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2022 Trendiest Interior Design Styles on Google: Zen & Mystery See Spike in Popularity, Rustic Styles Plunge

Japandi is the fastest-rising interior design trend for 2022 — with Google searches 13 times higher in 2021 than they were in 2020 — and dark academia and grandmillennial styles are the second- and third-trendiest designs. Meanwhile, people seem to be losing interest in rustic, shabby chic and modern country, which recorded the sharpest drops in searches.

No matter where you live, there’s been a very clear trend lately: we’ve been spending a lot more time inside our homes. Accordingly, during these last two years, redecorating projects have been on the rise as people feel the need to beautify and refresh their living spaces. To that end, we wondered just which styles were the rising stars last year and will be leading the trends in 2022.

So, we took to Google to see what people are searching for the most. Specifically, we analyzed the increase in search volumes for 35 different design styles in 2021 compared to the previous year to identify the styles that gained the most in popularity, as well as the ones that people lost interest in.

Without further ado, here are the trendiest interior design styles for 2022, according to Google searches:

Zen, Mystery & Grandma-Inspired Styles Spiking in Popularity in 2022

trendiest interior design styles for 2022

  • Japandi

    • Tranquil, zen, harmonic
    • One-year increase in search volume: 1,217%
    • Average monthly search volume: 3,820

The #1 trendiest style, Japandi is seeing the most remarkable rise in popularity, with Google searches 13 times higher than they were just one year ago. This match-made-in-heaven style that brings together the best of two similar, yet very distant, worlds — Japan and Scandinavia — has seen a net increase of 3,530 searches per month.

The style is focused on creating a calm and clean aesthetic; embracing natural tones and textures; and promoting peace of mind. As such, the color palette is filled with neutrals and muted colors, as well as pops of accent and contrast to create dynamism. At the same time, plants bring in life, and warmer hues and are used to create a livelier, more dynamic version of the classic minimalism.

Jen Stark, founder of Happy DIY Home, told us that this fusion of trends has incredible potential, and gave us some tips on how to incorporate it:

“This is a very minimalist style that is functional, yet simple. You’ll want to incorporate natural textures with open and bright spaces, and lean more toward neutral tones. Pair this with more rustic, Japanese-style elements to create a unique and clean fusion.”

  • Dark Academia

    • Gloomy, mysterious, dramatic
    • One-year increase in search volume: 405%
    • Average monthly search volume: 2,020

Dark academia is the second-trendiest design style, having spiked 405% in Google searches in 2021 compared to 2020. This look is the quintessential dream study of a bookworm. It’s a style endorsed by the lovers of literature and art, promoting the love for learning and studying, as well as a passion for the academic lifestyle. Yet, at its core, the dark academia essence lies in evoking grandeur and chaotic order. And, being a very moody aesthetic, it took over Instagram and Pinterest very quickly.

As the name suggests, the overall aesthetic has a dark and gloomy look and color palette. Dark browns and shades of crimson or purple; heavy materials, such as velvet, metals and stones; and highly ornate pieces of furniture complete the look of dark academia.

  • Grandmillennial

    • Granny-chic, patterned, bold
    • One-year increase in search volume: 217%
    • Average monthly search volume: 730

The third-trendiest design — which has seen an increase of 217% in online searches — grandmillennial has morphed from a typical group of people who loved various items and trinkets to decorate their homes into a full-fledged aesthetic. It’s abundant and loud and very much evokes the busy homes of Millennials’ grandmothers. And, for all the noise it caused on social media, it made people curious: although it hasn’t yet reached the level of search volumes of other styles, it has gained some serious traction in the last few months, becoming one of the designs to watch in 2022.

In response to the very clean and simple modern designs (think mid-century modern), as well as being the opposite of what typical Millennials had in their homes growing up, this style is all about reconnecting and rediscovering beauty in bold, floral patterns; chintz, pleated items; bright colors; and mismatched furniture. This style also has a very organic feel to it, allowing people to use it as a means of telling their own stories.

  • Cottagecore

    • Romantically rural, nostalgic, whimsical
    • One-year increase in search volume: 132%
    • Average monthly search volume: 4,530

A pastoral aesthetic, the Cottagecore trend is quintessentially romantic and nostalgic — a style that pays tribute to an idyllic version of the rural life with its quiet, slow pace of living and tranquility. Perhaps craving a little peace, people have been loving this trend during the tumultuous times we live in, looking it up more than twice as often as last year for an increase of 132% in 2021. That places it in the fourth spot of the trendiest design styles for 2022.

This color palette consists of muted, warm tones and soft pastels, and contrast is created when complemented by texture. The aesthetic is warm, inviting and charming. And, although embracing a filled home, it’s not as abundant as grandmillennial.

  • Maximalism

    • Abundant, loud, eclectic
    • One-year increase in search volume: 112%
    • Average monthly search volume: 3,540

Maximalism is a style that showcases the personality of the person designing the space. Perhaps that’s why, despite having been around for a long time, it continues to grow in popularity today. Maximalism ranks fifth in our list of trendiest designs with an increase of 112%. Using eclectic, rich colors; bold patterns; and many personal trinkets and memorabilia as the main décor items, this style creates an over-the-top design and makes any room come alive.

Notably, layers are key to this design because you still want it to be balanced in its abundance. So, think about the cohesion of a place when you want to achieve a maximalist look. For instance, add surfaces for display — such as bookcases, coffee tables or open shelves — but don’t forget about essential pieces, such as plants and functional items.

