Jan. 26, 2022
Design trends are commonly associated with a dominant generation, and in this day and age, Generation Z calls the shots. A generation born during the internet age of the 2000s, this generation has now fully embraced adulting, moving out of their folks’, slowly making a new life for themselves. Playful, quirky, and bold are the perfect keywords that capture the essence of this year’s list of architectural design trends
We’re in our third year into a new decade, and we’ve already seen many architectural design trends from the 2010s slowly fade away. In architectural design trends, we will start seeing less rustic farmhouse styles, industrial architecture, and transitional styles. It’s finally time to say goodbye to black mullioned sliding doors and rustic barn doors while making way for muted pastel hues with tons of texture.
There’s a common denominator between this year’s architectural design trends: a repeat of the 70s and the 80s. May it be minimalist or maximalist, we will see a lot of furniture and accent pieces from these decades exuding bold and funky psychedelic patterns coupled with playful and retro-futuristic pieces. In the past, technological advancements dictate the course of interior design trends. Television sets, personal computers, and washing machines are some examples. Interior spaces were re-planned and redesigned to accommodate such technology.
Fast forward to the present day, we will witness a sudden change regarding how spaces are designed, thanks to artificial intelligence. With the rise of smart homes, The whole architecture will be different, embedding technology within the fabric of our walls and furniture.
The New Minimalism
They say that minimalism is here to stay. While that may seem true, we cannot deny that minimalism will take on an entirely novel approach. This year, we will see more textural variety in interior and exterior architecture and incorporate more dramatic shapes and forms. Most designers are tired of boxy, rectilinear plans and are still not keen on the comeback of intricate architectural mouldings.
The era of minimalism is slowly transitioning into a renaissance, fluid and romantic. Most designers have transitioned into incorporating smoother and more fluid lines, and this will be evident in both interior and exterior spaces. The year 2022 will be dominated by soft and liquid forms in interior and exterior architecture, transitioning towards a more feminine character in design.
Arches Over Lines
The prevalence of transitional farmhouse styles and industrial interiors during the 2010s has finally reached its peak. With the concept of minimalism still at play, most designers still favour plain architectural facades. Rectangular plans will be softened by fillet edges, while arches will soften rectangular window and door openings, both plastered against a minimalist structure bearing almost no ornamentation.
No More Mullions
We’ve witnessed a surge of farmhouse-style doors and windows with thin, matte black mullions. It’s time to say goodbye to steel-framed glass panels while designers prefer frameless glass. Steel grilles will take a more fluid approach, using curved grill designs over an array of straight horizontal or vertical lines. Curved steel grills were a thing in the 70s, and we’ve predicted that they will make a huge comeback this 2022.
Plump and Chubby Furniture
Sofas and chairs are about to get fatter this 2022. Plump and chubby seating; from sofas, accent chairs, and dining chairs to ottomans, oversized and fluffy seating will take over interior architecture. Sleek and modular sectional sofas will be a thing of the past, and Chesterfield sofas and diamond tufting will officially be out.
We will still see a lot of mid-century modern and Lawson-style sofas because of their minimal character; however, bubble sofas and clamshell sofas will slowly take over the interior landscape. We will also see a lot of retro-style curved sofas from the 70s as designers prefer curved forms over sleek and rectilinear edges.
Ribs and Flutes
Wood cladding has been a staple design element in all or not most of the 21st century. Previously, we’ve seen a lot of projects involving wide wooden planks and thin wooden strips as a design element. Now that we are slowly easing into 2022, most designers have favoured wooden ribs and flutes, technically thin wooden strips with a curved or circular cross-section. As for application, fluted wooden panels will take on either a varnished or painted approach, both having a matte finish. Expect to see a lot of fluted wooden panels painted in muted pastel colours.
Venetian Plaster and Lime-wash
Venetian plaster has slowly gained traction and will continue to gain more momentum as we ease into 2022. A Plaster mixed with marble dust and troweled into the surface, creating a lot of depth and illusion, embodies the essence of Venetian plaster. This outstanding material dates back from the 1st century AD and is coming back this 2022. A paint-like material that mimics stone, Venetian plaster will slowly take over architectural interiors, specifically in flat minimalist designs that require more visual depth and texture.
Everyone loves natural stone slabs like marble and granite because of their classic character. However, its pervasiveness makes it feel a bit dated. Natural stone slabs are here to stay, but for those who are tired of it, we’ve got an alternative for you. Terrazzo, a material widely popular during the ’70s, is slowly making a comeback 50 years later. Terrazzo is a composite material mixed with tiny natural stone chips, glass, or quartz, bound via a cementitious or polymeric binder. It cures like concrete and is polished in a process similar to grinding natural stone slabs like marble and granite.
