We millennials are said to be responsible for the death of canned tuna, paper napkins, and Buffalo Wild Wings. Instead of stuff, we’re said to prize spending our cash on experiences. Think Coachella, the Museum of Ice Cream, or a selfie-filled trip to Tulum.
But it turns out, we still need stuff to decorate the homes where we rest our meme-addled minds. And in true millennial fashion, of course, we try to be unique about it.
“Millennials want their home to feel collected and curated, as opposed to decorated, with a mix of vintage and modern, peppered with little details that represent their favorite memories and experiences,” says Annabel Joy, interior designer and co-founder of Trim Design Co. in Boston.
Still, there’s no escaping the fact that a few telltale decor pieces have emerged that just scream millennial. Something cactus, flamingo, or pineapple? They’re so Instagrammable. Millennial Pink throw pillows? It is in the name, after all.
“Despite their inherent individuality, [these interiors] do contain certain ubiquitous elements,” Joy says.
Here’s a look at some of the other décor items that are a dead giveaway you’ve walked into the home of a millennial.
1. Plants that are (nearly) impossible to kill
Photo by rigby & mac
We millennials are all about going green, so naturally we want to fill our homes with as many plants as possible. Forget azaleas and orchids though—we’re too busy traveling or working through our Netflix queues to deal with a lot of plant upkeep.
That’s why we love our succulents and hard-to-kill fiddle-leaf trees. For those of us who want to branch out (sorry), we’ve even hired consultants to help us grow our plant-based decor. Thinking smarter here, not harder.
Watch: 3 Mistakes That Millennial Home Buyers Make
2. A midcentury modern chair
Photo by LDa Architecture & Interiors
It’s no secret that midcentury modern style has enjoyed wide-ranging popularity for the past decade (or longer). But it’s millennials—not baby boomers—who are embracing this vintage look like no other, Joy says.
“You’ll be hard-pressed to find a millennial home without at least one piece of furniture in this iconic style,” she says. “The simple, clean lines of midcentury modern furniture make it the perfect foundation for the eclectic style favored by millennials—and this versatility is what will likely keep it from ever falling totally out of fashion.”
3. Global accents
Photo by Brio Interior Design
Millennials are proud to show off the rug they got in Morocco and their knickknacks from India, especially on a stylized shelf, Joy explains. How else will anyone know we went to Fyre Festival?
“Millennials are the first generation to grow up with internet access; as a result, they see themselves as citizens of the world and put a much greater emphasis on travel than earlier generations,” she says. “Most millennial homes will include souvenirs picked up during travel to other countries.”
4. Neon signs
Photo by Alex Amend Photography
We’ve become accustomed to loads of positive reinforcement—everyone gets a trophy! —which is perhaps why we love any kind of home decor that validates our existence. Enter bright neon signs with uplifting words of affirmation.
With sayings like “You only live once” and “Slay all day,” these cheery neon signs are just like having Mom on speed dial to pump us up.
5. Vintage buys
Photo by A Beach Cottage
Social consciousness is part of the millennial fabric, so it’s natural that we gravitate toward upcycling as a way to furnish our homes.
“Why use natural resources to manufacture new stuff when you can restyle and refurbish awesome treasures from the past?” Joy asks. “In millennial homes, the most common form of vintage furniture is boho rattan and wicker pieces from the ’70s, possibly due to the fact that these vintage pieces are inexpensive, lightweight to transport, and fairly easy to find.”
6. Avocado cutters
If you didn’t read the infamous article about how millennials can’t afford houses because we’re spending too much money on avocado toast, well, consider yourself lucky.
But to be fair, we do really, really love the green goodness on everything from eggs, to salads, and, yes, toast with pleasure. (Just see how healthy our hearts are in 30 years, then the joke’s on you.)
With that in mind, a millennial kitchen is not complete without a fancy avocado cutter. Guac is extra, though.
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