I’ve been writing about home decorating and staging trends for 11 years. I’ve noticed that although trends change regularly, they don’t always stick around. Some trends just don’t catch on, while others seem to last quite a long time (consider the trendy color gray, which we’ve been recommending it to home sellers for a decade.)
Why should a homeowner care about decorating trends? Most people are aware of what is going on in home décor, just by checking in on social media, opening a few emails, or viewing an ad here and there. Keeping up with decorating trends will get you thinking about the spaces in your home, to consider some additions or changes that will keep your rooms more up to date.
If you are considering selling your home in the near future, a dated home is something you want to avoid. Certainly, updated decor will be important in your home staging, although it will not cover up items in your home that need to be renovated or updated.
Whether you are thinking of selling your home in the near future and are looking for ways to give your spaces an up-to-date makeover, or whether you want to show some love to your forever home, you’ll be interested in the latest home decorating trends.
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Table of Contents
- 10 Decorating Trends to Love in 2022
- Decorating in 2022: Our Homes Must Be Versatile
- 1. Vintage and Retro
- 2. New Minimalism
- 3. Bring the Outdoors In
- 4. Natural and Sustainable Materials
- 5. Colors of the Year 2022
- New Construction Trends for 2022
- 6. Versatility and Functionality
- 7. Flooring Trends 2022
- 8. Mixed Metal Finishes
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- 9. Eclectic Art is On Trend
- 10. Maximalist Design
- What About Farmhouse Decor?
- Outdated Décor:
- The Difference Between Home Staging and Decorating
- 📚 Recommended Reading on Home Staging
10 Decorating Trends to Love in 2022
Each fall I check out the trends as reported by my favorite sources, Houzz, Elle Decor, House Beautiful, and several YouTube channels that I love…and let’s not forget Pinterest! In 2022 the decor gurus have numerous predictions… how can we embrace all of those trends without being overwhelmed? The good news is we don’t have to embrace them all, all we need to do is find a couple trends that we love and that we can afford.
“Your Home should tell the story of who you are, and be a Collection of what you Love.”
― Nate Berkus, The Things That Matter
Decorating in 2022: Our Homes Must Be Versatile
Going into the second year of the pandemic, the upheaval in our working and living has cause many to look at their homes and demand more. Consumers look more critically at the livability of their home in terms of safety, technology, flexibility, and comfort. Our spaces need to encompass work and recreation.
We want it all, but of course, most of us have to be realistic…we can’t afford it all. So our spaces must be versatile. Let the creativity shine!
Personal note: Even though we have seen so much negativity on social media and in the news, if we choose to look elsewhere, I think we can also see resilience. As a people, we are rolling with the times, making lemons out of lemonade, and doing the most with what we have. That was my overwhelming feeling as I did my research and put these trends together. I hope you see the same thread as I did.
1. Vintage and Retro
One of the unfortunate outcomes of the pandemic has been the disruption in the supply chain. A positive spin-off of these problems has been a renewed interest in vintage and retro items. In decor, furniture, antiques and in clothing, consumers have rediscovered the one-of-a-kind finds available in “gently used” treasures from the past. The unique details and shape (which are expensive to recreate) of a retro piece adds something timeless to a room, as-is, or updated with a new paint or fabric.
Not only is shopping vintage available and efficient, it is sustainable…another trend that seems to be sticking this year. Vintage finds are a greener choice. And you can be sure none of your neighbors will own the same thing. To reinforce this trend, a search for “thrifting” on YouTube will bring up an endless list of results.
Vintage Details Around the House
The renewed interest in vintage items has spread to several finishes around the house.
- Floor patterns have become more popular, including herringbone layouts in wood, engineered wood, and tile floors.
- Geometric shapes are popular in rugs and carpets. They work well with a neutral color scheme.
- Polka dots are in fabric everywhere!
- Burl wood is having a moment. I love burl wood! It adds an elegance to anything.
- Hammered metals are everywhere.
- Sofas with curves and chairs with soft lines, reminiscent of the 70’s and 80’s.
- We have been seeing a lot of “frieze” style carpeting…a nod to the retro shag carpeting, accept with a modern look.
2. New Minimalism
Minimalism has been a growing trend for several years. New minimalism consists in clear architectural lines with high-quality design pieces. Less is more, but it is very nice.
