Your once-makeshift home office is now probably pretty dialed in. Other hasty upgrades made to help you survive pandemic lockdowns have also most likely been sorted out. This makes 2022 a great time for more deliberate home improvements.

To inspire you, here are expected home design and renovation trends for 2022, as noted by designers with Neil Kelly, a remodel and home improvement company based in Portland.

Hints of nature

People who seek tranquil homes are incorporating shapes, colors and textures found in nature. Warmer browns, greens and blues, as well as curved lines, visually bring the outside in. That “can help people feel more grounded,” said Neil Kelly design director Barbara Miller.

Ideas: A sculptural, freestanding tub paired with reclaimed cedar wall paneling in a bathroom nods to the natural world. Find reclaimed wood at salvage retailers to create character-rich floating shelves, rustic benches and farmhouse-inspired dining tables. Home Depot sells Vintage Timber brand’s barnwood wall panels, while Etsy has tables, wood planks and other decorative pieces made of weathered wood.

Nature-inspired colors

Homeowners are moving away from all-white or all-gray kitchens and bathrooms toward the use of more color — especially nature-inspired hues of green, blue and brown. “Green is really having a moment,” said Miller.

Organic green shades were selected as the paint color of the year by Behr (Breezeway, a sea-glass hue), Sherwin-Williams (Evergreen Fog, a green-gray with a bit of blue) and Benjamin Moore (October Mist, a sage shade that evokes the silver-green stem of a flower).


Other green hues from Benjamin Moore’s 2022 color picks include: Morning Dew, a cool gray with a touch of green; Quiet Moments, which blends blue, green and gray; Fernwood Green, with warm undertones; High Park, an herbaceous green with gray undertones; and Gloucester Sage, a dark hue that invokes rain-soaked moss and wrought iron.

Idea: Add earthiness to a kitchen’s color palette with gray-green tile used as a backsplash that extends to the ceiling.

Black accents

A trend Neil Kelly designers endorse is adding high levels of contrast to your decor. One way to achieve this is to pair black with lighter neutrals.

Ideas: Black cabinets bring sophistication to a kitchen. The color really pops when paired with brushed metal hardware. If you have white cabinets, try adding bold black knobs or pulls, along with other black hardware and finishes.

Easy-to-clean surfaces

COVID-19 has increased interest in home hygiene and sanitation, and the demand for easy-to-clean surfaces and materials continues to grow. People are installing non-porous counters and touchless faucets, and creating sanitation-recycling hubs.

Ideas: Although they require precision to install, non-porous porcelain slab counters are popular because of their attractive appearance and resistance to staining. Hygienic countertops block moisture and food particles from penetrating the surface. Antimicrobial choices include quartz, sealed granite and stainless steel.


Non-square tile

Homeowners who are looking to update their midcentury-era square tiles are exploring different colors, sizes and patterns. 

Ideas: A contemporary approach is to install rectangular tiles in less-expected patterns, such as herringbone. Tone-on-tone patterns, using two related colors, can deliver subtle visual interest.

Bathroom safety

Create a bathroom that will serve you well into the future by incorporating universal design principles such as wider access for people using walkers or wheelchairs, easy-to-reach and ADA-compliant vanities, and threshold-free showers with a bench and high-contrast tile. Other aging-in-place features include architectural grab bars and enhanced lighting.

Ideas: American use of water-spraying bidets is skyrocketing. And aging-in-place experts say a bidet may be the difference between independence and needing assistance when using the toilet. For homeowners concerned about the environment, bidet seats reduce the usage of toilet paper.

More living space

Many people stuck at home over the past two years converted underused areas of their property into flexible spaces to work, exercise and relax. Some also added onto their homes to bring extended family members together.

Ideas: More homeowners are expected to enlarge their existing houses because of the tight real estate market. Options include a second-floor addition, converting an unfinished basement into finished living space, and constructing a backyard cottage, also known as an accessory dwelling unit.


