As we wrap up 2022, it’s a great time to pause and reflect on some of the design and décor trends that have shaped the last 12 months. After two and a half years of being masked up and locked down, 2022 was the year of easing back into normalcy. We unmasked, and started to venture back to the office, shops and schools and even gathered again with family and friends. Despite things being business as usual, we are only now beginning to properly understand the real impact that the pandemic has had on our psyche and in turn, our design and décor choices.
Kim Williams, a top Cape Town interior designer, behaviour specialist, and owner of the Kim Williams Design studio, explains how many of the design and décor trends for this year have been influenced by our most recent experiences.
- The value of zoning
Lots of us are still working from home this year, which has crafted a new appreciation for space, the privilege of having it and a deeper desire to connect better with it. Larger families especially require separate living areas to work and recharge, as well as a communal place to energise and socialise, and a dedicated corner to play. This dilemma has forced designers to look at zoning areas off to create better fluidity, energy, and balance. This year, I have seen both commercial and residential clients invest in ways to make their spaces flow and work better not just because it creates a better user experience, but because it is likely to increase property values.
- The return of the dining room
A separate dining room that flows off either the living or kitchen area has made a huge comeback this year. During the pandemic the dinner table was the centre of the home doubling up as a classroom, office desk and even a place for family entertainment. Now, it is a vehicle to bring loved ones together, especially during the summer entertaining season – a space that facilitates easy conversation and connection around a delicious meal.
Well-designed dining rooms can create an ambiance and atmosphere that are both casual and formal depending on the occasion. The most engaging tables are rectangular or round with comfortable, simple to clean seating and enough space for easy movement. Lighting is functional with elevated table scaping used to ramp up the mood and feel.
- Health and healing
There has been a huge emphasis on mental health and wellness during 2022, with our homes acting as a tranquil sanctuary to escape from the chaos and confusion of the outside world. I have always believed that our living space can have a dramatic impact on our wellbeing and energy, promoting a desire for not just peace and privacy but also grounding, healing, and spirituality.
From a décor perspective, there has been a strong move towards warm and natural palettes that are soothing but also mystical and engaging, with the addition of comforting fabrics and textures to add layers of interest. We have also seen a lot of deepened heeling – which focuses on balancing masculine and feminine tones to ensure that the interior space is meditatively balanced and promotes healing for all.
- Re-connecting with nature
Our desire for sustainability and eco-conscious design has been huge this year and will probably continue well into 2023. It has been amazing to witness the massive move towards recycling and repurposing. A lot of the younger generation especially have been bringing old memories from past generations to life by adding their own stamp and aesthetic to create beautiful quilts and wall hangings for example.
Being conscious of our planet is not just about opting for greener materials in our décor choices but also bringing mindfulness into the entire design process. As we go into the warmer summer months, the trend of opening the indoor and outdoor space is likely to become more apparent. Not only does this provide a wonderful connection to nature but it also extends our living space, adds more natural light, and allows for fresh air and the sounds of flowing water to breeze through the entire home.
- Less is more
After having had to wear masks for so long, it makes sense that we have had a greater desire for us to be heard and seen during 2022. Although we have seen greater emphasis on the embracing of different voices, cultures, and individual interests when it comes to décor choices, it is important to note that the minimalist movement is still very much in vogue. Less is always more as is the yearning to shop for locally sourced materials, such as rattan, wood, stone, and weaves. Glass objects and translucent furniture have also been used this year to help reflect light and engage the eye.
Looking ahead, Kim says 2023 is going to be the year for exploring depth, especially when it comes to deepened healing. “The trends of this year will continue well into the next but with greater consideration of the impact they have on us and our surroundings,” she says.
After being cocooned in a grey world for so long, Kim is also looking forward to seeing the return of bright colours as the world bursts back to life.
For more tips from Kim Williams, sign-up for her blog at www.kimwilliams.co.za or follow her on Facebook and Instagram @kim_williams_design.
Kim Williams is a top interior designer in Cape Town, a 2022 Loeries Interior Design finalist, and author of My Yellow Room. Kim has carved a niche for herself as a creative behaviour strategist focused on designing interior spaces. She is known for her unique approach to interiors which blends creative, behavioural and design strategies and is a well-respected entrepreneur having founded the full-service interior design studio - Kim Williams Design. www.kimwilliams.co.za