Great design often starts with a spark. It could be a color, a material or even a feeling of what you want your life to be like at home. And that initial inspiration is different for everyone. But if you’re looking for ideas to start a home renovation or new-build project in 2022 or beyond, here are some trends that will provide plenty of inspiration.
Multiple Window Banks
Many homeowners dream of light and bright kitchens. One way to get that is with plenty of windows that let the natural light stream in. Long banks of multiple windows, sometimes on two or even three walls, create a space full of light, fresh air — if the windows are operable — and views. Thanks to the rise of hardworking pantry walls, storage-optimized island bases and lower cabinets that allow homeowners to skip upper cabinets.
We are seeing a long-term trend in kitchen design toward connectedness to nature. With stress levels at all-time highs and people spending more time indoors, people are craving a connection to the outdoors and nature. And larger windows in the kitchen help achieve this goal.
Casual Collected Look
While all-white kitchens remain dominant, layered looks are gaining in popularity. A dressed-up, collected style caught on in 2021, but for 2022 a more casual, less-polished approach looks to be taking hold.
The look features softer, lighter paint colors, raw wood tones and a mix of cabinet fronts and styles. This light, layered design keeps the eye moving, provides visual texture and nuance and delivers a style that appears put together over time in a relaxed way.
The kitchen island has been rising in popularity for years but has practically become ubiquitous lately. If the kitchen is the hub of the home, then consider the island the hub of the hub of the home.
Many homeowners are working with design and remodeling professionals to rejigger layouts to fit an island, large or small. Plus, kitchen islands seem to be taking on more duties these days. In addition to providing extra counter space and storage, many now include the dishwasher, trash pullout, prep sink and seating.
Appliances in Islands
Speaking of islands, another trend is homeowners choosing to locate a beverage fridge on an island end. This allows guests and family members to grab a drink without getting in the way of the cook. A microwave on an island near an end can solve the same issue, letting someone heat up a drink or snack without blocking the main traffic area.
Hardworking Kitchen Storage
The right storage strategies can create a highly functional home. And while the general function of cabinetry hasn’t changed much over the years, the inside of cabinets has dramatically shifted. Pullouts bring pantry items from the back of cabinets to the front. Special shelves lift heavy appliances from a lower cabinet to countertop height. Drawer dividers organize plates and bowls. You can now have designated storage space for a paper towel roll, or aluminum foil, baking sheets or almost anything else you can think of.
Long, Linear Backsplash Tile
White subway tile is a classic look for a kitchen backsplash, but many homeowners are searching for a modern twist on the material. White ceramic 4-by-12-inch tile appears to be the answer. The rectangular shape lends a timeless feel, while the elongated form creates a fresh, updated style.
Backsplash tile with a subtle wavy or crackle glaze finish will add texture, while a herringbone pattern can give even more spin on the design.
Light Marble-Look Quartz Countertops
Marble remains a classic material. But as a countertop in a high-trafficked kitchen, it can be a pain to maintain. Many homeowners have instead turned to durable engineered quartz in a light marble-look style. It helps keep a space feeling bright, picks up common colors found in many of today’s kitchens — whites and grays — and provides a scratch- and stain-resistant surface.
White Kitchen With Classic Details
A mostly white kitchen continues to be the most popular palette. It creates a bright, uplifting mood; provides a fresh, clean feel; and helps illuminate tasks. But an all-white kitchen can sometimes veer too cold, too sterile or too stark for some people’s liking.
That’s why designers are always looking for ways to add character, softness and balance. One way to do that is by incorporating classic details like shiplap, beadboard, handmade tile, raw wood accents and cabinetry details.
Oversize lighting can certainly make a statement. But when unobstructed views are important, something like a large drum shade can work against that goal.
Large lantern-style lighting can make the big statement without blocking the sightlines.
While marble might be considered too precious for modern-day kitchen countertops, it’s rapidly becoming a go-to bathroom choice for creating a soothing, timeless look. Its use is on the rise for floors and walls both inside the shower and out.
Similar to kitchens, targeted storage in bathrooms has become a burgeoning focus of design attention. Consider a drawer that can house a blow-dryer or other device next to an in-drawer outlet. Or try a linen storage tower. Or a hidden pullout for a laundry hamper. Whatever you do, pros recommend a mix of open, closed, drawer, cabinet, niche and other storage solutions.
