5 Design trends to try in 2022 that will NEVER go out of style
Updated: Dec 24, 2021
Have you ever noticed a color you’ve always hated suddenly becomes your favorite? How about how 10 years ago you wouldn’t be caught dead with any beige in your house and now beige is all the rage (sorry I had to). It all comes down to trends. The fashion, makeup, tech, and design industry usually leads these trends and tell us what we’re all of a sudden interested in.
I picture a group of executives sitting around a table saying “hum…what should we change the trend to? It has to be far enough away from the current trends so everyone has to buy new things. What did we do 10 years ago? Perfect! Let’s do a version of that!”
I’ve always been annoyed by trends for the reason above. It’s not sustainable. But there’s something to say about why we end up conforming to what is currently in style, it's what we're exposed to, it's what's offered in stores, and it's what we see publicized. Over time even the strictest "non-trendy" person may adopt some of the fads. Let's not forget that hipsters were originally people who went against the grain, now even that became a trend.
So, how do we embrace trends, how do we forecast what the next hot look will be, and how do we create a timeless style that can't become outdated?
How to Determine What the Next Trend is?
I'm going to keep this section brief because I think what's more important is how to create a timeless style which I will go into in a minute. But first, when determining what the next trend is, here are a few tips.
It’s rare to find something truly unique
All styles and trends have evolved from something. We see this in the evolution of music, much of it is derived from past influence. It's rare to find something completely new. It's not impossible, but rare. So, when determining what will be trendy next, look to the past.
Look at what’s trendy now and pinpoint what decade it resembles. Then just look at the decade that comes after that. What are the key trends? Likely you will see hints of that in the next "see what's trending for the next year!" article. You can see it all the time in fashion.
A couple of years ago everyone was all about bringing back the 90s. I kept saying, “watch, Juicy suits and platforms are going to come back just like the 2000s” sure enough, tracksuits made their comeback! Honestly, sometimes it’s painful to watch. Maybe that’s why I’ve dressed the same since I was 12. I found my style and stuck to it. It’s good to evolve, but the trick is you have to evolve your own style, not just what the media tells you.
How can we move past these cycles? How can we be original? Of course, I don’t feel like we have to invent a new color to be original. It's not like they come out with a brand new color every trend cycle, but the way it's integrated into the modern world reinvigorates it to feel new.
With that said, the future of the metaverse, VR, and digital world will likely start dominating the trends and the standard trend cycles might actually start evolving. Trend forecasters will be looking at the latest NFTs and virtual architecture for what the hot new trends are. But the Metaverse is a topic for another day.
The Hottest Trends of 2022
So, if you're asking me what the trends of 2022 will be, purple will be the new orange (I know, I’m not a huge fan either but let’s be honest were you a big fan of orange a couple of years ago? Probably not). Green and greenery (aka houseplants) will be trending - these are always trending for me by the way. And we may even see a resurgence of grays because we’ve seen beiges for a while and the industry needs to shake it up. So, instead of giving you a list of 5 hot new trends of 2022, here’s 5 hot trends that will NEVER go out of style.
Because that’s the goal in design, whether it’s in the clothes you wear or your interiors, to create something long-lasting that you’ll love year after year.
1. Start with the basics
Whether it's wardrobe or architecture, start with the basics. You could argue that neutrals DO go out of style, we saw this with grays. However, if you find a neutral palette that works for you, then it'll stand the test of time. I love a good black and white base, because they‘re a great backdrop to bright, saturated hues. Any neutral base you choose is a great starting point. It doesn't mean your entire space needs to be monochromatic. Think of neutrals as a canvas that you can add to and get creative with.
2. Incorporate Nature
Nature never goes out of style. No matter what. Bring life into your space any way you can, whether that's through a connection to the exterior, houseplants, or even animals. Incorporating nature into your designs is timeless. If you can't keep a plant alive, please don't fill your space with dead plants! If that's the case, bring it in through views to the garden, a beta fish tank, or elements that are taken from nature.
