What's trending and ending. The consensus.

January 4, 2022

Coming out of the pandemic, we have a renewed appreciation for emotional and mental health. Covid has fuelled this year’s trends, of course, and put an exclamation point on living well. What’s in: colossal light fixtures and herringbone floors. What’s out: peewee pendants and patterned tiles. Get ready for wall-to-wall carpet, punched up colours, and walls you want to touch that suit the way we feel now and the simpler lives we’re leading after a couple of years of turmoil.

The years 2020 and 2021 saw a frenzy of ‘what can we get now’ purchasing for the home – many people felt a rush to purchase items for utility over longevity. Consumers will start to leave those behaviours behind: in 2022, we’ll see the antidote to that, with interiors that reflect a longer lifespan, and furnishings that are timelessly chic and functional. Read more, ‘9 Design Trends We Will Be Seeing In The Very Near Future.’

Here are the incoming trends for 2022 – as well as those bowing out.

AD100 designer Jane Hallworth leads a master class in the marriage of substance and style. Photography: Sam Frost For Architectural Digest


Wondering what colours might calm us, inspire us, or make us feel grounded in our homes? Expert Joa Studholme, international colour curator at Farrow & Ball, says that the challenges of the past two years have ushered in “a seismic shift in the way we’re using colours in the home,” noting that neutrals seem to be giving way to bold, distinctive hues that imbue our interior spaces with a certain strength of character.

The colours we use will be strong but modest, which suits both the way we feel now and the simpler lives we’re leading.

She says colours like Farrow & Ball’s Breakfast Room Green, and Incarnadine—are lending interiors a kind of rootedness in what she terms the “modest character” and virtues of the simple life. And of course, we are still particularly attracted to colours that reflect the natural world and make us feel safe. Read more, ‘Will These Paint Colours Rule 2022?’

We are still particularly attracted to colours that reflect the natural world and make us feel safe. Photo: Sam Frost for Architectural Digest.

Imperfections, Rejoice

Professionals in the realm of aesthetics see interior design embracing flaws in 2022. The founder of curiosity shop Kabinett & Kammer, in Franklin, N.Y., cites a surging interest in chipped and crazed ironstone china as an example. “In the past, people wanted pure white and pristine.” Now people are hankering for the opposite—a timeworn and cosy feel. Sleek, mass-made items and chilly finishes like glass are being ghosted. Instead, people are gravitating toward handmade finishes, plantlike paint colours and friendly architectural curves. Read more, ‘The Big Picture Home Designs Taking Off Right Now.’

We are craving warmth, cosiness and colours that make us feel grounded – with cool tones fading fast.

OUT: Fancy Tiles 

While hand-painted floor tiles seemed charming not so long ago, the colourful quadrilaterals won’t be a big part of the finishes arsenal in 2022. While the line between indoors and outdoors will continue blurring, such busy ornamentation is too busy to vibe with the simplicity of the natural world.  Mosaic floors, too, have had their moment – as people started spending more time at home and crave serene spaces that are easy on the eyes. Read more, ‘The 6 Luxury Bathroom Trends Taking Off Right Now.’

IN: Wood Laid in Patterns 

Classic, ornamental herringbone wood floors are zigzagging into interiors more than ever, even contemporary ones. The look adds a timeless, textural feel to modern rooms, whether you chose  herringbone in white oak, ebony-stained oak or walnut. Herringbone’s twofer contribution: You get the beauty of a pattern and the warmth of wood as we did in our country house.

Fancy tile no more, it’s all about one-off marble designs now. Photo: Sam Frost For Architectural Digest.

OUT: Big-Stitch Blankets

Those throws wrought of extremely thick yarn are so commonplace they’ve become aesthetically smothering. The machine-made, chunky-yarn blankets look like something more suited to keeping you warm at a football stadium.

Besides, mass-produced items make a space feel staged rather than lived in.

IN: Well-Woven Throws

Hand-loomed blankets are in because of their organic, natural imperfections. The weaves are typically hand dyed and also have a depth of colour. And those tossed-on throws make an impact. When you think of a room in layers, the finishing touches (or outermost layers) are what you notice first, creating a great first impression. Artisanal, handmade throws are the ones that count.

