When it comes to design and home decor advice, people trust Bobby Berk. The designer and star of Netflix's Queer Eye has become a beloved icon whose design style and decorating tips feel achievable and accessible.
So it makes sense that Yelp has tapped Berk to help unveil their summer home and backyard trends, which mark a shift from home renovations into more design-focused updates. “When it comes to design inspiration and summer decor updates, 2022 will continue to spotlight a return to aesthetics inside and out, whether that’s installing a skylight to bring more natural light in, or adding solar lights to easily elevate a backyard’s ambiance,” says Berk.
Using data from searches and reviews on their site, Yelp has identified a handful of trends for the home and outdoor spaces—and Berk has some tips for how to make them work in your own home.
Outdoor Upgrades & Lighting
While general backyard updates are big this year, one of Yelp's biggest outdoor trends is outdoor lighting. Adding light to your outdoor space can not only help you get more use out of it at night and into fall, but it can also add an extra visual element by highlighting plants or or stonework.
If you want an easy and affordable way to spruce up your backyard, Berk says lighting is the way to go. "I love using classic cafe string lights to add a really nice glow, or even solar powered path lighting for something functional," he says. "Yelp found that searches for outdoor lighting increased by 30% in February 2022 compared to February 2021—I’m clearly not the only one thinking about lighting up the outdoors!"
Moving indoors, accent walls are a big trend in homes, both for summer and beyond. According to Yelp, searches for accent walls increased 65% in January and April. And an accent wall can be made of almost anything: from wallpaper to paint to wood paneling and anything in between.
For Berk, accent walls have been the most surprising trend. "This was a trend that was everywhere for many years, but it’s definitely back!" he says. "My two favorite options for an accent wall are temporary wallpaper (which is easy to remove if you want a change or are a renter) or a peel and stick wood veneer."
Eco-friendly design is only increasing in popularity, and Yelp's research shows the demand for eco-friendly design continues to grow and shows no sign of slowing down. Specifically, searches for glass glazing, which increases your home's energy efficiency, was up 32%. Berk, who just launched his own line of rugs made of recycled plastic bottles, notes that making eco-friendly choices at home is easier than ever, "from swapping out traditional light bulbs, to LED options, to even being mindful of where and how products are being made."
Retro styles, patterns, and colors continue to be on-trend, and Yelp found that searches for '70s and 1970s design increased by 72% in March. Berk notes that this is a shift from the minimalist, neutral look that was popular a few years ago. "After a couple years of really difficult times, people want to be surrounded by design that feels relaxed and carefree," he says. "I’m loving all the fun geometric patterns and more sculptural shapes I’ve been seeing lately. From planters, to pillows, to patio furniture, to outdoor serving pieces, there is definitely a shift toward playful designs and 70s inspired pieces."
Smart Home Products
Advances in technology are making home life so much easier and more convenient, and smart home products continue to evolve. There are so many smart tech options for your home lighting, climate control, entertainment, and more. Yelp discovered that, in April, searches for motorized blinds and ring camera installation increased by 159% and 45% respectively.
And if there's one upgrade you make to your home this summer, Berk recommends this one. "Converting your traditional lock to a smart lock is one easy swap that can make your life a little easier," he says. Not only do you not need to fumble with your keys every single time you come in and out, but you have peace of mind knowing you can always lock or unlock your doors from afar."