In 2021, our homes continued to fulfill their hybrid role of both living and working spaces, as well as much-needed sanctuaries away from the uncertainty of the pandemic. This has and will continue to shape the future of interior design next year.
In 2022, how we decorate our homes will centre around sustainability in terms of the materials we use and brands we shop from, a renewed interest in bringing the natural world indoors, a restructuring of our living spaces to adapt to flexible working schedules, and a nostalgic dip into our design past.
“2022 will still have an emphasis on natural and sustainability in design,” says Bo Hellberg, CMO of String Furniture. “There will be a blend of retro and natural colours, beige, warm hues and various shades of green. Generally a more neutral and basic colour scheme. We will continue to want the ideal home office, equally practical and stylish.”
Below, eight design experts weigh in on what they believe will be the top interior design trends for 2022…
Sustainability and natural materials
Sustainability, a responsible use of materials, and the rise of the ‘biophilia’ trend is predicted to be a leading design trend of 2022.
Ben White, design and trade expert at Swyft says: “Sustainability and use of organic materials have become prominent in recent years. With the public’s increased exposure to climate change, the idea of sustainability has fed into the interior industry and our homes. This will translate into how we buy furniture; a move towards furniture items with reclaimed woods and accessories with recycled glass and metal.”
Sustainability trends in 2022 will focus on materials used in the home. Interior expert, Chloe Jonason, says: “Vintage textiles, and fabrics that are produced sustainably and with a slow ethos which moves away from mass production. From responsible companies with sustainability at their core who have a focus on handmade items that will last a lifetime.”
Our furniture, too, will move towards responsible design and manufacture. Bo predicts that cork will play a large part in a growing ‘biophilia’ trend. “Both renewable and biodegradable, cork is making its way into the kitchen for 2022,” says Bo. “Cork is a material part of the ‘biophilia’ trend, where we seek to connect with nature and organic materials and plant life, in our homes. It is obviously inherently sustainable and brings warmth and texture to any surface or space, but it’s also ideal for insulating, which makes it great for kitchens.”
Reworking the living space
The makeshift home offices we set up at the kitchen table or on the family sofa will no longer cut it in 2022. Embracing the trend towards hybrid working will necessitate a move to a more evolved work space.
Ben says: “2020 changed the way we lived, slept and worked. There became this move towards ‘zoning’ and creating areas for each area of our life. Compartmentalising made it easier for us to keep some normality in a very abnormal situation.”
“We are now smarter with our home purchases, keeping the room’s flow in the foreground of our decisions. Next year, we will be looking at pieces that have dual functions which can adapt as we change throughout the day with a view to keeping open plan living spaces.”
Chloe advises a considered approach to the home office: “Create comfortable workspaces in the home, and look for products that will help with this, for example, ergonomic chairs that look attractive, good storage options, a beautiful desk, a handily positioned waste paper bin, a functional space that enhances your home.”
“Bringing the outside in; it’s a trend we’ve spoken about for a while,” says Ben, “but next year it will come into fruition. We will see green and natural tones blended into our interiors through the use of plants, timber and terracotta. We might also see the use of green velvet sofas, sage or olive painted walls or jute textured rugs.”
The experts at GoodMove analysed Google search data to reveal trends in popular paint colours, revealing soft greens as one for 2022. “We’ve seen a resurgence in popularity for sage green tones in the past few years, and 2022 is the year for grey-green. This silvery-green hue is perfect for living rooms as it is the colour of harmony and renewal, helping to emit feelings of calm and relaxation and is a great way of bringing the outside in too.”
At the same time, our earthy browns and terracottas will introduce a touch of warmth. “The term ‘terracotta walls’ has increased by 86 per cent in the UK over the past year,” says Rebecca Snowden, Interior Style Advisor at Furniture And Choice, “These reddish-brown and tan hues colours will be a top pick for autumn and winter trends and sets the scene for elegant layering. In the bedroom, match a reddish clay backdrop with a grey velvet bed and cosy linen bedding for a calming (and grounding) feel.”
Blue is the new black
Earlier this year, Dulux named ‘Bright Skies,’ a light and airy blue, as its Colour of the Year 2022. A shade promoting tranquility and restfulness, making it the perfect choice for a bedroom, as well as offering a fresh and airy base palette in a kitchen or bathroom.
‘Blue is set to be one of the most popular colours for bedrooms in 2022,” says Joanna Ross, Manager of Product & Innovation at Sheridan. “It can have a positive effect on mood as it connects us to a blue sky or ocean found in nature, which helps us to feel relaxed…Whether you add a dark blue feature wall or incorporate a blue textured quilt cover like our Marsella Marlin Quilt cover the colour blue is known to help calm the mind and produce a feeling of tranquillity – and who isn’t looking for some of this before going to sleep at night.”
Elsewhere in the home, blues can be used as the perfect base to let accessories shine. Martin Waller, Founder of Andrew Martin, says: “The boldness and warmth found in blue will continue to be prominent in our homes. Darker colours form a much better background for paintings and artworks than white, which art galleries and museums have discovered.”
Antiques and thrifting
Antiques and vintage finds are predicted to become the preferred green resource for the home, with millennials and Gen Z looking to second hand marketplaces and apps like the soon-to-be launched, Narchie.
“We are looking for upcycled, antique or used furniture which has a story to tell,” says Ben, “not only does its origin create great conversations, but it’s a greener approach to furnishing the home.”
Camilla Clarke at Albion Nord shares her thoughts on antiques leading the way in 2022: “As the use of antiques in the home has gathered momentum in the mainstream over the last year, we’ll see shoppers looking for more specific styles and becoming more discerning in the kinds of antique pieces they want in their homes. This is especially true of antique wooden furniture.”
“Mid-century coffee tables and chairs will always be popular, but AW21 and beyond we will see a resurgence in more decorative, 17th-century styles with thoughtful details like hand-turned bobbin or barley twist legs. We have noticed bobbin furniture is increasingly popular at antique markets and auction, and this is reflected in some of the contemporary homeware companies.”
A return to retro
“Next year’s trends will be driven by culture,” says Ben. “In popular TV shows like Halston, Glow and Pose, for example, there are nostalgic elements of the interior design of the 70s and 80s that will start to make a comeback next year. I think this will present itself in the purchase of statement pieces. Think of velvet armchairs that are plush, comfy with rounded edges – items that feed the soul.”
In practice this will mean a resurgence of nostalgic design references, such as boucle, metallics, and coloured glass.
In lighting too, we are predicted to see nostalgic seventies and eighties design elements. Matthew Currington, Technical Director at The Lighting Superstore says: “In 2022, the seventies trend will be back bigger than ever, with a technicolour of luxe greens, turquoise, sunshine yellows and warm orange hues. For a gentler touch of seventies glamour, mushroom lamps add a sculptural elements that casts a warm ambiance from the dome. According to Etsy’s 2021 report on home decor trends, searches for mushroom lamps have ballooned by 371 percent year on year over the past three months.”