About Millennials and Their Home Design Habits
Where are they spending their money? Where are they skimping?
In less than 5 years, the oldest millennials will be turning 40 and will be outnumbering baby boomers as the largest generation in the US. Since this younger generation has a distinctly different relationship to brands and buying habits, this would indicate to us a shift in the marketplace. One of the largest influences on this is the internet and social media — more than ever before this is a generation with greater access to information and in the realm of home and design that means an infinite content stream of Pinterest-perfect homes and price-comparison apps. These are smart, savvy shoppers with an eye for design!
Who Benefits In a Millennial-Driven Home Market?
Under-40’s are not buying real estate at high rates, by any generous estimate (You might have heard about how they are ‘killing the suburbs’ by prolonging having families for longer, thus purchasing apartments and condos rather than starter tract homes). Fashion sales are also down among this demographic–BUT, home decor sales are actually higher. Fashion brands are recognizing this and you may have noticed some of your favorite runway designers trying to get in on the home furnishings and decor game. Everyone from Louis Vuitton and Kate Spade to Zara and H&M are getting in on this game. With an appreciation for art & design, millennials are transforming their homes, even rentals into carefully curated extensions of their personality. This is great for designers and artists! And with the advent of virtual reality and view-in-room features, it makes it easier than ever for us to design remotely!
What Do Millennials Want Their Homes to Look Like?
They’re more minimalist and paired back than their predecessors. They are generationally opposed to excess and that is reflected in the aesthetics of their homes. Smart, low-maintenance, modern with some naturalistic, nostalgia elements. Mid Century Modern and rustic. These are the trends we’re seeing emerge in the millennial design market!
Let’s delve deeper, though, because it is tricky to summarize the lifestyle and aesthetic of a giant generation of people ranging from 21-39… At Balboa Design Group, we design predominantly in San Diego. So keep in mind, that coastal urbanites are the demographic we can best speak to. With that said, we’re seeing a lot of demand for…
Farmhouse sinks with modern, trendy hardware in interesting finishes have become increasingly popular. As well as barn doors painted in modern, funky colors as both a design statement and as a way to make a room more flexible, you can section off a smaller room or keep it open. Millennials tend to be drawn to natural stones and woods. Wooden objects with steel frames are beautiful and appeal to millennials. The high contrast is also practical in the kitchen.
Millennial Color Trends
Colorful kitchen cabinets and appliances, while not particularly common, are on a lot of millennial clients’ Pinterest boards. But that can be a major (and expensive) design commitment! So while stainless steel isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, we’re seeing darker or more matte finishes that still fit with older stainless steel appliances so there’s no need to replace everything at once.
Also as a compromise, pops of pastels and bold color are popping up in small appliances and on pots and pans, like Smeg toasters and Le Cruset dutch ovens, or as a bright, bold ceramic tile backsplash!
Smart Home Technology
When it comes to home tech, you’d be surprised that millennials aren’t that into ALL of it. What remains popular are Nest thermostats, built in speakers, and controllable lighting, including the very popular colored LED lights in showers. Perhaps it is budgetary, but millennials aren’t nearly as obsessed with things like heated floors or alarm systems or smart appliances as you might think– at least not yet.