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Consumer Insights

New report: These design trends will reign supreme in 2022

Reading Time — 8 minutes

January 11, 2022

By Yasmine El Sanyoura

Reading Time — 8 minutes

January 11, 2022

New year, new… space? For those U.S. homeowners checking off their New Year’s resolutions, upgrading their home is often a top project. And it’s not just in the New Year when consumers are inspired to update their homes: Design and decor are key year-round and play a significant role in maximizing curb appeal.

At Opendoor, we know design is not just for functionality, but also for personal expression. Especially in this competitive market, investing in home features that are at once beautiful and useful may not only increase the value of your home, but also improve your daily routines.

That’s why we turned to homeowners nationwide to uncover their design preferences in a new survey titled Designing a Dream Home: Opendoor’s 2022 Decor Report. What we found revealed top design trends, home features to avoid when looking to attract buyers, and overall consumer design priorities for 2022. Here, some of the top findings:

2022 Trend Forecast:

Top Design & Decor Preferences

When it comes to decor, homeowners are opting for budget-friendly options that make an impact. Swapping out home decor at least once a year is commonplace for 32% of survey respondents; and yet, 42% of them are most intimidated by decorating costs. As a result, their favorite ways to freshen up decor are through easy-to-achieve elements like fresh paint (66%), seasonal decor (53%), and rearranging furniture (50%).

Tip: Consider rearranging furniture and decor by function and switch similar-functioning pieces across different rooms. For example, consider swapping your nightstands and living room side tables or rearranging accent chairs to quickly and easily change up your decor. One multifunctional piece of furniture I love is the ottoman, because it has a very small footprint and can be easily moved around. Consider stationing ottomans at the entry and rearranging them to act as extra seating, foot rests, or even extra side tables.

At Opendoor, we focus on streamlining the real estate transaction for buyers and sellers alike so that they can move with simplicity, certainty, and speed and land the home of their dreams. They can worry less about home buying or selling and put their energy towards the things they really enjoy, like exploring their design preferences and hitting “refresh” on decor. The top 2022 home trends suggest a desire for expression through design and comfort:

  • Matching Furniture Sets. At a time when consumers value simple, refined interiors, 77% of those surveyed noted that matching furniture sets are an easy way to decorate.

  • Brightly-Colored Accent Walls. Pops of color add visual impact. Homeowners are captivated by the idea of brightly colored accent walls inside their homes (77%), while few want all white interiors (37%). Choosing the right accent wall color will depend on your own style, so where one person might love something dark and moody like a charcoal accent wall, another person might go for something more earthy like burnt sienna. At Opendoor, we prefer Sherwin Williams’ Agreeable Gray for our homes.

  • Subway Tile. This timeless finish is preferred by 67% of homeowners and can usually be found in kitchens and bathrooms, in a variety of different patterns. If you’re ready to combine two trends, create an accent wall in your bathroom with brightly colored subway tile. In 2022, I recommend a bright teal or a sage green to enhance the space.

  • Shiplap Walls. 61% of survey respondents are fans of this Chip and Joanna Gaines classic straight out of a “Fixer Upper” episode for a rustic feel.

  • Solar-Powered Lights. Eco-friendly landscaping has become less of an option and more of a priority. In fact, 52% of respondents named these lights the most popular eco-friendly landscaping feature. Consider making small updates that make an impact. Dimmers are a great way to conserve energy and repurposing decor is an easy way to be sustainable.

  • Natural, Subdued Exteriors. Gray and beige are preferred for exterior home colors, with 30% and 26% of survey respondents opting in for those selections, respectively.

We anticipate seeing these trends reign supreme throughout 2022.

Home Shopping:

Design Turn-Offs

For those looking to buy a new home, some design elements can play a more significant part in that decision than others. Whether they’re checking out a space on the Opendoor app, touring a home virtually, or coordinating a time to see a space in-person on their schedule, consumers today are looking out for potential home “red flags” — like these outdated home features that signal more work may be needed:

  • Outdated Kitchen. This is the number one design turn-off, with 71% of buyers saying it would deter them from moving forward with a potential home purchase.

