Whether you’ve lived in your home for ages and feel it’s looking tired and needs a revamp, or you’ve just moved in and want your new house to look bang up-to-date, you may be struggling to know exactly what’s ‘in’ for homes.
Those in the know are our up-and-coming interior designers, who are predicting that multifunctional spaces and furniture, smart tech furnishings, and a mix of vintage and new will be trending this year.
“Until now, individuals assumed they had to choose between sleek minimalist and modern interiors, or a vintage look,” says Esra Kumbasar, design director of the Accouter Group of Companies design collective. “But this year, we’ll move past this, curating a hybrid concept that combines the merits of both, and enables individuals to be more environmentally-conscious when sourcing items.”
And design specialist Rachel Epstein, creative director of décor furniture company CARME Home, adds: “Tech-savvy millennials are all about convenience and have an expectation for everything to be on-hand, so it’s inevitable that integrating user-friendly smart technology into the home is going to be a big trend too.”
Here, the two designers outline their predictions for 2022’s millennial home design trends…
Millennials are all-too-aware of how important it is to live sustainably to protect the planet, and Kumbasar predicts this will be reflected in what they buy for their home – and whether they choose to rent items instead of buying them.
“Millennials are far more conscious of the way the world’s natural resources are diminishing,” she points out. “Moving into 2022, they’ll have a greater focus on sustainability in terms of the materials they use and the brands they shop from.
“In line with this, we expect to see the rental furniture revolution accelerate. As the demand for sustainability gains momentum, millennials will seek flexible interior solutions, without having to compromise on design or quality. Rather than disposing of old items and purchasing new pieces, renting offers the perfect solution – while also being for more affordable.”
2. In with the old AND new
Kumbasar says vintage design is set for a revival in 2022 because millennials are concerned about the environmental impact of fast fashion and furniture, and are seeking everlasting pieces with elegance and charm.
“From Victorian wooden furniture or panelling, mouldings and occasional chairs, to statement accents and vases and pottery, we’ll see an increased demand for these items as people mix the old and new in an ethical and sustainable fashion,” she predicts.
3. Smart (in more ways than one) furniture
“Millennials have grown up with technology, it’s become an essential part of their daily routine, and so it’s no surprise that technology will become even more prominent in the home,” says Epstein. There’s a huge variety of smart tech furniture available these days, ranging from colour-changing sideboards, touchscreen coffee tables with glass surfaces that double as computer screens, dressing tables with LED colour-changing lights and charging ports, and lamp tables with charging ports and hidden Bluetooth speakers.
4. Comfortable curves
Gone are the days of sharp edges and clean lines – instead, the curvy design trend is thriving, explains Kumbasar. “Spending more time at home, millennials are seeking concepts that make a space feel more comfortable,” she says. “From the choice of furniture, including tables and sofas to lamps and mirrors, curved forms have never been more relevant.”
5. Viva velvet!
Because there’s a Seventies retro revival in interior design, velvet is making a comeback this year, predicts Epstein. Velvet accent chairs, headboards, cushions or stools are a good place to start experimenting with the material, she says, but warns: “When looking to add a touch of velvet elegance to your home, consider what other fabrics that item will be paired with.”
Kumbasar says although some people think minimalist design is harsh, “it can be an enticing haven of serenity that makes spaces feel less constrictive.”
She suggests that people who want to make their home – or a room, at least – more minimalist, should start by concentrating on one or two main items of furniture, which highlight the purpose of the room and will create focal points. Neutral colours are important, but she points out that using organic shapes, textures and contrasting surfaces will create a special effect.
“Less is more will be the guiding principle here, but there are still plenty of opportunities to make your mark and introduce your own flare to a minimalist design,” she promises.
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7. Black is back (if it ever went away)
Epstein says black’s boldness makes it popular with millennials who like to keep their home décor minimalistic, while still making a statement. “In interior design, millennials are more drawn to darker colours, as it portrays sophistication, elegance and is a classic look,” she says. “If you’re looking to keep your home on trend, we’d recommend black accent furniture first to test the waters,” she suggests.
8. Statement lighting
Kumbasar points out that lighting fixtures aren’t just a practicality but are the central ‘jewellery’ in a room. “Carefully placed, cleverly-designed, and well-crafted lights can completely transform an entire interior,” she stresses.
“This year, we expect to see statement lighting come into its own, with millennials embracing them as a way to create a unique focal point. From dynamic arrangements to elegant sculptural forms, with interesting textures or colours, lights can be another way to incorporate statement works of art within the home. So, instead of leaving the lighting until last, consider using it as the inspiration for an entire design concept.”
9. Multifunctional furniture
“Thanks to our ‘new normal’ of remote working, millennials are the working-from-home generation, yet many live in small flats or house-shares,” says Epstein. “Investing in furniture that serves more than one purpose to make the most out of a smaller living space is key. There are plenty of brilliant furniture pieces that act as storage solutions.”
Multifunctional furniture ranges from Ottoman beds with storage underneath and dressing tables that convert into desks, to storage sofa beds and hideaway desks that look just like standard sideboards when not in use.
10. Bringing nature inside
Having lived through the Covid pandemic, Kumbasar says millennials are increasingly looking for a home space that lends itself to optimal wellbeing and mental health, by using natural materials, introducing more light and displaying plants inside the home.
This is known as ‘biophilic interiors’, which she says can create a sense of calm, and positive emotion. Biophilic trends have been on the rise for some time, and Kumbasar thinks 2022 will see more vegetation – including plants and greenery – within the home, more natural light, increasing popularity of natural materials such as rattan, cane and raffia, and colour palettes centred on clean hues and earthy tones.
“Millennials’ affiliation with nature will continue into 2022, but we expect to see this on a larger scale than ever before,” she predicts.