Our predictions for the year’s 12 biggest interior style crazes
Custom home design trends change year after year. If you’re careful though and work with an experienced custom home builder, you can choose ones that will stay current for decades.
If you’re planning on a custom home build this year, we encourage you to embrace new and upcoming design trends—it’s fun and when done right, won’t date the look of your home down the road.
As we near the middle of 2022, you’ll see a move towards more colour, more practicality, more comfort, and more function. From archways to multi-functional spaces, smart systems to bold lighting, we’ve rounded up the best and most exciting home decor trends for the upcoming year.
12 Custom Home Design Trends
In our custom home design trends forecast for 2022, here are our predictions for the year’s 12 biggest interior style crazes:
- Open Floor Plans
- Multi-Functional Rooms
- Designated Home Offices, Studies, & Studios
- Outdoor Living Spaces
- Stylish & Creative Storage
- Arches & Archways
- Colour, Colour, & More Colour
- Dramatic Walls
- More Wood Tones
- Unique Materials
- Bold Lighting
- Smarter Homes
We begin with a design trend that’s been around for awhile but that continues to hold strong with new home must-haves: the open floor plan.
1. Open Floor Plans
The open floor plan has been hot for decades, but in 2022 this trend will be taken to extremes. Custom home architecture is showing a move towards more open layouts. The separation between rooms is being blurred to an extent we haven’t seen before.
An open floor plan is now synonymous with transparency. Think:
- Glass railings,
- Fewer support beams,
- Combined rooms, and
- Unobstructed views from every end of the house.
With the removal of barriers between rooms, custom homebuyers can design an open-concept space that flows from one area to the next. Say goodbye to traditional hallways and walled-away dining rooms, lounges, and wine cellars.
The drawbacks to this custom home design trend? There are few, unless you dislike maximising natural light, visually opening a space, or giving your home a grandiose feel.
2. Multi-Functional Rooms
As an extension of open-concept spaces, multipurpose rooms—areas that serve various uses—have become a big trend in custom home building.
It used to be that we’d transform our home office into a spare bedroom or kid’s workspace in a pinch if we needed to. Now, the trend is to convert those rooms, and many others, into permanent multifunctional spaces.
Why? Our lifestyles have changed.
Since the start of the pandemic, we’re spending more of our work and leisure time at home. Before 2020, we used to leave our office at lunch to go to the gym or to a restaurant. Pre-pandemic, we didn’t need to go anywhere—everything we need is already where we are!
How can a custom home buyer integrate multiple uses into a single room? We offer suggestions next.
Examples of multi-functional spaces
As the trend towards multipurpose continues, homeowners are looking to maximise the space they have or build versatility into the design of a new home.
The only limit to combining uses in a room is one’s imagination. Picture the following:
- A living room with a home office at one end and a bar at the other
- An ensuite that’s also a home gym and a dressing room
- A home gym that also acts as an office, a reading room, and a family TV room
- A kitchen counter nook that doubles as a workspace
- An entertainment and recreation space that can also act as a guest suite
If we think back to open floor plans, we can see how this trend allows families to spend more time together while enjoying different activities. Multi-role rooms are easier to design in some respects when they’re open-concept.
When building a home, how can a custom home builder help to achieve the goal of an open-plan, multi-functional space? We’ll answer this question next.
Multi-use rooms and the custom home builder
Custom home builds have their limitations. There won’t always be enough money in the budget to build every room on a homebuyers wish list. That being said, with creativity they can work with their builder to design a layout that accommodates all their needs.
If a homebuyer requests a living room that combines a study space for the kids and an office space for the adults, an experienced builder will:
- Use intelligent design to delineate the room’s areas while maintaining its overall functionality and livability
- Bring in cohesive style elements to allow for a smooth transition from one area of a room to another without making it feel overwhelming, cluttered, or unwelcoming.
A professional builder will know how to build a room so it serves different functions—that’s one of the many benefits of working with an experienced team of architects, designers, and contractors.
3. Designated Home Offices, Studies, & Studios
The third item on our 2022 custom home design trends list won’t come as a surprise—it’s the designated home office.
