Interior Design

Worst trends of 2022 – the outdated looks that need to be left behind

Interior experts and the team at Homes & Gardens share their worst trends of 2022

Worst trends. Open plan dining, living area in neutral colours with a pale wooden floor and windows looking out onto the garden.
(Image credit: Davide Lovatti)

What are the worst trends of 2022 and why should we be leaving them behind?

Trends come and go – and then often, come back again! An interior design trend that was once the height of fashion and favored by designers and dwellers alike can then fall flat, to only resurface later down the line and be loved again once more. 

As this is the nature of trends and the ever-evolving and developing sector of design, every year, there are always going to be certain products, looks and decor ideas that we have fallen out of love with, so, we ask the experts and the team at H&G for their worst trends of 2022.

Of course, everyone has their own unique style, and, ultimately, should decorate their home exactly how they like, but the very latest interior trends can give us fabulous design inspiration, and sometimes, it is worth stepping back and considering if your space needs a refresh and the touch of something new.

Explore our collection of the worst trends for 2022 below and head into the new year with refreshing new ideas for your home.  

1. Open plan living

Open plan dining, living area in neutral colours with a pale wooden floor and windows looking out onto the garden.

(Image credit: DAVIDE LOVATTI)

Once the design trend du jour, open plan living could very well become a thing of the past.

Over the last few years, and especially after the pandemic, more and more of us are looking into ways to make our homes more comfortable and cozy than ever, with a focus on more 'broken-plan' layouts that provide seclusion and privacy.

According to Merlin Wright, Design Director at British Standard and Plain English, broken-plan spaces are 'set to define the next decade'. 

Zoning will replace open-plan in a phenomenon being referred to as ‘broken-plan’. Retaining the spacious feel of an open plan design, the trend employs the use of screens, freestanding furniture, cabinetry and house plants to create distinct zones and nest-like nooks intended for cooking, relaxing and entertaining.

Explore this interior-designer open plan layout trick so you can zone your space quickly and easily.

2. Minimalism

Pale gray room, textured fabric wall coveing, dressing table, foot stool

(Image credit: One Represents Ltd)

Pre-2020, minimalism was everywhere – it was modern, cool and calm. And with the Maria Kondo phenomenon in full-swing at the start of the year, minimalism was seen as aspirational.

However, the last few years has seen a great shift in how we use and view our homes, with more eclectic and diverse designs becoming increasingly popular. Many designers are favoring and creating spaces rich in color, layered with print and pattern and filled with unique, collected objects and furniture pices that tell a story.

'Far removed from the starkness of the past – today’s interiors are anything but clinical – maximalist decor ideas are back with aplomb. Think warm, cozy environments rich with character and texture,' says Lucy Searle, Homes & Gardens' global editor in chief.

As we look to seek comfort within our homes, we are decorating our personal spaces with all the things that make us feel happy. We are stepping out of our comfort zones and embracing more adventurous, fun designs that truly reflect our style and personality. From bold hues that we've always wanted to try for paint ideas, to statement, colorful furniture pieces, more is definitely more!

3. A lack of color

Double bed with grey cushions and bed covers, sash window in the background with long grey curtains.

(Image credit: JONATHAN GOOCH)

Decorating with gray has been immensely popular over the last few years, with many of us embracing gray rooms ideas in our homes, however, this neutral look is now falling flat, with white and gray schemes being pushed aside to make way for more colorful spaces.

Homes & Gardens' section editor, Millie Hurst says that a lack of color is one of the worst trends that needs to be left behind in 2022. 'A space that lacks color, can often feel cold and uninviting. Whether it’s bright and brave or soft and subtle, a well-considered color palette will instead lend a more interesting design edge to a room, making it feel more characterful and full of life.'

Our homes have become busy, multi-purpose spaces – to work, relax and entertain in, and embracing color can not only help to define each zone, it can make our homes feel more uplifting, joyful and inviting.

Of course, neutrals such as white and gray are incredibly versatile and timeless, and often the easier option to consider when decorating an interior space. But just remember, if you are exploring neutral room ideas, to enhance your design with small accents of color and contrast, such as through the use of artwork, decorative ornaments and soft furnishings.

