So what are we doing indoors these days when nesting season brings out our instincts for spring cleaning, organization, and self-improvement?
A common thread influencing many trends for 2022 is nature, according to Aoife Hayes, owner of design destination boutique Objekt in Newcastle West, Co Limerick.
“His influence is in the color,” she says. “Brown is back with warm, earthy tones, while acting as a strong neutral for wonderful terracottas, cappuccinos and creams.
“Green is also experiencing a continuous revival, from textured velvets to marbles, crystals and glass. The shapes are natural and organic, lots of soft curves and mushroom shapes. Look for curved sofas, light fixtures and tables, rounded edges in furniture, architecture and decor.
Everything points to a softer approach to the home that Aoife says stems from more intangible influences like feng shui, hygge and wabi-sabi.
“There’s a growing body of research that our home influences our mood and overall well-being,” she says.
“As we enter the third year of a global pandemic, we need to feel safe and emotionally well in our homes. The trend towards soft tones and warm colors creates a feeling of welcome and conviviality. The soft curves of the furniture are enveloping and safe.
And she also spotted biophilic design, which connects our homes to nature.
“It’s a hot topic,” she says, “the human desire to connect with nature, to bring outdoor living into our homes with natural materials and plantings and large glazing. We also move outdoors for entertainment, extending our home outdoors, and we choose organic forms and learn to live sustainably.
“Materials, too, are moving away from man-made to natural. Think marble, stone, terracotta and travertine.
But while it’s exciting to hear what’s coming, it’s also exciting to see what’s fading out of fashion.
Aoife is adamant when she says, “Living in the open. We say goodbye as we return to a more traditional segmented space, to find peaceful environments, quiet spaces and privacy.
Cork-based interior designer Kate Hobbins-Lockett sees a shift in our attitudes; how this influences our next steps when renovating and, like Aoife, how the outside environment is influential.
“We’ve spent so much time cooped up inside, people are looking for a sense of calm and a connection to the outdoors in their home,” she says.
“Obviously the pandemic has changed the way we live in our homes. It has changed the way we use our spaces but also the way we feel when we are there.
“Taking a more thoughtful approach to what we put in our homes has never been more of a priority. The connection to the outdoors, a more conscious shopping process, and an awareness of how it all works for us ties directly into what we’ve been through for the past two years.
The specific elements she sees used are textured finishes, wooden elements, organic shapes, natural fibers and shades of green. “And, of course, the plants,” she adds.
But with an enduring twist about it, she also sees an interest in vintage and antique pieces.
“The days of matching furniture sets are long behind us,” she says.
“A used piece in a room can bring a whole new vibe to a space, as well as a hard-to-get character when everything is brand new.
“This approach to buying your home also means it’s a slower, more deliberate way to buy decor. Finding that gem in a second-hand market will be more desirable than ever.”
Dual-use space is another trend she spots, making our homes more efficient.
Looking ahead, Kate says: “I hope fast interiors are a thing of the past. Buying cheap decorative items just to replace them six months later doesn’t seem like the best idea anymore.
“Truly minimalist, austere decor is probably on the way out as well. Most of us just don’t live that way. We have things, things that we like to show off. Our homes should reflect people. who live there, not just a collection of furniture.