A quick Google search will make the writing on the wall clear as day: Millennials are accused of ruining everything from real estate to yogurt, to bars of soap (really!).
But interior design? According to some experts, that's on the list too.
Between direct-to-consumer businesses that put transparency front and center to the rise of plant parenthood, millennials have taken big steps to make decorating your home more accessible, affordable, and enjoyable. However, some of their favorite design trends have become too popular. In fact, some of them feel a little basic.
Make no mistake, we’re not here to knock millennials. In fact, the mere idea of ubiquitous, “will they ever leave” trends have been around for decades.
“The market is full of finishes and products driven by trends, which is why everyone had avocado appliances in the '60s and we all have stainless steel appliances now,” explains interior designer Charlie Hellstern.
Below, a handful of design experts share the millennial-centric trends they’re so over. Not ready to part ways? We’re also sharing easy ways to give these trends a second life.
Too Much Terrazzo
Technically, millennials didn’t discover terrazzo; but they definitely played a hand in this trend’s comeback. Problem is, everything is terrazzo—yes, even contact paper.
“Don’t get me wrong, I love a good terrazzo, but the use of the pattern on everything but actual terrazzo has made it feel a little overplayed,” says Alessandra Wood, interior design expert and vice president of style at Modsy.
Instead of dousing your entire space in the speckled look, restrain your terrazzo use to real terrazzo tile. It’s hard, but we’re in it together.
Plant parents, you might want to cover your eyes for this one. While plants are known to improve sleep, purify the air, and keep stress at bay, there is such a thing as overdoing your collection of leafy greens.
“Too many plants,” Wood says. “Yes, there are amazing benefits from plants, but I’d love to see them used in a more curated way—as pops and accessories.”
Since kicking your greens to the curb is a cruel and unusual punishment, we recommend getting a little strategic about where you place them. Instead of piling all your plants in a corner, put on your interior designer hat and integrate them into your space.
Buh-Bye, Bar Carts
Over the past few years, bar carts have become the must-have Instagrammable accessory to decorate with.
“We are over bar carts,” exclaims Chicago-based interior designer Kate Taylor. “To be honest, I never really loved the scale and with all of the fragile items they are a disaster waiting to happen if you have kids and pets.”
Don’t worry, you can still show off your fancy coupe glasses and that prized bottle of Champagne. Consider a buffet table a sturdy alternative that’s packed with plenty of storage space.
Blame it on Chip and Joanna Gaines, but we can’t get enough of shiplap, white-washed furniture, and all the rustic accents our hearts could desire. But while the modern farmhouse aesthetic has captured our hearts, some designers are looking toward greener pastures.
“While we all love trends and knowing what the 'it' pieces are, they can't last forever,” says Kendall Wilkinson of Kendall Wilkinson Design. “I see the farmhouse trend tire out and people moving on."
Don’t want to kiss your farmhouse-inspired belongings good-bye? Give them a second life by juxtaposing these rustic wares with modern pieces.
Ditch the Direct-to-Consumer
In 2021, you can purchase just about anything online. A plush mattress? One-click away. A sweet sectional? You can use your Prime membership and have it delivered a few days later.
“While I understand furniture for all price points, I prefer that my clients buy quality for longevity,” says Gail Davis of Gail Davis Design. “I explain to my clients that higher cost usually equates to higher quality and that in the end, this is an investment into your home. Purchasing disposable furniture is like throwing money out the window.”
That being said, that doesn’t mean your direct-to-consumer furniture-filled home is doomed for a design disaster. As far we’re concerned, buying great furniture is all about research—no matter where you purchase it. If you love the convenience of online shopping, have a look at some of our favorite brands right now.
Zhang W, Liu H, Li Z, Lui H. Synergistic Effects of Edible Plants with Light Environment on the Emotion and Sleep of Humans in Long-Duration Isolated Environment. Life Sci Space Res. 2020;24:42-49. doi:10.1016/j.lssr.2019.11.003