The first year of the pandemic taught us a lot about ourselves and how we live with others. Never in a million years did we envision ourselves holding braless Zoom meetings from a cloffice, but hey—that’s showbiz, baby. Plus, we have to admit: COVID-19 was the reality check we didn’t know we needed. This year’s interior design trends serve as a metaphor for the growth, resilience and innovation we’ve experienced in the last two years (along with an IDGAF attitude). So read on to see how our homes are changing in 2022.
We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again: Newstalgia is already popping up everywhere in 2022. For those who don’t know, the look blends vintage and retro furnishings with luxe finishes and top-of-the-line tech, so it feels current and evocative. Think: Pairing your great grandmother’s oak-wood sideboard with a contemporary Calcutta marble dining table. “On the whole, we are seeing a mix of interiors for 2022, bouncing between the nostalgic vibes of the noughties and the use of more minimalist and eco-friendly styles,” explains James Waylett, head of marketing at Jacobs and Dalton. Basically, if the sets of Clueless and Home Alone had a baby with Ex Machina, it’d be Newstalgia.
2. Sculptural Lighting
The coolest upgrade you can make to your home this year? Sculptural lighting. Etsy’s 2021 trend report revealed a 27 percent increase in sculptural lighting—from spider pendants to abstract sconces—that add character and eccentricity to a space. And, just like Newstalgia, this year’s lighting trends are taking cues from the past: “[We’re seeing] designs from 20th-century movements like Art Deco, Early Modernist, Bauhaus and the Atomic Age,” says designer Laura Umansky. Think: fixtures with industrial metal accents, antique finishes and frosted glass.
3. Hellenistic Revival
ICYMI, Gwenyth Paltrow just shared a full celebrity home tour on Architectural Digest—and her dining room showcases the best of Hellenisitic revival. “[This trend] pays homage to ancient Greek motifs,” explains designer Karen B. Wolf. “From bust statues and Corinthian cornices to gold, blue, black and white palettes, Aphrodite imagery and vessels from ancient times.” And if Paltrow’s ethereal dining room is any indication, dreamy wall murals and ancient motifs will be making a huge comeback this year.
4. Going Green
By now, you’ve probably noticed that green tones are the “it” color of 2022. But what’s most interesting about this trend is that it stems from biophilia and holistic wellness. “A cleaner home means less cluttered environments, and the color green, selected by five major paint companies [as their official Color of the Year], speaks to wellness,” says Wolf. “Garlands, ferns, vertical walls, privacy plant walls, plant ceilings and inside gardens will be trending.” Overall, the look combines living greenery and decorative tones for open, airy spaces infused with laid-back, ‘70s Cali vibes.
5. Jewel-Toned Furniture
What else are designers obsessing over in 2022? Jewel-toned furniture. “White, white, white, is out, out, out,” says Lynne Tocchet, director of interior design at Pacaso. “Warm jewel tones will be seen in rich hues such as burnt orange throw pillows on the sofa and bedding with deep blue and green accent patterns.” We’re taking ruby, emerald, sapphire, amethyst and luxurious gold-toned pieces that can elevate a space with dramatic, risky color. In short, it’s the easiest way to turn a room into a mood.
6. Checkerboard Patterns
While checkerboard patterns have been around for centuries, we’re seeing them pop up everywhere in home and fashion—from black and white floors to cozy cardigans. “Make your way over to the fashion side of Instagram, and you'll likely find a checkered object in the background of a few fashion girls–from area rugs to vases and ceramic mugs,” writes Who What Wear market editor Indya Brown. “The [checkered] print has popped up in lookbooks and shows from Gucci and Stine Goya to Christopher John Rogers and Dolce & Gabbana. Now, [it’s] the microtrend popping up in all of our favorite home decor shops.”
7. Stone and Clay Materials
And now, for the accessories. In 2021, organic modern decor was all the rage, and this year’s accessories are putting a fresh focus on warm, earthy neutrals with organic stone and clay elements. “Organic textures from natural materials like stone, pencil rattan, fired clay, hand-blown glass, silk and rustic, unfinished wood [are] also popular,” says Umansky. “From leather to stone, the natural textures [act] as neutrals. They anchor spaces dominated by unusual silhouettes and saturated colors.”
8. Plate Walls
Yet another swoon-worthy trend featured in Paltrow’s abode was this stunning Hermés plate wall. “Even before the pandemic hit and many people were stuck at home to entertain themselves, dishware was developing a renewed kind of cultural cachet,” explains Hannah Martin of Architectural Digest. “But what to do with all those plates when, for the past year at least, you’re a perpetual party of two or four? Tabletop-loving tastemakers have always known the answer: Take those dishes out of the cabinets and display them on the walls, of course!” And while the trend is centered around putting dishes on display, many designers are complementing the look with tableware, baskets and glassware to add dimension.
9. Curve Appeal
Perhaps the most prominent trend taking over feeds is curvy, rounded furniture and decor. Think: free-form sofas, drum coffee tables and arched structures. “The curve line is making its way strong into our homes,” says designer Kim Armstrong. “I think we are looking for softer lines and more comforting designs, [and you can expect to see curves] in doorways, windows, cabinet designs, arched ceilings.” Armstrong also mentions the calming, comforting effect of curvaceous furniture: “People are loving this soft line that feels like it wraps you in a hug after being through the hard times that Covid brought on.”
10. Smart Homes and Sustainability
Planning on selling your home this year? Well, we suggest you pay close attention to the sustainability trend. Real estate listings service Opendoor cited eco-friendly landscaping as a top priority among homeowners in its 2022 Décor Report, a sentiment echoed by Houzz in its recent design trends survey. Eco-friendly design has become a top priority for prospective home buyers, and you can expect to see upgrades like solar panels, energy-efficient windows, increased smart home tech (like temperature-regulating thermostats) and sunrooms on the rise in 2022.
11. Celebrating Color
Say goodbye to boring greys and unimposing neutrals, because color is back (and ready to party). It all comes down to how you pair ‘em: “Dark jewel tones and pops of color [will] set the tone for a palette that’s moody and uplifting all in the same act. Rich shades like Iron Ore and Blackberry create backdrops with deep tones, while bright accents like Coral Clay and Aleutian lighten the vibe,” writes Julianna Fatica of Sherwin-Williams. Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at the company, also mentions how this movement is a direct parallel to The Roaring ’20s. “It was about fun and laughter and remembering what it means to be joyful. We’re seeing a lot of that happening again as we come out of the chaos and get back to what’s good,” she explains.
12. Emotional Escape Rooms
Last but not least, a pandemic-incited trend that’s here to stay: emotional escape rooms. The term was coined by Pinterest, and it refers to the way people are repurposing their now-not-so-used guest rooms—which includes everything from little libraries, massage rooms, or music dens to crystal caverns. “Gen Z is looking for ways to raise their vibration and searching for spiritual awakening stages. At home, spaces are becoming sacred… Baths, meditation rooms, healing zones, and intentional space planning are all trending in 2022,” Wolf explains. “Home has become our sanctuary, and finding these spaces to recharge within our walls is essential.”