In this episode, we’ll cover a recent article from Houzz.com called “40 Home Design Trends That Will Shape 2022. “ I think it’s important for us to be aware of what’s trending in home design, but we probably shouldn’t be too interested in fads. We’ll be talking about trends. There’s a difference. A fad is short lived. It comes and goes quickly. A fad is a style that suddenly becomes popular and is embraced with exaggerated zeal. But fads usually don’t stay popular very long and can seriously date your house. Think sponge painted walls of the 90s.
A trend, on the other hand, is a general direction in which something is going. Trends are popular in a particular season and they last longer than fads. Some trends can stay in style for many years or even decades, and some trends can actually become timeless classics. Many trends are current and classic and those are the best ones to follow, if you like them, because they won’t date your house. A white kitchen, for example, is on trend today, but is also a timeless classic. A white kitchen will looked great 10 years ago (and even 100 years). A white kitchen also looks great today and probably be on trend 10-100 years from now.
To come up with today’s list of trends, Houzz browsed thousands of their popular photos and spoke with dozens of home design and remodeling professionals. They also studied the latest Houzz data and research and looked at lots of past articles to come up with this collection of home design trends that they think will be popular in the months to come.
Before we get to those trends, I want to thank Riker, I hardly know her, for our Apple Podcasts 5 star rating and review. And on the subject of trends, Riker asked if I think recording rooms and lighting areas will become popular in the future. Well, In my opinion, because the pandemic has made Zoom meetings popular, homeowners are thinking a lot more about good lighting in their homes so they look their best while in virtual meetings. So, I do think more folks are adding better lighting in their homes, whether that’s in the form of rings lights, which you can get on Amazon, or simply better general lighting. I have an entire episode about adding flattering general lighting to your home. Thant’s episode 207. So yes, I think better lighting in the home is a trend. However, I don’t think many homeowners will have separate rooms built specifically for recording either audio or video.
Instead, like I mentioned in episode 241 called "The Future of Open Concept Floor Plan Homes," I think we’ll see the addition of private, out-of-the-way rooms in new open concept homes. Rooms where we can go when we need a quiet environment. Those rooms, I think, will be multifunctional and work as maybe a guest room or home office plus be somewhere we can go when we want to do an audio or video recording. I do my recordings in a guest bedroom, for example. Hope that answers your question Riker. Thanks for the review.
Okay, let’s move on to the first part of Houzz’s home trend predictions for 2022.
1. Multiple Window Banks
Large banks of multiple windows are on trend for 2022. So instead of having just one or two single, standard sized windows in a room, multiple windows on a walls is what we’re seeing. This is especially true for kitchens which sometime have two or even three walls of windows. Homeowners love all the natural light that comes from those windows. Lots of fresh air is also a plus if the windows are operable. Many homeowners are forgoing upper cabinets so they can include more windows in their kitchens.
According to research done by the National Kitchen and Bath Association, we are seeing a long-term trend in kitchen design toward connectedness to nature. Because we’ve been spending more time indoors in the past couple of years, folks are "craving a connection to the outdoors and nature and larger windows in the kitchen help achieve this goal.”
2. Casual Collected Look
The Houzz’s most recent Kitchen Trends Study found that all-white kitchens will remain a dominant trend. However, a more casual, less-formal style is trending for 2022. This casual look features softer, lighter paint colors and natural wood tones. Instead of kitchen cabinets being all the same style and color, we’ll see a mix of cabinets colors and styles. This mix of cabinets has be trending for many years now. This layered mixture of styles and colors makes the kitchen look like it was put together over time in a relaxed, natural way. Nothing too fussy or formal, but more casual and curated. And although colors, finishes and style don’t exactly match each other, but they do go with each other— they coordinate. This is trend that we see in the kitchen and throughout the home.
As an example, the Houzz article talked about a kitchen with white and blue cabinets, some with glass fronts, plus a taupe-colored backsplash, and natural wood tone accents. That kitchen was the most-saved kitchen photo from Houzz in 2021 (see photo below).
