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It is inevitable that when a new year is approaching, we ask ourselves what changes we could implement into our lives. While we all focus on establishing healthy habits, achieving career and personal growth goals, another large part that often requires updating is our homes decor. It does not have to be anything expensive, extravagant, but, along with developing a working-out schedule, one’s home can be apt to positive changes that are sustainable and aesthetically pleasing at the same time. The last two years taught us valuable lessons: first of all, the way we feel in our enclosed space matters, and second of all, the responsibility for the way we act and consume lays directly in the gentler and more conscious treatment of the environment. Thus, today, we will discuss a few main sustainable interior design trends that started emerging in 2021 and will continue evolving in 2022.
There is nothing more sustainable than continuous reusing of items you already own. During the first few months when the pandemic began, when the majority of businesses, including interior design stores, shut down, we started using our imagination more expressively, redecorating spaces with what already was in them. It allowed us not only to observe that old couch in a new way, but it showed that a need for continuous purchasing was overrated. It is no wonder that as we are stepping into 2022, the trend of reusing keeps gaining popularity. Here, we must also mention vintage and second-hand finds. Yes, it might take some time to find and then repair an office desk from the ’50s, yet giving a second life to pre-owned items is not only sustainable, but it is also immensely fashionable. Another positive side of this trend is the possibility to expand your DIY skills. Despite the fact whether you are a handy person or not at all, it might be the best time now to roll up sleeves and learn a new skill of upholstery or woodwork. In the end, you might not only end up with a new piece of decor but acquire an exciting hobby.
“Decorating with sustainable natural materials is better for the environment, but especially beneficial for humans living in these spaces since these produce fewer toxic gases and allow the eye to rest and relax,” says European Business Review.
Implementing more natural colours and materials into your home decor can help to create that relaxing, soothing atmosphere. You can start as big as an oak wood dining set or as small as upgrading cutting boards from plastic ones to solid wood pieces, as well as stocking up on porcelain stoneware from small local brands. Many interior brands started working on achieving eco-friendly production, and it became easier to find items like plant-based rags or sustainably sourced wool throws. After all, to speak aesthetically alone, glass bottles on the table look much more attractive than plastic ones, and linen cushion covers add more sophistication to the living room image than synthetic materials. According to The Environmental Magazine, “Recycled rugs, wildflowers in jars and materials like banana fibre are as much about comfort and sustainability as they are about cultivating wellness – which has been another major design trend across the board."
As Chatelaine says, “Plants have been scientifically proven to boost productivity and lower blood pressure, and they create a calm atmosphere that promotes rest and relaxation.” For those of us who spend the majority of the time surrounded by a big city buzz, having even a small connection to nature is crucial for mental and physical health. If the size of your house allows more experiments with plans than just having a fiddle-leaf tree in the corner, then you can assemble a mini indoor garden. It is a trend that-thanks pandemic again-started two years ago with many people interested in growing herbs on their kitchen counters.
The idea of living with no clutter and buying less but better is still alive, and it became more of a lifestyle rather than a trend for many. However, this year we noticed a new kind that started developing from the commonly known concept of minimalism. Warm minimalism still stands for a space where one rests from the business of the world, where colours are toned down, and the number of objects is fewer than in most homes. Yet, it is warmer and more inviting in a cozy sense than a typical minimalist aesthetic. If you have always wanted to experiment with clearing up your home and turning it into a minimalist space, but avoided the coldness of sterile white walls and grey tones, then this trend might be for you. Warm minimalism consists of rounder shapes, natural materials and any hue from the beige colour palette. Start with off-white, cream and think about adding ochre, beige, light and dark browns through wood and linen rather than stone and cotton. “You don’t have to compromise on coziness to embrace minimalism. A new school of designers is bringing a warm, sentimental twist to the pared-back style, with a focus on comfort over starkness,” says Chatelaine.
Redefined maximalism provides one with rooms, that like in minimalism, are filled with carefully chosen, sustainably made pieces, yet in a much bolder and brighter appearance than shades of beige. If you find yourself craving mixed patterns and saturated pallets, but do not want to overwhelm your place, then go for less but bolder: solid colours, monochrome through the whole room, abstract colourful paintings, eccentric but thoughtfully designed furniture.
In the end, you want it to look well-curated, balanced and modern rather than noisy and senseless: a unique space with a character that reflects its owner’s individuality.
To succeed in creating a space based on the curated maximalism trend, do not avoid vintage and flea markets. Instead, they should be the primary source of inspiration. Most pieces in this trend are inspired or upgraded from such decades as the 20s, 60s and 80s.
It is easily noticeable that all those mentioned trends focus on two main ideas that follow the same pattern: sustainability and establishment of a calming atmosphere in a house. We cannot know what 2022 will bring. Nevertheless, filling up a living space with a tranquil atmosphere through natural materials, soothing colours, simple adjustments and local and thrift shopping found treasures can be one of those things where we find balance and security during uncertain times.
+ Words: Maria Kosmann, Contributor at Luxiders Magazine
Maria Kossman is a creative writer, essayist and blogger based in Edmonton, Canada. Passionate about sustainable living, minimalism, traveling, and anything antique, she focuses on advocating life that is inspiring, mindful and elegant.