The 7 Architecture Design Trends for 2022 We’re Excited About

Quality of life has never been more in-focus than it is right now. We may not be working and learning from home as much, but we won’t look at our living spaces the same way after the past year. 

As the world continues to be in a state of transition, architecture trends for 2022 focus on prioritizing our own wellness and working in tandem with the world around us.

Thinking Big-Picture Sustainable Home Design

At Urban Design Associates, we know that sustainability is more than adding solar panels to the roof. We are a member of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) and architect partner Jessica Hutchison-Rough is a LEED Professional with a specialty in Residential Architecture. To design a truly sustainable home, you have to think of the project from start to finish. A trend we’re excited to see continuing is residents wanting to know their homes have as small a carbon footprint as possible, including the sourcing and transportation of materials.

When starting a project, understand the impact transportation can have on a build. There are many exotic and beautiful imported materials, but if it has to cross an ocean to get to you, looking for other beautiful options is worthwhile. Think about the supplies you have locally. Not only will it help cut down on carbon emissions, but it also supports nearby businesses.

Think, too, about how to use resources efficiently, both in building and in maintenance. In the Southwest, adobe is common not only because it’s easy to source, but also because it’s energy-efficient. It absorbs energy from the sun during the winter and heats up slowly, keeping the house cooler in the summer. This keeps owners’ energy bills lower.

Being Creative With Smart Glass Technology

The transportation footprint might not be the only hindrance in obtaining sustainable materials. As we’ve seen in the past few months, some materials just aren’t available. At UDA, that enabled us to get creative with what we could get: smart glass technology.

Windows are often the most inefficient part of a home, especially in the Southwest. But shades or blinds block the beautiful vistas and benefits of natural sunlight. That’s why we’re excited about smart glass windows. These windows use a newly developed material that changes its heating capabilities based on the amount of heat and air conditioning present in the home. With the push of a button, the glass creates a variable tint to remove glare or cut down on the heat from direct sunlight. All without covering up the view.

At UDA, we design with the awe-inspiring environment as a focal point. So we use glass as whole walls under deep overhangs to be protected from the sun. Homeowners get the view and climate control all in one. Smart glass technology also comes in handy in situations when a resident needs privacy part of the time, such as in a bedroom looking out over the desert or a room that opens into a courtyard. Homeowners can tint the windows when they prefer to have a little seclusion.

Prioritizing Healthy Air

The pandemic and climate change have homeowners thinking about air quality in a new way. Designers should prioritize the health and wellness of the homeowners by finding ways to optimize airflow and include air purifiers throughout the home. 

Upgrading from a traditional flat filter to an electronic filter can trap more problematic particles, like smoke, that tend to be too small for standard filters. It’s also important to think about airflow and proper ventilation in the home to cut down on excess moisture from bathrooms and spas.

Another way to help with air quality is to have space for houseplants. All plants help filter the air, but plants with large flat leaves like rubber plants and peace lilies work best. Design nooks and ledges with various levels of direct and ambient sunlight to keep a variety of plants happy and healthy.

Landscaping With The Natural Environment

Creating happy and healthy plants outside can be difficult in the desert climate. That’s why we’re excited about xeriscaping. Xeriscaping takes advantage of the Southwest’s natural beauty to create outdoor escapes that require little to no watering.

This type of landscaping uses rocks, mulch, and drought-tolerant native plants to eliminate the need for irrigation and cut down on water usage while still creating a striking outdoor environment. Cactus are often associated with this type of landscaping, but agave, juniper, and lavender are common as are herbs such as thyme, sage, and oregano.

While xeriscaping requires less water than traditional lawns, all plants need some moisture. Use efficient irrigation such as drip hoses that work close to the base of the plants to keep evaporation to a minimum. Also, group plants with a similar water need together for efficient maintenance. 

Blurring the Lines Between Inside and Outside

People often move to the Southwest to take advantage of the climate, and many homeowners want to spend as much time in their outdoor spaces as they do inside the house. One of the current trends in architecture we’re keeping an eye on is the seamless movement from indoors to outside.

To create this effect, we use a lot of disappearing glass walls and furniture layouts that flow between the interior and exterior. We try to make the courtyard feel like an interior room with comfortable and climate-appropriate seating and privacy where needed. You can see an example of this in the White Mountain Residence, where expansive decks around the back make it so the backyard trees can be enjoyed inside or out.

Bringing Contemporary Touches to Lighting

Even traditional homes can incorporate contemporary materials, such as wood, glass, and sustainable fabrics, in their lighting fixtures. Like smart glass and house plants, light fixtures made from natural materials help bring a feeling of the outdoors into the living space.

Look for ways to use lighting that works with natural sunlight and open floorplans. Consider statement pieces that reflect sunbeams into interesting patterns or lighting that recedes into the background to spotlight a focal point. Lighting is also a great way to add a subtle touch of personality and creativity into a room by choosing patterns or vintage designs for an otherwise understated room.

Rolling In A Warmer Color Palette

Earthy hues, like the 2022 Color of the Year Evergreen Fog, will continue the theme of bringing the feel of the outdoors inside. A calming shade of green reminiscent of a morning walk through a meadow, it pairs well with umbers and beigy browns. This warmer color palette is overtaking the cool grays that have been popular the past few years but is light enough to bridge previous trends with this new warmer direction.

Unlike in the past, these earth tones shouldn’t be relegated to an accent wall. A design trend we’re seeing (and enjoying) is to immerse a room in these colors by painting all the walls with these warmer hues. And if a room has plenty of natural light, you can easily maintain a bright feeling in the space.

Enjoying Nature From Every Room

Using sustainable materials, natural lighting fixtures, and native plants inside and out, design trends for 2022 will continue to focus on caring for and enjoying the world around us. If you are interested in sustainable home design, tell us about your project. We would love to help!