Warmer colours, more texture and less contrast are just some of the interior design trends forecasted for 2022. See which colours you’ll be seeing more of in the coming months in my complete 2022 trend report.
Who decides what’s trending?
Mystery surrounds trends. Where do they come from? It’s easy to imagine retailers scheming to sell us the “next big thing.” But that’s just not the way it works. Honestly.
The truth is trends are driven by consumers’ and creators’ shifting interests. We get bored of one thing, so the next sparkly new thing catches our eye. We seek out what’s different or new. The pendulum swings back and forth. In other words, YOU help drive trends.
Think of a trend as a general direction in which something is developing or changing.
And if there is a general direction in what creators and homeowners are looking for in interiors right now, that can be summed up in one word. It is warm.
Warm woods trend
For starters, lots of wood is showing up in our feeds, even 70s wood panelling.
While we’ve been seeing warmer colours coming for a few years, it’s safe to say that heading into 2022, it’s here. Earth tones have moved from the fringes to being firmly rooted in mainstream design.
In our eDesign department, the look of inspiration boards from clients has shifted from lots of blue and white into moodier iterations with an abundance of wood, mellower warm wall colours, and muted moody accents.
White Oak and natural pale woods are still going strong (and with good reason, it’s the perfect balance between warm and airy) for flooring and cabinetry. But furnishings in richer, burnished browns and even red tones are bringing elegance to spaces. Makes sense too because vintage and antiques are popular as ever.
What I know for sure though, is that we are well past all the mass-produced greyed weathered wood pieces (hallelujah!). And just because darker wood tones are trending, it definitely does not mean we are going back to 90s espresso and Ikea black-brown for furniture.
Trends in texture for hard finishes
And texture. Everyone is looking for texture, not only in textiles but also in hard finishes.
Finger mosaic tile in particular is everywhere. It looks suspiciously similar to pencil mosaic tile except cleaner. It’s missing the busy variation in colour, staggered pattern, and cold glare of glass. The new finger tile is typically laid in a vertical lined-up grid and comes in solid colours, often with a matte glaze.
Since these tiles read more like a solid colour with texture, it’s a trend I can get behind, especially in white or cream. It definitely belongs in a more modern home though.
Cane and reeded woods are the newest texture for furnishings and cabinetry. This type of wood adds texture and interest in a fresh way. But I predict that reeded woods will be more of a fad than a long trend. But cane is a timeless texture when used right.
The return of stone tile
While marble continues to be a luxurious, timeless choice. But pale and subtly coloured stone like limestone, basalt, and travertine are being introduced as warmer alternatives. And you can see that modern linear stack again (below).
What do I think about stone tile coming back?
BTW, it doesn’t mean your diamond-laid tumbled travertine backsplash is back in style (sorry). But travertine mosaic floors like hex and herringbone are becoming a viable option (think: old material, new pattern), especially if you’re already working with pink beige.
HOT TIP: if you like the look of natural stone tile floors, opt for a similar look with a pale green grey limestone tile instead – this will help you avoid the bossy pink undertone of travertine.
Checkerboard patterns are hot
In the room below, there is a simple blue and white checkerboard area rug that adds an airy vibe to a room with a novel, playful use of dark brown. Notice that the grounded brown is balanced by plenty of cerulean blues.
When brown is trending, warmer blues are always tagging along to freshen things up.
Checkerboard is the hot pattern for flooring. This classic pattern is showing up in painted wood, marble, simple vinyl, or in area rugs. The graphic checkerboard grid is surprisingly versatile in black and white, grey and white, blue green, or red and white.
White or cream is usually what makes it look fresh.
2022 colour trends
Red is also having a moment again. But not the saturated patriotic reds so much as the earth reds. The reds I’m seeing are rusty reds or burgundy.
Rich and muted greens are of course still going strong. Green kitchens are still very popular and will be for a while. And all browns (cool almost grey bronze, or warmer chocolate, or cinnamon) are here as a softer alternative to black. As well as toasty orange and yellow-based hues (yay!) like rust, cognac, gold, terracotta, cream, and beige.
Of course, this time around saturated earthy colours look a bit different in interior design. They are more often paired with fresher colours and white.
My updated VIP Collection of large painted colour boards captures the range of new and timeless colours. If you haven’t ordered your set, hurry and get them here (note: they are currently back-ordered until the end of January).
Here’s a sample of the trend colours that are included.
Embrace saturated colours
And if earth tones are not your thing, don’t worry! What’s also notable about the way interiors are trending is that overall, there is a much broader sense of inclusivity in design trends.
There is no longer such a strong consensus on what is OUT. Unlike in the Tuscan trend 20+ years ago, this time around it’s not a complete faux pas to embrace more saturated colour. Not at all. What you really love is always the right choice for you!
While the trend that’s notable and new is a turn towards warmer, earth colours and wood, there is still plenty of saturated colour and fresh looks being done beautifully. And more than ever before, there is a wide range of furnishings and case goods that suit a variety of tastes. Even if your favourite decor retailers begin to tip the balance on their shelves toward the more grounded hues.
And you can absolutely include some brighter accents in an earthier colour scheme for the best of both worlds.
Consider warm cerulean blues, orange-reds, yellows that are on the richer end like saffron, and greens. Conversely, an excellent strategy to indulge in warmer tones if you have a cool black and white, grey or neutral colour look is to layer in some bronze, cognac and gold.
Some of my favourite details in the room below include beige walls with a sexy black fireplace mantel, rich orange and warm blue accents, and of course, accents of white.
Less contrast, earthy aesthetic
Basically, what’s trending is a move towards making the severe, high contrast look of the black and white trend into a softer and more liveable palette.
The appeal of the hand touched and earthy also means that a mellow Mediterranean aesthetic (think: more Spanish and North African than Tuscan) is here too. Arches and curves are everywhere including arched windows and pass-throughs and rounded corners.
So maybe another single word that captures the direction trends are moving going into 2022 is soft. It’s been a rough couple of years on us all and we could all use some comfort and a warm hug.
Do you have a favourite trend that you’re really excited about?