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High Style, Low Budget: How the Millennial Generation Is Redefining Interior Design

Known for thinking outside the box and creativity, millennials are slowly, but surely, transforming the way we approach interior design. Always on the lookout for practical and functional items they can incorporate into their home design, millennials want their homes to resemble their own personal style and character while also making a powerful statement. In this article, we’re taking a look at how this generation is redefining interior design as well as the most distinctive features of the millennial design.

The beauty of simplicity

Unlike the generations that came before them, millennials tend to design their spaces with simplicity in mind, taking the Less is more approach to decor. They understand that a sophisticated look can be achieved with less, so instead of cluttering their spaces with superfluous furnishings and accessories, they aim for a more streamlined look, often relying on inexpensive pieces to create a balanced, functional living space. This moderation in decor and design allows them to work with whatever budget they have, as well as design spaces that are more open and appear to be grander than they actually are.

Space-savvy elements for the uncluttered look

Even though many millennials can’t afford to live in spacious apartments and homes, they’re quite savvy when it comes to utilizing the available space. Storage is very important for millennials as it gives them a chance to create an illusion of open space and make their homes look much bigger. Often relying on multi-functional elements, they are able to reduce the clutter in their living space as well as make their interiors much more practical. Even if the items may not be intended for multiple purposes, millennials often find creative ways to use them for something else. In millennial homes, ottomans aren’t just for seating, but they can also be used as coffee tables, as well as additional storage space for smaller items, while an old trunk can be transformed into a nightstand.

Light and bright, open spaces

Often relying on lighting to achieve the desired atmosphere, millennials make use of multiple lighting sources to enhance their home’s features and create a sense of spaciousness. However, unlike their fathers who would look at this as a DIY project, millennials rather rely on experts to do the job safely and properly. In countries like Australia, it’s illegal to tackle electrical work on your own, which is why many homeowners there rely on the skills of an experienced Sydney electrician to help illuminate their living space. The fact that they can rely on local service providers is just an added plus for the millennial homeowners.

Homes as canvases for self-expression

For millennials, homes are much more than just dwellings where they sleep, eat, and relax. They’re canvases which they can use to express themselves and let their imagination run wild. Whether it’s through artwork, colors, patterns, or style, millennials tend to use certain pieces that reflect their personality to make a statement and personalize their living space, which is an effective way to spruce up monotonous spaces. While some choose to buy expensive artwork or display their personal collections, others add personal touches hanging their own works of art or decorate with thrift store or flea market finds. Regardless of their budget, millennials are pretty thoughtful in making their dwellings feel like homes, which is why millennial homes always have unique vibes.

Improvised mixing and matching

Another prominent characteristic of millennial homeowners is that they make don’t like to limit themselves in terms of style. Avoiding to commit to one design style in particular, millennials combine a variety of items that don’t necessarily belong to one certain style or even era. The price range of the items they choose to incorporate into their living spaces can range from yard sale finds, vintage pieces and heritage items, quality furnishings from IKEA and pricier, designer items that elevate the room. They see their tight budgets as a chance to experiment and do their best to make the most of their living space, mixing and matching pieces that reflect their unique style and taste.

A synonym for innovation and creativity, the millennial style continues to get more recognition in the world of interior design. With its creative nature and non-traditional design choices, the millennial design radiates with character and authenticity, and while it continues to stray from tradition, it still relies on the roots to anchor the design while simultaneously charting its own course.


About the author: Mike Johnston is an avid freelance writer and blogger. He is a regular contributor to numerous lifestyle blogs and online magazines, where he writes about interior design (his specialty!), travel, family, sustainable living and other related and unrelated topics. Mike’s goal is to create insightful and compelling content that will help readers navigate through these vast and ever-changing fields.


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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food.