Interior design trends for 2022 are vast and varied. There are some new colors, new textures and new materials, but most importantly, there are new moods. For as we emerge from the last two years, blinking into the sunlight, the way we want to live our lives has altered subtly. How we want to spend time in our homes has changed - what their purpose is has shifted, and this has affected every decision we're making about decor.
"How people want to decorate has recently shifted," agrees the designer Lee Broom. "For a start, we’re all craving a better outlook, and part of achieving that is to condition your own brain to think more positively, which you can do by surrounding yourself with things that make you feel happy. Look at what we’ve all been doing the past year or so. Stuck at home, we’ve been getting experimental, honing culinary skills or learning how to make cocktails, and - surprisingly - actually becoming more connected to a chosen few, via regular Zoom calls. Now, it's about bringing that into the real world and, like in the 1970s, there is a huge shift towards home entertaining and creating spaces to have friends and fun times in. Cocktail cabinets that move and rotate, furniture that’s geared towards sitting together and being convivial, anything that is a bit playful and glamorous and dramatic."
The interior designer Tara Bernerd agrees that there is a general move to sophistication, but it's a more relaxed take on sophistication than ever before. "While that feeling of luxury remains very important, don’t we now all want something that feels approachable, too?" Tara says. "That you can walk around barefoot in and not feel worried about? I find that people still want their spaces to feel grand, but while we might turn the volume up in the living room with some real wow design, we’ll then do a chic media room where the materials and textures are less formal, more edgy, more comfortable. This totally reflects what’s happening generally, as people are finding they can be just as smart without a tie, and women have largely swapped their heels for trainers."
This desire has filtered out and been interpreted in many different ways, but here are the interior design trends we think will be biggest in 2022.
Interior design trends for 2022
1. Night sky minerals
There’s a magical new material trend on the horizon and it’s awash with galaxy inspired finishes. Dark blue, veined with white and pale blue streaks is popping up everywhere, from this vanity unit, above, to luxury table tops. Defying anyone not to leap out of their beds in the morning Marazzi’s show stopping vanity unit created in a ‘Sodalite Blu’ hue is a feat of engineering. The ceramic brand’s ‘Collection Grande Marble’ replicates the intricate qualities and veinings of marble using 6mm porcelain, allowing for the grand impression of weighty slabs with efficient lightweight properties.
While teaming a deep blue Lapislazzuli marble top with an artistically forged bronzed brass base, Poliform’s Ilda side table is the essence of the rustic-luxe look we are all loving. It’s sold as a coffee table but don’t you think it’s jewelled navy hue inspires the perfect bedroom night-cap?
2.Contemporary Trompe L'oeil
Meaning literally ‘deceive the eye’, trompe l’oeil is an artistic device or conceit that has been in the artistic landscape for centuries - part demonstration of an artist’s skill, part delight for the viewer. It adds a bit of unexpected humor to the home, a talking point that will make both you and guests marvel with amusement, something that folds nicely into current living room trends.
Bonaldo’s New Perspective Mirror, above, plays with depth and perspective, giving the illusion of a room beyond the mirror and leaving space for the imagination of the person standing before it. The lines that decorate it are drawn freehand directly on the reflective surface and naively re-produce an additional environment than the reflected one.
When we designed the Arch tile collection for Bert and May earlier this year, we sensed that arches were just around the corner, so to speak. And it seems we were right. Arched doors have become big news in extensions and renovations, and the gentle curves are softening the hardened edges that have proliferated for so long.
"Harking back to Roman times, arches feel very contemporary all of a sudden," says Livingetc editor Pip Rich. "I'm excited to use our Livingetc tiles from Bert and May in my own bathroom renovation in 2022, as they add a grandeur while remaining friendly at the same time. You can't help but relax in a space with curved edges."
Use as a motif if you're decorating, or as a shape for windows and doors if you're renovating.
4. Colored concrete
Bathroom trends at the moment are very much about injecting personality while keeping to a monastic sense of spa-like serenity, which is where concrete comes in. The vivid hues it now comes in, coupled with the texture and depth it provides, makes it the perfect material for this space.