Simplicity in design is about mindful living and creating an environment to disconnect and recharge. Soft, washed neutrals and greens are examples of popular combinations that accomplish this look. Color palettes like these are all about swapping contrast for color harmony. Modern monochrome is a growing trend, using several shades of the same color. To add a bit of interest to the monochrome design, designers are turning to textured fabrics. You find velvet, sherpa and boucle with larger slubs than before.
- Scandinavian Minimalism, or Scandi, is growing more popular. Scandi incorporates the natural beauty of wood, stone and green plants, and uses white walls to reflect as much natural light as possible. It is the epitome of simplicity. The trend includes airy, spacious rooms, less cluttered and more straightforward. As our lives become more cluttered, we all seem to want our spaces to move the other direction. Hide-Away storage pieces are more in demand as more people are opting for smaller, but smarter spaces.
- Mid-Century Modern is still having its moment. Many are attracted to the simplicity and clean lines of mid-century modern furniture, accessories, and decor. A few iconic pieces can work well with any room. This furniture also mixes well with other styles, like today’s industrial looks.
- Handmade goods are popular, including items from around the world! Etsy is the place to score and it is one of the most lucrative business opportunities today. Recycling is big part of DIY decor. A touch of hand-made will cross all kinds of styles.
- Janpandi is a popular trend. A mash-up of elegant Japanese minimalism and rustic Scandinavian simplicity, Japandi is a hybrid trend bringing together the best of the two. This trend is the one for you if your home is your sanctuary and you take a less-is-more approach with uncluttered spaces, clean lines and a calm, subdued color palette.
Zen is (Still) On Trend
We don’t need designers and decorating experts to convince us. We need our homes to do double and even triple duty. Our office, our school, and our restaurant, and our gym have all come home…our homes have come to mean much more than before. More and more, people crave a less cluttered home life, as they have had to multi-task more than ever. Zen design is both minimalist and elegant. Everything in the room is meant to calm the spirit and the eye. These are the hallmarks of Zen style:
- Uncluttered spaces with less ornamentation and more organization. It is relaxing to have everything in its place. People who practice making their homes more organized tend to get rid of what they don’t really need. Less is more.
- Neutral spaces are very Zen. Softer colors of nature are relaxing and induce calm.
- Natural, comfortable fabrics. Linen, Cotton, and Silk comes to mind.
- Furniture with simple, low lines works well with the minimalism that invokes Zen.
- Let in as much natural light as possible. Window coverings should be a simple as possible. Plain white or natural sheers with no ornamentation are perfect.
- Artwork and accessories are often large and minimal. Think: one large painting or piece of artwork that fills the entire wall, or one large floral arrangement in the center of the console or dining table.
- Soothing environment, with natural elements like plants. The sound of a water feature is very soothing.
3. Bring the Outdoors In
Natural elements are a growing part of design and decorating as people are focused on better health and wellness in their living spaces. Experts say staying connected with nature affects our overall psyche.
There is a growing belief that biophilic design has health benefits. Including plants, wood, stained wood, bone and horns, leather, baskets and natural stone, granite, and marble in decor is a trend that crosses all styles, from modern, to traditional, and everything in-between.
- We are seeing more plants in design plans. The addition of live greenery, with indoor gardens, living walls and even hanging plants (macrame is back!) are everywhere on Pinterest.
- Cane and rattan are showing up not only in furniture but also in light fixtures, planters, shelves, and etageres. In the right doses, it’s the perfect balance to the more simple, streamlined furniture we love.
- Live edge tables are everywhere…Etsy, YouTube and on Facebook. They are stunning! A lovely way to bring nature inside.
- An easy addition of greenery is a “biomantage”. Yes, it’s a thing! It can be a framed vertical plant, or an entire vertical planter wall, or it can be a room divider with planters, the options are many.
How-to’s of Biophilic Design
4. Natural and Sustainable Materials
Along with the love nature, for several years sustainable products have been making their way into every aspect of decorating, from hard surfaces, flooring, and products, as well as furniture. Recycled elements are making their way into kitchen countertops and cabinets. The recent shortage in lumber and building materials alone has forced many manufacturers to look to other resources.
Look for more glass in products, more natural wood and travertine. Cork walls, hemp, and bamboo. As the revolution against “fast fashion” grows, it is more and more having an affect on decorating and home products. People are seeking a more responsible approach to their living spaces.
Sustainable and natural are the buzzwords for home decor in 2022. As the major paint companies release their own “color of the year” they are harkening to our need for basic hues that make the raw materials at home. Colors are muted and subdued.
