For design enthusiasts, one of the most exciting parts of a new year is seeing what trends it brings. And, fortunately, 2022 has no shortage of them, especially when it comes to the living room. Though it's always important to design a space in a way that feels best to you, trends are a great blueprint to follow or simply an exciting way to jazz up a room that may have been feeling a little dull lately.
As far as living rooms go in 2022, there are plenty of updated colors and patterns introducing themselves as trendy hues and shades, as well as the resurgence of trends that laid low for a few years. Some of these trends are mindsets or ways of looking at decorating, organizing, and arranging in a different way—design "resolutions" if you will.
But running through all of them is a common theme of comfort, awareness, and the prioritization of putting a conscious effort into making one of our most important spaces fit for our changing lifestyles.
Maximalist Colors and Prints
Whether bright colors are appealing to you or not, they're an undeniably easy way to infuse some zest into a space. Even those who lean towards minimal colors and textures will appreciate how easy it is to incorporate a bright hue or two into a living room—and this doesn't necessarily mean you have to break out the paintbrushes.
"After more of a subdued few years in terms of fabrics, I see people embracing fun colors and unique prints in their everyday furniture," says Mimi Meacham of Marian Louise Designs. "Utilizing colorful printed fabrics, custom upholstered sofas, chairs, and window treatments will be fun, fierce, and another way to bring personality into the space."
She also adds that structural parts of the house, like millwork and doors, will even get a chance to shine with a "colorful facelift" of "greens, blues, mauves, and yellows to uplift and frame the prints."
Amy Leferink of Interior Impressions notes that sourcing vintage pieces is going to be bigger than ever this year: "With the current supply chain issues, we believe people will be more apt to repurpose older furniture and/or decor pieces to not only be more focused on sustainability but also be more friendly to their budgets."
While this will be big in the living room, it extends to other parts of the home including dining spaces and bedrooms. It's also the perfect opportunity to test the waters with DIY and refurbishing, and it even ties into the movement for sustainability in some ways.
Minimalism Returns, Too, and Multifunctionality
Multiple experts have mentioned that minimalism is having a major comeback—yes, right alongside maximalism. But this isn't just quiet colors and simple silhouettes, it goes deeper into the concept and meaning of minimalism, including rooms that can double as more than one space.
"People are starting to understand that they can live with less, especially after the past year," explains Amy Leferink of Interior Impressions. "We believe people will start to downsize, or stay in their current homes and become creative with how their spaces can be multifunctional. For example: having your living room be part-office. Or office/workout rooms."
Bringing the Outdoors Back In
Amanda Thompson of ALineStudio explains that designers and do-it-yourself enthusiasts will all be "regaining our connection to the natural world through the use of biophilic design." She says that this includes "an emphasis on creating calming environments with natural lighting and ventilation, incorporating plants, and creating a visual connection with nature."
Malka Helft of Think Chic Interiors also noted the focus on bringing bits of nature into our indoor spaces and mentioned how we'll most likely see it unfold in terms of trends. "This year we will be seeing large trees in living rooms and kitchens, another strong trend that goes right alongside this one is oversized planters in natural colors made out of natural materials such as jute, ceramic, and even concrete."
Furniture Is Rounding Out
Sharp, sleek, modern—these are all words that have been floating around for a couple of years now, particularly when it comes to furniture. Though there has been a huge love affair with retro style (and it just might be sticking around), shapes are certainly morphing.
"After a long-running streak, the mid-century modern throwback look is finally giving way to a greater variety of silhouettes," explains the director of design at Whitehall interiors (NYC) Sara Ianniciello. "Think seating where one continuous tubular form creates both the armrests, back and legs of a chair.”
Nods to the '70s Are Here to Stay
Though silhouettes around the living room are rounding out—at the very least couches and chairs—other parts of retro style aren't going anywhere.
Helft also predicts a reemergence (or a continuation for some) of '70s-inspired designs. "We will be seeing more of terra-cotta, sage, and mustard as well as mid-century furniture trademarks—peg legs on sofas, cabinets and tables, teak wood tones, and highly textured fabrics."
So don't fret about your furniture getting rounder if you're a long-standing fan of the look—hallmarks of this era are still increasingly in demand.
Sustainability Is Staying (for Good)
Sustainability is by no means a trend, it's a must, but now more than ever people are fortunately truly focusing on incorporating it into their homes. There are plenty of ways to make this happen, too, whether it's repurposing, upcycling, or focusing on where you're getting your furniture and decor and what it's composed of.
Corban De La Vega, the chief marketing officer at DecorMatters, notes that the pandemic "created the realization of health, the environment, and being less materialistic" and now more living spaces are reflecting those values.
"Reusing furniture, pursuing materials that support the environment, promote recycling, and hold meaning will be popular next year," he explains. "Not to mention, natural materials like wood, rattan, clay, stone, etc. pair perfectly with any style, color, or material. These textures add warmth and lightness to home decor and make us feel like we’re on vacation in our home since many of us are unable to travel."
Things Are Getting a Little Moody
Stormy, mysterious shades were everywhere a few years back and it seems that penchant to pick pewter or midnight blue for living areas hasn't fully dissipated. Helft says it'll most likely be in the form of walls—paint or wallpaper being the methods of choice.
"While these dark walls bring back some lost drama they still have powder gray undertones that mesh well with this past year's cane and natural wood trend," she says. If a full-blown room in a deeper color sounds a touch too overwhelming, these are perfect shades for creating an accent wall in a living room.