What Millennials Want in a Home: Popular Trends and Amenities

Millennials have long perplexed real estate agents and lenders for their perceived lack of interest in home buying. It’s true that Millennials haven’t jumped on the homeowner bandwagon to the same extent as their parents and grandparents, and the reasons are complex.
Social and economic factors are both to blame—keep in mind that many Millennials came of age 1) amid the economic downturn and 2) already saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in student debt.
Things could be changing in 2019, though, with some saying it might finally be “the year of the Millennial homebuyer.” Despite rising interest rates, housing prices are expected to stabilize. This will mean more affordable options for first-time homebuyers.
Millennials are the first generation of homebuyers to have had early exposure to social media and access to an endless stream of DIY videos on YouTube and renovation shows on TV. It’s why they tend to be savvier about the amount of work and costs involved in renovations and repairs. Millennial homebuyers know how to spot red flags and diamonds in the rough.

What Millennials Want in a Home

Millennials are decidedly more particular than their Boomer parents, according to a survey by Boomers described their dream home as a modest 1,500- to 2,000-square-foot abode that includes simple amenities like plenty of windows and storage space, walk-in closets, and a fireplace.
Millennials had a more imaginative vision for their dream digs. They wanted a much larger home—4,000 to 5,000 square feet with features like an in-home library, movie theater, man cave/she shed, wine cellar, and kid’s playroom.
Grand vision aside, let’s look at some of the hottest trends popular with this generation.

Architectural Style

The architectural styles most popular with Millennials today are:

  • Pre-WWII: Arts & Crafts, Tudors, Victorians, Colonials, Mission-Style—in short, architecture with charm and history.
  • Mediterranean: Homes inspired by Italian or Spanish architecture and detailing are also popular. They typically feature stucco exteriors, tile roofs, wrought iron accents, ceramic or Travertine flooring, archways and rounded corners, and dramatic staircases. The 90s and early 2000s saw a major revival of this style.
  • Mid-Century: Homes built between 1945 and 1965 are also popular with Millennials and are recognizable by their flat or shallow-pitched roofs, sleek, angular shapes, open floor plans, and simple details.

Kitchen and Bathroom Designs

Having grown up with abominations like avocado-colored appliances, Formica counters, and gold-trim lighting, it’s safe to say these things are on most Millennials’ “don’t want” list.
In general, there seems to be two Millennial camps: purists who want to preserve an older home’s original interior features and details (like an antique Wedgewood stove), and those who want totally updated, modern interiors with clever features like kitchen cabinets with built-in Lazy Susan and interior room dividers to maximize space.
Popular kitchen features include:

  • Herringbone floors
  • Professional-grade ranges and convection ovens
  • Top-of-the-line stainless appliances
  • Built-in wine coolers
  • Stone, poured cement, or granite counters
  • High-quality cabinetry with glass panels and pull-out shelves
  • Walk-in pantry
  • Apron-front kitchen or hammered copper sinks
  • Recessed and pendant lighting.

In the bathroom:

  • Lots of glass and stone
  • Vessel sinks
  • Brushed nickel, satin nickel, or oiled bronze fixtures
  • Stone tile showers
  • Dual-rain showerheads
  • Low-rise toilets and bidets
  • Suspended interior glass doors
  • Floating cabinetry

Colors, Flooring, and Walls

Nature-inspired earth tones are popular lately. So are dramatic accent walls. Carpeting is becoming obsolete, even in bedrooms. It’s being replaced by bamboo, exotic hardwoods, and realistic-looking wood-inspired laminates. Travertine, marble, and herringbone are also popular.
Walls are usually plaster or completely smooth—no more popcorn ceilings. Designers are using sleek metal and glass room dividers in place of traditional walls to add contemporary flair and divide space in homes with open floor plans. Sliding glass barn doors are also as popular as ever.

The Sliding Door Company: Helping Design Beautiful Homes for the Next Generation of Homebuyers

Millennials will soon dominate the home buying market. Designing the next generation of homes with this discerning group in mind will be essential for staying ahead of the game.
From custom closet doors to glass room dividers, The Sliding Door Company has functional space-saving interior door solutions for every room—it’s why we’re the preferred choice among so many interior designers and builders across the country.
Visit one of our many showrooms located throughout the United States or schedule a consultation today. We look forward to helping you with your project!


How to Design a Small Bedroom Like a Pro

Whether you live in a high-rise apartment in the city, a tiny house, or a spacious ranch-style home in the backcountry, odds are you have at least one small bedroom to contend with.
Experienced interior designers know how to make even the tiniest bedrooms feel larger. Let’s explore some of the tips and tricks they use to create the illusion of space.

