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Colors and Trends For The New Year: A 2022 Forecast With Designer Melanie Iverson

What was your biggest “thinking outside the box” design moment of 2021?

 I’m working on finishing up a “Barn dominium” for a client on a horse ranch North of town. We wanted the space to feel warm, relaxing and inviting while also utilizing fond memories the couple has from the Caribbean. I specified hand-made, custom-colored tiles made in California to adorn each shower with character and style that literally reflect the colors from the ocean. The tile mimics the movement of the waves in each walk-in shower as well. Additionally, I also opted into installing a stunning Cambria wall cladding around as their spa surround to eliminate grout lines and showcase an interesting alternative way to utilize quartz, as opposed to only using it on our countertops

Looking back on 2021, what design trends did you enjoy the most? 

Green! All shades of green have been on trend for the last couple of years. We’ve seen the earthy sage tones, bright emerald green and even moody, almost black greens. I don’t think this trend is going anywhere, anytime soon, especially because Architectural Digest just named green 2022’s new neutral. I especially love it, as the winter months get long in the Midwest and adding fig leaf plants or even small succulents give even just a tiny pop of color!

What trends are you most excited about in 2022? 

A number of years ago, I was obsessed with Domino Magazine, which is now only online. What inspired me then and excites me about 2022, is that I think we’re going to see a movement toward more whimsical design inspired by out-ofthe-box thinking in the home and even in commercial spaces. A minimalist version of maximalism, if you will. This type of design shouldn’t be obnoxious, but it is also a movement away from crisp and cold singular tones and toward layering textures upon textures, taking risks with moody colors and adding bold art or wallpaper patterns. Color significantly impacts mental health and we shouldn’t be shy about creating atmospheres that make us happy, peaceful and calm in the refuge that we call home.

What are your favorite patterns and textures for 2022? I love mixing and matching textures, but my absolute favorite are basket weaves and linen textures that create warmth and bring an element of the outdoors inside.

It’s the heart of winter. It’s easy to get stuck in the winter blues. What are your favorite hacks to bring some life and joy back into the home?

 I love warming up my spaces with brightly colored art, warm textures and real or fake plants. Even though it’s cold outside, it shouldn’t feel like that indoors!

Someone is planning a home remodel in 2022. What can they do right now to make the project a success? 

The first and most important thing someone should do is determine their budget. I have an architect friend that taught me his mantra: you can have whatever you want, you just have to pay for it. The reality is that budget will determine almost every decision and priority moving forward. Once you have firmed that up, locking in your designer and contractor are going to be the most challenging things at the moment. Most qualified companies up for a big home remodel are booking out well past the Fall of 2022 and even into 2023.

What are some common mistakes you see when people begin a remodeling project? How can they avoid this? 

In the Midwest, we are a frugal bunch of folks, myself included. Sometimes, there’s some sticker shock with the actual project cost, especially after the effects of COVID that hit the building industry. The reality is that if you’re going to all the trouble to renovate or build, you really need to do it right the first time. Once folks start cutting corners, the quality of the work suffers and no one wins. You’ll never regret good quality, but you will regret a half-completed job or shoddy work. You get what you pay for.

What home features are growing in popularity that you think are a great investment? (e.g. home security systems like Nest) 

There are two fairly basic upgrades I would always recommend to a client.

The first sounds so basic, but I swear by it: Recessed or WAC lighting. I like to select lights, such as pendants, dining or entry chandeliers for impact. I don’t think every single hallway needs a flush mount light fixture that you have to dust and change the lights every couple of months. I love choosing thoughtful light fixtures that are functional and beautiful. Then, replace every other light with recessed or disc lights with LEDs. It looks clean and it’s economical.

The second is built-in speakers throughout the house. I love when the home buzzes with surround sound. It creates an atmosphere that can be warm and welcoming or awesome for family gatherings and other get-togethers.

Written by Josiah Kopp

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