From the Floor Up

How to Design for Millennials

Posted by Daltile Team on Apr 8, 2017 10:30:00 AM

From Residential to Office Space, Millennials Influence Design


Everybody is talking about Millennials! What they want, how to attract their business, and how to retain them in the workspace. There’s a lot of information, and misinformation, out there about Millennials. For instance, do they really prefer renting over buying? Are they truly flocking to urban areas?

The jury may still be out on some of those questions but there’s no denying that Millennial’s tastes and habits are influencing design in every arena.

Here’s a look at design for Millennials in many different types of spaces.

Single-Family Homeowners

Millennials do buy homes, contrary to popular belief. In fact, they are a huge market! They buy homes differently than their parents did. They buy midsize homes a little over 2000 square feet. They also tend to buy older homes. They are very financially aware and are not willing to get what they want now for a bigger loan. On the other hand, they value lifestyle pretty highly so they demand some nice perks—and give up other items in order to have them.

Because they buy established homes, many Millennials do a lot of remodeling—and they do some of it themselves. They are very savvy about which projects will give them the most return on investment and prioritize things that will have an immediate impact on look of their home.

Multi-Family Renters

Technology is the king of amenities for Millennial renters. In fact, 86% said they would pay higher rent for smart features in their apartments. Building technology like keyless entry, smart thermostats, security, etc. into the design is in high demand and increases income for building owners. Whether it’s a retrofit or a new build, plan on smart features being a part of the equation.

Millennials also value lifestyle. They willingly spend more on rent in order to have convenience and a good location. Part of that lifestyle is shared social spaces (indoors and outdoors) that bring their online worlds and physical worlds together. Smaller apartments are acceptable so long as there are quality social spaces. Emphasis on lifestyle might also mean higher quality materials like granite or quartz countertops, pet grooming facilities, and accessible bike storage.

Commercial Workspaces

Millennials are the largest group in the workforce—one third right now and possibly rising to half of the workforce by 2020 according to Pew Research Center. What Millennials want in their workplaces has a huge baring on design.

Again, technology sits in the driver’s seat when it comes to office design. Add to that their craving for social interaction and office space design looks very different today than it did just a few years ago. Wired, collaborative, and less hierarchal design in open spaces can be a big bonus for Millennial workers. Some set ups are so open that there are not cubicles or offices or assigned seating at all. Employees can reserve spaces ahead of time according to their needs on any given day.

Connectivity is also decreasing the amount of square footage in the office space because many Millennials work from home regularly. Though the workforce may not be in the office, the tradeoff is millions in savings for business owners.


Whatever your business, Millennials probably play a big role in it. Take the time to design for them and you’ll definitely see a return.

Topics: Design

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