Like fashion, home decor follows cyclical patterns where things fade in and out of style. And just like all things sartorial, some things—bright white kitchens, for example—linger for years at a time, while others—powder pink bathrooms, anyone?—come and go in a flash.
Unlike fashion, though, chances are you’re not going to redesign your whole house each year to fit the mold of what’s in style—and what’s not. Still, it’s nice to be apprised of what’s au courant, particularly if you’re undergoing some sort of renovation.
To get a sense of what to expect in the year to come, we asked interior designers for their hot takes. Here’s what they say will be trending as we head into 2022.
Overarchingly, people are feeling more called toward timeless interiors, says designer Jessica D’Itri Marés. The reasoning is two-fold, she explains. Social media gives us previously unseen insight into other people’s homes on a massive scale. Plus, there’s lots of uncertainty in the world, which causes people to retreat into comfortable homes that won’t feel outdated for a number of years. “I think this looks like using natural materials in your home, materials with living finishes that change over time (marble, unlacquered metals, and even limewash!),” she says. “We are also seeing people resurrect classic prints from the arts and crafts era, such as the recent popularity of William Morris prints.”
Look for darker, richer colors in 2022, says architect Jessica Wilson Christensen. “In projects, I have seen cabinetry and tile selections in bolder colors once reserved for less permanent features of a home,” she explains. In combination, you’ll also notice layered and varied textures, as well as the inclusion of more antique furnishings and decor, she says. “Think of it as curated maximalism.”
“I think we’ll start to see more wood cabinetry in various tones—oak, walnut, ebony—you name it,” says Kevin Bennert of Oak Design Project. And for those who opt to paint said furnishings? “We’ll see an exploration of more color—from lighter, brighter shades of blues and pinks to richer, saturated kitchens in evergreen and plum,” he says.
“There’s been a strong gravitation to retro-inspired finishes—slatted wood treatments in particular,” says Giulietta Pinna of Limonata Creative. “While this trend has been steadily increasing over the past 5 years, at the moment, we’re seeing it incorporated in full force: on furniture, on walls, in cafes, you name it!” Look for these types of finishes in every hue, from natural wood, to neutrals, to retro colors like avocado, salmon, or dark teal.
The Exit of White and Gray
These neutral tones have had their moment—now, it’s all about brown, says designer Sarah Schmidt. “Shades of brown have been quickly making more of an appearance in flooring, cabinets, and walls,” she says. “In addition to using more brown tones in flooring, I’ve been designing more natural wood cabinets in kitchens and bathrooms.” Why will it be so prevalent? “Since brown is a warm and natural color, it’s easy to incorporate it into existing home designs,” she explains.