Choose space-saving furniture.

There are so many clever furniture options today, from stackable beds (great for a kid’s room) to benches and beds with built-in storage, to wall-mounted drop-leaf tables that provide an instant writing surface. Investing in a few pieces that help you skillfully use space can make a huge difference in a small room.

Install mirror closet doors.

Mirrors instantly make a small room appear larger, and mirrored closet doors have the added advantage of eliminating the need for a space-hogging vanity mirror. Sliding doors are your best bet since they don’t swing out and take up precious floor space.

Take advantage of vertical space.

When floor area is limited, go vertical. Choose a tall dresser that takes up less floor space. Use wall space to your advantage with tall shelving. If you have tall ceilings, consider propping up your sleeping area on a platform and using the area underneath for storage. This will make the bed the focal point of the room (and make you feel like royalty every time you climb into bed).

Play up the room’s ceiling.

The idea here is to draw the eye upward, which automatically makes the room feel larger. Adorning the ceiling is especially effective in rooms with sloped or odd-shaped ceilings (common in converted attics and older buildings). Your options are unlimited. Use distressed tin ceiling tiles, LED light projectors, hung linens, or an interesting pattern to give depth to the space.

Use mounted or recessed lighting.

When you have little surface space to work with, mounted lighting is a lifesaver. Mount lights on the headboard or on the wall behind the bed for easy reach; use mounted lighting to highlight wall art; or mount lights above a table to maximize desk space.

Consider a Murphy bed.

most beautiful and stylish small bedrooms
Legend has it William Lawrence Murphy (after whom the Murphy bed is named) created the clever hideaway bed while wooing your friends and guests. The bed allowed him to quickly convert his one-room San Francisco apartment into an entertainment parlor. Little did Murphy know his invention would become a hit with urban dwellers and tiny house owners everywhere.
A Murphy bed is ideal for studios and small bedrooms, allowing you to create a living and sleeping area in one space.

Go with light-colored walls.

You don’t have to settle for white or off-white walls, but light colors create an airier, more spacious look. Dark colors make even a cavernous room look smaller. Pastels are a great choice. They add softness while still preserving character, and they pair well with glossy or matte floorboards and crown molding. If you have your heart set on a dark color, use it for an accent wall.

Or go for bold prints.

internal glass sliding door
Though it may seem counterintuitive, incorporating a bold print into a small space—whether it’s a floral design, leaf motif, or geometric pattern—can help detract from the smallness of the room. If you decide to use a busy print, just make sure to tone down other design elements—choose solid colors for accent rugs, bedding, and pillows.

Consider two words: floating shelves.

These sleek and inexpensive slabs of wood, glass, or metal can be arranged in a variety of ways to help you make the most of the space you have. Use them as:

  • An entry table
  • A bookcase
  • A nightstand
  • A place to showcase treasures
  • A laptop desk (just make sure the shelf is properly reinforced)

Use your headboard for storage.

Using a storage headboard just makes sense in small spaces. When items are thoughtfully arranged, the headboard becomes a decorative feature of the room. Open shelving makes it easier for some people to keep track of things, but, if clutter makes you crazy, opt for a headboard with concealed storage cabinets.

Bounce light with mirrors.

Mirrors create the illusion of a larger space by reflecting light. The best way to use a mirror in a small room is to position it so that it reflects the light of a window. Even if that’s not possible, a mirror will still make the room feel larger. There are many ways to use mirrors. Stick-on mirror tiles create an interesting mosaic look. A full-length mirror gives a room depth. A striking metallic beveled mirror adds glam.

Create a wall niche or alcove.

If some construction is in the budget or you’re already planning renovations, creating a wall niche above the bed is a great way to create an interesting focal point and showcase decorative items. An alternative is to add built-in floor-to-ceiling adjustable shelves on either side of the bed. This will help you get the most out of every vertical inch.

Maximize Space in a Small Room with Innovative Interior Door Solutions

From custom closet doors to glass room dividers, The Sliding Door Company has functional space-saving interior door solutions for every room.
Our doors and partitions are unrivaled for their simple sophistication and refinement. They’re an ideal choice for the modern home. We’ll help you choose from our ample selection of frame designs, glass types, and track systems to create the perfect look for your interior space.
Visit one of our many showrooms located throughout the United States or schedule a consultation today. We look forward to helping you with your project!