Realtors® and home stagers recommend that the majority of wall paints and decorating be neutral colors, to appeal to the widest variety of people. Gray has been the most popular neutral color for a decade. You may have noticed the obsession with gray is declining, at least we’re not seeing so much gray on gray. We’ll be seeing a different shade of gray, and probably not so much of it. Here are the color trends to watch for in 2022:
5. Colors of the Year 2022
Spoiler Alert … It’s Green!
The good news: We’ve been seeing color and pattern and it’s a welcome look, although it is toned down to reflect our desire for comfort. In the second year of the pandemic, we still crave calm, relaxed vibes. Green is overwhelmingly popular this year. Most of the greens that have made it into the color of the year list are toned down, grayish greens. So soothing and relaxing, promoting tranquility and life. They bring the outdoors in.
Every fall many paint manufacturers and decorating gurus announce the Color of the Year for the coming year. More and more, manufacturers put together a palette of colors to go with the color of the year.
But, who cares? Do you need to repaint your space every year?! No, I certainly hope not! Painting is a lot of work. These so-called “colors of the year” tend to show up in the products you will see at the stores, though. If a color fits your style and taste, then there are several ways to incorporate it without painting your house.
- Benjamin Moore‘s color is October Mist. It’s a soft, warm green tone. Not surprising, not adventurous. But warm, organic and lovely. You’ll see it paired with a complimentary light purple. The rest of the colors in the palette are also warm, muted and earthy, and six of them are green. Look at these three greenish colors and how they complement each other: Steam, Morning Dew and October Mist
- Behr’s Color of the year is a light, minty coastal green called Breezeway. The entire palette includes 20 colors that are a mix of neutrals and saturated colors. Most people in North America are familiar with Behr, the exclusive paint of Home Depot. Included in this palette is “Greige”, the most popular paint color for several years.
- Sherwin Williams has Evergreen Fog as their color of the year. It’s a calm, sage green. The gray-ish green is designed to fit well into a neutral color scheme. In several of their pictures, they’ve paired this green with “Urbane Bronze”, which was the color of the year last year. It’s a beautiful combination.
- PPG’s paint colors of the year are the Olive Sprig, another a soothing, natural green.
- Glidden has put their own spin on green by announcing Guacamole. Finally, someone has given a nod to one of my fave foods! What a great color! Soothing and soft, but still saturated.
- Dutch Boy’s color of the year for 2022 is…wait for it…Cypress Garden. This muted shade of green is paired with three other colors, in three other palettes, making it much easier to create a together look.
- Valspar‘s color palette also includes 12 soft, cozy pastel colors, without naming a single color of the year.
I have to say, I love the way these paint manufacturers put palettes together. I find them so helpful in creating an over all cohesive look. And yes, if you don’t like green, then look to the other colors in the palettes. I’m sure you’ll find something you love.
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New Construction Trends for 2022
We are beginning to see new homes designed with more purpose and functionality…and more space. Builders are telling us that people are opting for larger homes. People want more and larger windows, and spacious and livable back yard. The number one request: a dedicated home office…a Zoom Room.
Another trend we’re seeing is an exodus from crowded cities into the suburbs, or even rural areas. People want more room to breath. Living further away from the job isn’t a problem with more people working remotely.
6. Versatility and Functionality
New home building is at a fevered pace in most of the country, although still not keeping up with the demand. We need dedicated work space, recreation space, school space, and maximized storage. Our current spaces need to be multifunctional.
We’re seeing a lot of double-duty furniture and decor, because of the desire for less clutter. Take a look on Pinterest for mirrors and you’ll find round mirrors (and other organic shapes) with shelves along the bottom to hold your keys, wallet or sunglasses…perfect for an entryway.
You’ll find lots of stylish storage carts and containers meant to be on display. Another double-duty item we’re seeing is planter lamps.
7. Flooring Trends 2022
Supply chain issues have altered much of what is available in new homes. The new home community nearest us is no longer offering hardwood floors as an option. That’s a special order item. What now comes standard is engineered wood and luxury vinyl. They found that they had to come back and fix too many problems during the first year warranty with wood floors.
More manufacturers are using other materials to replicate wood floors. Technology is giving us more options. What’s growing in popularity:
- Patterned floors are very trendy. Herringbone mentioned above…we’re also seeing hardwoods mixed with tile. Geometric shapes are in style.