The kitchen island is one of those trends that has become a classic must have, if you have the space. But in the last couple of years, islands have been taking on even more duties. In addition to providing extra counter space for eating and food prep, they also serve as a place for parents to do work and kids to do homework. Kitchen islands are a place charge your phone and to FaceTime with friends and family. In addition, kitchen islands provide a central hub for kitchen workhorses like the dishwasher, sink, and pullout trash and recycling bins.
4. Appliances in Islands
Speaking of islands, another trend we’re seeing is homeowners choosing to locate a beverage fridge at one end of the kitchen island. This allows guests and family members to grab a drink without getting in the way of the cook. A microwave on one end of the island can solve the same issue, letting someone heat up a snack without blocking the refrigerator or stove.
5. Hardworking Kitchen Storage
Cabinetry has is becoming more functional and more ergonomic. More drawers and pullouts bring items from the back of cabinet to the front. There are special shelves can lift heavy appliances like stand mixers from a lower cabinet to countertop height (which is a great aging in place feature). We’re also seeing drawer dividers and peg boards that organize plates and bowls and silverware.
6. Long, Linear Backsplash Tile
White subway tile is a classic look for a kitchen backsplash, but many homeowners are searching for a fresh, modern twist on subway tiles. Long white 4 x 12-inch ceramic tiles are trending variation of traditional subway tile. The rectangular shape is timeless, but the elongated form creates an updated look. Other variations on subway tile include rectangular tiles with dimension, like wavy or beveled edges. Also trending are rectangular subway-like tiles with textured glazes like a crackle glaze and unique layouts like vertical stacked tiles, herringbone and basketweave patterns.
I’ve also noticed that slab backsplashes are very much on trend, and they have been for the last several years. Groutless, smooth slabs of marble, quartz, porcelain and quartzite give the kitchen a sleek uninterrupted backsplash that extends seamlessly from the countertop.
7. Light Marble-Look Quartz Countertops
Marble is a classic material, but quartz is a trending countertop and backsplash material that seems to be becoming a classic as well. Marble can be a pain to maintain so many homeowners are choosing durable marble-look engineered quartz instead. It’s stain resistant and never has to be sealed.
If you want to choose a quartz that is less likely to look dated over time, choose lighter, more subtle veining. The veins don’t have to be thin. Veining can be either thin or broad, but be careful that it’s not too bold, dark or busy. Otherwise, that very specific bold veining may veer off trend sooner rather than later. More subtle veining is less likely to scream of a specific era (see the examples below, plus the quartz in the pic above which is moderately bold, but not so bold that it would look dated in a few years).
8. Heated Island Countertops
Now I’ve got a feeling this feature is mainly trending in colder climates. In the Houzz article the example they gave for this trend was a Minnosota home. If you live in a cold climate, you can Install a heating element beneath your island countertop similar to one typically used in radiant-heat floors. So when someone puts their arms or hands on the countertop, they’re met with a welcoming, toasty warm surface.
9. White Kitchen With Classic Details
As I’ve mentioned, a mostly white kitchen is a classic, timeless trend that continues to be the most popular of all kitchen color schemes, according to Houzz. White creates a bright, fresh, airy clean feeling. But an all-white kitchen can sometimes feel too cold and sterile. To add character, softness and balance, you can incorporate texture with things like shiplap, beadboard, and dimensional tile, and wood accents can add warmth to white kitchens.
10. Lantern-Style Lighting
Oversized lighting can really make a statement. But large solid fixtures like those with drum shades can obstruct views. Large, open lantern-style lighting is trending because it can make the big statement without blocking the sightlines to kitchen windows, a focal point range hood or gorgeous cabinetry.
Another lighting trend I’ve seen in more contemporary or transitional kitchens are very slender lighting fixtures. Long thin horizontal bar lights and skinny vertical pendant lights are on trend too. These slender fixtures also cause minimal obstruction of sightlines.
