According to the Oxford Dictionary, a trend is, "a general direction in which something is developing or changing." More than ever in the world of interiors, we are looking at interior design trends for 2022 in this sense, rather than simply as, "a fashion." Like it or not, the past twelve to eighteen months have forced a change in behaviour that was only slowly emerging - focusing on nurturing, comfort and calm.
The growing aversion to fast fashion translates to the home too, with a marked move away from quick wins and cheap, mass-produced homewares to furnishing and decorating our homes for a lifetime, not just a lifestyle. "People are keen to invest in timeless, beautiful quality items now more than ever," says interiors stylist and founder of Chelon Design, Fiona Gould. "We're also embracing vintage pieces. It's all about treasured investments that tell a story and make a home unique, rather than fast furniture."
With over a year of watching events unfold in the northern hemisphere, perhaps it's not surprising that many home trends for 2022 carry a European influence - colours, lifestyle and entertaining are all reflecting a particularly Mediterranean aesthetic and, coupled with our climate and newfound yearning for freedom, things look set to remain outdoors.
Here are the homewares trends for 2022 to embrace with a clear conscience.
1. CONNECTION TO NATURE
The emergence of the biophilic design movement encourages a closer connection to nature in the way we're building shared spaces. "Humans crave connection with and access to nature in their daily lives," says Jen Rochford from Porta. "Bringing biophilic elements into the home is an efficient way to maintain that connection whilst indoors."
We are seeing this in natural timber finishes and furnishings in favour of man-made, or synthetic finishes everywhere in the home. Kitchen and bathroom spaces, including vanities, walls and ceiling linings are adopting finishes in raw timber, stone and concrete. "Sustainable timber is a natural material that brings a sense of warmth and depth into your home," says Jen. "Bringing nature indoors with timber finishes adds texture, and movement to any space."
While marble continues to dominate in bathrooms, kitchens and smaller-scale furnishings such as coffee tables and accessories, stone is having a big moment in furniture too, with warmer tones like travertine making a splash with a sophisticated, Italian-inspired elegance. "The tactile and highly luxurious appeal of stone is a perfect way to elevate any space," says Fiona.
"There is a growing awareness of the impact synthetic fibres are having on not just our planet, but on our health too," says creative director & founder of Nodi Rugs, Olivia Moon. "A lot of people are unaware of what their flooring is made from - be it carpet or rugs - and have been unknowingly filling their homes with polyester, which is in fact plastic!"
2. COLOURS OF THE EARTH
Colour trends for 2022 also reflect our need to be close to nature, ranging from Eucalyptus and olive greens to ocre and clay browns. Even darker colours are set to make a comeback in timbers. "For years American Oak and Tasmanian Oak has dominated interiors, so I am excited to see if darker timbers make their way into 2022," says Director/Founder of Folk Studio, Mariah Madder.
It doesn't stop at flooring either. According to Fiona, brown is the new black. "Especially caramel, tan and chocolate browns combined with soft creams," she suggests. "I'm also loving brown on brown, it's unexpected and beautifully retro."
If bold colours resonate with you, they're on their way, but for now use them in limited amounts. "Small hints of bold primary colours such as blue, yellow and red are being introduced in a sophisticated, very simple way," says Fiona. "Think more classic Mediterranean than Bauhaus."
Co-Founder of Carlotta + Gee Georgina Cavanagh agrees, suggesting starting with table settings. "Ochre and aqua are on trend this spring to brighten the table - they are very fresh and have a Mediterranean feel," she says.
3. ARTISAN AND HANDMADE OBJECTS
"We all want to enhance the comfort levels in our homes and soft linens, textured walls and handmade ceramics have a wholesome nature to them that exude comfort and simplicity," says Mariah. "Handcrafted items make us feel more connected and I think we are all seeking a better connection within our homes."
