The biggest London architecture and interiors trends of 2022


n an era when the function of a home became more important than ever, liveable interior layouts rather than extravagant architectural exteriors shone through during the Don’t Move Improve! (DMI) awards selection process.

Colour and quirkiness featured alongside an overriding focus on the practical use of space and an emphasis on living well, according to the judging panel, who whittled the entries down to a 15-strong shortlist.

“This year saw entries with more internal purpose than in previous years,” says broadcaster, property expert and DMI judge, Kunle Barker.

Interior design and layouts were the heroes of the cohort, with well-considered entries demonstrating how great architecture interventions can improve homes and the lives of the inhabitants. This is a shortlist of homes that make you happy.”

Significant trends for 2022 included “interconnected indoor-outdoor spaces and use of wood and natural materials”.

“Natural tones and pastel colours were dominant alongside bold shapes including curves and circles, often inspired by Art Deco,” says the director of the New London Architecture DMI awards, Amy Chadwick-Till.

Here are the design trends to know about for a happy home in 2022.

1. Indoor-outdoor spaces become one

Slide and Slot House by Ashton Porter Architects

/ Andy Stagg

The creation of an urban oasis is no longer a separate job when refitting or extending the inside of a home.

In a few cases, exposed beams inside the kitchen continue in the form of timber or metal pergolas outside, which over time will be covered in greenery to make an outdoor dining area.

The most extreme example of the connection between inside and out is at the Slide and Slot House, where the two glazed walls of the breakfast room fully slide back with garden on both sides.

2. Use of natural materials

Pink House by Oliver Leech

/ Ståle Eriksen

Cracks are celebrated and become part of a swirling pattern in the exposed plaster ceiling in the master bedroom of Pink House.

Polished and raw plaster walls and rendered clay worktops are also a recurring theme.

Exposed timber and metal beams are on show, too, for both style and cost reasons.

3. Working from home

The home with garden studio at Church Road by AHMM with Ruff Architects

/ Tim Soar

Where space is tight, working-from-home retreats are created as studios in the garden, as in the case of Church Road.

At Little Brownings a sliding door disappears into a wall to transform a secret study into a light-filled landing.

4. Showcasing curves

Curve Appeal by nimtim architects

/ Megan Taylor

Circular windows inside the home, along with curved corridors and winding staircases, add interest as well as allowing extra light into formerly dark corners.

At the Curve Appeal project, bespoke joinery in the living room, hallway and kitchen plays with curved shelving while arched-shaped doors feature, too.

5. A sense of humour

Forest House by AOC puts playful design centre stage

/ David Grandorge

Wit and playfulness are found in the projects, says judge Phil Coffey, director of Coffey Architects.

Bark feature walls and woven hazel cladding bring the woods inside the Forest House, which also features a swing in the hallway.

6. Upside-down layouts

Artist’s Studio Conversion by VATRAA


Architects turned some layouts upside down with the kitchen at the top of the house in the brightest space.

Bedrooms become calming retreats on the ground floor while kitchens are set under skylights.

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