In 2021 we saw elegant, sophisticated style showing up in many kitchens. This year the tailored look is moving into bathrooms. The look often includes rich woods, dramatic black accents, jewelry-like lighting and classic finishes such as marble and polished nickel. Custom features are being celebrated as well, such as cabinetry and handmade tile.
Multiple Shower Heads and Sprays
A comfortable shower is an important bathroom feature, but including multiple shower heads and sprays can elevate the shower experience from simple washing to luxurious pampering.
In addition to multiple shower heads, bathroom design pros recommend installing a handheld sprayer. These can be used for rinsing shaved legs, cleaning the shower walls or washing pets and kids.
Many homeowners desire a curbless shower entry, but creating the feature during a renovation can sometimes be tricky and expensive. A low-curb design, however, is more attainable and offers many of the same benefits as a curbless entry.
A low-profile barrier creates a safe entry point to a shower. And it can help lighten the look and feel of a space, which is especially important in a small bathroom. Plus, the airy look allows tile and other stylish details to stand out more.
Shiplap has been showing up everywhere in bathrooms. It adds charming character and visual texture to a space and can help accent the height, width or length of a bathroom depending on the direction it’s installed.
In recent years there’s been a lot of hand-wringing over whether or not to keep a tub in a main bathroom. But it seems the debate has mostly been settled. Those who enjoy taking baths wouldn’t give theirs up for anything, nor should they.
A freestanding, flat-bottom acrylic soaking tub is by far the preferred choice.
Stylish Shower-Tub Combos or Alcove Tubs
As mentioned, freestanding acrylic soaking tubs are by far the most popular bathtub style, material and type. But alcove tubs, such as those found in the common shower-tub combo, are rising in popularity.
Stylish Design for Aging in Place
Many homeowners embark on a renovation to create their forever home, and that means incorporating universal design principles that will assist with accessibility in the years ahead. These days, universal design prioritizes products and features that are as attractive as they are functional.
Some grab bars, for example, come in trendy finishes like champagne bronze or matte black and camouflage their function as a towel bar, doing double duty while still meeting the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines. Other accessible design features like curbless showers, nonslip flooring and shower benches have become desirable and stylish features for homeowners of all ages.
What bathroom feature do most designers recommend to homeowners? one element stood above the rest: heated floors. A cold tile floor can ruin a spa-like experience, and heated floors are relatively inexpensive and easy to install during a renovation, making this feature a no-brainer.
Consensus on color is often rare, but this year things are a bit different. All the attention seems focused on green.
Almost every major paint company chose a shade of green for its 2022 Color of the Year selection.
Blue is a calming color that pairs beautifully with popular neutrals like whites, grays and blacks. Blue can be integrated into a bathroom with stunning results. A blue vanity and storage tower (Smoky Blue by Sherwin-Williams) add a b
Compact Laundry Spaces
A full-size laundry room is on many homeowners’ wish lists, but it’s not always attainable. Many people are discovering that smart space planning and hardworking storage can give them a high-functioning laundry area in a more compact corner of a mudroom, entryway or garage.
Return of the Formal Dining Room
The pandemic disrupted how many homeowners saw their dedicated dining room. Without the ability to host dinner parties, they used these spaces for home offices, gyms or other activities.
But now, with safety measures in place, many homeowners are returning to hosting formal gatherings with small groups of people.
It’s becoming rare to find a bedroom that doesn’t include a stylish bench. And perhaps that should come as no surprise. A bench at the foot of the bed can add a bit of adornment to a bedroom while also providing tons of function. It’s a place where you can sit to put on or take off shoes or slippers, or use it to pack a suitcase.
Dedicated Activity Spaces
Perhaps more than any other time in recent memory, the past two years have put our focus and attention on our homes. And that will have a profound impact on home design for years to come.
Many homeowners molded their homes to accommodate exercise, work, entertainment and creative activities.
For many homeowners, adding square footage isn’t an option. But creating spaces that do double duty can greatly increase the function of an existing footprint. Multipurpose furniture and other design details can give homeowners that kind of flexibility.