The concept of buying once and buying well was never stronger. 100% linen bed sheets and napery washes beautifully, improving with age. "Linen napkins add an element of luxe to any table setting and are eco-friendly - they can be washed and re-used for the next meal," says Georgina.
Nostalgia is driving a renewed love for handcrafted objects everywhere, as is the move to more DIY around the home, possibly as a result of weekends spent in lockdown. "Increasingly home is an important place," says Emily Dezentje, founder of Little Tienda who's handmade Kantha quilts take months to complete - hand-stitched by women in rural Rajasthan using customary techniques. "Our quilts are tactile pieces that evoke a strong feeling of connectivity."
Reflecting our need for getting life back on the straight and narrow, design trends for 2022 are all about geometrics and symmetry. Slim lines are everywhere, with the use of reeded glass expanding into kitchen cabinetry, room dividers, windows and doors.
Tiles too are becoming more obviously geometric, with the linear finger mosaics, or "kit kat" tiles featuring in kitchen splashbacks, bathroom walls and wrapping themselves around curved feature walls.
"Curves are still as hot as ever," says Fiona, "Especially quirky wavy forms or the more imperfect, organic curves." Soft, rounded shapes are appearing in homewares to break up boxy vignettes, but also continue to dominate architectural detailing, with a leaner, more direct profile cocooning our spaces in furniture, cabinetry and feature walls.
Natural timber lends itself to creating curves. Products such as the Contours range from Porta is uniquely suited to designing curved features and can be retrofitted too, their unique tongue and groove connection allows for secret direct fixing and is designed for easy installation. "Get creative and incorporate a curved wall along a hallway or dressing room, even incorporating a secret door," says Jen.
"I am still on the curve train," says Mariah. "I think we are all still gravitating towards softer, more tranquil spaces due to the current state of the world. I believe soft curves add a sense of ease, tranquility and fluidness to a space."
6. ZIG ZAGS
With life zigging and zagging constantly, no wonder this trend is being reflected in our homes. Shapes of vessels, detailing in furniture and patterns in zig zag are just coming online now in bold colours and bright shades. Think shoulder pads and permed hair of the 1980s but a little softer and in more vigorous materials like glass and recycled plastic.
7. FLOOR-TO-CEILING SHEER CURTAINS
Ceilings inside homes are trending to reach breathtaking heights and those walls of glass let in light, but must be insulated against heat, cold and prying eyes. Enter the sheer curtain. Or re-enter we should say, as it's not a new trend. It's also not slubby clotted cream colours from your Mother's "good room", but contemporary, gossamer-light swathes of goodness to shield what's unwanted and diffuse the light beautifully.
8. FEATURE WALLS
Yes, you heard us right. Feature walls continue to provide an outlet for any type of artistic expression in interior design. Whether a bold wallpaper, a hand-finished artisan surface or an applied geometric profile, choose your wall and your weapon to make a statement in colour, texture or pattern.
9. EUROPEAN INFLUENCES
"Australians are being inspired by classic European aesthetics now more than ever," says Fiona. "There's something grand and character-filled about details like wicker shapes, feminine busts and vintage artwork inspired by France.
The rise of rendered walls gives a nod to age-old Mediterranean architectural techniques and are being fused with Palm Beach style to create more smooth curves, both inside and out.
10. DECADENT DINING
With tablescapes taking off last year, dining is still at the top of our styling list, together with a growing urge to recommence hosting friends and family at home. "People have wanted to decorate and transform their dining areas a lot more in the past 12 months," says Mariah. "Covid-19 transformed our dining areas to a work from home area, the homework area and the dining area. People [now] want to invest in more comfortable seating, as well as more appropriate lighting and overall functionality."
11. STRUCTURAL STYLE
Hardworking surfaces usually reserved for outdoors are coming inside as the lines between spaces blur. Once covered by lining boards, plaster and layers of paint, structural mechanics that underpin the buildings we live in, made from materials such as bricks and concrete are finally being celebrated in their own right.