At this point, most furniture upholstery trends seem to point toward solid colors and luxurious-feeling materials. Most interior designers have been using touchable materials like velvet in solid, natural, or jewel-toned shades for their upholstered furniture. But that just means that the tide is about to swing in the other direction! In 2022, you’ll see the furniture upholstery patterns we’re about to mention on armchairs, decorative pillows, and, yes, even sofas!
To get a full overview of the fabric patterns that will be popular in 2022, we’ve decided to start with the simplest designs and work our way to the more complex ones. With that in mind, let’s start with stripes.
Stripes of any kind have always had a place in our homes. If you look around right now, we bet you’ll find at least five objects with a striped pattern. So that trend won’t be going away any time soon.
Still, if straightforward, high-contrast stripes don’t appeal to you, there are other designs you could look into. For example, ticking stripe fabrics are always great if you’re looking for a subtle trace of color. Those patterns go with pretty much any kind of home decor, minimalist or maximalist.
Many people think that chevron fabric, the kind with prominent zigzag stripes, has been overplayed in recent years. But if you want a similar shape to that, you could always use herringbone fabric, which has the diagonal lines in its stripes meeting in a point. If you want to go for a more modern twist on the old story, try finding a material that features the herringbone design in great contrast. For example, you might go for a patchwork herringbone print where each diagonal line is made of a different fabric.
Nowadays, checkerboard and harlequin patterns remind us of the emo aesthetic of the early 2000s. But as it happens, many people have been putting a new spin on those fabrics that make us very interested in seeing them on furniture in 2022.
Even the more complex cousin of that pattern, gingham, is getting a new lease on life thanks, in part, to the cottagecore aesthetic. If you find these kinds of square patterns too busy to drape over a whole couch, consider using them on armchairs and decorative pillows. You might grow to like them as much as we do!
Unsurprisingly, floral patterns are as popular as ever. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t many different kinds of nature-inspired upholstery materials to play around with.
On the one hand, you could go for modern, watercolor designs featuring flowers, twigs, and leaves. Those images can easily be printed onto fabric in HD quality. On top of that, they're durable and even somewhat stain resistant!
If you like that kind of painted-on appearance, you might want to consider Chinoiserie materials, which are inspired by Chinese art. These fabrics feature florals, animals, pagodas, and other traditional motifs found in East Asian art.
On the other hand, if you’d like to use more Western floral patterns, you could look into Paisley patterns or Chintz florals. And if any of those seem pleasant, but overwhelming, remember that you can always get them in a subdued color palette. That way, the flowers would be only slightly darker or lighter than the surrounding background.
While we’re on the subject of traditional floral prints, we might as well mention some staples of furniture upholstery — damask and brocade. Even though the two have similar kinds of repeating motifs, they are quite different materials. For one, the damask is more shiny and flat, which also makes it reversible.
Meanwhile, brocade is only shiny because of the silver or gold thread woven into the material. The additions are a bit like embroidery, in that they stand out from the background. But that also means brocade, unlike damask, is not reversible.
Even so, both of these two fabrics bring royalty to mind. If nothing else, they’d work quite well with any antique furniture you might own.
Last but not least, we have been seeing a notable uptick in interest in ethnic motifs across different industries. So if you want to bring some culture into your home, there are a few ways to do it.
On the one hand, you could stick to your heritage and look for materials that best reflect your cultural background. Yet if you’re more interested in appreciating cultures across the globe, you could theoretically mix and match different kinds of patterns, as long as they’re in a similar color family.
Either way, you’ll find plenty of ethnic prints to suit your fancy. The materials come in an abundance of colors that are usually woven into repeating geometric patterns. Those patterns often feature stripes, diamonds, and even floral motifs — among other things.
Many ethnic designs would work quite well with the retro trend in home decor. For example, the abstract motifs painted on ikat fabric can add some wonderful texture to your home. Similarly, flame or Florentine stitch fabrics combine vibrant colors into long vertical zig zags. The material was originally hugely popular in the ‘60s and ‘70s, but the revival of the prominent aesthetic of those eras has also allowed these fabrics to make a comeback.
As we all know, minimalism has been one of the most popular home decor trends in the past decade. Now, we have officially entered the next era of interior design, which is marked by maximalism and eclectic taste. With that in mind, we didn’t just want to leave you with these different kinds of upholstery patterns to use on your furniture. Instead, we have one final piece of wisdom to impart.
If you’re going for a contemporary, eclectic style of interior decor — don’t be afraid to mix these prints! You could have a ticking stripe couch with a gingham armchair right next to it. And to complete the look, grab some floral decorative pillows! After all, isn’t the point of interior design creating an environment you want to live in?