You won’t be surprised to find an article on the next industry the millennials are nailing. With many of them buying houses, it’s no revelation that their choices are beginning to largely impact the architecture and design industries.

Because they are the most educated generation, millennials have huge buying capacities, out-earning any previous generation, and the design community is taking notice of their preferences.

Here is a compilation of some design trends that appeal best to the millennials. Have a look.

1. I Said Small, Not Boring

It’s a fact that the millennials haven’t been queuing up to buy giant suburban houses. This generation being mostly urban, are more concerned about being within proximity to necessary city resources, social and professional networks.

Millennials are also keen on not wasting money on inessential space and naturally, they opt for smaller properties. However, just because they choose to live in smaller quarters, doesn’t mean they won’t want to decorate.

The concept of negative space, or making the most of empty spaces, brings a new emphasis on the architectural elements of a house. Millennials want to maximize the minimalist space, they want the decorative elements to compliment that and not compete with it.

2. Function over Form

Floor plans are getting more efficient than ever before. Simply put: millennials just don’t have time for decorated hallways! However, a big luxury kitchen with multifunctional furniture pieces appeals to the millennials. Who said a dining table can’t have built-in storage or a couch can’t double as a dining chair?

To this generation, it’s important to think through a design that will be practical and comfortable as well as stylish. Because form over function does not fly with the millennials. With new ideas about how people relate to their space and with an emphasis on choosing the right architectural elements to honor small spaces, furniture design is taking on more importance, its placement, and scale.

3. In the Natural

The baby boomers were long-standing fans of rustic décor and plenty of accessories, In a millennial home, although there is still a hangover of the baby boomer rustic interior, today’s young homeowners are taking the pro-wood feel one step further, experimenting with antique timber, neutral palettes, and barn doors, to bring the outdoors inside.

Rising environmental consciousness is also placing a growing emphasis on eco-friendly, organic fabrication, and sustainable construction materials, including recycled and repurposed materials. Millennial interest turning to sustainability translates into a demand for simple and sleek architecture and natural hues and textures.

6 Ideas for Millennials looking forward to decorate their space - Sheet1
Sliding Barn Door  Image Source: ©

4. The Tiles

Unique about millennial architecture is the popularity of tiles. From stark utilitarian to modern Algerian designs, tiles are dominating the market; whether they’re used for clichéd green backsplashes or creamy orange flooring, they are the ultimate trend.

Since millennials have occupied smaller apartments, they are more likely to have more room in the pocket for chic home decor. That means upmarket kitchens and spa-like bathrooms. Low maintenance backsplashes, natural stone tiles, and wood effect patterns are popular millennial picks.

5. Green and Conscious

With more millennials opting for bespoke houses, non-toxic paint, Energy Star appliances, LEED-certified fixtures, and solar-powered tiny homes are on-demand. Being a cost-conscious generation, going green helps them save a lot of money in the long run.

Being a generation that is extremely protective of time, energy, and money that goes into the upkeep of living spaces, the low maintenance trend is fitting in well with the millennials. This means that millennials are championing the move to great design at a low cost.

6. Smart and Savvy

It’s reported that millennials today are more inclined to pick a home with integrated smart-technology over one with beautifully sculptured walls. Wi-Fi-connected technology throughout the house is key to the millennials, centralized lighting, heating, smoke detectors, TVs, and speakers that can all be monitored from phones or tablets prevents safety hazards as well as inconveniences like the need to walk into a room to turn on the music.

The millennials are demanding tech-savvy spaces which also means plenty of outlets and charging stations.

A Tech-Savvy Millennial Home ©

This generation is the most eco-friendly generation ever. They’re looking for renewable energy sources within apartment blocks, saving resources, and using sustainable materials. Millennials are keen on growing their food and home-gardening is a healthy living trend they are adopting.

Millennial’s homes are more often than not styled with small gardens, window-box gardens, terrace gardens, or vertical gardens. Their influence on demand and popular trends knows no bounds, the home design of today and tomorrow are all about flexibility, minimalism, and resourcefulness.

Most importantly, the environmental concerns we face globally is translating into greener lifestyles and biophilic designs. The millennial home trend – ultra-modern, up-to-the-minute, yet homey and unobtrusive is worth celebrating.


Sowmya is an architectural journalist and writer. In this column, Sowmya takes you through stories on eco-architecture, biophilic design, and green buildings from across the globe.