- HGTV and Pinterest boards influenced how millennials design their homes.
- Millennials curated a specific aesthetic that included fairy lights and a love for gray.
- In my opinion, we need to stop chasing the farmhouse aesthetic.
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Millennials have a distinct approach to interior design.
We love fairy lights, adore minimalism, have an enduring interest in the color gray, and put open-floor plans on a pedestal. While these styles were popularized on sites like Pinterest and Tumblr, millennials also took a lot of home inspiration from HGTV — for better or worse.
Outlets like Yahoo News and the Boston Globe have speculated about millennials’ fascination with the home improvement channel, pointing toward its aspirational and “escapist” programming.
While there’s a handful of aesthetics that I’ll defend to the end — like our love of house plants — here are three interior design trends I think can get the boot.
Sorry, Chip and Joanna Gaines — the farmhouse aesthetic has seen better days
Example of the farmhouse decor style.
PC Photography/Getty Images
Those who watched the HGTV channel during the 2010s are probably familiar with “Fixer Upper,” a TV series following Chip and Joanna Gaines as they renovated properties around Central Texas. While “Fixer Upper” catapulted the couple into stardom, it also helped popularize the farmhouse aesthetic with millions of viewers.
The farmhouse theme includes a rustic, country-themed aesthetic that consists of shiplap, exposed wooden beams, open shelving, barn doors, and a neutral color palette, among other items. Farmhouse decor can be attractive, but the style’s majorly overdone, in my opinion. Gen Z interior designer Emily Shaw told Insider that homeowners are straying from cookie-cutter aesthetics like the farmhouse design and choosing more personable styles.
“This could include painting fun shapes on your wall with color, choosing a colored furniture piece instead of neutral, and much more,” Shaw said in May 2021.
Minimalism made some homes resemble a dentist’s office rather than a cozy place to unwind
Gen Z loves to pick on millennials for our trends, including our love of minimalist spaces. In fact, Martha Stewart told Business Insider in 2017 that millennials caused a large shift in the interior design industry due to their preference for minimalism.
Example of minimalistic home decor.
John Keeble/Getty Images
While I think minimalism — which focuses on clean lines and simplistic decor — is a functional design for people who may be prone to sensory overload, it’s otherwise sucked all the life out of our homes.
Splashes of color, whether the walls or a table knick-knacks, can help a home feel inviting and warm. In September, an interior decorator, Kelly Kruger, told Insider that Gen Z prefers brighter, bolder decorations.
The early 2000s Tuscan kitchen aesthetic was short-lived — and rightfully so
Younger Gen Zers may not remember this time in American interior design, but in the early 2000s, some homeowners renovated their kitchen to mimic an Italian villa. The Tuscan-style kitchen typically included copious amounts of earth tones, wood accents, granite countertops, and a kitchen island. It also wasn’t uncommon for folks to have small rooster statues or a caricature of an Italian chef.
Some people reminisced about the style on sites like TikTok and X, formerly known as Twitter.
As other styles — like farmhouse — gained traction, the Tuscan kitchen fell out of favor with homeowners. However, an Apartment Therapy article published in September reported that millennials found renewed interest in the decor style. I think we can move on from the Tuscan kitchens and instead lean into newer trends.
Interior designer Kristina Phillips told Business Insider last December that homeowners will lean into darker hues for their kitchen decor in 2023 rather than white. Another interior designer, Courtenay Wright, added that open-concept kitchens will continue to be popular.