Design Trends

Living Room Feel Dated? Try These 8 Designer-Approved Trends to Transform Yours in 2022

Marshmallow sofa, anyone?

By Stacey Lindsay
living room trends)shani van breukelen

Remember the formal living room? A space dedicated to cocktail parties and afternoon tea? Thankfully, that concept is well in the past and the living room of today serves the actual name it’s been given: a place to live and just be. Because of that, the living room décor trends for 2022 are looking to aesthetics that complement what we need: a multi-functional room that rises to meet us just where we are.

So what does the modern living room of today look like? We asked several top designers and their sentiments encourage a deeper look at how this room not only looks, but the ways it makes us feel, think, and dream. The trends right now lean toward “practices that enhance the experience during the time spent there,” says Elena Perelli, co-founder and co-owner of Las Perelli. Plush couches, beautiful scents, natural light, and organic accents. Each of these approaches leans into the truth that true living means enjoying every second we have.

Image above by Michelle Nash

Trend #1: Marshmallow Soft Furnishings

If we had you at “marshmallow” the credit goes to designer Susan Bednar Long, principal and owner of SB Long Interiors. The Dallas-based designer is seeing a major trend towards what she describes as “marshmallow style soft furnishings.” Think puffy, cloud-like, and dreamy. The idea here is to sink in and create the ultimate livable space that feels as inviting as it looks.  

Get the Look:

The couch reigns in the living room. This trend leans on a high-quality design that incorporates curved sofas with oversized rounded arms and all over plush neutral and white fabrics, says Long.

Trend #2: Reflective Moments

living room trends 2022
Photo credit: Buff Strickland, courtesy of Page Gregory Matthews.

A gorgeous mirror has long been an interior designer’s dream trick for opening up the energy of a space. Eliza Fox, lead designer at Flow Smart Living + Interiors, says mirrors are big for 2022. This common accessory “reflects natural light, creating the look of a larger space,” she adds.

Get the Look:

The key to finding a striking mirror for the living room is to think of it as a piece of art. Considering the framing as a critical element, just as it is when encasing a photo or painting. Larger profile mirrors hung opposite a window will capture more natural light, thus reflecting a greater beam and opening up the room.

Trend #3: An Emphasis on Light

Outdated Home Décor Trends

According to design sisters Beatriz and Elena Perelli, the founders of Las Perelli, light is as important as the tangible items in any room. “We always give special importance to lighting,” says Beatriz, “particularly focusing in the quality of light.” By quality, the duo means aiming for soft casts and nothing too harsh or blue-based (i.e. many of the LED light bulbs out there).

Get the Look:

The Perelli Sisters recommend a blend of lighting sources that cast at different angles. This includes low lights, which they say create a warm and comfortable ambiance, and floor lamps. One thing they avoid is harsh overhead ceiling lighting. The idea is to create a weave-like aesthetic of various beams.

Trend #4: Ample Greenery and Wood

living room decor trends
Photo credit: Molly Culver.

“Living rooms are moving in a more natural direction,” says Pearson Turnbull, owner of Santa Ynez General. This means incorporating items that pull directly from the forest of greenery and natural materials including an abundance of wood (and even stone). “For 2022, it’s all about tactility,” he adds.

Get the Look:

“Of course, we all have more house plants than we know what to do with at this point,” says Turnbull, who believes this aesthetic is here to stay in the living room and beyond. He suggests complementing the greenery look with neutral tones and textured wood pieces, from wood chairs to accent items.

Trend #5: Feminine Curves

Take a moment to consider the classic living room furniture: The shapes tend to be straight-edged and boxy. This is shifting in 2022 notes Andrea Rodman, principal designer and owner of Andrea Rodman Interiors. Furniture with beautiful organic shapes, round curves, more sculptural elements will be big this year, she says. “I feel there is a draw towards more feminine elements in interiors with people wanting more comfort and beautiful calming spaces to spend their time in.”

Get the Look:

Look for seating that has curved corners and a flowing design. Implementing just one piece like this can soften the rest of the room. Rodman especially loves sculptural chairs from Hem. They “are extremely comfortable with a sculptural light airy feeling to them,” she shares.

Trend #6: Chic Pet Accessories

Photo courtesy of Faunamade.

We design our homes for humans, but our furry friends have just as much run of the house. More than 23 million American households adopted a pet during the pandemic, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Now this calls for some living room attention, which longtime Remodelista editor and occasional interior designer Meredith Swinehart sees being big this year. “Now that we’re well into the continued pandemic and many people are permanently spending more time at home, they’re upgrading less-obvious homewares like their pets’ goods,” says Swinehart, who designed a line of dog and cat accessories to fill this need. “When they’re around it all day long, pet owners realize how much their pets’ things color the living space and they want something that both human and animal can love.”

Get the Look:

Swinehart tells me that many people are investing in better pet beds after realizing just how much time their furry loved ones spend on them. When looking for a new cozy item for Fido, consider comfort and quality in tandem with aesthetics.

Trend #7: Flexible Multi-Use Items

After all that we’ve been through, and continue to go through, we’re taking a cue from The Eagles and are going to “Take It Easy.” That goes for how we live at home and the way we decorate. This is the path that Jennifer Rhode, principal designer of Jennifer Rhode Design, says to take. “I have always been an advocate for spaces with minimal, adaptable furnishings and after living through nearly two years of covid, I think it is imperative for living rooms, in particular, to be elastic and super functional,” she comments. “More than ever they need to be flexible to address so many needs.”

Get the Look:

Rhodes says to look for living room items that serve several functions. She especially loves an ottoman or a “pouf.” These pieces are multi-purpose she says and works as extra seating, side tables, and footrests; “They are easily moveable so you can handily redesign your space to best serve your current needs.”

Trend #8: Cozy Vibes

The Perelli sisters make our hearts sing when it comes to 2022 living rooms goals: Keep it cozy, inviting, and fun, they say. After all, this room is for living—and that must mean our best, most fulfilled lives. “We think that playing music and lighting candles in the living room are practices than enhance the experience during the time spent there,” states Elena. So go slow, go easy, and take it all in.

Get the Look:

Consider your sense of touch and smell for your living room. The Pirelli’s say to throw chunky blankets atop sofas, lay big natural rugs on floors (even multiples!), and add in books, scents, and photos that create a mood that is authentically you.