Hot Home Styles for 2022
What do the ’90s, nature and patterned wallpaper have in common? According to local design experts, they’re all part of 2022’s biggest home trends.
In the last few years, there has been a resurgence of 1990s and Y2K fashions (think baggy mom jeans, scrunchies, chunky white sneakers and — gulp — low-slung pants) from the Gen Z set. And because fashion and home design often go hand-and-hand, the trend is spilling over into the decor world.
Yup, the ’90s and the early aughts are back. If you need further evidence they’re cool again, just check out what’s happening on TikTok: bedrooms decorated in cheerful pastels, blowup furniture and an abundance of fairy lights.
Some of the other trends from three decades ago making the rounds today are pleated lampshades — which Amanda Bock, owner of Pittsburgh-based Amanda Bock Design, calls the comeback kid of the year — and patterned wallpaper.
“It feels like just yesterday everyone was stripping the old wallpaper from the ’90s in their homes for freshly painted walls, and now ornate floral patterns are all the rage,” Bock says.
As for why these trends are back, Bock relates it to longing for a simpler era (particularly in these pandemic times) as well as the resurgence of the ’90s and ’00s across pop culture. Think about it: Ben Affleck and J-Lo are back together, “Saved By the Bell” has gotten a reboot and today’s teens are all about classic TV shows such as “Friends.”
“It’s no surprise that we’d see elements of the ’90s creep into interiors as well,” Bock says.
We asked local design experts and beyond for their takes on the hottest home styles for 2022.
Art Deco Is Everywhere — and So Are Interesting Details
At the fall High Point Market, the influential biannual furnishing industry trade show held in High Point, North Carolina, “Style Spotters” noted two major trends — the streamlined profiles of Art Deco furnishing and the emergence of vibrant colors and bold patterns.
“The celebration of luxurious fabrics and finishes seemed to represent optimism and celebration as we emerge from the pandemic,” their style report notes.
Pittsburgh-based interior designer Hayley Watters says some of the Art Deco-inspired trends she’s seeing are curved sofas, furniture with rounded edges and pieces with fluted detailing.
Juliane Mazzarella, owner of Avenue Interiors in Sewickley, adds that texture, such as plush boucle, is huge for furniture, while Bock says pieces with more sculptural shapes are trending.
“You’ll see giant cylindrical legs on tables, or beautiful curves, like in Pittsburgh’s own Leanne Ford’s collection for Crate & Barrel,” she says.
Classic materials such as leather also are being used in new ways, including raw-edged seams or dramatic pleats and pintucks on sofas, according to Mazzarella. Melissa Rees of Pittsburgh’s M Hill Rees Interiors also is forecasting a return to pieces that are more ornate — or just simply interesting.
“I am seeing dining tables with more interesting bases, and sofas with a little personality, less boxy,” she says. “I think skirted details will be popping up too, displayed in a not-so ‘shabby chic’ way, but classic modern.”
Rich Tones and Luxurious Materials
Gray paint and casual, farmhouse decor (unless you live in an actual farmhouse, please step away from the rustic farmhouse sign) have been on the way out for years, but trends for 2022 put the final nail in the coffin.
Mazzarella says whites are getting warmer and colors are getting richer — think darker earth tones in clay, ochre, evergreen and indigo. Blush, beige, and soft grays, however, remain popular for younger and more contemporary looks.
“You can bring these new colors into your current spaces with pillows, throws, artwork and accessories,” she says. “Layering them into a neutral room is a great way to update.”
As for Rees, she’s swooning over jewel-toned, embroidered fabrics or materials with a luster to them.
“I am dying for the brave client that lets me create a moody master bedroom setting for them utilizing these very things,” she says.
And forget the minimalist look. Watters says today’s dark, rich wall colors pair well with a maximalist vibe, so expect to see large, opulent mirrors, curved furniture, velvet materials and glossy wood finishes.
Add Pattern and Texture
Besides boucle, Mazzarella says patterns — including fun terrazzo-style tabletops — are everywhere.
“Patterns are coming back and are more traditional than we’ve seen in years: plaids, stripes, floral, damasks and small prints,” she says.
High Point’s Style Spotters also noted an abundance of organic materials such as jute, rope and pencil rattan on furniture and lighting.
If you’re ready to add some texture (OK, and some pattern) to your home, the aforementioned wallpaper — including peel-and-stick varieties that are easy to install and remove — is a great option, Mazzarella says.
“One of the most important things you can do when designing is to create unexpected moments,” Rees adds. “For example, wallpapering the ceiling is a really fresh way to draw your eye up without overwhelming a space.”
Other ways of adding interest to your home are small, yet impactful, touches such as wall paneling and intricately detailed stair balusters and rails.
“Layering in detail like this, in my opinion, makes a home so much more than furniture can,” Rees says. “This added level of design is something that I think will become more and more requested as people have access to [apps] like TikTok and Instagram.”
The Pandemic Effect
One of the more benign results from the coronavirus pandemic is that homeowners, no longer commuting daily to an office, began nurturing plants. Since then, there has been a turn toward nature-inspired designs.
“From teak vases to bead chandeliers, cane furniture and floral murals, the outdoors is coming inside,” says Betsy Wentz, owner of Studio B in Sewickley, who also notes that shades of green, from pale sage to olive, are trending.
Creating the perfect backdrop for those now-beloved house plants are textured walls in natural tones, which can create a relaxed, Mediterranean feel, Rees says.
“When combined with arched openings and organic fluid touches like blown glass in accessories and lighting, stained wood pieces, natural stone and arched openings, it makes for a truly serene environment,” she says.
Like last year, and with many people still working from home, there is a continued interest in home offices.
“Some people might have thought that working from home was temporary or that they could make do, and now they’re starting to realize that they want to invest there,” Bock says.
As such, open-concept floor plans — once the crown jewel of any new home build — also aren’t as highly desired as they once were. Instead, walls are the new cool kid.
“Moving forward, I believe homeowners will be more thoughtful when renovating or building new to create work zones and private space, even if it is as simple as a reading nook under the stairs,” Rees says. “It is very important to create environments that maintain separation from work life and home life.”