We do not subscribe to the idea that people’s tastes can be generalized by age. However, as we have been working with the Millennials over the past few years we have seen some interior design trends being driven by that generation. In a nutshell, they are moving toward minimalism on multiple fronts. “Fewer things of higher quality” is their intent when they express their desires for their home. They want to devote their money and time toward experiences rather than collecting. These lifestyle philosophies have led to a few design trends that we are seeing reflected not only in our work, but in our industry as well.
Designs that Last – By requesting high-quality materials in classic designs, Millennials are intending to create homes that will last through future design trends. They are going back to the basics, like a neutral subway tile backsplash and clean-lined custom cabinetry in a kitchen. The intent is to invest wisely in the costly items to take them through decades of use. While they are happy to bring in new kitchen bar stools as trends evolve, they want the basis of their home to look great for a long time.
We are seeing Millennial’s commitment to neutral colors in classic designs in their furniture choices as well, with the plan to join in future design trends through items such as throw pillows and other accessories that are easy to change. This same philosophy is being applied in window treatment designs. There are few patterns or prints for this generation, preferring to dress their windows in neutral colors and classic fabrics like hearty linens.
Customization – Millennials are not intimidated by customization options. Perhaps it is their comfort with the plethora of choices offered by the internet they have grown up with that allows them to embrace the ability to have items like furniture and window treatments built just for them. While many of our other clients eschew the process of weeding through the multitudes of feet, arms, backs, cushions, and fabric designs for a custom couch, our Millennial clients love the flexibility of being able to choose what is important to them. The “build your own” aspect of custom furniture and window treatments also suits their sensibility of investing in something that will last a long time.
Maximizing Décor – Accessories is where Millennials allow them themselves to embrace current design trends. They invest less in adding the decorative touches to their neutral foundations with the idea that those items will be replaced more often. The design industry is beginning to respond to this demand by offering more affordable options. While retail stores such as West Elm and Pottery Barn do not offer the quality of furniture that custom options can bring, they do provide the opportunity to purchase affordable trendy décor such as lighting, throw rugs, throw pillows and other accessories. Lighting manufacturers are also beginning to understand this new breed of customer by offering more reasonably priced options that are meant to be changed out every few years.
Mid-Century Modern Aesthetics – Millennials are driving the return to mid-century modern design. They are looking for natural, light-colored woods, and designs that offer a nod to nature. Wallpapers and fabrics have understated leaves or flower patterns in neutral colors. Geometrics are also in style, but not in the wild hues associated with some mid-century pieces. A neutral color palette is still preferred. The diminutive style of mid-century modern furniture is also appealing, with tapered legs and arms, flat fronts, and minimalist designs that focus on featuring the silhouette of the piece rather than the fabric. High ceilings, window walls, and an abundance of natural light continue this more modern idea, with the understanding the outdoors is as much a part of the living space as the indoors, even here in Indianapolis where we have long winters!
While these design trends are being driven by our younger clientele, we do have many clients from other generations who appreciate the minimalistic approach as well. Good design crosses all age groups and trends! We’d be honored to help you create the best home for you. For more information about our design services, send us an email or give us a call at 317-253-8986.