Murphy-style beds and sleeper sofas can transform a home office or living area into a bedroom.
Major renovations steal a lot of home design attention. But updates to furniture and decor are booming. Accent pieces, decorative accents and accent pillows can create a new feel without a huge expense.
Velvet is one of those materials that cycles through periods of popular and really popular. Right now we seem to be in an era of the latter. And why not? It’s soft, has texture, and who doesn’t like rubbing a hand back and forth on a velvet surface to create patterns?
Furniture with rounded contours showed up everywhere at the 2021, signaling a curvy trend for sofas, sectionals and chairs that will keep rolling in 2022.
A swivel chair gives users the option to shift position toward or away from elements in a room.
Neutral Sofas in Performance Fabric
There was a time when few homeowners took the gamble on having a white or other light neutral-colored sofa in a living room. The inevitable spills and stains were too much of a deal-breaker.
But with innovations in stain-resistant fabric, that’s no longer the case. Durable, easy-to-clean fabrics from companies like Sunbrella, Crypton and Perennials mean homeowners can now more confidently embrace light upholstered furniture.
Outdoor Living Rooms That Look Like Indoor Rooms
Homeowners want their backyards to be relaxing extensions of their interior living spaces. And one of the best ways to achieve that is by mimicking interior space outdoors.
There have been major advances in outdoor materials in recent years, allowing manufacturers to create stylish and durable outdoor sofas, tables, rugs, chairs and decor. Add an outdoor fireplace, maybe a TV, and the line between indoors and out all but disappears.
As homeowners increasingly expand their available living space to the outdoors, many are hiring landscape pros for screens, fences, plantings and other strategies that help create intimate spaces and separation from neighbors or block an undesirable view. These might take the form of a vine-covered pergola, an outdoor screen around a private dining spot, or fencing for an outdoor shower or hot tub.
Many people who found themselves spending more time at home during the pandemic witnessed the pleasurable rhythms of wildlife surrounding their homes. Rambunctious squirrels and birds, a curious fox, a family of deer, a mischievous raccoon — these creatures became extended family. The desire to attract more wildlife — and make nice habitats for them — has become a goal of many homeowners.
Adding native plants and trees that benefit birds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife helps facilitate a deeper connection to nature.
Decorative Tile Patios
Patterned floor tile is commonly used to spiff up a bathroom or laundry room. But why not take the idea outdoors? Tile makes a durable waterproof surface for a patio and, given all the style options, offers tremendous opportunity to add color, pattern and texture. Be sure to determine the right material and finish for tile that will provide a safe, nonslip and durable surface.
Many homeowners have been looking to their backyards to create fun and comfortable outdoor experiences at home. And what better way to do that than with a swimming pool?
Keep in mind that bigger isn’t always better. Some pros report seeing an uptick in requests for smaller, more manageable pools.
These smaller designs typically range in size from 4,000 to 7,500 gallons and can be heated to hot tub temperatures or cooled to plunge pool comfort. They can also feature powerful swim jets that allow a user to tread water to mimic swimming laps.
Emotion and Action
Sustainability and Efficiency
Sustainable building practices have long been a focus of environmentalists, but recent shifts in the global dialogue have brought the idea to the forefront for the average homeowner, sparking a new wave of adoption. High-performance windows and solar panels help reduce energy use, which can also help save money. Native trees and grasses can help create water-efficient landscapes and also attract pleasing wildlife. When personal benefits have a positive collateral impact on the world, everyone wins.
The term “supply chain” became the topic of numerous conversations in recent years. Shipping delays for products and material shortages for things like lumber, as well as backlogs for professionals, slowed many home design and remodeling projects to a trickle.
But while succumbing to frustration and knee-jerk reactions might get your project finished faster, it won’t necessarily give you the home of your dreams. So consider taking a deep breath and going with the slow flow. It’s better to be patient and wait for the right product or professional to become available than to settle on something you’re not going to be happy with in the long run.
Comfort and Well-Being
Our environments have the ability to shape and influence our emotions. And a home should be a place that restores, calms, rejuvenates and replenishes our minds and bodies. Attention on soothing colors and pampering features that reduce stress at home will be a big focus in 2022.
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