8 design trends to watch out for in 2022
The lockdowns of the past two years mean we’ve never had so much time to scrutinise our homes and ponder ways to improve them! Inevitable effects include a shift in housing design and a realignment of must-haves by discerning property-hunters. Here are some of today’s more obvious trends for you to take on board!
Invite the outside in
A seamless flow between inside and outside spaces isn’t a new trend, but it’s become especially prominent during lockdowns. Immediate benefits include optimisation of your views and the feeling of being closer to your garden, pool and nature, whether sat snugly in your living room or on your terrace. You’ll enjoy smoother functionality of your overall living area too, while giving your home the wow factor!
Obvious ways architects achieve this is maximising the use of glass between the spaces, including bi-fold doors, allowing light into the interior from above as well as the sides and keeping your outside and inside spaces on the same level with the same or similar flooring for both.
Access to the great outdoors
Homes within resort-style communities with uncrowded communal areas and easy access to outdoor attractions tick all the boxes for many of today’s overseas buyers, who are wary of Covid-19, and are expected to grow in popularity.
“Proximity to nature has become increasingly important since the pandemic, with many second home buyers looking to reconnect with the natural world,” said Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director of Taylor Wimpey España. “This is certainly something that we seek to deliver with each of our sites, enabling buyers to relax and enjoy the best of Spain’s natural beauty while knowing that every modern convenience is still within easy reach. It’s the best of both worlds.”
According to the developer, buyers are now placing more emphasis on quiet areas, seeking out homes close to the beach or on golf resorts, at the same time looking for open, flexible spaces with terraces and beautiful, spirit-reviving views.
The outdoor room!
Longer periods at home unable to go out has encouraged us to get creative with our outdoor areas. Large terraces are no longer just spaces for having a BBQ before heading inside to watch TV. They’ve become real living spaces that get used anytime of the day, a place to lounge on sofas, listen to music, entertain and of course dine. The simplest tools to help achieve this include whizzy lighting, clever heating solutions, luxurious furniture and interesting features, such as fire-pits, exotic plants and pergolas. If space allows, why not add a hot tub into the mix!
If space allows, why not add a hot tub into the mix!
Foodies can take things up a notch by incorporating an outdoor kitchen, complete with pizza oven (built-in BBQ goes without with saying) and if you entertain a lot, why not squeeze in a bar. “Because of the pandemic, outdoor kitchens gained in popularity,” confirmed the US’s National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) in their recent survey. “Forty per cent of respondents created brand new outdoor living spaces with kitchens leading the charge.”
Not being able to visit the local gym or take exercise outdoors thrust home gyms firmly into the spotlight. For many of us, suddenly they became a necessity rather than a luxury. Your budget and level of interest will dictate how far you want to go with a home gym. From a simple room in the basement with some weights and peloton bike to a full-blown extension with all the gear, sumptuous décor and a yoga studio on the side, increasingly they are a must-have, certainly in luxury properties.
The Home Office
Few would disagree that one of the biggest challenges presented by working from home has been where to set up your home office. Until the first lockdown, most of us never needed a dedicated corner of our home that we could use as a semi-permanent workspace suited to Zoom meetings.
Many of us have had to adapt our living space or repurpose rooms, and demand for home offices has become one of the most evident trends in the real estate market. As we enter 2022, from an architecture and new build perspective, expect to see new spaces fully designated and designed for home offices.
Let there be light – lots of it!
Natural light has been a key feature of contemporary homes for some time and lockdowns have only strengthened its appeal. The wellbeing benefits are well documented. So flood your home with as much as possible and make the most of the sunshine, which is year-round in many overseas destinations.
Floor to ceiling windows and patio doors, at the very least on any south-facing aspect, are a must. Meanwhile, keep window decoration to a minimum to allow light in, so curtains should be linen or sheer fabrics or opt for blinds.
Being housebound with limited time to spend outdoors has made us crave being in a natural environment, even if it’s a walk in our favourite park. Make up for this by incorporating natural materials in your home, things such as wood, leather, stone, wicker and cotton. Being surrounded by them should help you maintain a connection with nature, even indoors.
Keep materials within a similar tone and colour range, for example, whites and greys. Beware that using too many materials can clutter your interior space and make it feel too busy – the opposite of what you are trying to achieve.
Displaying houseplants is another easy way to introduce nature into the home. Group plants together in height order or add hanging plants and ivy to doorframes or curtain rails for a unique look. Add cacti and smaller plants to shelves for an on-trend look.
Be bold on the balcony
Outdoor space has become especially precious in apartments or houses with small balconies or terraces. Hacks for making these spaces more enjoyable include creative lights, even candles, a small table and chairs and of course plants.
Flora never fails to add a natural edge and bring an instant uplift to outside space, however small. Stick with hardy plant varieties, ones that are easy to look after, such as ivy, cacti, ferns and succulents. And be inventive with how you present them – an old step ladder, for example, can make an interesting alternative to shelves. Growing a few herbs is fulfilling too, being both practical for cooking but also decorative.