flexiblefullpage - default
Currently Reading

What Millennials Want in Home Design

billboard - default

What Millennials Want in Home Design

Millennials are poised to become the largest generation in the U.S. KTGY Group sat down with some of its Millennial employees to learn more about what they want when it comes to homeownership, design, and style

By Sara Elliott, Associate Editor April 14, 2015
A group of Millennials smiling
With the rising cost of homes, affordability is at the top of most Millennials' list. (Image: iStock)

KTGY Group, a California-based architecture and planning firm, met with its Millennial employees to find out what they’re looking for in a home. Of course, these choices varied from person to person (not every Millennial craves modern design, for example). Much depends on life stage and personal preferences.

The majority of participants in the discussion, called Coffee Talk, were single (70%) and renters (75%). Couples, those with young families, and homeowners also participated. What KGTY quickly learned is that homeownership is a big driver for this cohort. While three-quarters of the group was made up of those who are currently renting, nearly all of them wanted to own a home in the future.

In an effort to determine what Millennials seek in a home, major topics were established:

  • Relationships
  • Lifestyle
  • Form and Function


1] Exercise and Action

Healthy living is important to Millennials. Easy access to exercise is a priority—they want to live near a gym, a park, tennis court, or outdoor trail. A common desire among Millennials—both those with families and those without—is the desire to be near outdoor fitness amenities.

Additionally, Millennials want to be close to the action: The community in which they live is important. Millennials want to live in a place where they’ll meet others with similar interests and desires. Where millennials choose to live also depends on their current relationship status. Those without kids tend to want a more urban setting while those with kids are willing to be further away from urban centers in order to have a backyard and more play space for their children.


Living near parks, fitness centers, and biking trails is important to Millennials.


2] Technology Rules and Millennials' Expectations

Technology isn’t new to Millennials—they expect it in the home. Millennials (and generations after) expect technology to help them to stay connected, save time, and save money. Generally, Millennials don't remember a time when technology wasn't a central part of life. While they may not have adapted to all that technology can offer in a home, it will certainly be on their radar as they continue to design, build, and buy homes.


Millennials are accustomed to the benefits that technology offers, and they'll expect those benefits in their own homes.


3] For Millennials, Pets Take Priority

Millennials want to live in places that are pet-friendly. For those who live in pedestrian-friendly cities, apartment complexes, or neighborhoods, pets have become like children. More Millennials in the KTGY focus group had pets than had children.


Because many Millennals carry student debt, they've turned to pets (rather than children).


4] Neighborhood and Community

What Millennials prize in a neighborhood or community varied depending on whether they had started a family or not.

For those without families, important factors are a central location with places to meet up with friends. Many wanted a resort-like lifestyle that was also affordable and included retail shops, as well as a sense of place and and a lively vibe. Families, however, wanted space and were willing to sacrifice location for an increase in space for their family.

On the subject of community, both Millennials that have families and those that do not are interested in living somewhere that had a sense of culture and community and was close to grocery stores, restaurants, healthy gourmet food choices, and entertainment.


Millennials want to be near the center of the action—close to dining, entertainment, transportation, and friends.


5] Style Choices: Modern, Yes—But Not Exclusively 

For Millennials at KTGY, homes were about color, light, and feeling connected to the outdoors. Participants in the Coffee Talk were interested in modern design but Consumer Insights showed that Millennials are leaning more toward a "Modern Traditional" style. What most Generation Y-ers want in their homes is light, bright spaces with pops of color. High ceilings, decorative elements, and neutral stylings are preferred. 

When it comes to exterior architecture, Millennials at KTGY favor contemporary style. However, a survey of more than 20,000 Millennials by Consumer Insights reported that only 12 percent of this generation nationally prefers modern architecture. It's important not to associate modern architecture with all Millennials because what they really want is authenticity and creativity in their homes.


Many Millennials favor bright spaces with neutral tones and pops of color.


6] Affordability, and Sacrificing Space for Function

With the rising cost of homes, affordability is at the top of most Millennials' list. KTGY found that whether they had families or not, Millennials are willing to live in a smaller house with a more functional layout that's between 1,000 and 2,200 square feet. 

Function is a big thing for Millennials because they can use walls and storage to hang pictures and art and utilize floor space for bedrooms. As you might expect, those without families are ok with less private space if it means they're getting more public space in which to socialize and relax.

Through meeting with its Millennial employees, KTGY was able to determine what it is that this generation is looking for when it comes to a home. While many of them don't own a home, they will one day and accommodating their design and tastes will ensure they become buyers down the road when it's a more affordable option for them.


"Modern Traditional" was a popular architecture style with Millennials at KTGY, but less popular among Generation Y-ers.


leaderboard2 - default

Related Stories

Market Data + Trends

Reshaping the American Dream: Millennials and Gen Z Struggle to Leave the Nest

Report finds one in five Millennials and two-thirds of Gen Z are taking longer to leave home compared with previous generations

Planning + Development

Rising Demand for Multigenerational Living Sparks Housing Innovation

These new residential development projects accommodate heightened demand for multigenerational living


Resumed Student Loan Payments Shake Up the Housing Market

With student loan payments resuming this month, already cost-burdened Millennial and Gen-Z homebuyers are taking a hard look at their finances

boombox1 -
native1 - default
halfpage2 -

More in Category

Get your sales and marketing teams together to create and deliver a consistent brand message from start to finish

A closer look at what’s propelling the adoption of off-site construction methods in home building

If you want to know what's driving home building's move to off-site construction methods: look to the convergence of technology and culture

native2 - default
halfpage1 -

Create an account

By creating an account, you agree to Pro Builder's terms of service and privacy policy.

Daily Feed Newsletter

Get Pro Builder in your inbox

Each day, Pro Builder's editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Save the stories you care about

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.

The bookmark icon allows you to save any story to your account to read it later
Tap it once to save, and tap it again to unsave

It looks like you’re using an ad-blocker!

Pro Builder is an advertisting supported site and we noticed you have ad-blocking enabled in your browser. There are two ways you can keep reading:

Disable your ad-blocker
Disable now
Subscribe to Pro Builder
Already a member? Sign in
Become a Member

Subscribe to Pro Builder for unlimited access

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.