Interior designers discuss 2022 home trends, color palettes


The coronavirus pandemic has altered the way people use and design spaces around the home. From socially distanced holiday gatherings in the backyard to repurposed rooms for remote work and online learning, the modern home has seen a number of transformations over the last two years. So, what are some of the top interior design trends we could see this year?

“Design is focusing more on wellness and sustainability while intersecting with function. COVID-19 expedited this direction exponentially,” said Laura Umansky, founder and CEO of the Laura U Design Collective. “Individuals are putting a higher value on physical and mental wellness, and it affects how we are designing.”

Additionally, she said comfort is now “more important than ever” and the collective is using more “organic furnishings” in its designs with this in mind.

“Curved shapes, cozy bouclé chairs, puffy cloud sofas, undulating tabletops and swooping armchairs are the perfect remedy for more time being spent at home,” Umansky said.

As a designer, she said the “changing rituals of home” provides an “exciting opportunity” to rethink the way people live. To this point, Umansky discussed a number of trends she’s seeing in home design. This includes an increased “emphasis on sanctuary spaces for privacy, prep, and personality.”

“While the appeal of an open-concept home will more than likely never go away, we do predict special-use spaces carved from more communal areas,” she said.

As an example, Umansky said the collective has received requests for a separate prep kitchen intended to be “hidden” away from areas used for entertaining.

“With the entire family spending more time at home for work, school, and hobbies, personal space will become a must,” she added.

During the pandemic, people took up a number of different crafts to occupy the increased time at home. One of the more popular hobbies involved home-baked goods and people trying their hand at new recipes and culinary creations, with varying degrees of success.

On this topic, Umansky said, “homeowners fell in love with cooking or baking during the pandemic and now they use their kitchen differently.”

In particular, she said kitchens aren’t only for cooking these days, adding that clients now want these spaces to be “functional and spacious so there is room for the kiddos to do schoolwork and a place for them to pull out their laptop.”

Popular interior design color palettes

Alongside the furniture styles, shapes and textures in a given space, various color palettes also trend or fall out popularity from year to year, leading to new must-have hues in the home.

This year, Umansky said the collective is seeing a shift from more neural palettes as people experiment with “jewel-tone and moodier, monochromatic color.”

“Their stunning saturated hues and fascinating histories make jewel tones perfect for 2022 interiors,” she continued. “They are especially well-suited to interiors that need an infusion of personality or a bit of pizzazz.”

Discussing specific colors and tones, Umansky said people should be “on the lookout” for other “elegant” and “dramatic colors” such as sapphire blue, emerald green, indigo purple and glossy black.

“Often paired with luxurious materials like leather, shearling, velvet, and brass, these jewel tones harken back to the sophistication of early 20th-century design,” she continued.

Anya Hahn, founder and interior designer at San Antonio-based Olinova Design, said she believes we could see more natural wood finishes this year, specifically making note of light wood and blonde cabinets, paired with “creams and soft hues,” adding that leather, fur, wood grain and “other natural textures are very popular” options.

“As a society with everything that has happened in the past couple of years, we are seeking designs that are soothing, comforting, and subtle,” Hahn said. “Trends have shifted toward spaces that promote comfort and relaxation which renders to subtle colors and more natural textures and elements than in the past.”

Additionally, she said spaces are shifting toward areas that promote comfort and relaxation and, as a result, people are using subtle colors and more natural textures in these spaces compared to the past.

In 2022, Hahn foresees creams and “softer hues” trending as popular color palettes.

“We are not going to see a lot of high contrast,” she added.

Instead of a high contrast approach, Hahn expects a layering of soft hues in tandem with other organic textures as popular design options.

As for specific colors and palettes, Hahn made note of Sherwin Williams’ 2022 color of the year, evergreen fog. For a visual, imagine a light gray, or as the company describes it, picture a “chameleon color of gorgeous green-meets-gray, with just a bit of blue.”

Discussing this color selection, Hahn said the color is “subtle and soothing. It pairs well with cognac leather colors, creams and soft browns.”

While some soft, warmer gray colors “still remain,” she said grays overall are “out for the most part.”

“After a couple of very challenging years, people are seeking soothing and comforting spaces, spaces that are more organic and easy on the eyes and mind,” Hahn said.