As the pandemic altered how we live, homeowners also made big investments in upgrading where they live: about $420 billion worth of home remodels and repairs in 2020, according to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. That same team predicts a continued uptick in maintenance and remodeling spending throughout 2022.

If you’re planning to redo parts of your home this year, think about not only what you want, but what others might be looking for in a home, too, so you have a shot at recouping some of the expense. Here are five home decor and design trends appealing to homeowners and buyers in 2022.

1. The greening of everything

To get a sense of what’s happening inside homes, we started with what’s appearing in online searches. According to an analysis of design website Houzz, everyone wants to infuse green in their homes: Online searches for green kitchen cabinets, green tile bathrooms and green accent chairs surged by more than 700 percent in 2021.

It’s not just about adding the color green to your design, either. More of us are searching for artificial plants and trees, along with indoor pots and planters, too, the Houzz report revealed.

2. Gray is going away

Green isn’t the only hue making homes come alive in 2022. This year, more homeowners are ditching “safe” color palettes in neutrals for a bolder approach.

“Traditional grays are trending out, and warmer, more inviting colors are making a comeback,” says Christy Walker, broker/owner of RE/MAX Signature in Phoenix, Arizona.

3. Sustainable materials will surge

As corporations and countries seek solutions to address the climate crisis, individuals are looking to play a part, too. A recent survey by shows that 90 percent of experts in the construction and remodeling industry believe there’s growing interest in eco-friendly home design and decor. That means there’ll be heightened demand for materials like bamboo and those that contain recycled content — carpet and reclaimed wood, for example.

4. Flooring is evolving

In 2022, home decor isn’t simply about what your eyes see; it’s also about what’s under your feet.

“Flooring styles are also changing, which set the foundation for the look and feel,” Walker says. “New materials are allowing people to explore a more creative side with tiles, stone and even a wide variety of quality vinyls. Oversized block tiles are trending in the Southwest, rather than traditional square or even plank options.”

5. The outdoors are coming in

A focus on the outdoors defined 2020 and 2021, and that emphasis isn’t going away in 2022. A recent American Institute of Architects survey shows continued interest in building outdoor living spaces, with more homeowners asking for plans for blended indoor/outdoor living, such as garage-style doors opening up to the backyard.

As you look to refresh your home and search for home decor ideas this year, remember you don’t have to earmark a big budget for a top-to-bottom renovation. As one real estate agent recommends, focus on identifying the design components and color schemes that can dress up your existing space.

“Design these days is about color, light, comfort and having your private oasis,” says Catherine Allen, an agent with RE/MAX One in Woodland Hills, California. “Curb appeal is almost as important as what’s inside the home. Design and color that enhance and complement the space and best attributes of the home, without being fussy or too stark, make the highlighted areas sing and impress.”

If you do wind up embarking on a bigger project, consider these best ways to pay for home improvement projects.

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