- Wood-look porcelain tile
- Marble-look porcelain tile in the bathroom, as well as marble
- Water-proof Vinyl Plank flooring
- Large 12 by 12 tiles, or even larger, ceramic or porcelain
- Slip-resistant flooring, as more people are looking to age in place
- Responsibly sourced materials, like bamboo and cork
- Terrazzo floors and travertine are making a comeback
Nevertheless, hardwood floors are still wildly popular, no matter what style your home is. Hardwood floors add value to a home, compared to many other flooring types. There are so many more choices than there were even a decade ago. Just remember, the high gloss finish is dated…choose a matte finish, and avoid any yellowish stain color.
If you are committed to hardwoods, my friend Debbie Gartner has all the info you need to not only make smart decisions about hardwood floors, but to best care for them.
Carpet Trends: Even though more and more we’re seeing hard flooring in most new homes, carpet is still a popular flooring option on the market. Technology is affording us lots of options in carpets. Today’s carpets are hard working and durable. Options include:
- Waterproof carpets
- Sustainable and environmentally friendly materials
- Patterned texture is trending
- Nostalgic carpets with a new look
- DIY carpet tiles
- Lots of options in accent and area rugs
- Multiple styles and colors
8. Mixed Metal Finishes
Metals are going to be all over the place in 2022. We’re talking silver, gold, tin, and copper…anything goes, just be careful to stick with warm, matte finishes. The ultra-shiny metals of the 80’s look dated today.
Mixed metals are popular, although they can be tricky. For a good tutorial from Studio McGee, check out: How to Mix Metal Finishes. Designers suggest using no more than two or three together. Some metals mix well with others, and some patinas work well with others. Silver and brown metals will work well together, like iron and gold or bronze. Copper is especially popular lately. It’s always best to try them together in the store before you make the commitment.
Most designers suggest sticking with a matte silver finish for attached fixtures, like sink faucets and lighting. These never go out of style, and suit every decor style. Then you can play with other metals in the items that aren’t permanent…lamps, knobs, and accessories.
Move over shiny metals…make room for black. Black trims and accents are showing up as a way to ground the neutrals we love so much. They add balance, contrast and interest. In small doses, black accents are punchy and powerful. Black accents range from window frames and door frames, to entire doors, to accent furniture, to chair legs or entire chairs, and picture frames, as well as decor accessories.
Shop Light Fixtures:
9. Eclectic Art is On Trend
Wall art is often a very personal part of decorating. I admit, I am not an expert on the subject. The items on our walls are all very personal in meaning, and reflect our travels more than anything else. Unfortunately, nothing matches or has a particular style. And that’s ok with us! Shop Contemporary Art
Luckily, eclectic mixes of art and accessories is on trend. Abstract and modern art is very popular right now. Here’s what is trending in the art world:
- Large, bold abstracts are trending. Retro prints, color blocking, cubism, geometry, space race references, and large contemporary pieces are in.
- Line art is popular. If you’re a minimalist, this is for you. Inspired by the drawings of Picasso and Matisse, it uses only simple black lines on the white background. This is truly a DIY opportunity for your inner artist. Face Line Art is everywhere!
- Photography is popular and fits with any style.
- Botanicals fit with any decor trend above.
- Motif art. This type of art is perfect for those who need to collect. Whatever you love can be a motif: animals…especially dogs and horses, famous people, artists, musicians, favorite flowers or birds, travels or places…you name it. This is a great way to use antiques or flea market finds.
- Bold, colorful abstract art. Bright and bold colors are great to add with your wall art. When you’re ready for a change, just replace without breaking the bank.
10. Maximalist Design
The New Modern. As more people become digital nomads, that trend is influencing our tastes, whether we even travel or not. We are exposed to the world in a way that was never possible before. Can you have a maximalist design that incorporates zen, minimalism, and neutrals? Yes, you can…you can have it all.
Modern decor includes a fusion of styles, including ethnic patterns, mixed metals, rustic and natural elements, organic and eco-friendly touches, and the addition of hand-made items, especially items from different cultures. Eclectic and layered is the New Modern.
Large florals are still growing in popularity with wall coverings and fabrics. Mixing design styles and incorporating trends is the secret to maximalist design. For Instance Large leaf patterns, murals and wicker fixtures, mixed with simple mid-century modern furniture. Add textured fabric pillows.