If 2020 showed us anything, it’s that home offices, studies, and studios are a must when configuring our homes.
Wait a minute.
Didn’t we write a moment ago that a trend was to configure multi-use rooms? We even gave examples of how one could integrate workspaces into living spaces. Are we contradicting ourselves now?
Yes and no.
This is where customization comes into play. Every homeowner is different which means every home will be different. Where one person may want to have their workspace in the middle of the action, another may need it to be far away from the rest of the home—with added sound-absorbing window treatments!
How do you know which option is right for you?
What to consider when designing a home office
Where do you start when looking to add a formal office space to your home? The following are a few questions to ask yourself during the planning process:
- How much square footage do I need?
- How many offices do I need? One? Two? Three?
- Will family members be sharing an office?
- Some spouses may work very well together in the same space; same goes for siblings. In other households, it may be best to give everyone their own office.
- How quiet and/or private does the work environment need to be?
- If one partner is on Zoom calls all day and needs privacy, this will limit where you can put their workspace in the home.
- How accessible does the office need to be?
- If you tend to meet clients at your home office, it may be best to situate close to an entryway. One popular choice is off the front entryway.
- If privacy is a must but accessibility isn’t, then a basement office tucked away from the busyness of the rest of the house is ideal.
Regardless of where in a home you put an office, one thing is certain: a makeshift desk in the way of a dining or coffee table will no longer fly in the age of working from home.
Home work environments need to be comfortable, ergonomic, and (in some cases) private. Anything else will affect the quality of the work and the health of the worker.
4. Outdoor Living Spaces
When we were asked to shelter in place in early 2020, we had no choice but to use whatever outdoor space we had at our disposal to safely go outside.
Because of this, functional open-air living spaces have become the other ‘must have’—along with homen work environments—when it comes to custom home design.
Which should you choose then—deck, patio, or garden—when designing the exterior of your new home? Let’s dive into these questions next, no pun intended.
Examples of popular outdoor living ideas
Depending on the size of your lot, your needs, and your budget, here are several ways to design a patio space to enhance your enjoyment of the outdoors:
- An entertainment area
Whether it’s for a family Sunday dinner or a Saturday night entertaining friends under the stars, an alfresco dining area will enhance the enjoyment of a backyard. Add a built-in fireplace, BBQ, and bar into the design and you may never go back inside again.
- A pool
Although a costly investment to build and maintain, if your family loves the water a pool is an excellent way to give them their fix.
Teenagers and young adults will want to stay closer to home to enjoy time with friends poolside. You may also find your loved ones come over more often and stay longer—and that you suddenly make new friends as soon as they find out you have a pool.
- A hot tub
If a pool isn’t an option, or if you’d like to add a level of sophistication to one, a hot tub is a must. Take a relaxing break over from work to enjoy the hot tub? Don’t mind if we do!
- A green space and/or playground
If you have younger kids, or if the playful adults in your household love, say, a good game of bocce, plan a greenspace in the backyard of your new custom home.
- A garden.
Regardless of whether you want to design a garden you’ll maintain yourself to grow your green thumb, or whether you prefer to add a maintenance-free version, a landscaped garden is always a good addition to a home.
Beautifully manicured grounds improve resale value and homeowner wellbeing.
Even in Canada, the distinction between outdoor and indoor living continues to blur.
Best to get on board with this trend. Outfit your custom build with the most comfortable and stylish patio, deck, and backyard so you can enjoy open-air living for as long as the weather permits.
5. Stylish & Creative Storage
Now that we’ve accounted for the most important rooms in our design, it’s time to make sure we have enough storage to keep these spaces functional.
Our 5th custom home design trend for 2022 is custom storage.
With open-concept floor plans and multi-use rooms, we lose walls in favour of more openness and transparency. When we lose walls, we lose closet and storage space. When we lose storage space, we end up with a cluttered mess.
How can we add practical caching stops to our home design? We’ll tell you next.
