spaces and provide opportunities for privacy.