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2021 was an interesting year for interior design. We saw lots of new interior design trends including more traditional looks, fluting, and wallpaper everywhere. But many of the styles that were popular in 2021 won’t stay that way for long.
2022 will be an interesting year for interior design as we collectively try to get back to normal. Still, it’s a new normal and many of us will continue to spend a great deal of time in our homes for the foreseeable future. Whether you are moving to a new home, renovating your current one, or even just considering either one of these ideas, it’s important to choose furniture, decor, and finishes that won't look dated next year. Here are ten interior design trends going away in 2022.
While Chip and Joanna Gaines are far from over, their signature modern farmhouse look isn’t something many interior designers will be living, laughing, or loving in 2022. Evelyn Benatar of the New York Design Center tells me, “One trend I see going away in 2022 is modern farmhouse. As with most trends when they become oversaturated in the design industry, they start to fade away.”
The pandemic solidified the need for separate rooms, especially when so many spaces need to double as home offices. For this reason, big kitchens that open up to the rest of the home are becoming less desirable. “I am definitely seeing a lot of enclosed kitchen spaces as opposed to large family room/kitchen areas that are open to the rest of the home,” says Christopher Peacock, Founder and CEO of Christopher Peacock.
However, it doesn’t mean these spaces should feel enclosed. “Within that space, the designs tend to be more open planned with wall shelving and less built-in looking cabinetry. An eclectic organic feel of mixed textures and materials is very welcoming and bistro-like, and this is certainly popular.”
Mid century modern styles have reigned for years, more recently as a combination with boho. While the popularity of this style has been in a slow decline for quite a while now, it’s not going away entirely. Rather, according to Lotta Lundaas, Founder and CEO of Norse Interiors, it’s evolving. “Mid century meets boho has dominated design trends the past couple of years, but in 2022, we’ll see less boho and more mid century meets discrete luxury. Our homes will remain multi-purpose, and the mid century clean lines, simple shapes, and emphasis of function will be central to creating a safe haven with a touch of flair for when it’s time to log off and relax.”
HomeGoods Style Expert and interior designer Beth Diana Smith also tells me that mid century modern has reached its peak. “After being incredibly popular, mid century modern decor seems to be making an exit as it is becoming a bit oversaturated. Instead, we’re seeing something more exciting takeover: Avant-basic which is reminiscent of fashion of the 1960s and 70s, where bold color and pattern reigned supreme. As someone who loves using color and pattern to express themselves, I’m happy to see this become a 2022 trend.”
While the avant-basic look can be overwhelming for some, Smith says it’s easy to incorporate it into current design schemes by shopping at stores like HomeGoods. “[They] have eclectic pieces in a variety of patterns and vibrant colors, like bright ceramic vases, patterned throw pillows, and gem-toned velvet accent chairs, making it not only simple, but also affordable to dabble in this new trend.”
Let’s bid adieu to Kim Kardashian inspired homes because less is finally less. Peti Lau of the New York Design Center says, “I think we will see less minimalist design in 2022 and more layered, modernist, maximalist design. A home should be a reflection of the people inhabiting the spaces and it should tell a story.”
The days of monochromatic looks such as white sofas, white throws, white walls, and the ever-present all-white kitchen are finally numbered. Many of the top interior designers are thrilled about this trend finally going away. Christiane Lemieux, Owner of Lemieux Et Cie says, “We will see monochromatic, all neutral interiors going away in 2022. The blank canvas, all off-white trend is becoming too dull and frankly not very livable. With people spending more time inside their homes, they are craving color, layers, textures, patinas, and material mixes. We are now thinking about our spaces from a 360 perspective— how it makes us feel, how it smells and sounds, functions and looks.”
Lemieux tells me that this aesthetic will be replaced with lots of fine details. “People are reevaluating how they furnish, decorate, and layer artwork in their homes. They are looking for the details too. We can expect details like pleats, scallops, and tailoring. Linear only is on the way out too.”
Interior designer Ariel Okin sees this from a similar perspective, “I am not big on trends, but I hope that we start to move away from spaces that are entirely gray and white and devoid of any personality. These big-box spaces feel cold and impersonal. I'd love to see more spaces reflecting the quirks and passions of their owners in 2022 and beyond. Also, bring on some color and pattern, please.”