Creative, practical, and stylish storage ideas
With exceeding open floor plans, architects and designers have the added challenge of finding creative and beautiful ways to—let’s be honest—hide our stuff. Here are two design elements they use to include more storage in a home:
- Built-ins: Where there’s precious wall space, built-ins are the go to. Floor to ceiling, wall to wall, if there’s free space, built-ins are the answer to add storage.
- Faux or pseudo built-ins: If space or budget don’t allow for true built-ins, or if you’d like to keep the flexibility to change the layout or furnishings in a room, consider faux built-ins. These are, for example, shelving units that are made to look permanent.
- Butler or walk-in pantry: Also known as a serving pantry, a butler’s pantry is a room between the kitchen and dining room that’s used for catering, food prep or staging, or extra storage.
A talented architect will envision a homeowner’s needs and plan accordingly when designing a custom home. They ensure plenty of accessible storage space without disrupting the clean look of the design.
6. Arches & Archways
In the coming year, we anticipate a move away from hard edges in architectural design. From doors to doorways to cabinetry, arches are en vogue in 2022.
Structural arches are a trend that offer extra character and visual interest to a home. We’d even argue they bring a touch of European flare to a design. Have you ever been to Italy or Greece? There you have it.
Incorporating archways needn’t be difficult or costly. Here are two ways to add some softer elements to your custom home:
- Built-ins: Remember the permanent and faux built-ins we mentioned in the previous trend? Luxe-looking arches can be added to your storage elements allowing you to kill two design trend birds with one stone.
- Paint: Instead of building in rounded architectural embellishments, why not paint them in? A great trick of the eye, paint can give the look of an arch without the expense of building one—and you can always paint over it if your tastes change.
As visually appealing as they are, archways aren’t meant for every project. Work with an experienced home builder to determine when and if to incorporate arches into your custom build.
7. Colour, Colour, & More Colour
As you may have noticed by now, our top custom home design trends for 2022 tend to tie nicely together.
In the previous trend about archways, we mentioned paint as a substitute for permanent architectural features. But what paint is simply that: a familiar, friendly, and easy way to bring colour into our homes!
Colour schemes have always tended towards the tame. Homeowners are continuously encouraged to paint their walls in light neutrals. Think sand, grey, white, and ivory. While these softer colours are still on trend (we’ll cover this shortly), this year encourages homeowners to cover their bare walls in bold colours and patterns.
Bold Colours and Patterns
2022 is the year to be adventurous with colour! Don’t believe us? Ask Pantone.
Pantone’s Colour of the Year is “Very Peri”.
Pantone described their choice as “displaying a carefree confidence and a daring curiosity that animates our creative spirit, … Very Peri helps us to embrace (the) landscape of possibilities, opening us up to a new vision as we rewrite our lives. Rekindling gratitude for some of the qualities that blue represents complemented by a new perspective that resonates today, Very Peri places the future ahead in a new light.”
Wow. That’s a lot to live up to in a paint colour.
While we’re not advocating that you paint your entire kitchen or house purple, Pantone’s Colour of the Year inspires us to go bold in our choice of accent colours.
Benjamin Moore agrees. While their choice for the 2022 Colour of the Year is more subdued—it’s a paler green—they nonetheless encourage ditching the beige for a more inspiring pallet.
How to incorporate colour trends into a custom home design
Not sure how to use bold colour in your custom home design? Here are a few ideas:
- As the colour for the kitchen island, upper, or lower cabinetry
- In backsplash tile, either in the kitchen or bathroom, or around a bar
- On an accent wall, like in the main bedroom
- As an accent on millwork
- To accentuate a fireplace surround
- On the walls in a powder room
Warm Neutrals and Subdued Palettes
We don’t think natural colour pallets will ever go away. As much as bold colours invigorate us and boost our mood, lighter colours calm us down; a house needs both.
After you’re done applying bold accents to your home, balance them out by creating soothing space with lighter paint colours.
For example, a master ensuite is the perfect place to incorporate a spa-like colour scheme.
8. Dramatic Walls
We mentioned the use of bold colour to make a splash. Another trend we see for 2022, whether it’s done with paint, millwork, or wallpaper, are dramatic walls.
