The Two Worst 2022 Interior Design Trends

Happy new year! I hope that you were able to spend your holidays enjoyably, surrounded by the people and things you love. Seattle had a particularly chilly holiday season, with plenty of snow to keep us indoors. A blessing in disguise, really, with the Omicron variant running rampant. Who would have thought that, nearly 2 years later, we would still be living through a pandemic?! 

But let’s hope that 2022 proves kinder to us all. Well, maybe not so much to the two hottest interior design trends of 2022, which I will get to below. 

How do trends happen, anyway? I have always wondered how it is that disparate entities can converge on a single idea. Do product designers all collude to push trends, or do trends develop organically and innocently? I cannot imagine it is an altogether rational behavior. I am sure the study of trend-making provides a rich line of inquiry for academic psychologists and economists and assume there has been much objective research into the phenomenon. 

Nevertheless, being someone who marches to my own drum beat I have never been a big adopter of major trends. Sometimes, my curiosity will lead me to a particular concept which will pique my interest, and I will see that concept become trendy a few years after. Largely, though, my own path of discovery is hardly concerned with what is fashionable. 

For independent-minded people like myself trends can be an annoyance, though even I can appreciate their contribution to our culture. Particularly in interior design, trends broadcast new ideas and coalesce into defining temporal styles. I mean, what were the 1920s and ‘30s if not Art Deco? 

Well-delineated geometry is a hallmark of the Art Deco style.

On the other hand, attitudes can be fickle, and not all interior trends stick around long enough to become classic hallmarks of decorating. Trends can quickly become dated and, well, maligned. For example, despite being quite popular for its time, would you really want to revive the style pictured below?  

Such autumnal colors… (via Reddit)

Anyway, it’s impossible to predict the future. From what I am seeing, the following are two of the hottest interior design trends going into 2022, and only time will tell whether they will have true staying power or if they will be thrown into the trash heap of history. All I can say is that I absolutely HATE them!


A bouclé sofa.

I do not know how this became an interior design trend, but I really, REALLY hate this one. The design media started pushing it hard in 2020, even before the pandemic, and then it was rampant at the Fall 2021 High Point market. From a recent visit to a few national retail showrooms, I can tell you it has thoroughly devoured all of their furniture, too!

The word “bouclé” is French, and translates to “loop” or “curl” in English. Bouclé is a type of yarn that is plied using strands of looped fibers, where one strand is pulled taught and the other strands are then plied loosely around to create ringlets or loops in the yarn. Any fabrics woven from such yarns are also called “bouclé.” 

Here, a wool bouclé in a black and white pattern shows the characteristic loops.

Bouclé fabric is great for making jackets or coats, as the loose weave provides excellent drape and the ringlets offer textural interest, especially when woven in polychrome patterns. It is not a stable fabric, however, and needs to be supported with interlining for clothing applications. Likewise, bouclé fabric for use in upholstery must also be stabilized. 

I really hate this trend because I generally do not like using nubby fabrics for upholstery. First, bouclé is an absolute magnet for hair of any kind–human or pet. The increased surface area is also a perfect attractant for dust and dirt, which get trapped easily within the loose, convoluted fibers. It further doesn’t help that the most popular and common color for this upholstery available on the market right now is a light ivory.

The vast majority of retail bouclé furniture is offered in this timid ivory color, recalling sheep

Not only are nubby fabrics like bouclé difficult to clean, but they also do not wear well. Again, those loose fibers combined with the friction of daily use will have your sofa or chair looking ragged in no time, despite what the abrasion ratings may tell you. If you have boisterous children or pets, forget about it! Additionally, it imparts an extremely casual impression which is not suitable for formal spaces like dining rooms.

Bouclé dining chairs are really odd to me. They are much too casual for formal dining spaces, and yet still too fussy for actual casual dining spaces. Just a bad idea, honestly.

Ultimately, bouclé upholstery just elicits a very visceral reaction of disgust from me. The word that immediately comes to mind is “grody.”

Globular Furniture  

Lumpy, bumpy globs of fabric and stuffing.

The other design trend I am seeing plastered all over the design media and catalogs is so-called “curvy” furniture. Supposedly, according to manufacturers, the existential threat of COVID-19 sent customers scrambling for furniture that provides a “comforting, plush embrace.”

Sure. Personally, the idea of being suffocated to death by an insurmountable, amorphous mass of polyester doesn’t offer a more appealing alternative to catching COVID, but to each their own.

Like bouclé above, I feel like this trend has its origins in the 1970s casual chic aesthetic that has been recently “re-discovered” by impressionable youngsters (who probably took their cue from a certain celebrity socialite). Unfortunately, this trend is quite often combined with the one above to create a sort of Frankenstein’s monster of hideousness! 

Globular stools in (what else?) ivory bouclé. Mary is not doing a very good job of minding those lambs, is she?

Curved furniture is not a new innovation. In fact, furniture has incorporated curved forms since antiquity, such as the elegant kismos chair of Greece. When executed well, curves in furniture add movement to interiors and can guide the eye around the room. 

What makes these new curved forms so unpalatable is that they are badly scaled and ill-proportioned to the predominantly rectilinear spaces in which most of us live. I mean, how many of us actually have circular or elliptic rooms to flaunt crescent-shaped sofas to their best effect? Due to their shape, they are meant to be pulled out into a room to display their form, making them a terrible option for smaller living spaces.

This sectional is way too big and completely dwarfs the dinky little console and cocktail tables. Good luck carrying on a conversation with anyone seated at the other end.
A smaller kidney-shaped sofa. Still an impractical choice for most situations, but at least it’s not ivory bouclé!

Further, their overstuffed appearance and often-exaggerated size make them look like giant blobs of fabric attacking your room. Now, if you love the sci-fi B-movie aesthetic, wonderful! Enjoy your globular furniture in good health, but I’ll pass on this one. 

As with anything, taste is highly subjective. Clearly, these two trends have caught on with the mainstream, so there seems to be a market for them. But if popular design is your passion, then you wouldn’t be reading this blog post, would you? 

Maybe globular, bouclé furniture will solidify its place in the interior design pantheon. Then again, perhaps we will all wake up from this design delusion and rediscover the tenets of good taste. 

In the meantime, if you need help solving your design dilemmas with a personalized touch, you know where to find me. 😉 


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