For millennia, interior design trends have been used as aesthetic aids in our attempts to find some sort of inner peace: take the ancient Chinese art of feng shui, where spatial positioning corresponds to energy flow, or wabi sabi, the Japanese practise of embracing imperfections, or ancient Rome’s fondness for using earth-tone colours and geometric patterns to mimic the harmony of nature
There is more and more research showing the direct influence that our homes have, not only on our mood, but on our overall health and wellbeing. So, is it any wonder that in 2022 — our third consecutive year in a global pandemic — the top interior design trends are again focused on making us feel emotionally at ease?
And what, exactly, are our senses drawn to in 2022? Top interior designers have some ideas. For starters, several predict the rise of the enveloping, earthy colour of brown, displayed in fabrics like leather or even in terracotta walls (how Ancient Rome of us). Others see a spike in nature-inspired surfaces and accents — think marbles and mushroom shapes — while others say their clients can’t get enough soft, curvy furniture. Essentially, anything that feels warm, welcoming and cosy is in.
Then, there’s the pandemic reality that our homes have become the main settings of our lives: where we work, sleep, and socialise. Every corner, and every object we’re surrounded by, must serve some sort of purpose.
Meanwhile, some popular design choices of the past several years are falling to the wayside. Boucle’s moment, it seems, is over, as is the all-white minimalism that may look crisp, yet provides little visual comfort. The minimal look is at last warming up.
NATURE-INSPIRED SURFACES AND OBJECTS
With more time spent indoors than ever before, we’re all seeking to strengthen our connection with nature. This has simultaneously inspired a resurgence in natural surfaces—think stoneware, terracotta, marble, and travertine being used across the board from backsplashes to bathtubs, furniture, and decorative objects. The raw, porous, imperfect nature of these organic materials adds depth, soul, and visual intrigue while also mimicking the calming, restorative ambiance of the outdoors. This lure back to nature has also sparked an interest in large trees at home, from the elegant black olive to Southern magnolias.
It is refreshing to see a return to materialdriven applications—and it doesn’t seem to be cooling off. A desire for rich marbles, soft and organic materials, warmer tones and griege vs. white on walls, earthy elements like wood, stone, and clay—this is all so classic and refreshing as it brings life to a space.
SCULPTURAL AND CURVED FURNITURE
A curved form is subconsciously read as safe, friendly and welcoming. With everyone feeling a bit precious, softer shapes and angles will still be a big trend in 2022 in furniture as well as architecture.
VINTAGE AND SUSTAINABLE ACCENTS
From a design standpoint, vintage is the protagonist of every room—it has the power to influence the storytelling and direction. Their patina brings a touchable texture and warmth to every space, not to mention a sacred sentimentality. But aside from their decorative propensity, these rare antiquities are stylishly sustainable. By repurposing the old, the damaged, the jagged into something new, we’re reducing our footprint while bringing a rich sense of history and spirit into a space.
A MORE MODERN GRANDMILLENIAL
Trends for 2022 include the embracing of floral patterns, a sort of 1940s updated chintz vibe, resplendent in the memory of Mario Buatta, but in more contemporary palettes. The ‘grandmillennial’ look that was slowly infiltrating influencers and taste makers in 2021 is now become more widespread, moving tastes back to a “more is more” look. But unlike our grandparents’ interiors, the feel is more curated with floral and damask-printed wallpapers becoming the backdrop for contemporary-shaped soft furnishings given an added touch of glamour with unexpected fringe and piping addition.
MIXING MATERIALS AND DESIGN
Styles The desire to have unique things is leading to an increase in mixing materials in furniture design. It is not uncommon to see case goods with wood, metal and stone elements all used in the same piece, to make them more unique and special.
There is a trend emerging that is reminiscent of the late ’80s and early ’90s. Two directions -One being very natural—white and creams, mixed with dark natural wood and washed linen textiles and black-andwhite photography. The other is dark and moody mixed with stainless steel, jovial multicolor schemes and color blocking.
Paying attention to the subtleties will be important in 2022!