That the last two years have been strange for interior design is an understatement. Indeed, the course of 2020 and 2021 saw us experience life entirely in the space of our homes—and what once was a haven of rest and relaxation soon formed the ground for our work, as well as our play. For interior designer Yasmine Ghoniem, founder of YSG Studio, many of the aesthetic and functional choices we made for our interiors were intensely reactive as a result.
“In 2021, changes to the home, in particular, were driven by knee-jerk reactions to lockdown, and the whole work-from-home phenomenon,” Ghoniem tells Vogue Living. “We were all madly scrambling for make-shift desks, for example.”
But as 2022 approaches, we’re rediscovering the importance of transforming our homes into sanctuaries. Elements of post-pandemic living will remain—“people will plan the design of integrated working environments into the home,” says Ghoniem, “and there’ll be an interest in turning our pads into expressions of our external lifestyles, like integrating drinks cabinets into the kitchen.” Nevertheless, Ghoniem believes we’ll be putting our comfort before all else next year, with an increased emphasis on natural fibres, travertine paving and mismatched timbers.
Below, discover the 5 key trends that Ghoniem predicts will shape interior design in 2022.
“It’ll be a case of see you later matchy-matchy, hello cohesive clashes!” says Ghoniem, who shares that unconventional colour selections and unexpected textural pairings will be given predominant focus in 2022. Natural materials like timber (“stained with interesting hues,” explains Ghoniem) and stone (“energised by bold veining,” says Ghoniem) will be particularly favoured as we grow more adventurous with colour. “I like to think of it as the new Stone Age—in particular, pairing two different stone shades or patterns together,” she continues. “Think contrasting a marble’s feathery strokes with the blotchy dots on granite.”
Ghoniem also points to decorative wallpaper as a popular design choice for proponents of “cohesive clashing”. “They’re mood accelerators—pure dopamine for your spirits,” she exclaims. “But if I had to pick colours in general, I’d say purples and greens will have their moment in 2022, with a splash of ’70s brown.”
A year of soul searching is something that Ghoniem believes will have us enhancing the comfort levels in our homes, and nurturing something we’ve all sorely missed: “human connection”, evoked through natural fibres. “Soft linens, textured walls and hand-made ceramics will add really personal accents to the home,” advises Ghoniem. The year has also led us to place greater priority on sustainable decor, that’s healthy for the planet, and not just the soul. “There’s a growing awareness of the impact synthetic fibres are having on both the planet and our health, so rugs made from natural fibres like wool or silk will be valued more,” says Ghoniem. “I like to think of them as artworks for your floor!”
“I think people will be increasingly drawn to tactile natural surface finishes, but with pimped up visual and textural cues,” shares Ghoniem, “especially things they get a buzz out of touching and stimulating their senses.” Ghoniem singles out textures like a leathered quartzite or the swirling hollows in Poplar Burl joinery as surfaces she imagines we’ll be running our fingers over in 2022. “Unusual timber like this, with expressive woodgrains, will be in demand,” Ghoniem states. Ghoniem also suggests pairing mismatching timber species for tonal contrasts, and creating tapestry-like jigsaw connections on joinery surfaces.
It doesn’t take a clairvoyant to tell you that contemporary life is dominated by screens—but in this case, Ghoniem is referring to the folding, unplugged, non-digital kind. There has been a “seismic shift”, she explains, “in performance demands on households, including an adjustment to accommodating professional environments”. As a result, she continues, “many of us need to work within the spaces we have and need to stylishly partition them”.
“Screens (the timber gate-fold kind) enable a sense of privacy without blocking natural light and also conceal work zones when entertaining,” says Ghoniem. “Timber Battens are a regular YSG feature because they delineate space without enclosing it or blocking light. So for those wanting more permanent spatial dividers, these are a design asset. I recently created a sliding timber screen over the shelves above a living room’s integrated desk. It just rolls across to hide the clutter when entertaining.”
Terracotta and travertine paving
In 2022, Ghoniem believes the order of the year will be floors in all their terracotta-ed, travertined glory. “No doubt it’s because we live in a country that draws the outdoors in,” she says. “Once a covering predominantly used outdoors, terracotta and travertine paving will advance inside with gusto, knitting schemes together and allowing spaces to swell and expand through pattern integration thanks to the varied shapes and sizes you can select or custom-cut and the huge range of styles you can lay them in.”
The ease of maintaining terracotta and travertine paving, as well as their textural appeal, will make them firm interior staples for next year. “They’ll give timber flooring a run for its money as a hard surface,” Ghoniem predicts. “Unlike timber, pavers can comb walls in kitchens and bathrooms too. I think we’ll start noticing experimentations with grouting too—from exaggerated widths and even its tonal shades as people are more receptive to creating a look that’s unique.”
“Recently, I covered the floors of a home with oversized custom-cut travertine pavers with juicy, thick grout lines,” Ghoniem shares. “Surrounded by heritage sandstone walls, the home’s become much more directional.”
Written by Gladys Lai.
This article originally appeared on Vogue Living Australia.