As was to be expected, 2021 was a year for being braver with color trends. Without getting too existential the world was looking grey and our homes became, more than ever, our places of safety, comfort, and calm. So it's no surprise that the color trends for 2022 continue to reflect this need for our spaces to feel cozier and more cocooning. Jewel tones and deep hues are a big trend and there's lots of inspiration coming from the natural world too with vivid greens and brown tones.
'There is something inherently human in the colors that we are attracted to for 2022.'says Joa Studholme, Farrow & Ball’s color curator. 'Décor is moving forward while drawing inspiration from the modest character of the world of folk and craft, using five significant shades that extol the virtues of a simple life and can be used in any combination and in any room.'
'They are an eclectic mix of the pure and the humble that evokes the warmth and harmony of a more innocent age while celebrating life today. Function goes hand in hand with ornament, using colors and finishes in unusual ways to celebrate the principles of utility, kindness, and honesty.'
And there's also a feeling that we aren't playing it as safe anymore. You'll see that grey and cream and white aren't as apparent as they once were, instead, there are more energetic shades like pinks and yellows and even red has recently made a renaissance in the world of interior design trends.
So if you are redecorating, or just looking for some ideas to possibly test out a new color scheme, be inspired by our hottest color trends for 2021...
The biggest color trends for 2022
1. Feel good hues
For 2022 it's all about colors that make you feel good. Forget being on-trend really, the trend is to just go with what you love, create rooms filled with colors that reflect your personal style, and give you an uplift every time you enter them. Experiment with shades too, after all it's just paint, it's the easiest low-commitment update you can make to a home so don't hold back from trying something you've wanted to see in situ for years. 2022 is the time to do it.
'A complement of comforting colors will be a key trend for 2022.' says Cathryn Sanders of Earthborn paints. 'Dreamy blue and purple tones that create a calming atmosphere, bright and welcoming yellows, and joyful pinks all create a feel-good interior. After 20 months of living through a global pandemic, people are looking to bring life and energy to their home interiors and feel good color palettes are just one way to do this. A recent growth in the maximalism trend is a case in point. People want their rooms to spark joy especially as we have been spending so much longer in them.'
2. Warm summery tones
There has been a rise in uplifting shades this year (unsurprisingly). Yellows, tangerines, pale purples and baby pinks, which once may have sounded a bit saccharine are all seeping into interiors in a very sophisticated, grown-up way. In their more muted forms there are in fact surprisingly liveable shades even when used on four walls.
'There are several colors that stand out to me, when I think of upcoming trends for 2022, and these include pinks, oranges, lavenders, purples, and greens.' says designer and master of color Yinka Ilori. 'Many of us have struggled to experience a proper summer, or to go on holiday this year, so people are tending to opt for richer tones that inject positivity and warmth into their homes - bringing that summer feeling inside. As an artist, I’ve always loved color and I’m glad to see how people are using it more and more to enrich their home environments.'
3. Comforting and familiar blues
Blue comes into color trends every year, just taking a slightly different form. It's such a grounding, a familiar color that there's so surprise we are drawn to it year after year, and this year it's deep blues that are looking to be the most on-trend. And it's about really embracing the darker shades, not just bringing it into a neutral space with furniture, or a feature wall but going all over with an inky shade to create a dramatic and cocooning room.
'The boldness and warmth found in blue will continue to be prominent in our homes. Darker colors form a much better background for paintings and artworks than white, which art galleries and museums have discovered.' says Martin Waller, Founder of Andrew Martin. 'Having painted a room blue, it may take time to accustom yourself to the look. You're likely to be horrified. People find it difficult to cope with change. Leave it for a week and your feelings will alter. I suspect you won't hate it and if you do, repainting isn't that difficult. If you are still hesitant, start your transformation in a cloakroom or small bedroom, since richer colors work well in such spaces, despite the accepted wisdom that white paint makes a room seem larger.'
4. Nature inspired greens
Much like 2020, 2021 was a big year for getting back to nature, the rural idyll had more of an appeal than ever and that quickly seeped into how we were decorating our homes even in the cities. And in 2022, we continue to be inspired by nature and a big color trend is green.
'Green harnesses the power of growth in nature, but by choosing a darker shade you’ll also evoke feelings of reassurance, rest, and security. It's an incredibly powerful color to put the mind at ease which is why it has been on trend this year as people seek to create a calm atmosphere in their homes amidst the uncertainty of the pandemic.' says Rob Abrahams co-founder of COAT Paints.
'We love dark green, we treat it as a neutral, and the trick to get the full impact is to be brave with the application, allowing it to fully encapsulate the space, walls and ceilings!' says Franky Roussell founder of Jolie Studio. 'Pair it with sandalwood or Ravensara diffused essential oils to bust anxiety and fully allow you to switch off. Lighter, tonal dried floristry works beautifully against this color, to prevent going too overboard on the green.'
Natasha Bradley, Lick Colour Psychologist agrees that 'People are looking to reconnect with nature, and find comfort in their homes which is why the biggest trend we’ll see is replicating the tones we see outside, inside. Taking color inspiration from the leaves on the floor, the flowers in the garden, and the sun in the sky - using everything around us as a source of inspiration for our color palettes.'
5. Shades of the 70s
Move over grey, these earthy tones are overtaking cool neutrals. Adding instant warmth shades like terracotta, bold ochres and even the once shunned beige do reflect that want to make our homes feel more comforting and inviting.
