Green spaces

One way of making your home more sustainable is by adding plants and using eco-friendly products such as soy or beeswax candles to avoid harming your immediate environment. 

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Take Notes: Here is what we predict will be 2022’s decor trends of the year

What you need to know:

  • The office space or homework area of the home has now become a necessity of everyday life.
  • There is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic forced us to re-think and reimagine our living spaces.

As the world enters the third year of the Covid-19 pandemic, the relationship between people and their homes becomes even more solidified with the knowledge of how one’s immediate environment affects their everyday life.

Cleaning routines may have become more predictable, but the design and colours in the home are the whimsical refreshers in these times when the pandemic is the only constant. 

Inspiration comes from everywhere. 2020 saw the emergence of trends such as cottage-core, where rural English landscapes inspired an aesthetic movement that sought to counter the modern, urban style of living that had become the norm.

Florals and agricultural-style practices took precedence at a time when some chose to leave the city altogether in search of a different way to live, a more sustainable way. 

The theme of sustainability carried into 2021, where climate emergencies continued to rise, making people appreciate the natural elements that remained. The economic downturn also meant that people were either downsizing their homes or finding ways to make the spaces around them work for multiple purposes to economise on space.

This trend also rose as the functionality of the home sought to serve every facet of a person’s life, from work and play to socialising and sleep. Making all the elements tie in together became a central focus in interior design last year, making 2022 the year for the home’s interior design to align with the owner’s inner emotional world. 

Here’s what DN2 Property predicts will be 2022’s decor trends of the year:

Multifunctional rooms

Colours, patterns and fixtures that would improve the general mood of a room were the focus of the early phases of the pandemic, but 2022 will shed new light on the way the functionality of the room makes us feel.

The office space or homework area of the home has now become a necessity of everyday life, and as the space that takes up most of the day, curating it with fixtures that add a sense of calm and malleable functionality is the next best step. 

For example, adding a functionality that allows you to de-stress in the office, a mindfulness area or even a workout section, could bring benefits to your home office that were previously not accessible in the
workspaces of before. 

Sustainability

This has been an enduring trend of the pandemic, as the health crisis comes enmeshed with a fast developing degradation of the environment. To keep your carbon footprint as small as possible, you can opt out of buying a custom made couch and consider purchasing pre-loved furniture and home decorations. 

Apps such as Instagram and Jiji and open air markets across the country have a variety of options like these that enable you to furnish your home without depleting more of the earth’s available resources. Another way to make your home more sustainable is by adding plants and using eco-friendly products such as soy or beeswax candles to avoid harming your immediate environment. 

Upcycling

Upcycling by definition represents a variety of processes through which aged products are modified, breathing new life into their span of existence. Through a combination of products, new and old, the end result of the upcycling process generates a “new product”, sometimes giving more value than the original total of the sum of all its components.

Broken furniture or fixtures in the home such as shelves and drawers can find new life as a different furniture implement, say a TV stand, while the wood from products like these can be broken down to create a new product for use within the home. Upcycling is about materials or items in the home that get to be re-imagined or re-designed in a creative way, therefore expanding their lifespan. 

Homework rooms

While schools may be back in session, the consideration for in-house spaces where children can learn after school continues to drive home decor trends in the next year. Study rooms are an essential that enhances the focus of the child in their learning years, and as your home office gets a touch up to boost your emotional health, the kids could use one as well.

Play is an essential part of a child’s learning development, and adding a space where their creative sides can mature concurrently with their other cognitive abilities would benefit them in the long run. The room could also graduate into a teenager’s computer room or a college student’s study room as their education progresses. 

More outdoor furniture 

The pandemic has seen more people interested in decorating their outdoor spaces as it becomes the safest option for hosting family and friends on important occasions - 2022 will be no different, as finding new, intricate designs and fixtures for the outdoors becomes a new focus of pandemic living.

Perhaps an innovative design for a khanga hammock or a new take on sustainable event seating will take precedence in the warmer months of 2022.

Biophilic design

As we enter the third year of the pandemic, the emphasis on the air quality in and around our homes has become a staple in design conversations. Beside it, natural light and its effects on the mood and emotional state of the residents of a home has been highlighted time and time again, as spending time in gardens becomes part of the treatment regimen for a variety of ailments.

