It used to be that millennials were studied to see how the younger generation was growing up. People referred back to the millennial generation to figure out what kids wanted and how they were doing.
Now most millennials have graduated college and entered the workforce, leaving their young adulthood behind. They’re looking for apartments and townhomes, plus their first big home purchase that grants them homeownership.
So what does this generation want out of their living spaces? Their design preferences are different than baby boomers, which affects the home design industry.
Read on to learn the trendy ways millennials are changing home design, so you can be up to date on what millennial shoppers tend to buy.
1. They Look for Color
It’s an industry standard that homes and apartments come with beige walls and carpets. They’re easy to match with any interior design scheme, plus they make it easy to locate and take care of stains or scuff marks.
While this standard probably won’t be changing any time soon, millennials want some added color in their lives. They appreciate dark cabinets against white countertops or a burst of color in an all-white bathroom.
The key is to find this added color without forcing anything too specific on renters or buyers. Instead of red lamp shades as bathroom lighting, go with dark browns, blacks, and whites as your basic color scheme.
2. They Need Smart Tech
Young people have grown up with technology, so they know how it can make life so much easier. They look for smart tech they can use where they live, so they’re never without the ease that tech provides.
Studies show that millennials are willing to pay 20 percent more per month for smart home technology. This goes for rental homes and mortgages. Include tech like a smart fridge, a smart security system or a smart TV as part of the package they get when they buy their living space.
Homes that offer smart tech included with the price have more of a chance of landing a millennial buyer because that’s what they’re interested in.
3. They Like Multipurpose Furniture
When millennials began to enter the job market, they realized they were up against a tough economy. Not only did they have to fight to get a job with good pay and benefits, but they also had to find a way to make major monthly payments on their student loan debt.
This led to millennials being named the poorest generation since World War II. They had to quickly learn how to be smart with the money they had, making every dollar stretch as far as possible.
That’s why they like multipurpose furniture. A pullout couch or a bed with built-in storage are just a few of the furniture pieces millennials tend to buy since they’re getting more use out of what they buy.
4. They Want Solar Power
People around the world are becoming more concerned about living eco-friendly lives, and that especially includes millennials. They want to go green with how they live, starting with the where they live.
Millennials have been shown to be very interested in solar heating. Solar panels are a much more efficient way to produce and use energy, saving people more money by providing a green energy alternative.
Solar power hits on two of millennials’ biggest concerns — saving money and living green. This kind of energy will only get more popular as more millennials shift to solar-powered homes.
5. They Love Luxury Kitchens
The idea of a luxury kitchen may call to mind massive amounts of counter space, designer cabinets and room to entertain. While some millennials may be able to afford this, they generally want luxury kitchens that just have updated appliances.
The definition of the luxury kitchen has changed, so upgraded countertops and appliances will appeal to millennials. They can always upgrade more later, as long as their kitchen has that luxury feel when they move in.
6. They Switch Materials Up
Although millennials are interested in green energy sources in their homes, they also look for new design materials. Sustainable wood and recycled fabrics are what they like the most when they look to design their living space.
This goes back to the idea of millennials being conscious of their carbon footprint. Every little effort to live a greener life helps them minimize their impact on the earth, which is why they switch traditional design materials up for others that are recycled or sustainably sourced.
7. They Appreciate Tiles
Tiles have faded in and out of interior design fads over the years, but millennials are bringing them back. They can be used as the backsplash in a kitchen, walls in a bathroom or even as flooring around the home.
Specifically, millennials are buying subway tiles for both their walls and floor. They create a more modern appearance and still have that color pop millennials look for if the tiles are white and have black caulking.
8. They Want Pet Amenities
Another interesting trend that’s developed as millennials have grown into adulthood is their love for their pets. They put their pets first when they buy a home, rather than the baby boomer mindset of buying a home to raise children.
Home designs that consider the needs of pets are more likely to be bought by millennials. Some of these designs could be a bigger, fenced-in backyard or even a nook in the kitchen dedicated to pet food bowls.
As long as there’s potential for pet amenities and upgrades in a home, millennials will appreciate the space more than if there was no thought made for their pets at all.
They’re Thinking Outside the Box
Millennials are facing generational challenges that older generations may not be able to relate to. Student debt, a poor job market and the increased cost of living all add up, which is why they’re thinking outside the box and changing the home design industry.
Home design trends are whatever savings millennials money, uses smart tech, still looks nice and cares for their pets. By staying on top of these popular millennial trends, the home industry can stay relevant with the newest and biggest generation of homeowners and renters.