3. Embrace What you Love
Design for what you love, even if it’s not currently on trend. This isn’t always easy to decipher. You can second guess yourself when the rest of the world is telling you what you love is old news. Stick with what you love and in 5 years when it’s back in style, you’ll be ahead of the trend. Don’t be afraid to be yourself!
Make it you. Use pieces that are meaningful to you and bring you joy. Incorporate trends if that’s your thing, but make sure to also make it special to you. If you walk into your house and you can’t tell the difference between your space and a showroom, something is off. Incredible emotions and energy can be felt in a space that is specific to the owner.
4. Embrace What’s Trendy (if you want)
If you want to embrace trends and need to have the current new item, then do it! Again, it's all about you. To do this sustainably, bring in trends using textiles, art, and items that aren’t fixed so they can be switched out easily when your tastes change. The goal is to avoid fast fashion (even fast interiors/architecture).
Trends catch on to a wide population because they are incorporated everywhere. You’ll notice when the trend is beige, it’s nearly impossible to find something in gray. So, it's natural to find pieces you love that are trendy because that is what is offered. What’s important is to have fun with it and remember to consider whether you're buying for YOU or because someone is saying it's the coolest new thing.
5. Be True to the Material
When you use materials for their true intent, they are beautiful and long-lasting. What does that mean? If you want something to look like wood, use wood. If you want something that looks like stone, use stone. If you want a plant in your house, find a real plant. When you introduce plastics to simulate something natural like stone or wood it looks cheap and doesn’t stand the test of esthetic time.
What about laminate and composite countertops? Laminate is a series of synthetic materials compiled together to form a solid that looks like wood. Since it is not real and designed to simulate wood, it often appears manufactured. This manufactured look can make it look cheap and doesn’t stand the test of time. Wood veneer on the other hand is made by cutting thin slices off a whole log to make a sheet of wood. These thin sheets are then compiled in different ways to create patterns. Even though this is not a solid sheet of wood it’s still real wood. It feels natural and can be a beautiful addition to an interior.
Composite countertops are less expensive than stone but do not have the same strength and durability properties. There are pros to composites, like their porosity which makes them less susceptible to bacteria. There’s a time and a place for composite countertops. Some may argue that granite goes out of style and others may argue a synthetic material will go out of style. In the end, it’s up to you to make the judgment for your own space.
Design vs Trend
Publications, design manufacturers, and fashion designers all are in the business of making money. So, trends tend to contrast themselves. If the fashion or design industry came out each season saying the trends aren’t changing, then there aren’t new customers to make money. Think of it like this: you design your bathroom to fit all the beautiful warm pinks and earth tones that are trendy right now. You’re in heaven and loving it! Then in 5 years, the trend has shifted to cool blues, grays, and silvers (which is what just happened except the opposite), then your warm earth tones are going to look super dated compared to the cool electric tones. So, you’re over your bathroom and decide to rip it all out and start fresh. The designers are happy, the manufacturers are happy, and the furniture suppliers are happy! You become a lifelong customer that will keep coming back.
If you break from the mold to develop your style, you don't get stuck in the rat race. It’s ok to evolve, it’s ok to pivot, and it’s ok if your tastes morph as you grow. Just make sure it’s uniquely yours because that can’t be taken away by the publication of a new trend report. Find what you love, what brings you joy, and what makes you feel the happiest. This is where a designer can be very helpful.
Anyone can design their space to fit the current trend. It’s easy because you can find the pieces you need EVERYWHERE. It’s harder to curate a space that feels uniquely you. Sometimes you might not even know what it is YOU love. A great designer can ask the right questions and discover what your true design style is. That’s the beauty of real design vs a trend.
Want help determining your design style? Want help creating a space that feels exciting and special every time you come home? Contact us! We have a great team of architects and designers here for you.