The Biggest Aesthetic Trends of 2022 All Had This in Common

dark academia

@shoebox.designs / Instagram

Over the course of 2022, we witnessed many design microtrends take center stage. There was coastal grandmother, dark academia, light academia, crustaceancore, plazacore, preppy aesthetic, and old money aesthetic, just to name a few. And when we look back at what all of these aesthetic trends have in common, a focus on traditional style with a bit of a twist comes to mind. We spoke with designers about why this look is having a major moment and whether it's here to stay for 2023.

Meet the Expert

Why These Design Aesthetics Rose to Popularity

Wondering why exactly the aesthetics we highlighted above were so prominent over the past year? Paige Garland of Paige Garland Interiors shares some valuable insight. "All design trends are offshoots of a handful of main design aesthetics," she explains. "Academia embraces neutral tones, with roots in minimalist, traditional, and gothic—or Parisian—architecture. Coastal grandmother is a contemporary rebrand of coastal which has been around forever: think Martha Stewart, traditional, Cape cod, light blue, pops of greenery, and undertones of crustaceancore. Plaza, preppy, and old money are aesthetics that have evolved from traditional and minimalist homes with refined color palettes and high-quality furnishings, understated, with an emphasis on basics," Garland adds.

coastal grandmother room

Desiree Burns Interiors

Why Traditional With a Twist is Having a Moment

While we still see plenty of boho, mid-century modern, and glam style spaces, the traditional with a twist aesthetic is definitely one of the more popular looks as of late. Why, exactly? "As the world becomes more and more modern, there is a growing trend of people wanting to incorporate traditional styles into their home, yet still add a touch of uniqueness—hence the twist," explains Karen Rohr of Mackenzie Collier Interiors. "One of the most impactful factors is that traditional styles offer a sense of familiarity, comfort, and a sense of home-sweet-home," she adds. "They also tend to be timeless, meaning they won't quickly go out of style. The twist comes as they can also be adapted to suit any taste; whether you prefer a more formal look or a cozy and inviting atmosphere, the traditional style can be tailored to meet any needs."

traditional with a twist study

JK Interior Living

Will Traditional Style With a Twist Continue in 2023?

Don't say goodbye to your favorite 2022 trends just yet—traditional style with a twist will definitely carry on into the new year, Garland says. "Without a super defined style, it allows you to get a little eclectic and gives you the ability to weave in family heirlooms, favorite new pieces, trendy stuff, thrifted finds, and of course key traditional pieces," she explains. "Another reason it’s so popular is that traditional will never really look out of place or go out of style—it's a safe design staple."

Rohr agrees. "This style combines the best of both worlds by offering a classic look with a modern twist, and a combination of comfort, style, and uniqueness will always be in demand," she shares. "The key to successful traditional interiors is carefully selecting each piece with an eye for detail and personality."

traditional with a twist

Whittney Parkinson Interiors

Embracing Individuality

Rohr also appreciates how traditional with a twist spaces allow for creativity and pops of personality. "Traditional interiors are also the perfect canvas for experimentation, with the freedom to mix and match different colors, textures, and patterns," she states. "The goal will always be to create a warm and inviting space with a sense of individuality, and I see that as a predominant factor for the new generation to come."

coastal grandmother room

Britt Design Studio

What to Keep in Mind When Embracing Trends

That said, Garland isn't too quick to focus solely on trends like these. "I definitely see the fun in trends and I appreciate a trendy room, but I want my designs to stand the test of time," she says. "I never want someone to see my work and say, 'Oh, I remember when that was all the rage in 2022.' It’s always better to go with a tried and true aesthetic and spin it to your liking."