This is truly the way we all live, isn’t it? We have treasures from our travels, heirlooms that we dare not part with, and our favorite items that have no natural fit with our overall decorating tastes. After reading the trends above, you’re probably wondering how to make it all work. I’m relieved to hear that it’s all good! Mix and match at will.
Karen’s Home Decor Recommendations:
What About Farmhouse Decor?
Farmhouse decor has been huge for most of the last decade. Farmhouse is still having a moment, but like all good things, its end is inevitable. What is likely to happen is that Farmhouse is evolving into something else…something a little more sophisticated. We’re already seeing “modern farmhouse” in our region of the country.
This is a good example of the fact that home decorating and style are always changing. That’s why it’s always best to invest in classic pieces that will not go out of style. Then you can always change out your less expensive decor with more trendy pieces and colors.
I thought it would be a good idea to consult the experts on this topic. If you have some dated features in your home and want to focus in on making the most important changes first to update your look, these are the places to start:
- Signage art is oversaturated. It’s time to go. I know, don’t hate me.
- tile countertops,
- 70’s shag carpet,
- wood paneling, linoleum flooring, high gloss floors
- futons and other dorm room looks,
- nautical motifs, themed decor
- Tuscan kitchens, including the color palette
- damask (instead, large statement blooms),
- wallpaper borders,
- matching window valances or any valances, vertical blinds
- mason jar mania,
- dusty pastels, or bright saturated colors,
- Hollywood mirror lights,
- sponge-painted walls, faux finishes
- ruffled bed skirts, fussy curtains, chintz fabrics,
- faux and silk plants and fake fruit,
- lace tablecloths and doilies,
- popcorn ceilings,
- colored or frosted glass light fixtures,
- ornate wrought iron
That was a lot! Hopefully you only have a minimal number of these, and maybe you’re lucky and you have none.
According to design experts, there are trends and there are fads. What is trending that will last?
- Marble. You can never have too much.
- Subway tiles have been a classic since 1908! Read about it on HGTV website.
- Hardwood floors. Even if the color goes out of style, they can be refinished.
- Large windows and high ceilings, where possible
- Silver-toned fixtures, appliances and faucets
- Classic furniture with simple lines.
- Black and white, Earthy palettes, and nearly every palette always includes a dark blue of some type.
- Transitional design.
- Modern minimalism, Scandi and Japandi design.
The Difference Between Home Staging and Decorating
Whether you are thinking of selling your home in the near future and are looking for ways to update your home, or whether you just bought a home, you’ll want to know what’s the latest news in home decorating trends. When selling a home, you don’t want it too look too dated.
Getting your home ready for the market includes some very practical steps, like repairs and replacement of broken items and systems, lots of cleaning and certainly de-cluttering. But part of the process involves some psychology, the psychology of using décor to appeal to buyers. Preparing your home to appeal to the largest number of buyers includes some smart and careful staging.
Home staging is different from home decorating. Although decorating and home staging are different, they both focus on what is trending in décor. In very simple terms, decorating is about making your home suit your own style and tastes. It is all about expressing who you are. Home staging is the total opposite.
In a nutshell, home staging is about neutralizing your personal home décor tastes and creating a look that appeals to the most likely buyers. Your spaces must be painted in neutral shades, and have a minimal amount of furnishings and décor. The goal is to allow buyers to imagine their belongings in your home.
If you are thinking of selling your home, consider a fresh coat of paint in some contemporary neutral shade from a contemporary color palette. A few touches of the new color palettes in the pillows, towels, window coverings or occasional pieces, some touches of wood or trendy metals, and you can have a great new look that appeals to today’s buyers.
📚 Recommended Reading on Home Staging
Sharon Paxson, real estate pro in the coastal Orange County California area, recommends staging to her home-selling clients. As she points out in her top tips to sell a home faster, selling a home successfully is largely about making someone else love your home. You’ll want to tune in to the latest decorating trends and consider every room of your home, as well as the outdoor rooms.
Of course, before you re-decorate or stage a home, the old must go, especially if you are embracing (or, like many of us, attempting to embrace) modern minimalism. Bill Gassett, real estate pro in Metrowest Massachusetts, has a super helpful advice with reviews of the best junk removal companies. There are many options and something that works with every budget when it comes to where and how to get rid of the unwanted things.
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Pin for later reading:
More Trends to Explore in 2022
Chris Highland, Associate Broker eXp Realty Maryland
The 2022 decorating trends forecast was written by Karen Highland, blogger and licensed real estate agent in Central Maryland. Happy Decorating!