Shelby Greene, interior designer with Living Spaces, predicted this return to abundant styles like maximalism, cottagecore, or grandmillennial. “Instead of minimalism, we are seeing a resurgence of maximalism. Statement furniture pieces with bold colors or textures will be popular, as well as bold print wallpaper or bright walls and large art pieces or accessories.”

Rustic & Country-Inspired Styles Fading Fastest

interior design rustic

At the other end of the spectrum, it seems that rustic-inspired styles — although rather widespread during these past two years — are seeing a decline in popularity.

  • Rustic

    • Natural, earthy, rugged
    • One-year decrease in search volume: -28%
    • Average monthly search volume: 17,520

The rustic design makes use of many natural elements; organic shapes and textures; and traditional design, thereby moving away from contemporary features. But it has seen a sharp decline compared to the year before — down 28% in searches in 2021. While still very popular, it seems that people are moving toward more dramatic — or perhaps more modern — styles when looking for a change.

  • Shabby Chic

    • Comfortable, familiar, relaxed
    • One-year decrease in search volume: -28%
    • Average monthly search volume: 3,260

Shabby chic is a cozy design style, bringing a warm and comfortable aesthetic to interiors. With its eclectic feel, this style is reliant on weathered and aged pieces, as well as “old world” textures, shying away from modern elements. It is also filled with vintage décor, which is why it has perhaps seen a decrease similar to that of rustic design, down 28%.

  • Modern Country

    • Clean, light, practical
    • One-year decrease in search volume: -25%
    • Average monthly search volume: 1,120

While incorporating more contemporary elements than its counterparts, the modern country style is still centered around natural, rugged items evoking rustic and natural vibes. The typical look includes reclaimed materials; rough and organic textures; light colors; and geometrical patterns. This style declined 25% in popularity during the last year.

Modern Farmhouse: Most Popular Design Style by Number of Searches

interior design modern farmhouse

When we look at the total number of Google searches, we see the big names show up once again: modern farmhouse claimed the crown in 2021 with the highest average monthly searches on Google, followed by the timeless mid-century modern, and the much-loved Scandinavian style.

  • Modern Farmhouse

    • Charming, cozy, traditional
    • One-year increase in search volume: 24%
    • Average monthly search volume: 25,670

Although it hasn’t grown much in popularity in the past year, modern farmhouse remains the most-searched-for design type on Google. As opposed to classic farmhouse, this style is less reliant on rustic and vintage items, instead incorporating the warmth and coziness of the farmhouse design with a modern and elegant feel. It also moves away from clutter and kitsch and toward a more sophisticated and clean design, thereby incorporating the best of both worlds.

  • Mid-Century Modern

    • Practical, organic, textured
    • One-year increase in search volume: 1%
    • Average monthly search volume: 24,660

A timeless classic, the mid-century modern style is very constant, having stagnated in searches with an average monthly search volume of almost 25,000. Although still very popular, it’s not among the trendiest designs, as people might be looking for something more organic, warmer and personal. Conversely, mid-century is a straight-forward style, embracing practicality and functionality, while moving away from the ornate and abundant design styles that compete with it. Its simplicity and ease are also tempting — and that’s why this style fits in most homes.

  • Scandinavian

    • Simple, layered, balanced
    • One-year increase in search volume: 29%
    • Average monthly search volume: 22,100

Scandinavian design is centered around the concept of hygge: coziness, warmth and good living. Think of layers of soft fabrics; throw pillows and blankets; warm off-whites; and a corner fireplace. Comfort is quintessentially Scandinavian — and perhaps that’s why it’s so popular, either simply as it is or mixed with other influences (such as Japandi). With an increase of 29% and a monthly average search volume of 22,100, it’s likely that we’re going to see echoes of this style abundantly in 2022.

Top 3 Design Styles by State

Check out the top-trending interior design styles by state in the table below:


Methodology:

RentCafe.com is a nationwide apartment search website that enables renters to easily find apartments and houses for rent throughout the U.S. 

Ranking is based on the year-over-year percentage increase in the number of average monthly Google searches for 35 of the most popular interior design styles.

For both the national and state rankings, the increase was calculated by comparing the average monthly search volumes on Google between January and November 2021 to searches between January and November 2020 using Google’s Keyword Planner. For each style, we used a combination of six relevant keywords to reach the total monthly volume.

Fair Use and Redistribution

We encourage you and freely grant you permission to reuse, host, or repost the images in this article. When doing so, we only ask that you kindly attribute the authors by linking to RentCafe.com or this page, so that your readers can learn more about this project, the research behind it and its methodology.

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Mihaela Buzec
Mihaela Buzec is a writer and online content developer for RentCafe. She covers topics about everything related to the renting lifestyle, from decorating and interior design to finding the right apartment, frugal living, money saving advice, and more. She dives deep into topics of interest, writing well-researched comprehensive guides on subjects such as renting with pets, saving on utilities, or avoiding rental scams to help renters stay informed and live smart. Mihaela is a versatile writer whose work was also published on many blogs and websites in a variety of industries: real estate, design, lifestyle, college life, and personal finance. Mihaela holds a BA in English and German Language and Literature, an MA in Current Linguistics, and she is currently pursuing a PhD in neurolinguistics. With a background in academic writing, she is a passionate reader, writer, and researcher, looking to always expand her knowledge. You can get in touch with Mihaela at mihaela.buzec@yardi.com.

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