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It's undeniable that our relationship with our home got flipped on its head over the past two years, with many of us cooped up inside due to COVID. As such, lots of us developed a newfound investment in nesting, giving rise to bolder design choices — cue the wallpaper! But will this trend endure in 2022? We had to find out. To get to the bottom of the 2022 wallpaper forecast, we sought out insights from the experts at Etsy, Chasing Paper, Mitchell Black, Hygge & West, and Wallpaper Direct.
Do people still love wallpaper?
For starters, wallpaper has a long history. "The first iterations of wallpaper have been around as early as 200 B.C. — and it's here to stay!" Elizabeth Rees, founder of Chasing Paper, told Hunker.
"As we buckle down and head into year three of the pandemic, we continue to see our homes expand their functionality, and people will continue wanting to make it a beautiful space to spend time in," Rees continues. "Wallpaper is an easy way to create that 'moment of wow.'"
Mitchell Black's Head of Design, Dan Rizzo, agrees. "The surge of DIY home designers did not disappear when workplaces opened back up, and we are better for it," Rizzo says. "Wallpaper has been back for a while now, but we only see it becoming more and more commonplace."
So with wallpaper indeed sticking around (pun very much intended), what specific trends do we have to look forward to this year?
1. Chic Florals and Fauna
The wallpaper pros agree that bold floral and fauna patterns will be a key player in the space this year. Rees specifies that '70s-style floral patterns in particular will be in vogue, "especially in oranges, lavenders and cobalt blues."
Rees plugs more muted florals as well. "Wallpaper in calming nature-inspired prints —whether it's a sweet floral or a striking tree print — will continue in popularity. Throughout the pandemic, customers more than ever want to bring a bit of the outdoors into their home."
2. Classics With a Twist
Etsy Trend Expert Dayna Isom Johnson tells Hunker that new interpretations of traditional styles are an exciting part of the wallpaper industry.
"What I love most about wallpaper is that it continues to evolve," she says. "I'm constantly seeing new iterations that reflect emerging trends, from grandmillennial to cottagecore, making it a lasting decor staple."
For lovers of patterns, stripes will also have their time in the limelight. "A spillover from fashion trends, bold and colorful stripes are making their way into the home," says Rees. "Stripes are a classic, but statement-making colors and a play on widths, like our Cleo Stripe, give it a playful, maximalist vibe," says Rees.
Rizzo expects to see stripes as well, coupled with other patterns. "We see lots of interesting pairings of styles happening," he says. "There is a renewed interest in the striped floral patterns of our grandparents."
4. All Green Everything
Soft shades of green are set to have a moment throughout home interiors this year, with many heavy-hitters in the space naming light green hues as their 2022 Colors of the Year — including Benjamin Moore's October Mist, Sherwin-Williams's Evergreen Fog SW, and PPG's Olive Sprig.
Johnson tells Hunker that she saw this green wave coming, though in a slightly different shade. "Toward the end of 2021, I predicted that emerald green would be Etsy's 2022 color of the year, and since then we've seen shoppers increasingly gravitate towards the hue when decorating their spaces," she says. "In fact, in the last three months, searches for emerald green items have increased 53% and searches for emerald green decor have increased 33%. Wallpaper is no exception to the growing trend. We'll be seeing emerald green adorning walls everywhere this year, as shoppers continue to embrace this rich and grounding shade."
5. More Is More!
Many of the styles discussed by these wallpaper connoisseurs fall within the overarching trend toward maximalism.
"Minimalism isn't bringing the clarity we once thought, it's forming a void of missed opportunities," says Rizzo. "When patterned wallpaper started to reemerge in homes, we saw it as primarily a tool for an accent wall and small spaces. We are starting to see patterns used more throughout the home and in a way where people are considering it a feature of their living space and not just a fun corner."
As such, we should expect to see maximalism making a resurgence. "Having a salon-style installation of pictures and paintings on the wall is fine, but put a wild and vibrant floral pattern behind it and you've got something memorable."
Johnson explains how people are looking to wallpaper for that pop of maximalism mixed in with their other, more subdued decor. She says, "Many shoppers this year are pairing bold, trendy wallpaper with their existing home staples, furniture, and neutrals to achieve the perfect decor balance."
6. Wallpaper As Art
Aside from the wallpaper style trends outlined above, there are also certain wallpaper use trends we can get excited about. In their 2022 trend report, Wallpaper Direct suggests that people will turn to wallpaper as art in 2022. "Mural walls have been growing in popularity for a while, but there is a new trend emerging for displaying these digitally printed designs as works of art, rather than the traditional feature wall," they write.
7. Using Wallpaper to “Zone” a Room
Another result of how we use our living spaces differently in the time of COVID, Wallpaper Direct explains how people are looking to wallpaper as a means of breaking up rooms into visually defined areas.
"Sectioned living to accommodate new hybrid working will inform the layout and flow of rooms in 2022," they write. "We have changed the way we use our spaces and there is a move toward 'zoning' and creating designated areas to keep some order in our changing way of life. Wallpaper is perfect for creating macro areas within the home as workstations and video-call-friendly back-drops, or cozy corners for moments of switching off."