This episode is all about trends: what’s going to be in for 2022 and what’s going to be out. You may be wondering why I didn’t record this episode in January, but the month totally got away from me. I’m in the middle of a rebrand, I had to move out of my office, and I’m moving out of my house to go, who knows where. There is a lot of transition, but also a lot of reflection. Today I’m sharing upcoming trends, because it’s never too late to incorporate trends into your space! I will also be sharing the things I hope go away in 2022, or the things I think are becoming obsolete.
My predicted interior design trends for 2022:
[3:02] The pendulum swinging from gray to beige
So, we all know that gray had a very long, very big moment. I’m talking about that cold gray, that almost skews bluish and has no warmth. I’m not talking “greige”. I think that is fairly timeless. I’m talking cool, graphite or concrete. It can be lighter in shade, but definitely that kind of tonality. That is gone, in my professional opinion. Now, people are wanting a slightly warmer look. In fact, I think the pendulum has swung (as it always does) between gray and beige. It’s back to beige and cream.
“Greige” is timeless. It’s always around, and it’s always something that my clients were asking for. Now, however, they are legit saying they want lighter shades of brown. They are looking for beige or tan, and that is a real change in terms of what I’m seeing in the industry and also what I’m personally gravitating toward. We have been locked down in a pandemic. It’s been cold, it’s been lonely, and it’s time to warm things up and make them feel inviting and cozy. It’s time to go back to beige.
[4:22] Curved furniture
One of the things I’m seeing a lot of is curved furniture. Most sofas are big, rectangular pieces, and most coffee tables are rectangles or squares, but there is this big move to curved or turned legs, jelly bean shaped sofas, or sofas with curved backs. I’m not just talking about rolled arms, but I’m talking about the entire shape. There are curvilinear lines, kidney shaped tables, and those unusual barrel or tub chairs. So many of my clients are telling me that they want a new look, and the best way to give them something that really feels unexpected is a totally different shape. You can get rectilinear chairs in fun patterns that will feel cool, but getting a curved chair in a fun pattern feels unique.
[5:26] Carved furniture
Another thing that’s really hot right now is carved furniture. That could be a turned leg console table that has a lot of detailing, like with ornate carving in the front of say an armoire. Anthropologie has some that my clients have been clamoring for. They have woodland creatures carved in the door of a cabinet, console, or armoire. Anything that is carved and has a little more attention to detail fits this trend. I would say that ornate carvings and that sort of look haven’t been seen for a very long time. It’s definitely more of a traditional thing to do, to give that much attention to fine wood details, but people are doing it in a more contemporary way. They are featuring less traditional features and more eclectic ideas like asymmetrical carvings versus traditional, neat detailing. I think if you’re looking for something that’s definitely of the moment. Carved, generally wood, furniture is all the rage right now.
[6:44] 3D art
Another thing that’s very popular is 3D art. I’m not just talking about sculptural wall art, but I’m talking about unexpected 3D moments. In a teen’s or a kid’s room, having butterflies that seem to fly off the wall versus just a picture would be a trendy feature. You might use stick-on butterflies whose wings extend from the wall. I’m also seeing a lot of decals with that 3D surface that makes it look like rock with geometric detailing.
If you look at places like Overstock, a lot of acoustic tiles have a carving that makes them look like 3D art versus just acoustic panels. Am I into it? I don’t know. With all trends, I’m a little dubious. I like to start with a foundation that’s timeless, and add these pieces knowing that I’m probably going to swap them out in a few months or a few years. Years would be a long shelf life for any of the trends I’m speaking about today – besides the beige.
[8:09] Benjamin Moore’s color of the year
Benjamin Moore has come out with its color of the year, which is October Mist. It’s kind of a warm sage. A lot of times you’ll find silvery sages like Gray Cashmere, my favorite green at Benjamin Moore. That definitely has a cool undertone. October Mist, while light in color, definitely has a bit more yellow. So, it’s still a sage in that it’s not super perky. I could definitely see it being pretty versatile, but also of the moment – unlike, say, a G and Teal, which I think I could go back to time and time again. This one, I think, is going to have its moment and be gone at the end of the year.
[8:51] Pantone’s color of the year
Pantone also releases a color of the year. Their color is Very Peri. It is a very vibrant periwinkle and it’s very saturated. When I typically think of periwinkle, I think of almost a pastel. This is an intense, bright hue. I am not a fan. You are not going to find anything to match this color. So, good for Pantone. I don’t know how they come up with these things. They just reach in a “button bag” for those of you familiar with Project Runway. They pull something out and call it the color of the year. I mean, I like that we’re coming out of a pandemic and we’re choosing brights versus the more subdued sages of Benjamin Moore. I like the idea that we’re optimistic and getting ready to party, but this is not a good color. This is not a color that’s easy to work with. So I don’t suggest you go out seeking things in Very Peri, which is bright periwinkle.
[9:50] Canopy beds
Another thing that people say we’re going to be seeing a lot of are canopy beds. Cozy is all the rage, and certainly there is nothing cozier than a canopy bed. You feel enveloped while you’re sleeping, and it feels like a little tent or nest. Canopy beds are somewhat timeless, but my clients haven’t been asking for them in nearly a decade. Now I see people gravitating more toward that. Heck, I’m moving soon and a canopy bed sounds pretty fun!