Although marble might be considered too precious and high maintenance for today’s kitchen countertops, marble is trending on the walls and floors of bathrooms, according to the Houzz.
I would personally caution you against using marble in the bathrooms if you won’t be tolerant of the patina that it will develop on it over time. With marble staining and etching is almost inevitable. To hear about the pros and cons of marble, take a listen toepisode 178 called "Marble, awesome or awful?"
12. Hardworking Bathroom Storage
Smart storage is as important in bathrooms as it is in kitchens. Pros recommend a mix of open, closed, drawer, cabinet, and niche storage in bathrooms.
13. Dressed-Up Style
Interestingly, although Houzz says kitchens are becoming more casual, they say bathrooms look more tailored. The look often includes rich woods, custom cabinetry, dramatic black accents, jewelry-like lighting and classic finishes such as marble and shiny polished nickel.
I think bathroom style trends depend on the homeowner’s preferences. I’ve also seen plenty of casual spa-like bathrooms that are luxurious, but less precious and less formal.
14. Multiple Shower Heads and Sprays
According to Houzz, 23% of homeowners who updated their shower installed dual shower heads and 16% added body sprays. Frankly, I think 16% is a pretty small number to count as a trend, but Houzz included body sprays in their article. I’ve actually seen fewer body sprays in model homes and photos of new homes as compared to about 8-10 years ago. I have however seen more handheld sprayers, which Houzz pros recommend. These handheld sprayers can be used for rinsing shaved legs, cleaning the shower walls or washing pets and kids.
15. Low-Curb Showers
Curbless or low curb shower entries are trending. This feature creates a safer and more accessible entry point for shower.
Houzz says shiplap has been showing up everywhere in bathrooms. In my experience, I’m still seeing shiplap, but not as much as I saw it a few years ago. To be clear shiplap has been around for decades so it really is classic, but it was Chip and Joanna Gaines who made it incredibly popular a few years ago.
17. Freestanding Bathtubs
In recent years some homeowners who aren’t really bath people have built primary bathrooms with an oversized shower and no bathtub. But for those who enjoy taking baths freestanding tubs are still on trend. According to Houzz, 54% of renovated bathrooms go with a freestanding acrylic soaking tub.
18. Stylish Shower-Tub Combos or Alcove Tubs
As I just mentioned, freestanding acrylic soaking tubs are by far the most popular bathtub style. But common shower-tub combos are rising in popularity — up 4 points, from 22% in 2020 to 26% in 2021, according to the U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study. I think these shower tub combos are a great option if you don’t have the space or budget for a free standing tub.
19. Stylish Design for Aging in Place
Many homeowners are incorporating universal design in their homes. And trending universal design features are not only functional but also attractive. Some grab bars, for example, come in trendy finishes like champagne bronze or matte black and do double duty as a towel bar. These secret grab bars meet the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines and beautifully inconspicuous at the same time. Other accessible design features like curbless showers, nonslip flooring and shower benches have become desirable and stylish features for homeowners of all ages. To learn more about aging in place features, check out episode 243.
20. Heated Floors
When Houzz asked more than 50 home design and remodeling professionals what bathroom feature they most recommend to homeowners, one of the answers they gave was heated floors. Because a cold tile floor can ruin a spa-like experience, and since heated floors are relatively inexpensive and easy to install, they are one fairly luxurious trend that is recommended by designers. To learn more about radiant heated floors take a listen to episode 39.
Well, those were the first 20 trends for 2022 outlined by Houzz. We’ll cover trends 21-40 in the next episode. Make sure you subscribe to the show, you get the podcast as soon as its released.
A final note about trends: only include trends that you actually like or love in your home. We shouldn’t include styles, colors and items only because they’re trending. If it’s on trend but you don’t like the way it looks or functions, don’t include it in your new house. It’s your home. It should be a representation of you and what works for your aesthetic and lifestyle.
That’s it for me this week. Thanks for listening. I hope you’ll join me next time for part 2 of what trending for 2022 according to Houzz.