The interior design trends that will be big in 2022
We speak to world-leading design maestros, Wimberly Interiors, about the design trends they believe will play a key role in our interior lives next year.
There’s no denying that the past eighteen months have had a huge impact on many facets of everyday life. Our relationship with space has changed, our desire for the great outdoors is even greater, some of us have learned to work from anywhere, and we’ve all become more accustomed to pesky digital menus and codes than we ever dreamed of – or cared for. As we look to a new year and a fresh start, Wimberly Interiors’ crack team from across the globe – London, Los Angeles, New York, Singapore and Shanghai to be precise – shares its predictions for all things interior design trends in 2022: from private dining to the office floor, color palettes and more.
Contactless service and hyper-personalization
Contactless service is here to stay. Our iPhones really will be at the center of our universes going forward – from check-in to unlocking guest room doors, scanning QR codes for room service, and controlling every device and gadget we need for a comfortable stay, tailored to our personal preferences: lights, temperature, blinds/drapes, television, check-out and so forth. As technology becomes more advanced, our worlds become more connected. Everything is, quite literally, at our fingertips.
—Margaret McMahon, Senior Vice President + Global Director
Creating a home away from home
We’ve spent more time in our homes than ever before. This feeling of ‘home away from home’ in hospitality design is set to continue through comfortable, welcoming interiors, with hints of nostalgia, coupled with natural, warm earthy tones and materials. Designs that have longevity and, thus, sustainability, will be popular. I also don’t think I’ve seen this many “swiss cheese” plants since the 1970s!
—Rachel Johnson, Senior Vice President + Studio Director, London
Everything old is new(er) again
I think there will be a surge of conversions, restorations and repurposing. As an eco-conscious person, with the aim to adapt high standards of sustainability, the new mantra will be to find alternate use of spaces, vehicles or objects. This concept isn’t new, but designers may become more creative in their approach. Taxis are being used as vegetable gardens in Thailand, train cars are refurbished as luxury resorts, and aircrafts are being used for vertical farming. With fewer planes in the sky, could we see these become the next destination F&B locations?!
—Deepu Mahboobani, Vice President + Studio Director, Singapore
Social media-savvy is here to stay
Entertainment and hospitality design has always been about creating moments that are unique and leave a lasting impression on guests. Social media – in particular, Instagram and, now, TikTok – hasn’t changed this, but these design elements have become more intense and concentrated into a singular moment that captures the guest and compels the viewer, both in real life and online. While many international borders remain closed, social media’s role in connecting people to experiences will only become more important, and, in turn, so too will the unique, interesting and spectacular architectural features that serve as virtual signposts for brands.
—Josh Held, Vice President + Director of Entertainment, New York
Rounded shapes, soft contrasts, and light
Rounded shapes and soft contrasts aren’t exactly new, but they’re also not likely to be going anywhere as we continue to try and balance out the chaos and complexity of the outside world – especially when it comes to the home. Basic soft colours, rounded furniture, and even retro greens and patterned fabrics will be popular, with minimalist interior design choices and as much glass as possible to let the outside in (and help with our daily dose of Vitamin D!).
—Alain de Villoutreys, Senior Associate + Studio Design Manager, London
It’s all about escapism
A trend that will hold through 2022 is ‘escapism’. With the pandemic affecting international tourism, F&B is seeing a push towards the idea of regional, immersive, bold escapism. The result is a departure from a ‘theme’ and a move into an explosion and exploration of a story, world and identity. Authenticity is important, as always, but sheer immersion into a fantasy world is too.
Restaurants like the Madrid-based Amazonico do this well with a strong sense of Latin American playfulness that connects to the food. Big Mamma Group from Paris are also masters at creating this world but with a regional Italian flair at each of their outposts – the latest being Ave Mario, which takes guests into an extravagant world inspired by Florence that is equal parts exaggerated/playful, and authentic/historic. There are elements in the experience that only locals would understand.
—Damien Follone, Senior Associate + Senior Designer Restaurants and Bars, London
All over Art Deco
Minimalism will manifest itself in 2022. Especially in a hospitality context, guests not only want simple, but simple done exceptionally well. They want to be wowed with meaningful, personal experiences and finishes in everything from customer service to art. Nature will continue to inspire, along with Art Deco influence coming through in lighting, wall covering patterns, colours, and furniture.
—German Mendoza, Senior Associate + Senior Designer, London
Upping the ante on wellness and locally sourced
We say it every year, but the ante is being upped on wellness. A focus on bringing the outdoors in will continue, complemented by healthy ‘add-ons’ to the guest stay such as vitamin-infused showers, hypoallergenic bedding, and of course natural ventilation. As sustainability remains at the forefront of everyone’s minds, locally made and sourced finishes and furnishings will become an even greater priority – not only lowering carbon footprint, but celebrating and authentically integrating the immediate surroundings.
—Hussain Kamal, Associate Vice President + Creative Director, LA
The devil is in the detail
For 2022, I think we are going to see more of a minimalistic design approach – not only in interior design but all aspects of design. A stripping back of interior architecture and macro design, and putting more of a focus on detail – with a real hand-crafted approach. We have all been “virtual” for so long now, clients are wanting to touch things again – focusing on the texture of a fabric, a drawer detail, even a façade. We have heard it over and over, but it truly is all in the details! Oh, and GREEN! It’s coming back again in fashion, jewellery, interiors, architecture, you name it!
—John Paul Pederson, Senior Associate + Senior Designer, London
After so long in sweatpants, a formality in form and function will come to the fore
Design will continue to become more warm and inviting. I also think that after so long in sweatpants and activewear, there will be a desire for a bit more formality in both form and function – think designated spaces and zones versus big, open rooms. Color, texture, pattern, layers, and I agree with John Paul Pederson – green is HOT! and I am here for it.
—Liana Hawes Young, Senior Associate and Creative Director
Restaurants-within-restaurants and the end of the open plan office
Covid-19 accelerated many trends, and the rise of private dining – either out of necessity, or personal preference – was one of them. Rather than a boring back room with a dining table and credenza, expect to see these spaces evolve into ‘restaurants-within-restaurants’ – fitted with special, added amenities to elevate the guest experience and make dining out safely even more exciting.
We can also declare that open plan office systems, at least for now, have had their day. Expect to see the cubicle make a comeback, but in a more intuitive and personalized fashion – private, comfy and flexible, yet connected with the world. Spaces will likely be smaller than they once were, with adequate ventilation and all the modcons.
—Noel Cuvin, Senior Associate + Creative Director, New York
Hospitality experiences will continue to evolve and be redefined. From hotel and resort offerings to eco-adventures and luxury nature experiences, personalization is the key. As a society, the pandemic encouraged us to rethink and reevaluate our life experiences – and, for many, our minds have been opened to new ways of doing things. One of those things has been to get out and enjoy the wide open spaces of the world around us and, in 2022 and beyond, this will only become an even greater priority for travelers.
—Susan Bruce, Senior Associate + Senior Project Designer, LA
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