Living room

Broken-plan living occupies the wide space that open plan designs had occupied in the decades before.

Photo credit: Pool

Biophilia is a Greek term that translates to “love of life”, and is based on a principle that human beings need to connect with nature to thrive. This term was also coined by humanistic philosopher Erich Fromm in 1973 in his book The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness to describe the genetic basis of humans' attraction to nature and the benefits derived from this innate focus. Biophilic design has taken the stage in Kenyan buildings over the past few years, with buildings implementing hanging gardens and other plant based concepts to increase occupant connectivity to the natural environment. 

It has six principles, namely, environmental features, light and space, natural shapes and forms, natural patterns and processes, evolved human relationships to nature and place-based relationships - all setting the stage for a sustainable and emotionally productive environment for work and life. 

Bibliophilic Decor

The pandemic certainly set the stage for an avid reading culture to take centre stage as more people looked for an escape from their screens after a long day at work. The shift from keyboard to paper means that books can take up space in the living area of the home as a design fixture, too.

Quirky shelves in creative designs and even simply stacked spines of well-aged literature can give your home a facelift once you’ve devoured the scintillating stories within. Old magazines in toilet could also provide a separate form of entertainment for guests and residents alike. Be careful not to put your treasured books in any areas that may damage their integrity.

Grey out, brown and green in For those who favour neutrals over bold colours in a home, 2022 may see the phasing out of colours such as grey in favour of brown and green for interior decorating. Natural hues with pops of colour have been projected to be the trend as they mute the chaos imbued by the pandemic.

Paint companies such as Pantone have also hinted at colours like purple and lilac taking centre stage, announcing the 2022 colour as the shade Very Peri, a colour inspired by the periwinkle flower. 

Patterned kitchen floors 

Patterns in the kitchen will continue to be a hit in urban decor. Removable wallpaper, clay tiles and patterned drawer linings had gained popularity, injecting more fun in the aesthetics of one of the most exciting spaces in the home. The floor is the next best step, cute retro colour combinations could elevate your kitchen space in the year to come and make it a joy to spend time in while entertaining friends and family.

Hidden storage

This trend ties into the multi functionality one, in that it keeps the room feeling clutter free and calm when not in use. While upper cabinets are fast disappearing as homeowners move towards a minimalistic approach, the burden of owning a bunch of capital S Stuff looms over them as the years go by. Where do you keep it? Behind walls and barn doors that tidily keep them away until they are necessary. 

Biophilic bathrooms

Plants such as eucalyptus have been reportedly used to create a spa-like atmosphere in the bathroom, hanging along the shower and meshing with the hot steam to produce a fragrant scent profile that improves
the overall air quality. The way that plants work to reduce stress is amplified in the bathroom, too, making morning and evening showers an event worth looking forward to.

Murals

Statement walls have been a staple of pandemic decor, and murals are taking centre stage in the coming year as more people look towards customising the art in their living spaces. Children's rooms filled with clouds or their favourite cartoons or adults with blooming floral designs and geometric touches, the mural is the next go-to for a memorable and artistically inclined statement wall. 

Dimly-lit bedroom sanctuaries

For all the work it has done in the past 21 months, the bedroom could use a refresher to make it even more relaxing to wind down in - 2022 should see more textures and colour palettes infused into the space, with
diffusers adding to the calming atmosphere and regulating the air quality for a perfect night’s sleep. 

Cottage-core

As more people relocate to the rural area, others are inspired by the turn to more agricultural ways of living, which saw the emergence of the cottage core trend in 2020, 2022 will be yet another year for cottage-core living to take precedence, with more patterns, fixtures and kitchen practices paying homage to the relaxing aura of the countryside. Bring the outdoors in whenever the opportunity presents itself. 

Broken-plan living 

A trend fit for sprawling spaces, broken-plan living occupies the wide space that open plan designs had occupied in the decades before. 'Broken-plan' describes a design concept that moves away from completely open-plan spaces by use of implements such as room dividers, screens and partial walls. This would be best used to compartmentalise the living space, offering a sense of privacy from one activity room to another. 

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