Living room design ideas and trends 2022

How’s your living room looking? Is it comfortable and stylish, a lovely place to enjoy life, or could it stand some TLC and creativity? We’ve seen the timely death of the long-lasting trend for hotel-style minimalist decor, now we’re into an entirely new interior design landscape where the name of the game is social responsibility, recycling, upcycling, repurposing and the glory of maximalism. It’s exciting, it’s colourful, it’s funky and fun. Let’s dive into the latest, coolest living room trends for 2022. This is where inspiration lives! Read on to discover simple ways to make your living room more beautiful, comfortable, interesting and on-trend.  

Separate areas for work and rest

Separate areas for work and rest… It’s a massive trend for 2022 but what, exactly, does it mean, and why does it matter? It’s partly a pandemic thing. Covid saw millions of people working from home for the first time, often for months on end, sometimes for a couple of years, occasionally permanently. And that highlighted a very important need – to separate work from the rest of life. We don’t all have separate rooms for work and play, which means it has become vital to find ways to work and rest effectively in the same, often-small space. Luckily it’s entirely possible when you get creative.

Screens are a great way to split off a work area in your living room. You can buy plain hinged MDF screens to paint and decorate yourself, fancy modern screens decorated beautifully, and gorgeous antique screens. Or maybe use furniture to create the same effect – a tall, narrow bookcase or set of shelves could delineate your working area perfectly, well, as well as giving you somewhere to display books, collections, and interesting objects. 

Rugs that make a statement

Bare wood floors were on-trend for ages, now things have changed. A rug doesn’t just add colour and texture to a living room, it also adds warmth and insulation. With energy prices soaring and government funding for insulation non-existent, it makes sense. Rugs also work hard to create the feeling of separate areas within a room.

Did you  know you can buy wonderful jewel-like bargain vintage Persian rugs on Ebay for very little? Some websites let you design and order your own rugs, uniquely yours, created to suit your decor style and colour sense perfectly. Go maximalist by piling rugs upon rugs to make a rich tapestry of colour and texture. Be bold – mix and match colours and patterns if you like, it’s a hot trend.

Modern rustic designs

The modern Rustic decor style involves embracing countryside inspired charm and warmth, blending them with contemporary styling. Modern furniture blends with exposed natural architectural elements like raw brick and polished concrete. The colour scheme is very simple and elegant. It doesn’t feel formal and it isn’t pretentious. It’s comfortable, hospitable, welcoming and simple, all about friendly shapes, plain fabrics, and easygoing charm.

Why is the modern rustic look trending for 2022? It’s the polar opposite of the cold industrial look, which focused on metal, brick, exposed pipework, concrete floors, glass bricks and minimalist furnishings. Modern rustic focuses on a much more welcoming, cosy feel, exactly what the world needs when a pandemic is still doing its thing and the economy is looking wobbly.

DIY and upcycling

It’s a trend. But it’s also about taking responsibility for ‘peak stuff’, the idea that we actually already have everything we need. We don’t need to buy a load of new stuff every five minutes. Instead, we value and care for the things we’ve already bought. It’s socially responsible, tapping into the serious need to fight climate change, stop species loss, and maintain this beautiful world we’re lucky to live in for future generations. 

So how can you bring a little DIY and upcycling into your life? Maybe your settee cover is on its last legs. Instead of buying a new settee, get someone clever to make you a new cover. Or learn how to reupholster furniture yourself. It’s incredibly satisfying and means you get the exact look you’re dreaming about while spending less. You could dye your curtains a different colour or add a fancy trim to achieve the maximalist look. Cut the legs off a tall table to make a low-slung coffee table. Use transfers and chalk paints to decorate boring kitchen cupboards. Make your own lampshades. The potential is more or less infinite. 

Pastel colouring

Pastel colours are beautifully pale. They’re brilliant for brightening and lightening a small living room without resorting to boring, chilly white. Pastels are soothing, calm and welcoming. No wonder, as the world struggles to navigate covid and climate change, we’re drawn to gentler, softer shades that inspire positive, kind hope and dreams. The trend started off with fashion, now it’s made its way into the world of interior decor.

Bring pastel pleasure to your living room using paint. A tin of paint is the most affordable way to ring the changes quickly and easily. Matt chalk paints provide a lovely modern finish. And it’s really easy to paint a wall, even if you’ve never done it before. You can also add pastel gorgeousness using fleece, cotton and wool throws, fluffy pastel rugs, and cool, calm, pale artwork.

Decorative storage

Storage. It sounds dull. But you can transform even the most basic storage unit – a shelf, a wardrobe, a cupboard – into something interesting in itself. It’s also a size thing. Property is more expensive than ever, so many of us get onto the ladder with a small flat or studio. When you start small, storage takes on a whole new meaning. It’s crucial, so you may as well make it gorgeous. If you buy a new build home you might notice the rooms are smaller than they’d be in an old property. All this means storage is key to a comfortable life.

Decorative storage boxes are all over the shops, and they’re delicious. Mix and match different colours and patterns for an exciting look. Stick to plain colours or pastels for a calm feel. You could buy an old chest of drawers or cupboard and decorate it yourself. Again, a simple can of paint makes a massive difference, enhanced simply with stunning decals and transfers. A simple wooden box makes lovely open storage. Some storage boxes can be stacked for space-saving good looks. Or buy plain boxes and wallpaper them.

Use an array of finishes

Using an array of finishes helps make a living room look bigger, and also more interesting. It’s all about making a living space more inspiring and stimulating. Spending weeks locked down in plain, dull rooms has given us a strong desire for spaces that reflect more personality, more diversity, more interest.

Think texture, think colour. There are some fantastic paint finishes available, for a start. Some come with an opalescent finish, others have sparkly bits in them. Vinyl flooring is a bit hit at the moment, contrasting perfectly with patterned and textured rugs, thick and thin. Smooth marble kitchen tops contrast with rugged wooden furniture. Vintage distressed finishes make a statement set against something cool and modern.

Lasting style

Lasting style is the thing to aim for in 2022. It’s a classic idea with a contemporary component. The trend speaks to today’s strong desire to care more for our world, think more about our purchases, waste less and value things that have been made with love, care, skill, creativity and craftsmanship.

Buy well, make it last, save the environment. Buy beautiful, buy looks and styles that’ll make you feel happy for years to come. Buy the best you can afford. Buy things you can change, embellish and decorate in future. Buy with never throwing it away in mind.

Create your own living room heaven

We spend a lot of time at home. Our living rooms are right at the heart of things, the place we relax, watch TV, chat, gather and – these days – work. Today’s interior decor trends directly reflect our desire to be safe, comfortable, relaxed and at ease at home. It’s where your heart is, so make it magical. Can we help you find a heavenly home complete with a living room you’ll make your own?