Decorating your home is like jewelry but for your walls, floor and furniture. It can be a fun form of self-expression. Just as with fashion, certain trends also come and go in the interior design world. Since Gen Z is all grown up and earning their own money, they’ve brought some new trends into home decor.

Interior designer Reeves Connelly made a TikTok recently comparing Gen Z and Millennial home decor trends. He got inspiration from another video likening Gen Z’s obsession with the checkered pattern to Millennials loving the Chevron pattern. He compared the trends to see if there are more corresponding tendencies between the generations.

We can see differences between Gen Z and Millennial aesthetics in how they choose to decorate their homes

Image credits: KostiantynVoitenko

“A few weeks ago, I watched a video about how this wavy checkered pattern is basically Gen Z’s version of the Chevron pattern”

Image credits: reevcon

“I feel like mushroom-themed decor is Gen Z’s version of the Millennial pineapple”

Image credits: reevcon

“Gen Z opted for these clamshell decorations while the Millennials went with these like, sea urchin looking things”

Image credits: reevcon

“Gen Z is obsessed with these colorful Assouline books”

“Same thing with coffee table books. This Tom Ford book had every Millennial in a chokehold.”

Image credits: reevcon

“Squiggle Mirror has to be the most Gen Z coated piece of furniture there is. And I feel like the Millennials’ version of that are these geometric hanging mirrors”

Image credits: reevcon

“This one might be a stretch, but Gen Z’s obsession with cowboy themed decor is giving off the same vibe as the Millennial mustache and top hat trend”

Image credits: reevcon

“The way that Millennials paired the zebra print with neon colors is very similar to the way that Gen Z styled the cow print with pastels”

Image credits: reevcon

“All the late Millennials had the Tumblr fairy lights and Gen Z had the neon strip lights and that’s just the same thing in a different font”

Image credits: reevcon

“Someone needs to study the impact of the Mason jar on Millennial culture. They were everywhere. And the Gen Z equivalent are these like stacked ring cups”

Image credits: reevcon

Reeves’ video got popular fast – not even two weeks later and it now has over 8 million views

 

@reevcon and maybe the cloud print is Gen Z’s galaxy print — the og video that mentioned the checkered and chevron pattern is from @Sierra Campbell ♬ original sound – Reeves Connelly

Image credits: cottonbro studio (not the actual photo)

Millennials prefer minimalism in their homes, while Gen Z veers towards maximalism more and more

“Every generation tries its best to be the opposite of what preceded them,” interior design journalist Angelica Angeli writes. If millennials aim for minimalism in their home, Gen Z is not afraid to go all out on colors and clutter their spaces with decorative pieces.

At the same time, although maximalist, Gen Z decor tends to be softer in terms of color palette, shapes, etc. It’s like what one commenter below said: zoomer decor is “bouba”, and millennial decor is “kiki”. That’s a reference to experiments that study the relationship between speech sounds and visual shapes.

Connelly’s TikTok is a clear example of that. The mushroom and clam-themed decor have soft edges and pastel colors. The gold-colored pineapples and spiky spheres are the opposite – bright tones and sharp shapes.

The bedroom comparison is similar. Both pictures include animal prints, because, let’s face it, just like Reeves says in his video, animal prints are timeless. The difference is how each generation decides to style it.

Gen Zers opt for pastels, soft pink in this case. The bedroom illustrating millennial-style decor has neon-colored pillows and walls. Even the squiggly mirrors are in muted colors.

Image credits: Godisable Jacob (not the actual photo)

The shift from minimalism to maximalism wasn’t simply because of the generational shift

Saying that Gen Z’s decor preferences are the result of wanting to be different would be an oversimplification. There are other factors that influenced the young generation to make certain interior design choices.

The main thing they look for in a home design is its quality to make them happy. Vintage Show Pony owner Jonny Carmach told Print Magazine why he prefers to live in a colorful house. “I struggle with anxiety and depression, like a lot of people do, and waking up in a house full of color and all my favorite things really helps me have an easier existence. I’m painting my walls pink and doing crazy stuff to my house because it’s just simple joy.”

To haters who say such interiors look childish, TikToker and DIY enthusiast Michelle Pham has a rebuttal. “When you become an adult, a lot of the things you find special are things that in your childhood you had a yearning for, so you try to replicate that idea of safety with your now modern self.”

The pandemic also had a huge impact on the design choices for the young generation. Because we got so used to staying at home all day, there’s more and more emphasis on making your home as pleasant-looking and comfortable as possible.

Image credits: EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA (not the actual photo)

Are trends even a real thing? Isn’t home decor an expression of individualism?

Arlyn Hernandez spoke to Marco Zamora for Emily Henderson’s blog. Zamora is a young interior designer who’s popular on social media with over 500k followers. He debunked some myths about trends that people attribute to Gen Z.

The thing he highlights the most throughout their conversation is the importance of sustainability. Trends of any kind are not on par with one of Gen Z’s core values. “Buy things that are vintage or used already that fit this new ‘trend’ you might be interested in trying,” he said. “Trends tend to repeat, so you’ll probably find something that is already in rotation.”

He also spoke about his generation’s sense of responsibility regarding consumerism. “We’re trying to understand what we’re buying, and what environmental impact it will have. If all your stuff is brand new, especially if all of it is one trend or one style, how much waste is going to be created when you decide to flip styles?”

Zamora says that trying to fit in with the “trend” can result in a design that’s generic. He, for example, tries to incorporate his Mexican heritage into his home decor. And the internet can be of great help in that.

“You get to see so much inspiration and different ideas all within your phone and it opens you up. You’re able to put it together in a way that’s very specific to you,” he added. “There’s a lot more to experiment with in unique ways. It lets you get so creative. Add your own twist and make it yours.”

Commenters pointed out other Gen Z analogs to the Millennial home decor staples

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