Ottawa Citizen

January 19 2022

In with the new … out with the ‘cheugy’ for 2022

UK interior design experts recently turned to TikTok to help identify top trends on their way out for 2022, finding five that Gen Zs say are old-fashioned, or “cheugy.” If you want to stay on point — and avoid the disdain of the younger generation — it’s time to say good-bye to “cluttercore, dark academia, farmhouse, millennial pink and ultimate grey,” said the team at Essential Living, a London-based property developer.

Across the pond, international designer Laura Hay, principal of Toronto-based LH Décor & Design Inc., agrees each theme is past its prime. But rather than say good riddance altogether, a few simple tweaks can often serve as a refresh, she said.

“Moody is the theme for 2022,” said Hay, who predicts that regardless of your chosen style, the coming year will see a rise in bold kitchen colours, contrast trim and curvilinear furniture. “Whether you’re a green, blue or purple person, it’s about adding interest in layering of tonal details … for a moodier, warmer feel,” she said.

Though she questions whether it was ever in style to be cluttered, Hay said current décor trends are leaning towards cleaner, fresher, lighter and airier. Just a few years ago, it was popular to cover 75 per cent 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 one beautiful statement piece that pulls a room together, she said, and instead of stacking six books, you might display two larger ones, paired with a vase that has an interesting shape.

Dark academia wasn’t necessarily a Canadian household trend but did show up as an old world vibe in restaurants and commercial lobbies, characterized by ornate furniture, heavy wool drapes and antiques. The overall gothic undertones have definitely passed, said Hay, but you can still honour the style by incorporating high gloss images of old opera houses, libraries or other historical buildings into a modern décor.

“I think there’s still this love affair with this ornate, dark, moody, rich feeling, but we’re applying it in other ways,” she said.

According to Essential Living’s TikTok review, the much-loved farmhouse theme with its shiplap, barn doors, distressed wood and washed out colours has “gotta go.” Hay would argue it’s still prevalent in Canada, but has evolved into a more sophisticated look.

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

In 2022, it will be about adding interest in layering of tonal details for a moodier, warmer feel. PHOTO BY SUPPLIED

Though millennial pink had a good run, it’s definitely over. “It was popular and refreshing at the time, but like anything, we want something else now,” said Hay, suggesting the new twist is more of a “dirty pink.”

You can update a pink room by swapping out white accents for ivory or warm gold instead. Replace white furniture with oak or another light wood, and layer in other colours such as taupe, muddy grey, muted purple or mint green.

Similarly, after a run of 15 years or more, cool and charcoal greys are out, replaced by warmer, browner greys that are more inviting and easier to layer, she added. “We’re back to warm right now and I hope it lasts,” she said.

Read the article on the Ottawa Citizen page here.

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