Going into 2021, we anticipated a surge of “fresh ideas, fearless colors and textures, unexpected materials, and broad trends.” We were challenged to change our ways, and the cultural shifts were massive as a result. While there’s no way of knowing for sure what will happen in 2022, we do have a feeling about what it might look like—we take vibe checks very seriously in our line of work.
Next year, we’re expecting to see more interiors curated to channel a sense of comfort and personality. We’ve had so much time to turn inward, and now we have the space to design every aspect of our lives from a more intentional place. Given that 2022 is the Year of the Tiger, we expect to be bolder, zestier, more rebellious, and regal than ever before. Below, we’ve outlined a forecast with 10 trends that we predict will define interiors in 2022.
Loud and wowed
After being confined to our homes for so long, the sterile nature of minimalism is out! More people are pivoting hard into maximalism with weird, whimsical, and wiggly decor pieces that are bursting with unapologetically fun energy. (Or is that the sound of the circus?) Though pastel palettes ushered in a necessary touch of softness, the time to shout “I have a voice with a point of view” is now. The “avant basic” trend is more than a mood board borrowing aesthetics from the Memphis movement: It’s the beginning of a full-on design renaissance, and it’s here to stay. Get ready to see flares of surrealism and medieval goth.
As we further explore the metaverse, our interiors must reflect the journey of the digital world. The spatial designer Hanna Ali told us that this emerging ecosystem is providing a whole new way to experience virtual architecture that is drastically shifting the culture. In addition to all the innovation around smarter technology, cryptocurrency, and NFTs, we’re in the midst of adapting to a hybrid lifestyle model as well. The check pattern reigned supreme throughout the pandemic, but now that we’ve experimented with the psychedelic, it’s time to go back to the source. Any architect will tell you how essential the grid is, and now more designs are paying homage to it.
From postmodern (now referred to as “pomo” a.k.a. the “emo of design”) and Bauhaus to midcentury and Scandi, we’re all getting a blast from the past as we navigate our own aesthetics and develop style preferences. The crafty grandmillennials have graduated from kindercore, but still want to play with their fake food because entertainment doesn’t have to stop at the dinner table. Meanwhile, Gen Z can’t seem to get enough of Y2K culture. The resurgence of Polly Pockets also reminds us that the ongoing obsession with miniatures is multigenerational. Pro tip: Take notes from Jasmine Archie, Vivid Wu, and Lillian Ahenkan for some major interior inspiration.
Green is the new neutral
No matter the shade, it’s the color of the year despite what Pantone says. If you don’t take our word for it, the folks at Benjamin Moore, Sherwin-Williams, and Behr will gladly back us up here. We previously noted that shades like emerald bring a sense of tranquility and rejuvenation into any space, whether it’s a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living room, or office. (It’s part of that ongoing process of reconnecting with nature.) Millennial pink remains in our hearts forever.
Speaking of green, we’re now going beyond the #cottagecore aesthetic and leaning even harder into sustainability with this quirkier variant of biophilia. In addition to reclaiming the wild side of nature and advocating for inclusivity within a realm of forest fantasy, goblincore calls for thrifting, shopping secondhand, and the collecting of small, shiny objects. (In other words, vintage is way in.) At the core, it’s about embracing a more eco-friendly lifestyle—with nature-inspired looks to match. Mushrooms, snails, frogs, plants, and moss are some of the main motifs for this trend, which obviously features an earthy palette. Interpret as you wish!
All cannabis everything
Because you don’t have to be a stoner to appreciate stoner aesthetics. There are so many tasteful ways to integrate cannabis into your home decor, from sculptures and floral arrangements to throw blankets and coffee table books. The marijuana industrial complex will be reaching new heights in 2022 with legalization on the rise across the U.S., so don’t be surprised to see more weed out in the wild with the enormous growth of dispensaries and farms. The grass is greener now that we’re finally on the other side of this movement. (While you’re here, consider reviewing the highly recommended products from our gift guide on the subject.)
With the popularity of transparency came a resurgence of lucite and acrylic, so, naturally, the next “it” material is glass blocks. Susan Alexandra set the bar high with her flagship store that is filled with a rainbow of glass blocks. (The architectural designer Lula Galeano insists that the material makes for a most fulfilling furniture DIY project.) The tile table had its moment, but it’s about to be replaced by glass block ones.
Iconic statement pieces are cool, but multifunctional furniture is an even better investment now that our spaces have become multipurpose and objects are our closest companions. (Real talk, there’s truly nothing more intimate.) We’ve all been struck by the curse of curves, but what could be more comforting than a big, chunky couch? What really stands the test of time is a sectional set that you can put together and pull apart to your heart’s content, like the Togo and Mah Jong sofas. We’re always one step closer to reviving the conversation pit… And if you hadn’t already noticed, the daybed is also back in fashion.
Books are back
It’s time to get lit, if you know what I mean… Not only are more people curating books for decoration (and their personal libraries), but they’re also building stairs and tables out of vintage books. Even if you’re not a hardcore bibliophile, the designer Sophie Collé reminds us that books are great tools to use as visual references. “I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m just flipping through the pictures, but that is such a great way of not going on Pinterest and learning a little bit about history,” she explains. “People have done the work of curating all of this information for us, so why not use it? Some book covers from the ’80s are art pieces, so I like having them out even just for that.” You heard it here first: Books are the new status symbol.
Mirror, mirror, off the walls! After such a long duration of deep reflection, the future is looking shinier than ever, so our decor should too. From tinsel curtains and disco balls to tufted and spray foam mirrors, we’re all getting our groove back with pieces that shimmer and sparkle. Now that the portal has been opened, could mirrored ceilings be in our future? Only time will tell...
This was originally published on Architectural Digest.