With the new… Coming up with “cheugy” for 2022

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UK interior design experts recently turned to TikTok to help identify the hottest trends on their way out for 2022, and found five of them Gen Zs say are old-fashioned, or “squeezed”. If you want to stay well — and avoid disdain for the younger generation — it’s time to say goodbye to “chaos, dark academia, farmhouse, millennial pink and absolute grey,” said the team at Essential Living, a London-based property developer.

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Across the pond, global designer Laura Hay, director of LH Décor & Design Inc. agrees. Based in Toronto, each subject has passed its prime. But rather than saying totally doomed, a few simple tweaks could be an update, she said.

“Moody is the theme for 2022,” said Hay, who predicts that no matter what style you choose, next year will see a rise in bold kitchen colors, contrasting and curved furniture. “Whether you’re a green, blue or purple person,” she said, “it’s about adding interest with layers of tonal detail… for a warmer, moodier feel.”

Although she wonders if it was ever cluttered, Hay said current décor trends tend toward cleaner, fresher, lighter and more airy. Just a few years ago, it was common to cover 75 percent of a coffee table with books, hurricane candles, and large decorative bowls filled with seashells, dried berries, pinecones, or other natural objects. Now, the trend is to find a beautiful statement piece that brings a room together, she said, and instead of stacking six books, display two larger books, paired with an interestingly shaped vase.

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Dark academia wasn’t necessarily a Canadian family trend but it has emerged as an old world in restaurants and commercial lobbies, which feature ornate furniture, heavy woolen curtains, and antiques. The sweeping Gothic tones are certainly gone, Hay said, but you can still pay homage to the style by incorporating high-gloss images of old opera houses, libraries, or other historic buildings into modern décor.

“I think there’s still a love affair with that rich, dark, moody, rich feeling, but we apply it in other ways,” she said.

According to a TikTok review from Essential Living, the much-loved farmhouse theme with its timber, barn doors, distressed wood, and faded colors is a “must go.” Hay might argue that it is still prevalent in Canada, but it has evolved into a more sophisticated appearance.

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Instead of white on white with black accents, the new farmhouse style—which Hay prefers to think of as an English cottage—brings in warmer tones like taupe and cream, and adds casual fabrics for added comfort. To update an old farmhouse kitchen, simply replace the stark metal and wood stools with comfortable upholstered chairs, add woven linen side panels to a window or patio door, and throw an area rug on the floor.

In 2022, it's all about adding interest in layers of tonal detail for a warmer, moodier feel.
In 2022, it’s all about adding attention to layering color details for a warmer, moodier feel. photo from supplier

Although the millennial pink was good, it definitely finished. “It was trendy and refreshing at the time, but like everything else, we want something else now,” Hay said, noting that the new touch is more than “dirty pink.”

You can update a pink room by replacing white accents with warm ivory or gold instead. Replace white furniture with oak or another light wood and layer with other colors such as taupe, muddy gray, muted purple, or mint green.

Likewise, after 15 years or more, the lighter and charcoal grays are phased out, replaced by warmer, browner, more attractive grays that are easier to layer. “We’re back in the warmth now and I hope it continues,” she said.

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