For something so integral to our homes, lighting is often not talked about in the same way decor or other foundational elements of a room are, and in some cases, it's altogether neglected. The fixtures a house or apartment comes with might suffice, but it's hard to argue that a sleek pendant or an on-theme chandelier can't beat the infamous flush-mounted ceiling lights or basic recessed lights found in most homes.
In 2022, lighting trends are looking more brilliant than ever and there is something for everyone and every room, from flashy, in-your-face chandeliers to subtle lamps and bulbs that gently envelop a room in light. Here is how experts are visualizing these trends and key takeaways for actually incorporating them into your own space.
Oversized and the Center of Attention
Jessica Harris, designer and manager of production design at Living Spaces, believes that lighting is a surefire way to make a space feel new again. "One fun way to do this in 2022 would be to add an oversized chandelier," she explains. "This is a great, affordable refresh to a room or entryway that will be noticed by guests right away.”
This speaks to the point, too, that chandeliers are no longer just reserved for dining rooms or for hovering over a foyer—there can be a space for them in a variety of different settings. It's just a matter of picking out a fitting selection.
Some styles, no matter how different, are a harmonious match when paired together. Amy Leferink of Interior Impressions gives the example of more timeless silhouettes being created with modern finishes and materials when it comes to lighting trends in 2022. This is even a great solution for indecisive decorators who can't choose between two (or more) looks.
"I love the idea of taking an old-world design element like a chandelier, and modernizing it, the way that you see here in this wood bead chandelier," Leferink says. "It is the perfect contrast between traditional and modern, and creates a unique spin on a classic."
Long lines and simplified silhouettes will be replacing more intricate and complicated designs in the new year. Though ornate chandeliers and bolder options still have their place, this simplified look is a refreshing change that many may be searching out.
"Linear lighting fixtures skew more contemporary in their design," explain Oshri Adri and Jillian Dahlman Bhatia, co-founders of Adri + Dahlman Interiors. "Linear lighting also offers the perfect scale for dining rooms with rectangular tables or kitchen islands with one pendant light. In addition, linear lights provide a more seamless look as they require one lighting fixture to complete a space.
Fun Little Touches
Jamie King from JLK Interiors predicts that "unique and fun finishes" will be popular in terms of lighting come 2022: "My personal favorite style is a metal, whether it be bronze or gold or nickel—it adds an elegant yet industrial component to the room," she says. "I also think having fun with the light bulbs is a great way to change the look of the fixture.”
Spiral filament, flame tip, or even colored bulbs are a fun way to spice up lighting fixtures you may not want to replace fully. This is a fantastic solution, too, for adapting the same lamp or chandelier to different rooms' themes.
Subtle and Gentle Lighting
On one end of the spectrum sits statement lights, but on the other are those gentle fixtures that blend into a room, diffusing it with a subtle light that still makes a drastic difference in the atmosphere and overall look.
Designers from ALine Studio predict lights that "melt" into spaces will reign in 2022. "Light, open, and airy is how we want to live now, and having a great light fixture is the way to accomplish that—but one that almost disappears into the space to make way for other important design elements, like art or textiles."
Jennifer Markowitz of JNR Designs understands that lighting can be difficult to get right, but she says the trick is going room by room. Compartmentalizing rooms makes it easier to shop for lighting and allows a place like the living room or guest bedroom to be outfitted with light fixtures that match their respective color palettes or themes.
"I think in 2022 you will see a lot of seamless integration of lighting that works well with the design of each room," explains Markowitz. "For instance, if you have a coastal vibe going, then perhaps a rattan lamp or simple glass pendants will be the best fit, vs if you have a more traditional space, then you might want to go with sconces or flush mounts. The most important thing is to have fun with it, and make it your own.”
Natural and Raw Textures
Calming spaces more often than not feature some kind of natural texture or theme running through them, and it makes sense. Nature and outdoor areas can be the most rejuvenating places to spend time in, and who wouldn't want their space to reflect that serene energy? Even lighting will be taking part in that concept this year.
"Organic, rattan, wooden beads, wood materials, and natural textures are a trend that give the room a boho chic look," says Jen Pinto, senior designer at Jackson Design and Remodeling. "We can incorporate these types of fixtures in almost any room, including kitchens entryways, living spaces, bathrooms, and more."
Rather than relying on one source of light, 2022 will be about bringing back the look of layered lighting and will see a resurgence of incorporating multiple fixtures in a room. And while it may sound like a lot of lights, it's a perfect layout for large spaces like living rooms where lamps and overhead lights play important roles for different situations.
"For instance, the chandelier may be the accent lighting in a space, but adding layers of various lighting sources to allow versatility will add depth," explains Jennifer Harris from Allied ASID and Design Lines Signature, who predicts this trend. "This can include recessed lighting, directional art lighting, wall sconces, and accent lamps. Installing dimmer switches and separate controls for each source can allow for a wide variety of moods.”