According to marketing expert Ann Fishman, the millennial generation enters the fray with a well-developed sense of taste which involves fashion and style, but also wants good prices for good looks. Her marketing study that targeted millennial women has revealed that reused and recycled items, once popular in start-up apartments, just won’t work anymore. They want items with character that they can’t find anywhere else. Here are a few ideas that are close to millennials.
Trilogy of styles
While one would find it hard to define a single millennial style portfolio, no one can argue that three styles that rule the generation are mid-century, Scandinavian and industrial. The pieces they choose don’t have to be signed – it’s just the look that is important. Alena Capra, a designer from South Florida who has worked on TV shows such as “Operation Build” says that industrial look with its mix of metal and wood elements is the most popular. Capra, who has many with millennial clients, says that they favour industry look for the whole setting, not just furniture, with wooden floor, exposed brick walls and bronze accents gaining popularity.
All about the mix
Millennials have displayed an excellent grasp of this overwhelming trend. For this generation, mixing new and old, expensive and cheap, DIY and purchased comes natural. To Ashley Pritchard, a millennial working for a Denver-based communication company, an abundance of styles is as important as the origin of the item and the way it was made. If they cannot afford a designer armchair, a millennial will chose a trusted Ikea design, rather than a no-name, cheap one.
Having their limited budgets in mind, millennial’s sense of personalization doesn’t agree with decorating with expensive name brands, but rather with items that are hard to find elsewhere. YouTube channels and DIY TV shows instructing on how to paint, reconfigure and customize shelf pieces, are a vast source of inspiration. This concept has another root in millennial population. The social consciousness of visiting garage and yard sales and vintage shops is strong as it is the need of preserving limited resources.
As an increasingly visual group, millennials spend hours scouring websites like Pinterest, Houzz, Remodlista, ThisOldHouse looking for the perfect idea for floor rugs that fit their room décor. Fishman explains how the hunt moves from researching what is best to finding a piece that would add a personal stamp. Still, some designers warn that what looked like a perfect match might turn into a short and unhappy relationship. Tricia Huntley from Huntley & Co, a designer from Washington D.C. points out that sometimes those tastefully arranged professional shots fail to meet a client’s actual home, lifestyle or budget.
Sharing the comfort
Millennials are a highly social generation that likes to share and think about their friend’s needs. In a design department, it translates into more spacious sofas, very popular sectionals and extended chaises. Lounging in front of TV and binge-watching is inseparable from millennial ways, so they want to cover these pieces with versatile faux-leather or microfiber that can endure food, drinks, pets and prolonged working-from-home sessions. Along with bigger lounging areas also come bigger club tables. Capra reveals that in bedroom choices, millennials prefer quality items like beds with upholstered headboard.
Even though millennial budget often falls short of quality art, many of them have less costly collections of a sort. For Pritchard, it is a gallery wall of prints obtained from affordable sources like 20x200, a site established by Jen Bekman Projects and thrift-store catches. Others resort to online hubs for handmade objects, such as Etsy, which can create an interesting customized mix when combined with art inherited from parents or grandparents.
Millennials want affordable value and think realistically about what they can afford. Still, if you are looking to design a space that is appealing for millennial generation, you need to think as a storyteller and pick items that reveal your personal taste and have a history. Binding functional, modern designs with handmade craftsmanship is a great way to come up with personalized décor for the new generation.