4. Too many houseplants

Basement garden room, with a reclaimed wood table and houseplants, mirrors and glass garden doors.

(Image credit: PAUL RAESIDE LTD)

I for one, absolutely love houseplants, and have many dotted around my flat. A great decorating tool, they can uplift a room with inviting natural color and texture, and help to establish a positive as well as calming atmosphere in a space.

However, you can definitely have too much of a good thing, and no-one wants to being living in an overpowering indoor they?

Having lots of houseplants crammed onto surfaces, or placed in impractical places, such in certain kitchen or bathroom zones, can not only make a space feel crowded, it can also lead to plant damage.

Plants need to be lovingly cared for and fully appreciated, and decorating with them is all about balance, so sometimes less is more.

According to Feng Shui principles, these are the 3 plants to avoid in your home.

5. Barbiecore

Pink themed room. Pink sofa, assorted cushions

(Image credit: Pearson Lyle Management Ltd)

Pink room ideas have always caused a divide in the world of interiors, and the latest trend of Barbiecore is no exception. With the release of Greta Gerwig's highly anticipated 'Barbie' move set to hit cinema screens in 2023, there has been a steady rise in a trend of saturated, hot pink interior designs.

Homes & Gardens' news editor, Megan Slack takes us through why she is so over the Barbiecore trend.

'If I could free myself from one trend of 2022, it would be Barbiecore. If your favorite color is pink (and I understand this is the case for some people), I wholeheartedly support injecting pockets around your home. Whether through dusty pink cabinetry or a wall in your bathroom, I am not anti-pink, I know the color can look good in many cases. However, using pink to color drench in excess is surely only going to induce a headache. Plus, as pink is such an acquired choice, I expect the admiration for Barbiecore is only fleeting – so it’s better to invest in colors that will stand the test of time, especially when using them in more than one space. I am still excited about the Barbie movie, though – I dislike Barbiecore, but Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie can do no wrong.'

6. Straight lines

Looking through two gray sliding doors into hallway with wooden floor, wooden bench, rug, framed artwork

(Image credit: ANNA STATHAKI)

Your home should be a comforting and cozy retreat, and using sharp, straight angles on furniture can often look a little stark and uninviting. The answer? Soft curves. 

'Full-on voluptuous or gently rounded curves will lift the layout and soften the overall look of your room, adding a bold design focus or a subtle touch of shaping to your décor,' says Jennifer Ebert, Homes & Gardens' digital editor.

This softer profile is shaping up to be big news in 2023. From pendants and pitchers to curvy sofas, it’s time to herald a softer silhouette.

7. Open shelving

Worst trends 2020

(Image credit: Future / Emma Lee)

Open shelving, although beautiful, is no longer the practical solution it once was.

'I am realizing that some of those overtly-styled moments – such as open shelving – are just not as functional any more,' says Hannah Pobar, Founder of Home Studio List. Instead, clever storage solutions are at the forefront of design, especially those with curvaceous design elements and soft-close hinges.

As fun as it can be to style a shelf with a myriad of beautiful objects and ornaments, if you're fed up of frequently taking things down to dust and clean, consider more practical display cabinets instead.

8. Barn doors

Blue painted barn door, white walls, green houseplants

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Once a staple for farmhouse decor ideas and a 'farmhouse chic' look, sliding barn doors can work well in the right setting, but too often than not, faux designs appear awkward and ill-fitting when incorporated into more modern spaces.

A blend of the old and new can often make for the most interesting and unique interior designs, but it needs to be done right.

A barn door added to a modern interior as a way to add rustic character and bring in the warmth of wood needs to be further complemented by other wooden accents so it feels fully integrated into a space and unified with your scheme.

The trends set to dominate interior industries in 2023 include:

  • Bold, impactful color palettes
  • Maximalist decor ideas, clashes of pattern and print
  • Curves, curves and more curves!
  • Broken-plan living 
  • Uniting the old with the new, eclectic styles
  • Nature's palette and natural, organic textures
Jennifer Ebert

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.

With contributions from