When you think of a room in layers, the finishing touches (or outermost layers) are what you notice first. Photo: Sam Frost For Architectural Digest.

OUT: Teensy Pendant Lights

Little dangling lights, even multiples of them, in large rooms have lost their lustre In spaces with voluminous ceilings, small light fixtures get swallowed up.  In most spaces, fixtures under 36 inches no longer appeal. Interior designers are, noticing that some of their clients still welcome small pendants made of interestingly blown glass, rope or raffia, but many people are leaving the simple, ‘techy’ frosted glass and cable pendants behind.

IN: Titanic Fixtures

Illumination is no longer a chandelier’s sole reason for being. Designers are bringing the drama with pieces like the Moooi Random Light II, a fibreglass orb available in diameters up to 1 metre. Besides the direct function of the fixtures, the largest of which is nearly 1.25 metres across, they create “a wow factor in any interior.”

Oversized fixtures become a major art piece and define the personality of the space.

Designers are bringing the drama with pieces with titanic-sized light fixtures. Photo:Tim Lenz for Architectural Digest.

OUT: Boxy Blackened-Steel Frames

According to WSJ’s 2022 trend report “The modern farmhouse style, with its white clapboard and dark window frames, was sent out to pasture in 2021. Its trademark blackened-steel details have nevertheless persisted in many forms of design, but many are predicting their inappropriate application will wane. Many people with 1960s-1980s brick homes installing windows with black frames. They shouldn’t be used in every renovation or new build on the block.”

IN: Arches Make Way

Arches—in both cabinetry and architecture—are rounding the corner to sate our need for softer lines and more comforting designs. Broad hallway arches give a great sense of space. Even in a comparatively calm and simple interior, arches make a statement, and even be tucked into a vaulted niche in a tiled shower wall. Appearing everywhere from Roman architecture to Spanish villas, Art Deco designs, and many movements in between, the contoured device has become less structural and more of a decorative motif through the years. It’s a point well evidenced at High Point Market last Autumn where arches were a familiar fixture throughout furnishing categories.

Few designs have paced consistently through the eras like that of the arch.

Even in a comparatively calm and simple interior, arches make a statement. Photo: Eric Piasecki for Architectural Digest.

OUT: Routine Mass-Produced Wallpaper

While design experts largely agree that wallcoverings are still trending, papering rooms with generic “fast fashion” iterations—especially soulless graphic patterns—won’t turn heads anymore. Many people see mass-produced papers as large-format art, and they don’t want the same designs as their neighbour.

IN: Walls You Want to Touch

Our yen for contact and cocooning has got tactility climbing the walls. We will continue to see a lot of earthier finishes like plaster, clay, and lime washes in 2022. There will also be greater experimentation with textures like raked plaster, rougher clay, or grainy stuccos. These have become really popular interior finishes because they’re so durable and can be made water-resistant, and they will also start moving outdoors, and even onto custom furniture and accessories.

Plastered surfaces, straddles two seemingly opposing aesthetics: it is very organic, yet rich. Designers also predict we’ll see lots of chalky lime wash, with its subtle texture and intrigue. Plaster paint can supply the blotchy optics without the expense of the real trowel-it-on stuff.

Also expect to see more tactile materials—wood, plaster, bronze, and leather—and finishes with textures derived from nature.

Plastered surfaces, straddles two seemingly opposing aesthetics: it is very organic, yet rich.  Photo: Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

OUT: Made-to-Order Furniture

Supply-chain snarls are causing exasperating delays when it comes to having anything but in-stock merchandise delivered. Larger furniture pieces in general seem to have the longest lead times, with designers encountering up to  28-week lead times when ordering upholstered sofas and chairs for clients. No one wants to wait for garden chairs for a year.

IN: Ye Olde Goods

Furniture auctions have never seen a year like 2021, with sustainability, no travel and a focus on home fuelling rapid price growth. Antiques are available and sold right off the floor. Shipping woes associated with new furniture have bolstered people’s appreciation of vintage pieces. Many of us are digging up family heirlooms and opting to use these in interesting ways. People are craving connections and history.

