2021 was another big one on the home renovation and interior design front. With more people spending time at home, unable to travel or do many of their usual activities, we've seen a flurry of renovations and interior updates.
So from a style perspective, what does 2022 have in store? What's trending right now?
Here are some key insights from Luxaflex brand partner Neale Whitaker.
Trend #1 – A focus on functionality and versatility
One of the most significant trends we're seeing in interior design right now, according to Neale, is an increase in functional, versatile spaces.
"As life begins the slow return to normal, I believe interior design will continue to reflect the way we have been living during the pandemic and the new priorities it has created," says Neale.
"With more of us than ever before continuing to work from home - and with the increased time we have spent at home during lockdown - interior design will be reassessing the functionality and versatility of spaces," he adds.
This means a renewed focus on home offices, second living spaces, dining areas and home theatres.
Neale suggests that, due to rising property prices, young people are living home for longer, which means an increase in multi-generation living. Even the proliferation of streaming services, he believes, will dictate a demand for multiple home entertainment spaces.
"The net result is that homes will need to work harder in terms of functionality. In recent decades, the emphasis has been on open-plan living, and whilst we're not going to see an overnight return to multiple rooms, I think we will see a premium on mechanics like sliding doors and room dividers that allow us to create discrete spaces as and when we need them," he says.
In keeping with this, we're also seeing a real focus on the home office – where people are spending far more of their time.
"It's a significant departure from the days when a home office often meant a laptop on the kitchen benchtop, a desk under the stairs or in the corner of a bedroom," says Neale.
"Functional home offices require appropriate light, soundproofing, storage, power and potentially space for more than one person to work," he adds.
Trend #2 – Biophilic design
From an aesthetic perspective, we're also seeing a continued emphasis on what is known as "biophilic design" – that is, seeking ways to bring nature indoors.
As a result, we're seeing lots of natural colours (greens, browns, stone, granite, ochre etc.) as well as natural materials like wood and stone.
"Biophilic design is probably one of the most significant design trends for the coming year. Long periods of lockdown have intensified our need to connect with nature in our homes," says Neale.
"At its simplest, it's our love of house plants, but at its most sophisticated, biophilic design explores the relationship between indoors and outdoors and the creation of outdoor rooms – especially important here in Australia," he adds.
Trend #3 – Warm colour palettes
While cool, crisp whites have dominated interior design for many years, we're also now seeing a return to a warmer, richer colour palette.
"Shades of brown – caramel, tan and chocolate – are very much in evidence, and latte shades are an alternative to grey-based neutrals that have dominated for several years. Shades of olive and eucalyptus are another prominent colour palette right now," says Neale.
Trend #4 – Brick and tiled floors
Another trend that's current right now is the use of tiles and bricks, as an alternative to timber flooring.
According to Neale, the geometrics and symmetry of tiled floors is making them very popular – and a nod to the lingering influence of the art deco era.
Trend #5 – Mediterranean influences
Neale also suggests that there will be a growing a trend towards Mediterranean influences in interiors in 2022 – with curves and arches remaining popular design features.
In keeping with this, marble and travertine will also continue to be popular choices, he says.
Neale's top design tips for 2022
- Choose quality interiors that you love – rather than being too influenced by trends. Buy once, and buy well.
- Focus on mastering light as it can have a transformative effect on your living spaces. This may mean diffusing and filtering light through window furnishings like blinds, shutters and sheer curtains.
- Soften harsh materials like raw timer, stone or concrete with sheer floor-to-ceiling curtains.
- Think carefully about colour and how it will affect the mood of a room – my advice is always err on the side of neutrals for living spaces, and add colour and interest through artworks, accessories and soft furnishings.
- When choosing window coverings, think about purpose first. Are they to control light? Is privacy important? Do they need to control temperature? Aesthetics are important, but consider practicalities like blackouts in bedrooms, for example.
- Use contrasting textures to add to the visual or aesthetic interest of a room. Layering has become especially important in recent years with the popularity of neutral interiors or interiors where one colour predominates.
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