The home is not only where we live, it’s the manifestation of how we live. What we choose to fill it with speaks to our needs and values in our most intimate and personal space. Trending home decor, then, can tell us not only what’s set to be hot on the market right now, but provide meaningful insight into the public imagination.
As we close out a year largely marked by the shadow of the previous one (and the gradual emergence from that shadow), the rumblings of 2022’s vintage home microtrends can illuminate the broader collective psychological and emotional state of dwellers and homeowners in the year ahead.
In 2021, zigs zagged, blobs oozed, pastel decor billowed, and Memphis design and Space Age reigned supreme. Sequestered in our homes for the first part of the year, dwellers sought to replicate the stimulation of the outside, pre-vaccine world within four walls with these pizzazzy elements. In the coming year, we predict this spirit of maximalism will mature into the building and curation of collections. Vintage buyers have demonstrated an increased interest in accumulating “smalls,” as well as vintage display shelving to show off their collections.
It follows that vintage hunting, once an underground passion for hobbyists, is trending! The vintage homewares consumer category is booming with no signs of stopping; According to a recent AP report, we can expect for $16.6 billion resales of furniture and decor by 2025, up 70% from 2018. Young millennials and Gen-Zers progressively view vintage resale and shopping as their first choice and a sound investment, better for the environment and the rarity of our collections.
Merriam Webster named 2021’s Word of the Year “vaccine.” Were we consulted, we might have also nominated “curated,” as the word seemed to be omnipresent this year. Our social feeds and homes were a textural testament to our taste, brimming with tablescapes and shelfies of patterned textiles, custom candles, and vintage sculptures. In 2022, these collections will be even more eclectic and highly curated, steering clear of common, mass-produced items in favor of storied decor — the weirder, more-specific, and harder-won the object, the better the find. That’s why a not-small number of Instagram vintage sellers have begun emulating the contents of dusty, antique shops, listing bric-a-brac like hand-painted pottery, folk art, figurines, antique wall hangings, carved wood stash boxes — without the junkyard density of wares. Expect any and all of these vintage smalls with intricate design or a hyper-specific aesthetic to trend in 2022.
Are we ready to name 2022 the year of the small? Not just yet. With junior year of COVID coming, dwellers are increasingly investment-minded (even if they haven’t yet taken the plunge in their Zillow scrolling). We can expect display shelving to be one of the most common vintage investment purchases, as renters and homeowners seek to exhibit their curated collections of smalls. Proper vintage storage is a bit of a white whale for enthusiasts, with shelving units by i or Franco Albini costing several thousands and hard to come by. An early stage of this trend favored Anna Castelli Ferrieri’s Componibili and Joe Colombo’s Boby trolley, and in the coming months we’ll see major bookcase, console, desk, and coffee table purchases for the express purpose of presenting smalls. On our watch list? Sculptural and mod storage by Olaf von Bohr, Jurgen Lange, and Luigi Massoni in neutral color to better showcase the objects.
In light of the catastrophic global event that anyone can invoke these days with only a three-syllable p-word, the early part of this year found us (unwell, marking emails unread) cultivating a connection to the natural world indoors. We saw an undeniable shift from mid-century modern styled interiors to a surge in wabi-sabi and Japandi furnishing. This could explain all the ficuses, marble, and wavy wood assembled in people’s homes. Looking ahead, we can anticipate house plants, precious stones, and organic silhouettes sticking around, with the collective desire to bring the Great Outdoors in set to continue well into 2022.
The next evolution of this trend will embrace imperfection or signs of age in material, all in nature’s signature color, green.
Here’s a microtrend with staying power. Homes have seen their fair share of freeform furniture and decor since 2020 made us rethink hard edges, possibly for good. Now, we prefer our glassware blobby and our coffee tables curved. In observance of wabi-sabi, an ethic of traditional Japanese aesthetics, 2022 homes will see an emphasis on natural imperfection. The collections we build will be full of perfectly imperfect objects, as in homewares that show signs of age through patina and warping. Think metal that’s oxidized in a perfect blue-green shade, leather accessories with a marbled and rich sheen, the porosity and coarseness of earthenware.
We’ve theorized about the fortitude and symbolic nature of the color green, specifically in a darker, bottle green shade that has edged out longtime champion hue lime green that dominated fashion and homes from 2017 through 2019. This color is loaded with meaning, chief among them Mother Nature’s calling card. A saturated tone like bottle green is dignified, making us feel grounded and calm, which is energy we’d definitely like to bring into 2022. Bottle green can even blend as a neutral in an apartment full of house plants (which you know we all occupy). You’ll find this shade, usually solid, in many of the most coveted Italian ABS plastic furniture made in the 70s.
The gradual return to in-person gatherings has brought with it the return of the home as a sanctuary first. In 2022, dwellers will continue to shape their space around the need to unwind from the outside world, rather than reproduce its unbridled stimulation we sought in 2020. By prioritizing comfort and serenity over multifunctionality in our spaces, materials and interior style are getting cozier. But tomorrow’s coziness is not the austere, Danish modern hygge of yore. 2022’s coziness will take a maximalist approach, surrounding us with rich texture and color, mixed elements, and warmth.
Now’s the time to get comfortable with this cozy sensibility’s touchstones: multicolored and textured fabrics and bold, statement lighting.
We know, TikTok absolutely beat us to the punch, but the cottagecore or grandmillennial aesthetic is currently having an undeniable moment, and we predict this trend will only grow stronger. There are early warning signs that the cottagecore movement is due for its redux, and the proof is in the material (“Look at the material”): Textiles are leading the charge, with patchworks and quilts trending due to a confluence of a couple of factors: the progression of the checkerboard trend, a bohemian flair appearing in both fashion and interiors, and a spirit of yes, you guessed it, coziness! Woven, macrame, and embroidered home accessories will also share some glory this year. Look out for this development in the coming year’s rugs, wall coverings, throws, pillows, and upholstery. Essentially, if it looks like your elders handmade it and passed it down, it’s a capital F Find for 2022.
Real dwellers know: the warmest glow comes from a vintage lamp. 2022’s ideal vintage lamps will not let us down on the coziness, serving up statement lighting that operates both functionally and as an objet d’art. Etsy backs up this forecast in its 2022 report, disclosing that “70s lighting” in particular is up 344% in searches over the last three months, and “sculptural lighting” is up 27%. Considering the numbers in which these have been sold in recent months, we also foresee candelabras taking center stage with their distinctly moody illumination.