Eighteenth to nineteenth-century antiques are particularly resurgent.

OUT: Banal Blues

The calming colour found in dentists’ reception rooms everywhere is no longer a go-to. The WSJ  2022 trend report said, “Many people have been nervous about using colour and were leaning into blues as their way of adding interest to spaces but are now finding the now overly pervasive colour, sometimes melancholy.  Designers are also moving away from blue-based greys and whites.”

IN: Mixed Greens (the new neutral)

The one colour people everywhere are asking for lately is green, according to designers. Warmer greens like olive won slots in WSJ’s recent trend report, but the palette has expanded to include emerald, eucalyptus, jade and teal. Rich mid-spectrum shades of green bring the outdoors inside. Seek out colors such as Benjamin Moore’s October Mist, Valspar’s Garden Flower and Behr’s Sage. Think of the verdant interior of a lush greenhouse such as Benjamin Moore’s October Mist, a soft pistachio, Sherwin Williams’s Evergreen Fog, a subdued grey-green – the colours of Guacamole and celadon.

How to further intertwine nature and design? Not just more indoor plants but larger windows and plant-inspired prints.

Rich mid-spectrum shades of green bring the outdoors inside. Photo: Sam Frost For Architectural Digest.

OUT: Glass Tabletops and Buildings 

We don’t usually debate architectural trends in our annual design trend report, but anyone who finds the glass-walled world of HBO’s “Succession” off-putting may be glad to hear from New Yorker David West, founding partner of Hill West Architects. “We have passed the apex of the all-glass facade,” he said. The slick glazing has become “somewhat synonymous with mass production and anonymity.” Same goes indoors – glass can too easily break or become marred. And there’s the smudge factor, as anyone with a gummy-fingered toddler or spouse will lament.

IN: Travertine Tabletops

The sandy limestone plays nicely with other, brighter hues. Using travertine, with its naturally irregular colour patterns, is also like lugging a bit of the countryside indoors. The stone was a midcentury mainstay that popped up again in the 1980s. Its comeback now is largely due to its creamy colour, warm feel and organic surface.

In short: It’s back to nature o’clock.

The sandy limestone plays nicely with other, brighter hues. Photo: Eyeswoon.

Out: Black kitchen and bath hardware

A design trend we were ready to see go upon the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve, 2022 is the black kitchen and bath hardware.

We are lovers of classic unlacquered brass, silver, and good-quality nickel, so black hardware will forever feel trendy to us.

IN: Multiple window banks

Many homeowners on Houzz dream of light and bright kitchens and interiors. One way to deliver that is with plenty of windows that stream in natural light. Long banks of multiple windows, sometimes on two or even three walls, creating a space full of light, breeze — if the windows are operable — and offer views. Thanks to the rise of hardworking pantry walls, storage optimized island bases and lower cabinets that allow homeowners to skip upper cabinets, we anticipate homeowners to go with expansive runs of kitchen windows in 2022.

Classic unlacquered brass, silver, and good-quality nickel tapware is here to stay, so black hardware will forever feel trendy. Photo; Tim Lenz for Architectural Digest.

OUT: Keeping Up Appearances 

There’s going to be (literally) more transparency because the interior of our homes is now where we do many different things, including simultaneously living our lives, caring for people, and working, often on Zoom where other people can see our interiors.

IN: Zoom Rooms 

For 1stDibs, the distinction between professional and domestic spaces—once sacrosanct—is now blurred. There is an increased interest in nomadic and flexible use furniture. In other words, the notion that rooms and furnishings have dedicated uses and finite configurations is a thing of the past; our homes are evolving into a movable feast. There is more focus on ‘home,’ and not necessarily entertaining in the home but about really living and working in a home space and having the flexibility to do both comfortably.

Zoom rooms are for digital nomads to work and live – there are limitless options.

There is an increased interest in nomadic and flexible use furniture. Photo: Tim Lenz for Architectural Digest.


Part of this article first appeared in the WSJ.

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