'Earthy colors which bring the outside in are having a moment again, for obvious reasons. Look to classic neutrals too which provide reassurance. Just make sure to stop them from being sapping, draining, mood-hoovering shades by livening them up with pops of color. We all need it, and just a splash will do the job.' explains color expert Annie Sloan.
And there a touch of a 70s vibe going on here with the revival of all these orangey-toned shades and really we aren't mad about it. So long as shag rug carpets stay firmly in the past, we are keen to embrace this new version of the 70s aesthetic.
Lucy St George, Co-founder of Rockett St George says that, 'Influences from the 70s and 80s are set to be a big trend in 2022. From disco fever with mirrored surfaces, to glassware inspired by retro cocktails. The shades of the 70s will also play a big role in the color trends for next year, with the earthy terracotta tones that have been on trend for the last couple of years complimented by classic 70s palettes including rich brown and caramel colors, as well as bolder pops of pink and orange.'
6. Deep jewel shades
Dark and stormy is still up there when it comes to color trends. This time used
on staircases, feature windows or woodwork to bring elegant definition to a space. A deep plum or black with a red undertone makes for a warmer and more striking alternative to the popular deep charcoal greys and blue-blacks. It adds warmth to cooler palettes, and pairs beautifully with pink and nude tones.
7. Baby pinks paired with teal greens
The unusual color pairing that is hot pink and forest green is unmissable seen everywhere right now across walls, homeware and even daringly kitchens like this viral kitchen combination. Green and pink are complementary colors as they sit opposite each other on the traditional color wheel and enhance each other and are far less contrasting than green and red.
Find more colors that go with pink in our expert color pairing guide.
8. Neutral stone hues
'The neutral trend for 2021 continues subtly away from cold greys and traditional creams, towards warmer neutral stone tones. This trend is all about creating warm cocooning spaces that feel intimate, inviting and familiar with consumers embracing warmer, more natural colors.' explains Ruth Mottershead, Creative Director at Little Greene.
'Earthy, stonier tones alongside soft welcoming greens are becoming increasingly popular, providing a restful alternative to cooler choices. These gentle neutrals can be used in all areas of the home adding warmth as well as a sophisticated, complementary canvas for fabrics, wallcoverings, and furnishings from all genres.'
9. Bold hued furniture
If bright colors spark joy for you - but going bold on the walls feels too much - choose strong colors on furniture pieces instead. This is a really easy way to create impact without color overpowering the space.
A color that we love right now, and is back a sure comeback this year, is a primary red. It's bright but the clean notes in the red makes it feel vintage and therefore timeless amongst modern interiors.
11. High gloss finishes
Not only are we exploring new shades, but the finishes we are using are changing too. Gloss finishes on ceilings, for example, are emerging as an incredible way to add a sense of playfulness to a room and depth to existing color.
The finish is inspired by pubs of the 50s and 60s with close ceilings for a necessity because they had to be wiped clean easily. Today it’s a wonderful way to bounce light and color around the room. The effect is quite magical.
What kitchen color trends for 2022?
Grey, white and navy blue are classic kitchen colors and all still on trend for 2022, but there is a definite shift towards more colorful kitchen cabinetry. Green and pink, once would have been considered bold choices but this year they are up there with the most popular shades.
Dark cabinetry is also increasing in popularity – 'black is our new love,' says Helen Parker creative director of deVOL. '[At first] I think people were a bit scared, but it’s in full flow now!! Think late-night bars, speakeasies and restaurants in New York City for the look, big grand kitchen cupboards and especially big islands painted black with maybe some distressing and definitely some brass for the foot rails or aged copper for the worktops and certainly a splash of softly rounded Carrara marble, which just isn’t ever going to go out of fashion.'
'I think that people are becoming a lot braver and bolder with their color choices within the home.' says Yinka Ilori. 'The last 18 months has given us the confidence to be experiential and people are investing a lot more time, money, and love into their homes. For me, my home is my shrine, and coming from a Nigerian background, the kitchen is its heart - a place of reflection, happiness, and peace. It is an extension of my personality in which I can express myself with conversation, love, laughter, celebration, and faith.'
'I recently collaborated with Samsung for the launch of its new Bespoke Refrigerator range which embodies these trends by offering a modular and customizable design. It allows you to mix and match different modules and color panels to suit your individual style, with 14 on-trend colorways – including lavender - and a range of finishes such as Glam, Satin, Stainless Steel and Cotta to choose from.'
What bathroom color trends for 2022?
Bathroom colors are embracing warm earth tones like terracotta, ochre and peach hues. Rich blues and greens are also big in bathrooms right now, and if opting for these, try a contrasting grout such as dusky pink for maximum impact.
Again again, darker colors are big this year. This color trend is in line with wanted to create that kind of hotel-feel at home and a dark bathroom just has a certain opulence you don't get from neutral hues.
Hebe is the Digital Editor of Livingetc; she has a background in lifestyle and interior journalism and a passion for renovating small spaces. You'll usually find her attempting DIY, whether it's spray painting her whole kitchen, don't try that at home, or ever changing the wallpaper in her hallway. Livingetc has been such a huge inspiration and has influenced Hebe's style since she moved into her first rental and finally had a small amount of control over the decor and now loves being able to help others make decisions when decorating their own homes. Last year she moved from renting to owning her first teeny tiny Edwardian flat in London with her whippet Willow (who yes she chose to match her interiors...) and is already on the lookout for her next project.
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