Outdoor entertaining

Outdoor entertaining may have started as a way to safely gather with friends and family during the coronavirus pandemic, but al fresco living is here to stay. And for many, relaxing outside extends to all four seasons. Decks, patios and enclosed porches can became an extension of a home, in style and quality.

Ideas: Today’s outdoor living spaces can be decked out with comfort controls, smart media and built-in storage. Full-size appliances and a stocked wet bar make it easier to entertain. A covered patio can become an outdoor living room with comfy furniture, lighting and a fireplace or heater. Due to high demand, more interior building materials, such as Caesarstone counters, are being adapted for outdoor use. Weatherproof drapes and curtains add privacy, while awnings or shades can serve as weather protection.

Quality lighting like chandeliers and metal pendant lights deliver mood-setting illumination after sunset. Make sure to buy exterior-grade fixtures. Change the look each season with bold, patterned rugs, pillows and blankets. Install an outdoor TV on a rotating mount so you can angle or tilt the screen to avoid glare.

More 2022 trends

Spots and polka dots: There was a revival of polka dots and all things spotted in 2021, and there will be no shortage of the pattern and its variations to play with this year. From sweet and delicate Swiss dots to bold and graphic oversized polka dots, there is a look for you, no matter your aesthetic.

Whether perfectly spaced or organically tossed around, spots and polka dots have a light and cheery disposition. Try them on upholstery, lamps and tabletop accessories for a much-needed spot of fun.

Menswear-inspired decor: Inspired by classic men’s suit styles, materials printed with pinstripes, plaid, herringbone and houndstooth can bring masculine charm to a space. Tweed and argyle are other styles to consider for window treatments and accent pillows. Leather welt or cording can add to the vibe.


For rich “manly” colors, consider dreamy green, lush navy, luxurious camel, deep gray, tobacco brown and oxblood red. Complementary materials to add include faux bone, horn and tortoiseshell. Adding tailored touches such as metal studs, pin-tucks and velvet trimming to your upholstery gives the sharp and polished look of menswear to your furniture and overall space.

Colored glassware: Colored glass had its heyday in the 1950s and ’60s, but it’s back for 2022. The colors have been revamped to include softer pastel shades and beautiful jewel tones, and modern shapes make the pieces as exciting to look at as they are to use.

These pieces bring a pop of color and excitement to a home. Colored glass is a jewel on your table and in your cabinet, acting as the perfect addition to a glass- or open-door cabinet display. nd don’t worry if you can’t decide on one color — mixing and matching is not only accepted, but strongly encouraged.

Katie Laughridge, Tribune News Service

Trends on their way out?

Farmhouse decor: It’s time to move on from the rustic art and whitewashed woods of farmhouse decor. “I understand the attraction of farmhouse style: White walls, light woods, and neutral rugs and textiles can create a peaceful space,” Annie Elliot, of Annie Elliott Design, told the Spruce. “But without enough visual interest, peaceful can become boring.”

Instead, try adding statement paintings, pillows in bright colors or area rugs with fascinating patterns to revamp your style.

Open shelving: After a year of constantly tending to your house, you may be looking for ways to live with less maintenance.


“One of the trends I am most looking forward to saying goodbye to in 2022 is open kitchen shelving,” Ryan Jones, founder of Land of Rugs, told the Spruce. “Sure, it looks great, and on the face of it, it seems incredibly easy to maintain. The reality of this is that it just isn’t the case, at all. It takes a lot of work to keep the items on the shelves looking great, and you have to ensure you are constantly dusting as well. It is a lot more effort than it is worth, quite frankly.”

Stark minimalism: Goodbye, harsh lines and empty spaces. Hello, soft, organic shapes and big, bold statement pieces. Look for tables without hard corners, opulent mirrors, curved furniture and powerful jewel-toned hues.

”I feel there has been a shift toward embracing and playing with color,” Hayley Watters, a Pittsburgh-based designer, told the Spruce. “For example, I have noticed a considerable shift toward the use of darker, more dramatic colors. I predict we will be seeing lots of rich greens and blues taking over many interiors.”

— Avery Newmark, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution