Zillow predicts that in the coming year, homeowners will invest in projects and features that make their home feel comfortable and calm, energized and inspired, safe and healthy — a home where they can thrive in 2022.
The new year marks an opportunity for renewal, and for many, that process will begin at home. Those who moved during the pandemic and those who stayed put will double down on their homes, and rethink not only how they want that space to look, but how they want it to feel.
“The pandemic forced a lot of people to reevaluate what’s most important in their lives and in their homes,” says Zillow home trends expert Amanda Pendleton. “For many, 2022 is the moment to start living those values. That could be investing in sustainable home features, designing a space with well-being in mind or leaning into comfort and function over high style.”
Zillow combined its housing market data and analyses to identify the top seven home trends to watch in the new year.
Down-to-earth color scheme
Paint colors have a huge impact on the vibe of a home, and people will gravitate toward nature as they seek out calm through color. Natural colors will prevail — think greens, blues, taupes and browns that match the colors of Mother Earth. The Behr 2022 Color of the Year, Breezeway, is a silvery green shade inspired by the earth’s beauty and reminiscent of sea glass found on the shores of salty beaches.
Potential and recent buyers also appear to be drawn to colors associated with water and sky. Zillow’s interior paint color analysis found homes with light blue bathrooms could sell for 1.6% more than expected, or nearly $5,000 on a typical U.S. home. Meanwhile, dark, moody blues in the bedroom could sell for a nearly $1,500 premium.
Give in to the green scene
It won’t be just paint that makes homes green. Sustainability will be a top priority for younger homeowners, who will seek out home features and products that allow them to live by their values.
First Insight’s The State of Consumer Spending found that younger generations are the most likely to make purchase decisions based on their values and principles, and the Deloitte Global 2021 Millennial and GenZ Survey found that nearly one-third of respondents started or deepened consumer relationships with businesses that benefit the environment.
Sustainable home features can make a home more energy efficient and less wasteful, and are associated with homes that sell faster, too. Zillow research finds that home listings with descriptions mentioning “eco,” “energy efficient” or similar terms have sold more than two days faster than expected. Listings that mention drought-resistant features sold 13 days faster, and smart sprinkler systems and double pane windows installed for energy conservation were associated with homes selling more than a week quicker than expected.
Throwback style is so hot right now
As supply chain issues persist and with sustainability top of mind, homeowners are turning to secondhand furniture and décor to furnish their homes. Just like fashion from the ’90s is back, so is throwback home design. Instead of replicating Granny’s house, younger homeowners will find comfort in design trends they grew up with in their childhood homes but with those trends getting a modern twist. For example, faux paint finishes are updated with plaster finishes, wallpaper is in style again with contemporary and geometric patterns, and all-wood kitchens are back — although cherry cabinets have given way to white oak.
Homes as comfortable as sweatpants
People are spending more time at home, and they want their space to be as comfortable and cozy as their stretchy outfits of choice. Instead of furnishing the home with what looks good, homeowners will prioritize what feels good. Furniture styles are already starting to reflect this, with curved couches and rounded corners dominating the market. Nubby fabric upholstery — versus leather — will be all the rage, ottomans will replace sharp-edged coffee tables, and there will be more cozy accent chairs that hug the body.
The Year of Renovation
Longtime homeowners and recent movers alike will be doubling down on their current homes and making improvements to meet their new, evolving needs. A survey of homeowners found that nearly three-fourths would consider at least one home improvement project in the next year. These projects include adding or improving a home office space (31%), finishing a basement or attic (23%), adding another room (23%) and putting in another dwelling unit, such as a backyard cottage or guest house (21%).
Renovations will come in all shapes and sizes in 2022, given supply and labor shortages. That will spur homeowners to become more creative in improving their homes’ functionality by turning garages into full-scale home gyms, transforming sheds into home offices and even clearing out old clothes from closets to make room for “cloffices.”
Mental health at home
It’s been a tough two years, and people are prioritizing mental health. Thoughtful wellness home design will reflect that. Homeowners will prioritize creating retreats within their homes, such as private spaces for meditation or reflection, reading nooks and spa-inspired bathroom escapes. Retreat features, such as a “she shed,” can help a home sell for 2.2% more than expected, while a freestanding bathtub can contribute to a home selling for a 2.6% premium.
Natural light will be a priority, especially in home offices and common spaces, while indoor plants will continue to be popular among home trends for their soothing properties.
As more people bring home furry friends, they will be designing their homes with their pets in mind. Zillow research found that pet ownership among recent movers soared over the past year , impacting housing decisions and home trends. Nearly three-fourths of home buyers report having at least one pet at home (73%), up from the 64% of buyers who reported having a pet in 2020.
Zillow research finds homes with a doghouse often sold for more than expected last year, while homes with a fenced yard or dog run sold faster than similar homes without these features. Look for pet owners to invest in custom feeding stations, built-in pet beds and even pet playrooms in the new year.