Interior Design Trends for 2022 as seen at the Decorex International Show at London Olympia October 2021

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Oh how good it was to be back IRL at Decorex, to once again be mingling with the great and good of the interior design world, to admire and touch the products in all their 3d glory and not just view them on a screen. Anyway, I’m guessing you are not here to listen to my gushing about being at an actual live event with real people. You want to know which trends were jumping out of the show and into our homes into 2022 and beyond. So without further ado, here is my summary of the highlights and my predictions.

Colour Trends

Dulux Colour of the Year Bright Skies

For me, the colour palette appeared much more muted than in recent years. Warm inviting shades, decidedly lacking in pops of hot colours, with lots of soothing natural shades.
The show was awash with earthy shades of terracotta, russet reds and ochres. These shades are frequently referenced during the Autumn and work to create the homely, cocooning atmosphere we all crave at this time of year. However, these shades, influenced by the soil in which we obtain our food, will continue their prevalence way past the cosy days of Autumn. They sit well alongside the natural materials that are dominant at the moment, in line with our continuing appreciation and debate around our destruction of nature and focus on sustainability. Pinks have also taken on these more earthy undertones, with a move away from the more saturated hot and sugary pinks of previous years towards softer clay toned and dusty pinks.
Neutral shades of ivory and cream, as seen on the natural fabrics of boucle and rattan that are being used, work to create a calming aesthetic, which can help to settle the mind during these continuing times of uncertainty. They also work to create a less jarring, distracting and overstimulating environment whilst many of us continue to combine our homes as both living and working spaces.
Surprisingly, considering the natural influence and references to the great outdoors evident in the products on display, green, which has been the dominant hue in interiors for the past few years was overtaken by blue. From chalky baby blue to punchy cobalt and yes, the good ole inky shades of indigo it seems this will be the shade of choice for our walls and accessories to come. Dulux recently presented its colour of the year, a soft blue-grey hue titled “Bright Skies.” Chosen by a group of industry leaders and experts in design, colour and fashion in a virtual summit, the resulting colour is one that emphasises hope and new beginnings at the brink of next year. Marianne Shillingford, Dulux UK creative director, said in a statement. “What better inspiration can we take than the endless skies around us’ These soft blue shades can also work well alongside the clay shades discussed previously as used in the artwork created exclusively for the show by artist Jan Erika.

credit to @janerikadeisgn

Material trends

Natural, natural and did I mention natural…? The prevalent materials used to create the products on display have taken their cue from the natural world combined with a firm nod to sustainability. The show was awash with rattan, it was used everywhere, on chairs, cupboards, sideboards and side tables. This trend, although not new to 2021 is seemingly not going anywhere for a while. Rattan, also known as cane – both are derived from the rattan plant with a cane being the thinner material that results from the process of stripping the rattan plant. Rattan boasts excellent eco-credentials, easier to harvest and transport than timber, it also grows faster than trees so it is of no surprise that this is a trend set to continue in these eco-conscious times. Rattan looks wonderful paired against wood, as a chair back and for cupboard door inserts, limiting the amount of timber used in the product by incorporating it in the areas of the furniture that require less durability. Rattan has a wonderful, textural appeal and as we all know, when designing with a neutral shade and less pattern, texture adds that necessary layer of interest to stop the scheme from becoming beige and blah.
Another material that is continuing to gain more traction is cork, the eco-credentials of which are second to none. Cork is a renewable resource, recyclable, non-toxic and durable. It is extracted, not by cutting down the tree but by careful extraction of the bark. The cork tree has an amazing capacity for regeneration and within nine years, without the use of chemical herbicides, has completely regenerated. Therefore, it is of no surprise to see cork being used in abundance now and in the future. Companies, such as Corque Design a sustainable design brand from Portugal are paving the way using this remarkable material to produce furniture, wall coverings and many other products.

credit to

Looping back to the theme of texture, there was plenty of it be seen in the fabrics used. Boucle, pronounced ‘boo-Klay, derived from the French word meaning ‘curled’ or ‘ringed’, most commonly made from wool, although cotton linen and silk can be used to achieve the fabrics textured hand. As beautiful as it is soft this is another trend that, although not new, is set to continue. Most commonly used in a cream or ivory shade, the trend is moving forward with a more diverse colour palette such as this dusty blue chair.
Velvet was still to be seen, although not as much as in previous years. The same for gold and brass, still plenty to be seen but with its cooler cousin of steel and chrome pushing through again. Similarly, marble was still around but seems to be slightly waning in favour of terrazzo, however where it was used green marble was clearly the colour du jour.


Soft, flowing, curvaceous shapes and rounded edges are still the dominant silhouette being showcased. Which is hardly surprising during these turbulent times as circles feel softer, milder and therefore calming than other shapes. Commonly they represent unity and protection. However, sharp, angular shapes are making a comeback in the profiles of the furniture and also in the geometric patterns seen in the fabrics designs. Cylindrical and pill shapes, particularly featured in the lighting continues to be a key trend.

Lighting trends

As always, Decorex was awash with cutting edge lighting designs to get your juices flowing. The multi pendant reigned supreme with an array of clusters of bulbs and shades trickling down. Plenty of metal and glass in circular shapes combined with contemporary takes on the traditional paper lantern and chandelier.

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