It’s not that the all-white look is just a fad that's had its day, it’s also that this look simply isn’t the most interesting choice. Principal Designer/Owner of Emma Beryl, Emma Kemper tells me, “After spending so much time at home over the past couple of years, people want to create vibrant, interesting, inspiring spaces to live in.”
Another problem with white interiors is that they’re challenging to clean, especially white sofas. “From a practical level, all-white homes are harder to maintain and stress-inducing since they don’t hide anything. If you aren’t someone who loves a ton of color in your home but you still want to liven things up I recommend utilizing neutral tones that are not white and really leaning into the incorporation of different textures to add visual layers and interest,” says Kemper.
So what’s the new white? Haley Weidenbaum, Founder of Everhem tells me, “I foresee warm neutrals and textures displacing stark white decor and cozying things up a bit this year. [The all-white] trend had its moment and gave off an air of sophistication and modernity, it's just a bit too sterile and in the post-Covid age of spending more time at home. People want to feel cloaked in comfort and warmth.”
Macrimé? More like macrim-nay. These accessories will hopefully be hitting time capsules in 2022, explains interior designer Caitlin Wilson. “A trend that I’d love to see go away and stay away, is the 70s inspired wall-hangings. They remind me of adult-size mobiles. As much as I love textiles, I really think they can be better appreciated in the form of a Persian rug or a beautifully embroidered pillow and not as a dust collector over your bed or living spaces.”
For years now, stainless steel kitchen hoods have been essential for high-end kitchens. But as the cold, industrial look becomes less popular to make way for warmer styles, this trend is beginning to fall out of favor, according to interior designer Leigh Lincoln of Pure Salt Interiors.“We’ve been saying goodbye to exposed, industrial range hoods for a while now, but we’re thinking we’ll really see a cultural shift in the new year. It feels too cold to break up a bank of beautiful kitchen cabinets with excessive steel, but we’ll still need hoods for their function.”
Any chef will tout the importance of a quality kitchen hood for cooking and most interior designers will merit their aesthetic value. So, hoods aren’t going away altogether. Rather, we will see more plaster hoods, especially as traditional touches become more of a trend in 2022. “With options to run your hood flush to your cabinets or slope it outwards, we love the look of a plaster hood for its character and its simplicity,” explains Lincoln.
While YouTube, Instagram, and Tiktok can be great sources of inspiration for design, many people are outright copying the looks they see on these platforms without putting their own spin on it. Dakota Jackson, designer and Founder, Dakota Jackson Inc is declaring this practice officially done. “Farewell to isolation, pent-up frustration, and the desire to again to realize new creations so the recycled interiors we’ve all seen on Instagram become obsolete as we begin to peek around the corner to see new design again.”
While black hardware dominated in 2021, it will look dated in 2022, according to Will Zhang who is the Director of Design and Product Innovation of Emtek. “Hardware, in general, has faster and shorter trend cycles which can be attributed to influencer marketing and social media. People are turning away from tiresome trends like flat black and high reflective finishes.”
Interior designer Jennifer Hunter shares a similar point of view. “I think we will see less usage of matte black hardware. It is definitely a trend rather than classic, and that its time has just about run its course. I think we will see people increasingly opting for polished nickel or aged brass finishes that are not too overpowering or bold.”
From wood tile floors to marble porcelain, faux design has been big for years now. While these materials are certainly budget-friendly, much of the time, they're poorly installed (wood tile with thick grout lines, for example) and end up just looking fake. Fortunately, according to Nancy Epstein, Founder of Artistic Tile, 2022 will be about keeping it real.
“We’ve spent the pandemic in virtual spaces, meeting our colleagues, family, and friends on Zoom. NFTs, Bitcoin, and the Metaverse are becoming household names. In a world that is quickly going virtual, the importance of real, genuine spaces is drawn into sharper relief. A long-standing trend in surfaces was one of imitation— rather than using actual marble or wood, photos of marble or wood were printed onto porcelain,” she says.
Genuine luxury will be replacing faux in 2022. “[It] means using the real thing— not just another facsimile of the real. There’s a place for the imitation, just as there’s a time and place for a meeting on Zoom, rather than face to face. But there’s no true replacement for the real thing.”