Trends aren’t just temporary fads; they’re landmarks of what we collectively value. That best-selling product, viral organizing hack, or Pinterest sensation reflects back to us what we’ve learned, what we treasure, and what we hope for — and that’s exactly why we’re keeping tabs on what’s trending for the year to come.
Spoiler alert: It’s going to be a year for bold choices as well as more mindful ones; for going big and also reducing your footprint; for something old and for something new. Thanks to the pandemic, many of us learned more about what we loved — and what we can do without. At home, that translates to a greater willingness to break design rules and incorporate pieces that feel more authentic to your individual taste and needs.
Ready to see what lies ahead? Here are the 10 trends that are on our radar for 2022, according to designers.
1. Curves (and Wiggles and Waves)
Experts agree: Curvy everything is going to blow up in 2022, so say hello to all the squiggly, wiggly, wavy silhouettes.
“Right now, recovering from the global health crisis and economic strain, people want to be embraced by the furniture, lighting, and fabrics we interact with in our daily environment,” says interior designer Kristin Bartone. She began noticing soft lines, arcs, and curves trending among both high-end and budget furniture vendors last fall and says that her customers are loving it.
Smaller furniture pieces and even home decor are showcasing the same wavy silhouettes, according to interior designer Anna Franklin. Decorative mirrors and statement-making barrel back chairs soften spaces and add a touch of whimsy.
2. Mixing and Matching
Interior designer Karen Guiterrez says more and more people are mixing and matching thanks to a newfound sense of freedom. Think: different chairs at the dining room table, mixing fabric patterns, or even choosing a sofa that doesn’t exactly match your accent chairs.
Kylie Bodiya, another interior designer, adds that lots of folks are also mixing and matching current furniture pieces with family heirlooms or antiques. You know what they say: Something old, something new!
Danielle Blundell, home director at Apartment Therapy, says people are feeling more comfortable commissioning custom pieces and spending more on art and one-of-a-kind objects. Of course, the desire for something that’s totally unique to you is always appealing, but the trend is driven by a desire for some kind of story to go along with it. People want to fill their homes with objects and furniture they connect with on a deeper level, she explains.
4. Shopping Your Home
In the wake of supply chain issues and more awareness around environmental impact, buying secondhand goods is becoming more common. In addition, people are also starting to shop their own items, instead of heading to the store for more.
Organizing expert Jessica Litman predicts that “repurposing what you already have and using everything in your home will be the focus” in 2022. Whether you rehab a dresser that’s been collecting dust in your basement or reupholster a chair that needs a boost, upcycling is a simple way to make your home feel like you without breaking the bank (or adding extra waste to landfills).
5. Hygge-ier and Hidden Storage
Organization makes it easier to live the lives we want at home and can majorly impact how we feel in our spaces. That’s why, as more of us start to prioritize mental health and self-care, two new organization trends are emerging.
First, says organizer Diane Eisenstein, people are moving away from clear plastic containers toward cozier, more homey storage options. Think of it as hygge for organization. “Natural materials for baskets and bins such as bamboo, seagrass, hyacinth, and fabrics is the most functional and beautiful way to incorporate hygge into homes,” she says.
Another way people are adding serenity to their homes? Organizer Caroline Solomon says hidden storage, especially in the kitchen, is becoming the new standard because people are yearning for a space that feels as calm as possible.
Pull-out trash cans will be more popular, and there will be a return to closed cabinets as opposed to open shelves. The knife block will become the knife drawer, and the utensil crock the utensil drawer. Even the prized appliances like the KitchenAid, she predicts, will retreat behind a cabinet or appliance lift. “These solutions keep the space open, airy and fresh while being no less practical or convenient,” Solomon says.
6. Inside, Outside
Last year’s (very understandable) inclination to embrace outdoor living continues in 2022. This year, says designer Tatiana Machado-Rosas, the focus is on maximizing comfort. More homeowners are creating outdoor spaces that feel like they could be indoors, incorporating roomy, comfortable furniture as well as elements that add light, heat, and protection from the elements — essentially creating an outdoor living room.
“There have been major advances in outdoor materials in recent years, allowing manufacturers to create stylish and durable outdoor sofas, tables, rugs, chairs, and decor,” says Julie Noble, communications manager at Houzz. “Add an outdoor fireplace, maybe a TV, and the line between indoors and out seemingly disappears.”
7. Accessory Dwelling Units
For many of us, staying connected with family is more important than ever—and some people are taking that connection to the next level by moving in with their loved ones (or inviting their loved ones to move in with them). Mother-in-law apartments and guest bedrooms are one option for sharing space, but Machado-Rosas says in 2022, interest in accessory dwelling units — standalone homes on a property — will continue to explode.
Jeremy Nova, creative director of Studio Shed, says he’s seen an increase in both overall sales and an increase in demand for larger ADUs. As a bonus, he says, homes with ADUs (especially in larger cities) often sell for more than homes without them.
8. Quiet Rooms
Interior designer Rachel Cannon specializes in working with introverts and she’s been preaching the need for a designated quiet room for a while. But she believes 2022 is the year we’ll finally see it hit critical mass.
“In 2022, we’ll see this hybrid work scenario split between working from home and going to an office,” she says. “This makes introverts feel like we aren’t firmly rooted in either place.” Which is where a dedicated space for reconnecting to oneself amidst the chaos of everyday life, comes in.
Whether people redecorate their bedrooms to maximize coziness or simply put a chair in front of a window, the idea is to create a space that allows you to quietly take time to read, draw, stitch, or simply be still and reflect. “It’s a healthy, powerful practice that allows you time to be more present for your family and continue to achieve your full potential,” Cannon says.
9. Multifunctional Spaces
As many of us still log some time working from home, multifunctional spaces have been trending out of necessity. But it’s not just combination office/guest bedrooms popping up in homes: Guiterrez says she’s noticing people put desks under stairs, repurpose closets into work spaces, add hidden storage in benches and ottomans, and choose decorative baskets that also work as storage.
10. Mindful Consumption
The realization that it’s everyone’s job to protect the planet has sparked new behaviors at home. Many of us are being more conscious about what we consume, even if it’s less convenient. For some of us, that means considering the quality of materials, labor and brand morals, and even transportation of a product before buying furniture or decor.
Sustainability is also trending in new builds and home renovations, says Noble. “High-performance windows and solar panels help homeowners reduce energy use, which can also help them save money. Native trees and grasses can create water-efficient landscapes, but also attract pleasing wildlife,” she says. “When personal benefits have a positive collateral impact on the world, everyone benefits.”