Decor trends 2022: What’s in and what’s out

It’s a brand new year, so “out with the old and in with the new” as the saying goes.

While we all easily know what we want to get rid of in 2022 — the entire past year, anyone? — it might be harder to determine what’s in and what’s out in home decor trends. Particularly when it comes to our own humble abodes. So here’s a quick guide to help you. Let’s dispense with the “old” first.

What’s “out” for the new year

We’ll make this part brief, because tearing the bandage off quickly hurts less. Chances are, your home contains every single one of these trends.

All white kitchens Yup. Who knew? Sure, this makes your home look crisp and bright, but with the ongoing pandemic, homeowners are looking to add more warmth into their entire home.

Open floor plans While these look fantastic and function well during big gatherings, with more people working from home or homeschooling, it’s suddenly not so practical. The trend is toward more dedicated spaces rather than less.

Fast furniture Yes, this assemble-yourself option is affordable, but because it doesn’t last as long as quality pieces, it ends up in the landfill. With everyone more conscious of their ecological footprint, this just isn’t always the best option.

Mid-century Modern This really hurts my heart. This minimalist aesthetic has been a big trend for some time now—and has always been a big favourite of mine—but it’s being replaced with the hybrid Japandi and warmer Boho styles.

Modern Farmhouse Enough, apparently, with the white shiplap and mason jars. While sliding barn doors probably will never leave us, this trend is being replaced with the kitschy floral prints, muted paint colours and vintage china adored by Cottagecore and Grandmillenial enthusiasts.

Industrial lights This trend has been huge for some time now, but is being replaced by more airy and nature-inspired materials such as wicker and rattan. I’m okay with this because I also love the Japandi style, but if macrame swag lamps return, I’m out.

Fake plants These are unwelcome in a more nature-inspired decor setting. However, if you’re a plant murderer like I am, you know that fake plants can look extremely authentic if you’re willing to spend a bit more money on them. Or try dried! But the biophilic design trend is really big right now.

Pink or blue nurseries More and more parents are opting into pure white, cool greys or earthy colours for their children’s rooms. With the trend toward gender-neutrality, this makes sense. As a mom, I know how kids set their own agendas. And should, as individuals. My daughter was adamant at five about a fuschia pink room. Fortunately, not too hard to paint over later when, in her teens, “pink was for babies”. But it’s not a bad idea to start out neutral and let your kids develop their own preferences.

What’s “in” for the new year

In general, going warmer and more natural is the right approach for the current year. Homeowners are trending toward more experimentation with colour and using raw forms and materials. So what’s current?

All white kitchens Double yup. Fact, white kitchens will never go out of style, but the shiny, hard look of them is. You’ll be happy to know that you don’t have to demo your kitchen entirely to be on trend. By adding colour, pattern and texture to this perennial palette, you can add tons of visual interest, and even a Boho vibe, without spending a lot of money on renovations. Painting your existing cupboards is always an option. Every colour and finish works well with white countertops. Don’t want to commit? Paint your walls instead. If you’ve been thinking of replacing worn countertops, opt for a marble effect to add depth to the white.

Shades of green Yes, green is having a major moment. This fits right in with the whole “going natural” theme and why you can’t go wrong painting your kitchen walls this colour to update it and warm it up if you don’t want to paint your cabinets. Although green cabinets are hot right now. There’s a green for every style, from barely-there sage greens acting as a neutral backdrop to deep forest greens for a dramatic, cozier look. It’s time to switch up the cooler greys and blues that have been popular until now for this warmer trend. This includes applying biophilic design, or put simply, houseplants. Everywhere.

Warm neutrals Green not your thing? The resurgence of warmer colour palettes ala Cottagecore or Japandi is also heralding a subtle shift back to  comforting creams, beiges and nudes. Richer, earthier neutral shades include taupe, camel and amber or rust. In addition to these more conventional shades, blush is emerging as a go-to neutral with a decisive happy vibe.

Curved lines There’s been a notable surge in consumer interest in curves. They have a more
nature-inspired, organic feel than harsh, straight lines. A curving, rounded couch, for example, is definitely more soothing in these troubled times than a very angular, formal piece. What could be more comforting than being embraced by your furniture when you finally take off that mask and put your feet up at the end of the day?

Curved walls are also gaining traction. Instead of a straight wall in an entrance, how about one that curves gently into the room? Much more inviting. It also creates a lovely little nook on the opposite side for reading or displaying art. Arched doorways and windows are also very popular right now.

Layered textures and patterns Texture and pattern is probably the number one trend of 2022. Just as it will warm up a white kitchen, it will warm up the rest of your home as well. For texture, anything furry, nubby or cozy will do. Even walls are receiving textural treatments through techniques like lime-washing and paint products that mimic plaster. Think Boho here.

Think Grandmillenial style with a mix of florals and stripes (or what we used to refer to as “Shabby Chic”). To achieve a cozy, layered style with furniture and accessories, look for a good variety of materials like natural stone, leather, wood and metal.

Reclaimed materials With the supply-chain issues plaguing (pun intended) every industry out there, reusing and repurposing makes sense now. Reclaimed wood and stone are becoming popular in both home decor and architecture. It’s not at all unusual to see a brand new build with a reclaimed wood mantle over a gas fireplace. Or a new kitchen utilizing an old farmhouse table as an island.

It’s becoming more popular to improve the performance of existing older or historic structures rather than building brand new. Examples of this range from retrofitting a turn-of-the-century home to barn conversions to reworking an old warehouse or church into condo units.

Dedicated spaces Open concept living spaces are great when you’ve got a bunch of people all doing the same thing. But during normal downtown at home? It’s pretty likely that while one person wants to read a book, another wants to play video games or watch sports. Suddenly the open curving staircase to the basement and the soaring ceiling to the loft above aren’t quite so enjoyable.

Dedicated areas that close off for the inclusion of multiple generations living in the same home but doing different activities are current. With more people hanging out at home at the same time these days — and for the foreseeable future — more privacy rather than less is important for everyone’s sanity.