Tech Integration, Multi-Functional Spaces Trends For 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated consumer interest in and adoption of key trends in their homes such as integration of smart technology, multi-functional spaces, and natural and nature-based designs, says the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) in its annual ‘Design Trends’ report. “We’ve seen the pandemic have an effect across all sectors in our society and we’re now starting to see how the change in human behaviours is shifting the way we design our homes,” says Bill Darcy, chief executive officer, NKBA. “Consumers are more eager to embrace new technologies, innovative ways to provide multi-functional options to maximize their space to fit any occasion, and are opting for surfaces and designs that make it easier to clean, as well as address health and wellness.” Smart technology has long been a promised integration into the home and will only continue to rise in popularity among consumers. Yet, while there was buzz around the involvement of technology in 2021, the market remains largely untapped as only 30 per cent of kitchen projects and 21 per cent of bathroom designs included some type of integrated appliances. In addition to smart technology, 58 per cent of designers predict spaces that serve multiple functions will become increasingly popular in 2022 and beyond. New Millennial homeowners are looking to maximize their kitchen space with islands that serve as a meal prepping area, a workstation and a dining table, as well as a place to entertain guests. Millennials are also leading the increase in natural and contemporary designs, especially within the kitchen and bath. Moving away from white and grey as primary colours, designers expect nature-inspired colours to grow in prominence, notably greens and blues. For fixtures, the trend is toward more matte and brushed finishes in black, stainless, nickel, and pewter. Additionally, designers see increased natural light with large high-performance windows and doors for outdoor access becoming more prominent, as homeowners continue to create living, dining, and cooking areas outside the home.