There’s no easier, faster, and cost effective way to add pizzazz to a room with a jaw-dropping wall. Here’s how:
- Colour-block shapes with paint
- Apply a high-contrasting colour compared to the rest of the room
- Add millwork or other details to accentuate the chosen hue
Whether you choose a breakfast nook, living room, or foyer for your feature wall, you’ll add interest, delineation, and sophistication to even the simplest and most open of spaces.
Wainscotting on the Walls
Wainscotting and wood panelling often get a bad wrap where home design is concerned. The terms conquer up visions of a very traditional or country-inspired home.
We can assure you they’re making a comeback. The modern version is simple and streamlined.
From high-end authentic wainscotting to faux details made to look like the real thing, the addition of millwork and panelling to a wall adds texture, dimension and interest.
Stick with Wallpaper
For the brave, may we suggest wallpaper as a means to create a dramatic wall?
True, it isn’t as easily applied or swapped out as paint, but nothing compares to the bold, dazzling look of a colourful wallpaper.
If you can dream up a colour pallet, texture, mood, or pattern, you can find a wallpaper that will match.
Not up for applying the finicky panels? Opt instead for:
- Art deco peel-and-stick wall stickers—to create the look of a wallpaper without the permanence, or
- Incorporate wallpaper into your wainscotting or other millwork to give the effect of a luxe wall treatment without the hassle—think framed wallpaper panels
- Wallpaper one feature wall instead of an entire room.
9. More Wood Tones
A touch of timber goes a long way. Our next custom home design trend takes that idea to heart.
In 2022 and the coming years, we expect to see a lot more wood in the obvious places—in kitchens, railings, and floors—and in less obvious places—like on walls, in ceiling beams, and even in bathroom flooring.
When choosing a wood floor for your bathroom, your custom home builder will work with you to ensure it’s up for the challenge of withstanding constant exposure to humidity and moisture.
As with paint palettes, we’re seeing the same trend in wood tones: bold, darker versions mixing with softer, soothing colours.
Not sure you’re up for painting your kitchen cabinetry dark blue? Why not a warm deep wood tone instead? Rich hues in wood stains give a home a modern, current feel while also making it seem inviting.
10. Unique Materials
If supply chain issues over the past two years taught us anything, it is that you have to be ready to be creative with the materials you use for a custom build.
Is the wood you were looking to get for your railings going to take eight months to arrive? What other unique readily-available material can be used instead?
Are raw materials going to be cost prohibited and be difficult to source? Try a sustainable, locally sourced option in lieu.
Are you unable to get that gorgeous chandelier imported from Italy? We bet there’s a Canadian-made version that’s as special and—bonus!—it’s hand-made by a local craftsman.
Think outside the proverbial box when it comes to the materials you’re using to build your custom home and you may find you save yourself time and money—and support locally-made at the same time.
11. Bold Lighting
Interior and exterior lighting are like the throw cushions of a home: they add huge impact but they can be easily swapped if as your tastes change.
Be daring when choosing your lighting fixtures in 2022:
- Choose finishes that complement the home’s style,
- Don’t be afraid to push your comfort zone when it comes to size, shape, or type,
- Work with your builder to know what type of fixtures to put where,
- Select your lighting at the same time to ensure they work cohesively throughout the property
12. Smarter Homes
Our twelfth and final custom home design trend for 2022 is the smart home.
With devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, AI like Alexa, the Nest Learning Thermostat, and even smart refrigerators, our homes have certainly become ‘smarter’ in recent years.
What’s next on the smart home horizon?
- New smart devices—think smart home robots that do everything
- Smart home security systems like Ring
- Touchless tech
- Enhanced privacy
- Full home integration—when you’ll be able to control every aspect of your home’s inner workings via a master panel or through an app on your phone.
Incorporate Custom Home Design Trends in Your New Home
There you have it: our list of the Top 12 Custom Home Design trends for 2022.
We hope we’ve given you ample to think about while you dream up for your custom build.
Contact us to schedule a consultation. We’ll answer your questions about working together and help you decide whether this year is the right year to make your home dreams a reality.
Book a consultation today—and let Cressman Homes show you the possibilities for staying on and above trends in custom home design.