Minimalism Beats Maximalism as People’s Favorite in 2022 [Survey]

Interior design is an ever-changing field and at the start of each year we all like to read forecasts and bet on the main trends for the coming year. For example, while minimalism has been all the rage for a few years now, expert designers continue to predict its demise and the escalation of its opposite – maximalism – in a big, post-minimalist time. But is this really what people want for their home?

To find out if the predicted trends are what people prefer, we recently surveyed our website visitors – tenants looking for apartments on – about their preferences for interior design, color combinations and overall home aesthetics they want and enjoy. . Of more than 12,000 survey respondents, the vast majority said they opted for the minimalist style – calm colors, smooth lines and a relaxing atmosphere – creating a stark contrast between trends and reality.

Most interior design experts predicted that maximalist styles would be the most popular in 2022

At the start of each new year, designers and social media influencers love to denounce the classics and praise the new. So, to check the status of predictions made for this year, we searched over 100 interior design publications and articles that covered the topic of the hottest design styles of 2022.

We then filtered the posts even further, selecting only the most visited websites to see what the biggest names in interior design had to say about the minimalism vs. maximalism paradigm for 2022. We found that 31 big names out of 53 predicted minimalism would come out. style in 2022. These influencers also pointed to the rise of maximalism, high millennial, cottagecore and cluttercore – all eclectic and busy design styles.

Notably, from vintage designs inspired by grandmothers to the glorification of disorder accepted as self-expression, these trends embrace the idea of ​​a home as a constant stimulus that energizes and takes us away from everyday boredom. And, while some staples were meant to stay in the spotlight — like black accents, abundant houseplants, luxe textiles, or versatile furniture — they feel more like features than styles in themselves.

In fact, minimalist styles are the winners, according to a survey

Next, let’s see how that compares to what survey participants had to say.

Calm and soothing color schemes were clearly respondents’ favorites

Asked about their color preferences, nearly three-quarters of respondents (73.5%) said they wanted a calm and soothing color palette in their homes. Obviously, color combinations that fit into a versatile design and those that can be easily maintained tend to be preferred. Specifically, neutral, muted hues and off-whites – combined with subtle, contrasting accents – are generally the best color schemes to implement in homes and apartments. Conversely, dark and dark or vibrant and bold colors were far behind, preferred by just 15.2% and 11.3% of respondents, respectively.

Additionally, the “color of the year” trend has been going on for quite some time, with huge brands naming a particular color as their go-to for the year. And, while it would be fun to constantly change your decor and wall paint to keep up with trends, people don’t really do it — and they don’t really appreciate it.

Soft, curved shapes take precedence over sharp geometries

Similarly, when asked which design concepts they preferred, most people (33.6%) chose soft, curved edges and shapes. In second place were plant and earth inspired prints at 21.4%, followed by subtle textures, preferred by 20.1% of respondents. During this time, sharp geometric shapes and colorful floral patterns were the least popular.

So people spoke – “the colorful, the cluttered, the maximalist, …” may be trending on social media, but it’s just not feasible or desirable for most of us in real life. Likewise, while TikTok has popularized colorful, bright and eclectic patterns and sharp aesthetics, are they really as widespread as some influencers say? Of course, it can be exciting to look at these types of designs online. But, for day-to-day living, that’s just not what you find in most homes.

Most people prefer a clean and minimal design

Overall, the top choice for home decor was a clean, minimal design that is calm, simple and useful, since 59% of respondents chose this option. All the others (dark, romantic or patterned styles) were a considerable distance behind.

At some point, the heightened discussion of trends like carnivalcore, grand millenial, and dark academy seemed to signal that the calm, minimal design was headed for the door. However, our survey confirmed the opposite: people are only interested in reading about it, let alone adapting such a trend in their own home. Certainly, celebrities or industry professionals can be drawn to sensationalism and fashion. But for the everyday person, a clean, minimal design is not only more accessible, but also more desirable.

The noise of high contrasts and abundant decor distracts and energizes. Alternatively, a minimalist design with less clutter and fewer accents can help create a serene environment in which one can work, relax, and enjoy every moment.

Soft and relaxing atmosphere makes people happier

Similarly, the majority of survey respondents (47%) also said that a soft and relaxing atmosphere was invaluable. Having a home of your own often equates to having a space that nurtures serenity and calm, and a subtle aesthetic that embraces soft textures and muted colors will likely create that. On the same lines, modern and refined finishes were the second most popular choice: 29.5% of survey respondents thought this style also offered comfort, offered thoughtful design, and minimized randomness and bulk.

By way of comparison, many designers thought that 2022 would be the year we say goodbye to all-white, neutral, minimalist and modern interiors, opting instead for vibrancy, color and mixed patterns: more precisely, they predicted that A loud, maximalist interior style – as well as a combination of vintage and “granny-chic” design – would replace what some experts consider “boring” or “stale”.

Calm exceeds excitement and intrigue

The vast majority of our respondents, nearly 70% said they wanted the design of their home to make them feel calm. And it seems natural that our homes – the places where we spend most of our time – are designed this way.

Conversely, the essence of carnivalcore – wanting to feel like you’re living in a perpetual festival – is a way to celebrate life and feel excited in your own home. However, only 14% of our respondents indicated that they wanted to feel excited about a design trend. Meanwhile, only 13.5% of respondents said they want to feel intrigued when viewing a design style. As such, dark academia could be the style that serves its purpose well, adding inspiration and moodiness to any room.

Clearly, people have come out in favor of clean, serene minimalism; elegant and modern design; and a relaxing aesthetic. Of course, this way of designing a home doesn’t necessarily mean that it lacks personality, but rather that one finds its expression in more subtle details, rather than an entire style. For example, personal trinkets, photographs, artwork, and gallery walls all help people express who they are and what they love – and, therefore, take ownership of their homes.

The design style we choose for our homes is intended to allow for individual customization, especially for renters. But, when choosing a busy style itself, it becomes more difficult. So it seems normal that most people opt for these simpler styles that allow for customization and simplify everyday life.


RentCafe is a nationwide apartment search website that makes it easy for renters to find apartments and houses for rent in the United States.

Data presented in this study is based on a survey of 12,474 respondents in the United States conducted June 7-14, 2022 at

To identify the interior design trends predicted for 2022, we analyzed 103 sources, such as online publications and articles dealing with the subject. We then filtered sources based on their audience size, selecting only sources with over 300,000 monthly traffic visits for a total of 53 articles, which we then manually researched to uncover home design trends. they predicted. A total of 31 articles predicted that maximalist designs would be the winning trends for 2022. Download the full list of publications here.

Fair Use and Redistribution

We encourage and freely grant permission to reuse, host, or republish the research, graphics, and images presented in this article. In doing so, we ask that you please credit our research by linking to or this page so that your readers can learn more about this project, the research behind it, and its methodology. For more detailed and personalized data, please contact us at [email protected].

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