What Will Living Rooms Look Like in 2022?
Discover how designers envision our living spaces with look and feel this year
Professional insights from: Emma Merry of Emma Merry Styling; Olga Alexeeva of Black & Milk; Omar Bhatti of Space Shack; Natasha Burton of NB Interiors
More in this series: What Will Kitchens Look Like in 2022?
At the top of many home wish lists right now is the opportunity to make spaces multifunctional. “Key to that is storage, which is where we tend to start with living rooms,” Emma Merry says. “People want storage to transform their space into different functions.”
She designs a lot of built-in cabinets for her clients, often with a flip-out desk incorporated, and predicts these will continue to be popular in 2022.
“People are asking to squeeze in a desk, or they want space for children to play,” Natasha Burton agrees. “They also want a space that can then be put away at night.”
The pros forecast more living rooms with multifunctional storage and media units that can be used to turn a playroom or office area into a TV space in the evening. Omar Bhatti recommends using these wide storage and media units as a feature wall. “We go bold with the colour, as it’s easy to repaint at a later date,” he says.
Living rooms in 2022 will be full of soft textures and cosy colours, according to the pros.
Emma predicts that neutral tones and natural colours will be big this year. She recommends using soft neutrals to tone down terracotta hues and to warm up the cool grey and black lines of a Japandi look, particularly in the UK’s grey light.
Will dark tones still be popular? “The dark trend seems to be going a little bit,” Natasha says. “People want their living rooms to feel calm, but they also want them to feel light.
“Many are being braver with colour, but they aren’t necessarily going for crazy colours,” she adds. “They’re choosing warmer tones, such as pinks and sandy hues. They want to feel hugged by their homes.”
“I also think textured wallpaper is going to take off,” Emma says. “People are looking for natural fabrics such as linen, too. And I’ve also had more people asking for pinch-pleat curtains.”
It’s all about the ambience when it comes to lighting for 2022, with less emphasis on statement pendants. “I’m asking people if they actually need the overhead light,” Emma says. “People are moving away from these to wall lights.”
Natasha predicts more lamps and dimmable lights, as people focus on creating a cosy space for relaxing. Emma adds that lighting has gone slightly ‘underground’, as people don’t want it to be a feature.
“More and more people don’t want to see the bulb or the source of light,” Olga Alexeeva agrees. “So we’re thinking about ways to hide lights, with recessed LEDs for example.”
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A formal reception room is not a priority for homeowners at the moment. Instead, they’re looking for a place where they can lounge.
“Relaxation and communication are the key elements for all rooms now,” Olga says. “People are choosing comfort over looks for furniture.” Rather than the popular L-shaped sofa, she predicts there will be more sofas that have a longer corner where people can stretch out and watch tv.
“People are going for deep sofas,” Emma adds. “A wraparound sofa with a coffee table in the middle is perfect for that comfort.”
Omar gives a good tip if you want to consider comfort when you’re positioning your sofa. “I like to put my phone on charge while I’m sitting on the sofa,” he says. “So I take this into consideration for my clients and try to position the sofa in close proximity to a USB point.”
Practicality is key for living room materials in 2022. “People are less trend-driven with their sofas, but are looking for the new classic; they want something that will stand the test of time,” Natasha says. “They want it to hold its shape and be easy to clean. As we’re at home so much more, we’re probably eating on the sofa a lot more.”
“Pets are a huge consideration now,” Emma adds. “People are more concerned about how you clean things. There are a lot of pet-friendly rugs and ones you can put in the wash.”
Olga and Omar both point to a decline in the popularity of leather. “As the climate gets warmer, people don’t want fabrics they might find sticky,” Omar says.
“And they don’t want things that are too shiny,” Olga adds. “They want calming, softer natural materials.”
The pros highlight bouclé, which they believe will be popular this year. However, they recommend choosing bouclé fabrics with a combination of different colours and tones that are much more forgiving of stains.
“There are some thinner weaves than the original thick-weave bouclé available,” Omar says. “I think these multi-coloured versions will be quite a classic.”
What would you add to these trend predictions? Share your ideas in the Comments.