Architectural Design Trends have long been associated with a dominant generation. These days, Generation Z calls the shots. Generation Z is defined as people born during the internet age of the mid-1990s to early 2000s. As adults, they are now embracing “adulting” by moving out of their parents’ homes. They are playful at times, quirky at others, but always bold. This year’s list of architectural design trends captures the essence of this generation.
As we ease into a new decade, there are many architectural design trends from the 2010s that are slowly fading out. It’s finally time to say goodbye to black mullioned sliding doors and rustic barn doors in order to make way for muted pastel hues with tons of texture.
Here’s a common denominator of this year’s design trends: melding the 70s and 80s. Minimalist or maximalist, with furniture and accent pieces from those decades exuding bold and funky patterns paired with playful retro-futuristic pieces.
In today’s world, artificial intelligence is helping us make our houses smarter. We’ll see a big difference in how we live thanks to this technology embedded in our walls and furniture.
The New Minimalism Design Trend
Many designers are tired of boxy, rectilinear plans and are still not keen on the comeback of intricate architectural moldings. Some predict that this year will be a turning point for minimalism. Although they concede that the style will take on an entirely new approach. We will be seeing more textural variety in interior and exterior architecture.
We are moving from a period of minimalism into a new era characterized by fluid and romantic designs. Designers are transitioning to smoother, rounded lines, and this will be evident in both interior and exterior spaces. In 2022, interiors will reveal a more feminine character.
Arches Over Lines
The popularity of transitional farmhouse styles and industrial interiors as an architectural design trend has finally reached its’ peak. With the concept of minimalism remaining in play, most designers still favor plain architectural facades. Rectangular plans are softened by fillet edges, while arches soften rectangular window and door openings.
No More Mullions
We’ve seen a lot of farmhouse-style doors and windows with thin, matte black mullions over the past few years. Steel-framed glass panels are on the way out. 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 popular in the 70s, so we think they’ll make a big comeback this year.
Plump and Chubby Furniture
In 2022, your living and dining room furniture will be getting bigger, softer, and plumper. While sleek, modular sectional couches may remain popular in minimalist homes, chesterfield sofas with their iconic diamond tufting will be history.
We’ll still see mid-century modern sofas around for a long time. But bubble sofas and clamshell sofas will gradually take over the interior landscape. A lot of retro-style curved sofas will re-emerge from the 1970s, as designers prefer curved forms to sleek and rectilinear edges.
Ribs and Flutes
Widespread use of wood cladding has been a staple design element in all or most 21st century projects. Previously, wide wooden planks and thin strips of wood were used as design elements; now designers favor their curved or circular counterparts. In 2022, fluted panels are varnished or painted in muted pastel colors.
Venetian Plaster and Limewash
Venetian plaster is a plaster mixed with marble dust and troweled into the surface. 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.
Natural stone like marble and granite is popular because it has classic character. Its popularity, however, makes it feel a bit dated. Natural stone slabs are here to stay, but for those who are tired of them, there’s an alternative: Terrazzo. Terrazzo is a composite material that combines tiny natural stone chips, glass or quartz with cement or polymerics. It cures like concrete, and you polish it just like natural stone slabs.
The versatility of terrazzo comes from the fact that it can take on a variety of styles and personalities. Terrazzo’s beauty comes from the ratio and combination of its tiny chips. Your terrazzo surface can match practically anything—the possibilities are endless.
Plain Square Tiles
Let’s all officially say goodbye to the now-dated subway tile, backsplash, and bathroom trend for good. We predict that plain square tiles will make a comeback. The minimalist looks of the squares are a throwback to the 90s, but their simplicity makes them very versatile and easy to install, too.
Maximalism Design Trend
Although the saying “less is more” is quite true, it will soon be outdated as trends in interior and architectural design may be moving towards maximizing space instead. The upcoming style of maximalism is predicted to be a spin-off of the popular rustic and farmhouse styles common in the 2010s.
Grandmillennial style blends traditional design elements with modern or 21st-century design elements to create a homey and nostalgic ambiance. It’s like taking a trip back in time while giving your grandmother’s vintage furniture some much-needed upgrades.
An upcoming design trend involves repurposing older furniture with matte chalk paint in pastel hues. Thrifters and antique seekers alike are finding lots of vintage accent pieces—think shabby chic without the rustic and distressed paint finish—online. A background of bold floral, chinoiserie, and toile de jouy patterns provides contrast against the pastel colors.
As Generation Z grows up, there will be growing demand for furniture. Customized furniture is often expensive to come by, leadingmany young people to turn to do-it-yourself solutions. These include upcycling hand-me-down furnishings from parents and grandparents. Heirloom pieces will take on more modern colors and forms, from pastel hues to bleached wood finishes coupled with modern hardware.
Patterned Window Treatment
In 2022, patterned window treatments will make a comeback. Thanks to the re-emergence of maximalism, we’ll see patterns applied with either bold wallpaper or plain textured walls. Alongside this, expect to see a lot of ruffles, prints and pleats when it comes to window treatments.
We can expect to see home decor styles inspired by nineteenth-century French and Japanese prints, resulting in wallpaper patterns with bold yet repetitive elements. These styles blend classic design features, offering a comfortable but sophisticated look for any space.
In 2022, we’ll see pops of art deco elements in interior design, especially on accent pieces like wallpaper and lighting fixtures. Trapezoidal, zigzag, and jagged pointed edges are some of the patterns that define art deco; it’s truly a maximalist movement. While art deco can mostly incorporate geometric shapes, it also uses a lot of animal prints as a design element.
Metal trim and other similar materials will be featured extensively in architecture during this year. Although this isn’t a new trend, it’s certainly one that will last for years to come.
Biophilic Design and Organic Forms Design Trend
There’s been a lot of tropical influences in the decorating trends for the 2010s, and for an easy transition into the 2020s, we can expect to see more of that. We saw it in the COVID-19 pandemic, when people stayed inside and made maximum use of their interior spaces.
Foliage patterns are not the only organic element of a wall; forms and shapes can be manifested through borrowing features and integrating them with the architecture of a specific structure. Zaha Hadid’s architecture often includes smooth curved shapes mimicking living organisms.
Retro-Futurism Design Trend
Plastic’s ability to take on a variety of forms make it a useful material, as do its various sub-classifications. It is also easy to mold into different shapes, making plastic an ideal material for mass production. As we expect plastic use to rise in the coming year, so should its demand.
In 2022, glass blocks will make a comeback. In the 1970s, they were popular material choices. Newer variations of glass blocks will be available in various colors and forms, giving designers the freedom to create multiple design solutions by working with this incredible material. We love glass blocks because they genuinely embody retro design, an element that’s prevalent in Miami art deco architecture, which is similar to this year’s design trend.
RGB Neon Lights
During the seventies and eighties, neon lights were popular because they could display different colors. In the present day, neon lights have evolved into LED lighting, which can display any color a person imagines. Many Gen Zers grew up with neon LED lights in their rooms, and as they enter adulthood, we expect to see them in interior spaces as well. They have a soothing effect while transforming a room dramatically.
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