My predictions for what will be out in 2022:
[11:31] Gray washed wood
All right, now let’s talk about what’s out. I’m glad this is over the airwaves so you can’t physically harm me, because I know a lot of you are not going to like hearing this: gray washed wood. I have been over this, especially as flooring, a dining table, or bookcases, since it came out. I liked the idea of getting a new type of wood grain, but I feel like it’s cold. It looks a little too rustic. It’s blah, and I’ve been waiting for it to go out for so long. I will happily use it when my clients insist, or when they’re super enthusiastic about it, but it’s so over and I’m not bashful – I’ll let them know.
[12:20] Open kitchens
Another thing that’s been over for me ever since it began is open shelving, and now all the tastemakers are saying that open shelving is going the way of the gray washed wood. We’re going to be focusing more on closed cabinetry and a closed off kitchen. Open kitchens, like that super open concept layout where you can see the family room, the entryway, and everything else from the hub of the home – I was never a fan. My kitchen is a small galley kitchen that you can completely close off from both the hallway with the door and from the dining room with a door that was removed. I wish it was still there, but I do feel like I’m in my own little universe when I’m cooking. Nobody can see my dishes when they walk in my house, so I don’t always do my dishes. In fact, my husband does the dishes. I do the cooking, but often he does not do the dishes in a timely manner. I almost always have dirty dishes by the sink, and it wouldn’t be a good first impression. I also don’t want to see dirty dishes when I’m lounging in the living room or in the family room watching TV. I’m so glad that open kitchens are on their way out because as I’ve been house hunting, I’ve been reminded of why I don’t want an open kitchen.
Maximalism has been big lately, as people are liking things that are super accessorized. They like surfaces that have been well-styled. I’m not really a fan of maximalism, but minimalism is a trend that is on the way out. For many years, it has been sort of en vogue to have very austere decor, empty surfaces, sleek consoles, and dining tables with no centerpieces. I think at a certain point it can look cold, and a little bit too much like a hotel. It doesn’t look like anyone actually lives there. I wouldn’t swing the pendulum all the way to maximalism, even though a lot of people are. In fact, that’s being considered a big trend this year. To me, it’s clunky junky and just more dust. So I’m not putting maximalism on my trends list, even though other people are.
[14:38] Black hardware
Black hardware – be it faucets, kitchen hardware, doorknobs, and hinges – it’s out. I really think its moment was so short. Brass and gold definitely had their moment back in the 80s and 90s, and it came back around recently. I think it’s still around in a legitimate and viable way, but that true ebony is out. I think it had a very short shelf life.
Frankly, the thing I’ve noticed with metals is that any one metal can look very dated. I moved into my house six years ago and the metal that was easiest to find at the time was silver. I wanted to stay within a certain budget and have endless selection, so I went to the silver family. Within one or two years, all you could find was brass and gold. So if I wanted to update my chandelier or swap something out, all the cool choices were in this warm metal – and you guys know I don’t mix warm metals with cool metals. I was stuck, and I couldn’t take advantage of any of those trendy light fixtures or trendy accents for my own home. I just had to buy them for others.
Black had its moment and now it’s quickly gone. I hope to see two-tone metals as a trend, and certainly they are already here. You’ll see a mix of brass and bronze, brass and black, or black or bronze mixed with silver. Those are very common two-tone mixes. The problem is that there is just not enough two-tone selection. It’s few and far between. I think the best way to select metal finishes so that they are not trendy and so they are timeless is by doing the two-tone effect.
So, say you already have a house with a lot of black metal finishes. I’m designing a new construction in New Jersey right now, and it has all black metal finishes. They were playing off that modern farmhouse trend – which I feel is on its way out too, but I don’t want to get beat up for my opinions so I’m not going to say that too loud. Builders are still heavily utilizing that, because people are still asking for it. As I’m designing this home in New Jersey, and we’re selecting the different finishes and the options, I have encouraged my client to make it more timeless my doing dual metal finishes. We could combine the black with the silver to make it more well-rounded. I sure wish I had done that in my home. In fact, it’s not too late. If you’ve committed to one metal finish, find one or two very conspicuous pieces in the space – whether it’s the overhead light fixture or a big floor lamp with a lot of presence – to get in a two-tone metal finish. It sets the stage, and creates the rule book by which I will play for the entire room.
Another thing that people say is on its way out is macrame. Macrame is kind of a folk art that harkens back to the 70s with lots of knots, typically hanging on a wooden rod. It’s used as a cool wall hanging. I love that it’s lightweight, and that it can be large, dramatic, and affordable. I love getting macrame on Etsy, but I do agree that it’s on its way out now. If you watch the video, you will see that I have a tapestry with wooden dowel rods holding it behind me. It doesn’t, however, have the knots and the fringe.
Tapestries are timeless. They have been around for eons. It’s more the subject matter of that tapestry, and the colors you’ve selected, that would make it trendy or not. I love a tapestry any time, but macrame is probably being phased out. If you have macrame you love, that’s fine – especially if you have a mid-century modern aesthetic, because it fits in seamlessly with that era. But otherwise, I wouldn’t go looking for macrame and I won’t be recommending it for my clients anytime.
That’s my trend report for 2022 – what’s hot, and what’s not. Let me know what you think. I bet with a couple of the controversial things I’ve said, you guys have some strong opinions. Please share them with me! You can share your thoughts with me here.
Also, my mailbag is running low, and I could use some more letters from you all! If you have questions, thoughts, or ideas, please send them along. Fill out the form, and I would be happy to answer your question on an upcoming episode.
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