What Are Millennials’ Design Aesthetics?

Ellen C. Wells

Now that Millennials are buying homes (they represent 45% of all new mortgages), the home furnishings market should be booming. But according to Unity Marketing’s Pam Danziger, retail sales in that segment are up just 0.4% compared to an uptick of 3.2% in retail as a whole. As she stated in her latest e-newsletter, Millennials have been famous for dragging their feet when it comes to “adulting,” achieving the usual milestones of life a few years later than for previous generations. But they’re beginning to catch up.

Okay, so what are the Millennial generation’s design aesthetics anyway?

Mixing high-low: Essentially, that’s incorporating stylish low-end furniture with a few luxury/high-end pieces.

A “less is more” minimalism: Thanks to Marie Kondo’s “Tidying Up,” much of the mindset is having only several quality and interesting pieces rather than just having stuff for the sake of having stuff.

Statement pieces: The minimalist style means a demand for that one sculptural piece that could hold a room together on its own.

What’s on the wall is important: Single, oversized pieces of art on the walls are favored over the gallery of smaller pieces filling the wall (looks like I’m out of style).

Au naturale sustainability with a twist: Consumers’ interest in sustainability is driving demand for natural colors and textures. In this trend, we have this quote from a designer: “People want the green feel and texture of plants without the maintenance worries. Artificial plants give it to them. The Millennials are huge travelers and don’t want to worry about watering them or having a space without great lighting. Artificial plants always look perfect and have that feel of foliage.” Wow, that statement packs a punch to deconstruct later.

Home is for living: With more and more people staying home, people want their homes to feel “put together,” but to also feel comfortable, like a place they wouldn’t mind spending hours in to binge-watch “The Office.” GP