In fact, colored concrete is having a moment more generally. Seen in kitchens, on the exterior of extensions and used on floors, it is becoming the design world's favorite material. Architect Ben Allen likes it for how robust it is. "Because the pigment runs all the way through, if it chips, the marks don't show up," he says.
5. Cork flooring
Forget those 1970s connotations of orange cork tiles, cork flooring is back, and better than ever. Because of its eco credentials and the ease of sourcing it sustainably, it's actually one of the key flooring trends for 2022, available in a variety of hues.
Cork has natural thermal properties which means it is great for heat insulation and can be a much cheaper alternative to underfloor heating. Which means that its eco points don't stop being collected at just the way it's made. ‘It means a reduction in energy usage and utility bills,’ says Silvi Stoyanova, consultant for flooring company Bricoflor.
7. Technicolor checked patterns
Check is back, and this time it's gone into technicolor. The popular print that just keeps giving, it now seems to have had a celebratory makeover, updated in bright tones and with added gloss.
Tate and Darby’s new pink and green checkered jute runner, above, ticks all our boxes with its natural jute texture, bold checks and its contemporary take on jovial style, ideal for to breathe life into your narrow hallway ideas. "I was thrilled to spot checks back in style as a key trend, because I love them," says Farrow and Ball's Joa Studholme. "Use them on the floor, then take them all the way up the side of a bath. Be bold!"
8. Illustrated bows
Continuing with the celebratory theme, bows are here to feel like presents that last all year round. Is there anything more glorious than the anticipation of unwrapping something tied up with ribbon and topped with a generous bow? CommonRoom’s pink, green and blue screen printed ‘bow cushions’ and ‘unravelling ribbons’ wallpaper play on the idea of gift-wrap and elevate every room with the anticipatory glee you get from receiving a present. Rebeca Udall’s ‘Candy Bow Italian Linen Placemats’ in navy a collaboration with illustrator Isla Simpson are a smart addition to dinner tables all year round.
9. Portable table lamps
Let’s be honest, there never was much of an allure attached to the shelf tagged ‘USB lamp’ at the gadget store. Luckily tastes and technology has moved on from the sometimes gimmicky, most often uninspiring rechargeable lighting solutions into an exciting realm of stylish must-have new portable lamp designs by our favourite brands on the market, reinvigorating lighting trends for 2022.
“Without cables acting as a pesky anchor, it’s no surprise cordless lamps have grown in popularity,' says Pooky founder Rohan Black. "Perched on a kitchen shelf as a piece to admire, placed in the bathroom to create a moody members club feel, styled as part of a dining table spread or taken out to your patio as the evenings draw in - with our new ways of living portable lamps provide that much needed all-round flexibility. ”
Luxury Italian furniture band Ethimo has launched a rechargeable table lamp to its existing collection of tactile Gaia lighting, below. Teak bases with colourful linen shades lend an unexpectedly rustic contrast to smart tech associated with portable lamps.
10. Travel-inspired motifs
Being taken on a trip around the world sounds, well, perfect. Thankfully that’s just the ticket that’s on offer with the latest Gitane Collection from wallcovering specialists Arte. Tibetan tigers, palms, woven baskets from Zimbabwe, and, the beautiful Italian flower fields - just a few of the intrepid designs on offer. However it’s this rich Emperador design depicting a bustling royal scene and luscious palms which fills us, in particular, with exuberant travel inspiration.
"These motifs tap into the quest for escapism, the desire for a bit of far-away-ism, that we're all feeling, " says Pip Rich. "And what's exciting about these vibrant designs is that they're moving out of just being cloakroom ideas - long a place for daring prints - and into the main areas of the home."
11. Red earth ceramics
With its inherent warmth, red clay makes for a surprising twist on the more commonly seen white ceramics. Often red or ‘brown’ ceramics are associated with more coarse pottery, but there’s a finesse to this new wave of earthy vases and pieces, and an altogether contemporary stylistic edge, which make them avant-garde. Look out for subtle curving forms, an unglazed finish, and an appealing handcrafted raw honesty, ideal to slot into your living room ideas.
