How Do Millennial Home Trends Differ From Prior Generations? - Home & Texture
Homeownership Millenial Home Trends

How Do Millennial Home Trends Differ From Previous Generations?

This is how Millennials are revolutionizing home design and decor.

May 21, 2024 at 12:43 AM PST
Updated on May 21, 2024 at 12:43 AM PST
Homeownership Millenial Home Trends

How Do Millennial Home Trends Differ From Previous Generations?

This is how Millennials are revolutionizing home design and decor.

May 21, 2024 at 12:43 AM PST
Updated on May 21, 2024 at 12:43 AM PST

The Millennial generation — a.k.a people who were born between 1981 and 1996 — are reshaping the landscape of home design. Like every other generation, they have a unique set of values and priorities often shaped by their experiences. Unlike prior generations, millennials are steering away from the more common, traditional home trends. And the impact of this is wide-reaching. Here’s how millennial home trends differ from previous generations.

A home with solar panels
Photo credit: Thomas Werneken 

They focus on sustainability.

Inflation is a hot topic in the media. And millennials are definitely feeling the heat, especially with the cost of housing continuing to go up. To keep afloat, many millennials have been choosing smaller, more sustainable living spaces. But this focus on minimalism doesn’t just highlight the economic uncertainty many millennials are facing, but a conscious choice to reduce their ecological footprint, too.

Ever heard of a tiny home? Millennials are embracing compact dwellings like tiny homes and micro-apartments in order to prioritize efficiency and eco-friendliness. And now, sustainable building materials, energy-efficient appliances, and passive solar design are becoming increasingly common features in millennial homes, which shows some serious commitment to the environment.

They value authenticity.

Millennials place a high value on keeping it real, and that includes inside the home. Instead of relying on mass-produced furniture and accessories, many millennials opt for handmade or vintage pieces that tell a story, from thrift store finds to upcycled furniture.

A man sitting on top of a treehouse
Photo credit: Ali Zbeeb

They redefine what ‘the American dream’ should look like.

Throughout history, the American dream typically involved a home with a “white picket fence.” But modern society, Millennials in particular, see it differently.

The Millennial generation is more likely to prioritize lifestyle over square footage. For example, previous generations sought out nice, big homes in suburban areas, but Millennials are more drawn to bustling urban neighborhoods that have quality public transportation, cultural attractions, and fun amenities like coffee shops and eateries.

They design for functionality and practicality.

Life can be really hard. And the economic downturn that is 2008 made it a lot harder for everyone, but especially Millennials because many entered the workforce during this time. The millennial generation experienced the consequences of poor financial planning and high housing costs firsthand. This caused a shift in how they designed their homes, leading them to prioritize practicality over luxury in home design.

Older generations liked to prioritize more formal living spaces with ornate furniture and decor. But millennials tend to go for furniture and decor that can serve multiple purposes, or at least offer some kind of convenience. For example, multifunctional pieces — i.e. a storage ottoman or sleeper sofa — are big among Millennials because they’re versatile and save a lot of space.

A trio of friends sharing food at a kitchen counter
Photo credit: Sweet Life 

They put connection at the forefront.

Millennials are big on connection, and it shows in their design preferences. Previous generations favored more formal and compartmentalized layouts, whereas Millennials prefer open-concept living spaces that prioritize socializing.

Think about the open floor plans that combine the kitchen, dining, and living areas into a single cohesive space. These are pretty much a signature of Millennial home design. This design trend highlights a love for more flexible living spaces that can easily adapt to multiple activities like hosting a dinner party or enjoying a movie night with friends.

They embrace tech.

Because technology played a big role in their adolescence, it plays just as big a role in how Millennials design their homes.

From smart thermostats and lighting systems to voice-controlled assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Home, Millennials are embracing technology that enhances their quality of life.

Millennials are serious about convenience, and having the ability to remotely control and automate various aspects of home life like temperature, lighting, security, and entertainment, definitely adds to the appeal.


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