  • Outdated Bathroom. 66% of buyers say that an outdated bathroom is a major turn-off.

  • Outdated Carpet. On the decor side, 59% say outdated carpet is a deterrent when considering a new home.

  • Old Appliances. Half of buyers note that old appliances are a bad sign during the home shopping process.

Sellers should not overlook the importance of refreshing their interiors with a buyers’ perspective in mind. Notably, home improvement continues to be a priority for homebuyers: About 1-in-7 are prioritizing kitchen remodel projects.

Indoor-Outdoor Living Is Here to Stay:

Transitional Spaces are Big for Homeowners

Curb appeal continues to be a hot item for consumers, and outdoor spaces with functional elements that are also aesthetically pleasing matter most. A freshly landscaped lawn (43% of those surveyed) and neatly trimmed plants and brush (26%) offer the strongest curb appeal.

Survey respondents said an outdoor dining table and chairs (24%), a fire pit (21%) and an outdoor structure (20%) top the list for a picture-perfect backyard setting. At a time when at-home entertaining is slowly—but surely—returning to normal, a well-maintained outdoor environment can’t be overlooked.

Tip: Don’t underestimate the power of a well-designed outdoor space. Whether you’re in a warm climate year-round or more of a seasonal environment, indoor-outdoor living and outdoor entertaining are key to a happy home. One of my biggest recommendations is to focus on lighting.

Ensure you have solid outdoor electrical options so that you can use lighting to set the mood. Whether you’re hosting visitors or just enjoying a night outside with family and friends, string lighting is a great option that lets you alternate colors and create a welcoming atmosphere.

Decor Inspiration:

Top Design Resources

Finding design and decor inspiration is key to a happy home, and consumers nationwide can agree on who they turn to for advice. Unsurprisingly, popular design experts include tried-and-true experts like HGTV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines (23%) and The Property Brothers – Jonathan and Drew Scott (19%). Younger cohorts also turn to The Home Edit duo Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, whose signature rainbow aesthetic provides ample inspiration for #organizationgoals.

And when it comes time to bring those vision boards to life, survey respondents noted the importance of outside experts for support. About 1-in-3 (38%) homeowners say they are likely to use a virtual interior decorating service to receive decor and design ideas. Not surprisingly, this online tool is especially popular with younger groups (Millennials: 61% and Generation X: 47%).

Almost two-thirds (65%) of homeowners plan to hire a handyman or contractor to fix or spruce up their home in the year ahead. Like those who spent extra time checking out The Home Edit’s tips, 21% noted they intend to use a home organizing service in 2022.

Decor Shopping & Spending Habits

Decor shopping starts with brick-and-mortar: 56% of survey respondents noted that big box stores are their favorite place to shop for home decor, particularly retailers like Target, Walmart, Home Depot, and Lowe’s. Consumers also noted that discount stores such as HomeGoods and T.J. Maxx are alternative favorite spots for finding their next decor staple (40% of those surveyed). Unsurprisingly, online store fronts, such as Amazon and Wayfair, are also popular (49% of those surveyed).

The Real Estate & Design Connection

The real estate process can be stressful, which is why hundreds of thousands of consumers nationwide turn to Opendoor for simplicity, certainty, and speed. Knowing that design and decor play a role in that transaction experience, it’s essential that consumers find design solutions that enhance their day-to-day and increase home value for the long-term.

Are you searching for your dream home? Download the Opendoor app to begin searching for homes and see how we can help you save time and money in finding the home of your dreams.

Yasmine El Sanyoura is a Home Designer for Opendoor.

Methodology: The Opendoor Survey was conducted online by Qualtrics among 800 nationally representative U.S. homebuyers ages 28-74 between September-October 2021 who are interested in either decorating or remodeling their home (or have remodeled in the past two years). The data has been weighted to ensure reliable and accurate demographic representation of the U.S. homebuyer population ages 28-74. For the purposes of this report, Millennials are defined as ages of 28-39, Generation X is defined as ages 40 to 55 and Baby Boomers are defined as ages 56 to 74.

Further reading

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