12. Wavy wood
Kinked and curved, look out for the modern interpretation of the humblest of materials as a niche but appealing interior design trend for 2022. It’s a new wave. It’s time to banish straight-edged wooden furniture options in favour of the more fluid curvalicious form . Max Depret, director of homeware at Mauvais Garcon, says, “The 1970's influence we've seen in fashion runways lately has clearly translated into the interior world, and we are very much inclined to see curves and colours coming back into our homes imminently. From trinket trays, vases, pillow cases, or our wavy mirror, look out for these extra pieces to bring out some je ne sais quoi to your home!”.
13. Glazed exterior tiles
Injecting a bright burst of colour that contrasts with traditional brickwork, glazed external tiles provide an eye-catching cladding solution for modern home extension ideas. This stylish finish comes with many practical benefits, too; it’s durable, requires little upkeep and offers an impressive service life of 150 plus years.
‘Glazed exteriors are unexpected and joyful, breaking the norms of London house refurbishments,’ says Melissa Beasley, director at Beasley Dickson Architects. ‘They satisfy the demand for decorative facades, providing an opportunity for a unique, crafted and personalised exterior.’
14. Gothic glassware
Cocktail hour is being shaken - not stirred - by a new take on what glassware you should be choosing. Everyone from Tom Dixon to Waterford Crystal has designed smoked vessels that feel resilient yet elegant, grown up but contemporary.
This fits into the cocktail trend Lee Broom spoke about at the top of the page, about wanting to entertain friends with style.
15. Cocooning furniture
Where home decor trends are concerned, cool cocooning has been gaining pace for a while growing rapidly for 2022. Squishy sofa trends, curvy shapes and snuggly fabrics are hot right now.
“There has been a shift in what customers are looking for some time now - more ‘homely’ comfort seating with deep cushions and more curves generally - a place to lay down as much as to sit,' says James Mair, Founder, Viaduct.
"Comfort, cocooning and creating one’s own world whether it is La Dolce Vita of the Italians or the hygge of the Danes is a key theme."
What is the decorating trend for 2022?
Green, as a color, is not going anywhere as a big decorating trend for 2022. We're seeing mint emerge in kitchens, olive come through in living rooms, and pistachio is perfect for bedrooms. The main decorating trend though is about texture, and depth of color. Can you use a limewash instead of a matt paint? Clay plaster instead of emulsion? This richness of pigments changes the feel of a space.
What is the color for 2022
Mustard yellow is taking over from terracotta as the color for 2022. It has the same sunniness, evokes the same feeling of Mediterranean vacations, and is just a little more versatile. Use as an accent to breathe life into dark living rooms, or go all out and paint your kitchen cabinets mustard. You won't regret it.
Rory Alastair Robertson has a long-standing history working across the interiors industry. Raised in Morningside, Edinburgh, Rory grew up surrounded by classically grand Scottish Georgian and Victorian architecture.
His first appreciation for interior decoration sparked when his mother hired scaffolding and decorated their three-storey Victorian staircase in Farrow & Ball Picture Gallery Red, by herself. She then painstakingly gold leafed the drawing room - by hand - over a base coat of Sudbury Yellow. This was the era of Jocasta Innes and Kenneth Turner, when paint techniques and maximalist style were the decorating raison d'être.
With this inherited gene of creativity, Rory went on to study Interior Architecture at the University of Edinburgh, and later, Theatre Set Design and Architectural Illustration at The Rhode Island School of Design on America's East Coast.
Rory's foray with the editorial world started a decade ago at Livingetc magazine, a title which he regularly contributes to today. Specialising with a deep-seated appreciation for historical homes and interiors, Rory often travels far and wide to be inspired by unique properties with a fascinating history.
If he’s not uncovering an unusual National Trust property in the UK, then he’s seeking out a Neo-Classical clifftop villa in Capri or a Palazzo in Florence.
Based in London’s Shoreditch, working as a Senior Interiors Editor and Consultant, Rory's portfolio of work is a creative melting pot of residential and commercial interior design projects and a plethora of editorial writing work. Rory is also Guest Interiors Lecturer at the prestigious KLC School of Interior Design in Chelsea, London. His most cosseted possession is a ramshackle Citroen Deux Chevaux, which he has reupholstered in Pierre Frey yellow and turquoise silk fabric.
Discover more at roryrobertson.co.uk and @rory_stylist.
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