The beauty of terrazzo mainly comes from the fact that it matches practically anything. Your Terrazzo surface can take on various characters depending on the colour of the chips used. The ratio and combination of these tiny chips will render slabs of distinct characters making possibilities with Terrazzo completely endless.
Plain Square Tiles
It’s time to bid goodbye to subway tiles, a backsplash, and a bathroom trend we hope will never come back soon. We predict that plain square tiles will make a comeback.
Plain square tiles provide the geometric play of subway tiles without the overwhelming pattern, making it truly a minimalist staple.
Although the phrase minimalism is here to stay may be true, we cannot deny that maximalism is making waves as an interior and architectural design trend. Maximalism is predicted to be the spin-off of the traditional farmhouse and rustic styles widely popular in the 2010s.
Grand Millennial style incorporates traditional forms and trims with a twist of modern and 21st-century design elements, creating a homey and nostalgic environment. It’s pretty much taking in design elements from your grandmother’s house while giving it some modern TLC. Since architecture trends move a lot like fashion, brace yourselves as you will see more of those furniture pieces from the 70s and 80s, time warping into the present day.
Vintage accent pieces from your grandmother’s house, modernized and repainted with matte chalk paint in pastel hues, are among the many design elements seen in this upcoming design trend. The prevalence of furniture flipping and an accessible online marketplace is slowly becoming a haven for thrifters and antique seekers alike. Think shabby chic without the rustic and distressed paint finish, all against a background of Bold Florals, Chinoiserie, and Toile de Jouy.
As Gen Z eases into adulthood, there will be a growing demand for furniture. Customized furniture is often expensive to come by, and this has caused Gen Z and Millenials alike to turn to do-it-yourself solutions, which include upcycling hand-me-down furniture pieces from Boomers and Gen X parents and grandparents. These heirloom pieces will take on more modern colours and forms, from pastel hues to bleached wood finishes coupled with modern hardware.
Patterned Window Treatment
Patterned window treatments will slowly emerge from the dead this 2022. Thanks to the re-emergence of maximalism that is about to change. These bold wall treatments will be applied with either bold wallpaper patterns or plain textured walls. Alongside this, expect to see a lot of ruffles, prints and pleats with window treatments. You will see a lot of funky and frilly window textiles this 2022.
We will witness a surge of bold yet repetitive wallpaper patterns similar to Chinoiserie and Toile de Jouy, giving your home Parisian or Oriental vibes. All of this provides an interesting take on maximalism, incorporating traditional design elements that will indeed offer a homey yet classical feel to one’s space.
We will see pops of art déco elements this 2022, specifically on accent pieces like wallpaper, lighting fixtures, and furniture. Trapezoidal, zigzag and jagged pointed edges are some patterns that define Art déco, a true embodiment of maximalism. The best part is that it can be used with various minimalist themes, creating a juxtaposition between maximalism and minimalism. While Art déco can mostly incorporate geometric shapes, it also uses a lot of animal prints as a design element.
Metal trim will also be an integral part of this year’s architectural trends. Although it’s not something new, it’s an element that is here to stay indefinitely.
Biophilic Design and Organic Forms
We’ve seen it in the past year, and we will see it again. Tropical elements were a favourite towards the end of the 2010s, and as we ease into the 2020s, we will see more of it. We’ve seen a lot of it thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic as people move indoors while maximizing the use of their interior spaces. We’ll see a lot of bold, tropical wallpaper and murals along with rattan and bamboo textures that provide a resort feel in both interior and exterior architecture.
Organic forms and shapes are not always limited to incorporating patterns of foliage onto a wall; they can also be manifested through borrowing forms and integrating them with the architecture of a specific structure. Biophilic designs are present in most of Zaha Hadid’s architecture, smooth curved architectural conditions mimicking various living organisms.
The ability of plastic to take on various forms and shapes makes it one of the most versatile materials, Coupled with its ability to have several sub-classifications that embody other material characteristics, on top of its ability to be mass-produced. Its fluidity and diverse application make it perfect to mould into different shapes, something that we expect more this year.
Glass blocks will trickle back to life this 2022. A popular material choice in the 70s, newer variations of glass blocks will take on various colours and forms, giving designers the freedom to create multiple design solutions using this incredible material. We love glass blocks because they genuinely embody retro design, an element mostly present in Miami art déco, which is reminiscent of this year’s architectural design trend.
RGB Neon Lights
Coloured neon lights were widely popular during the 70s and 80s, as seen in various signages, thanks to their ability to render different colours. In the present day, Neon lights have taken on another form through LED lighting. Its ability to switch through different colours imaginable to the human eye makes it a popular “futuristic” design element.
Neon LED lights have been a staple in Gen Z’s teenage rooms during the 2010s, and as they enter the world of adulting, we expect to see neon LED lights in interior spaces as well. It sets the mood while transforming a room dramatically.