Gen Z Interior Design: How Young People’s Tastes in Home Decor Differ

We’re examining the top 6 Gen Z interior design trends to find out what makes them so popular amongst this generation of young people.
Fanbytes | Gen Z Interior Design

In 30 seconds:

  • Forget ‘Millennial pink’, there’s a new aesthetic in town. Or, well, several. Gen Z is pushing aside the popular trends of previous generations and adopting their own home decor styles.
  • From funky light fittings to 70s pattern-mixing, enter a room decorated by a Gen Zer and you’ll find a trove of unique items.
  • This generation loves bringing a sense of individuality to their spaces, and the interior design trends they champion are proof of just that.

It might feel like only yesterday that the baby boomer generation was complaining about the weird new design tastes of millennials, but now even they have been usurped: we’re entering the era of Gen Z interior design

The majority of Gen Z might have a long way to go before they become fully-fledged homeowners, but that’s not stopping them from developing their own distinct home decor style. 

And not just developing their interiors style in the abstract, either – but actually pursuing it. The majority (91%) of 13-39-year-olds spent money on their homes in 2020, and 78% say they want to put more effort into decorating their living spaces. 

That’s great news for interior design brands hoping to attract a new generation of consumers. And with that in mind, we’ve explored the Gen Z design trends to bring you the top 6 that are making a mark in this generation’s homes.  

Social media and Gen Z interior design

Everyone knows by now that when Gen Z looks for ideas and inspiration, these young people turn to social media

That’s true of industries across the board – from which makeup brand to trust, to which furniture store has the best freestanding mirrors. 

In fact, when deciding where to shop, Gen Z trusts online reviews more than brand reputation. It’s why social media influencers play such a huge role in marketing campaigns; they’re the voices Gen Z listens to and trusts most, and they have huge online followings to prove it. 

Platforms like TikTok and Instagram are filled with accounts sharing their interior design tips, and Gen Z follows these in their thousands. But it’s not all professional designers they follow – many of the most popular influencers in interior design communities are amateur enthusiasts, showcasing their own living room and bedroom redesigns. 

How to use influencers in Gen Z interior design campaigns

As your resident experts in Gen Z, we know a little something about how best to use influencers in your marketing campaigns. (If you want to read more about how to use influencers to go viral on TikTok, check out this article). 

A lot of the principles we’ve spoken about before apply to interior design marketing, too. Just ask Dulux – we helped showcase their Simply Refresh range to a new audience of Gen Z consumers. 

By partnering with influencers to promote a branded effect that illustrated Dulux’s’ new range on users’ walls, the campaign exceeded targets by over 827%. It proves that influencers have just as much sway over consumers’ living spaces as they do their everyday purchases. You can learn more about the Fanbytes-Dulux campaign here

Gen Z design trends: The top 6 to know

Now we know where they’re getting their home decor inspiration – what designs do Gen Z like?

We’ve scoured the internet to find the most popular interior design styles amongst Gen Z. So, without further ado, here are the top 6 interior design trends that have captured young people’s attention and imagination:

1. Natural materials

One of the most prolific of the Gen Z design trends is natural materials. Rattan furniture, earthenware, woven wall art and hanging plants as decoration are all common sights in interior design posts, and they all appeal for the same reason. 

The overall effect is cosy and inviting, without feeling overpowering. It also lends itself well to DIY. After all, it stands to reason that the generation most concerned with climate change and sustainability would lean towards a more natural, homespun aesthetic. 

2. Unique lighting

Outside of decorative products and furniture pieces, Gen Z is very concerned with the lighting in their spaces. 

That’s because more than half of them, (Fifty-six percent of 13-39-year-olds) believe that everything in their home should be beautiful so it looks good in pictures for social media

This generation of digital natives is used to sharing every aspect of their lives online, so ensuring that their homes are optimised for showcasing on the web is a major consideration when they’re decorating. 

One way this manifests is in the kind of lights they seek out. A recent TikTok surge of interest in a particular vintage Murano mushroom lamp saw similar designs popping up in high-street brands. 

Another popular way to include interesting lighting in your rooms? Neon signs. Gen Zers love neon. It’s old school, cool, and makes for a great photo backdrop. 

3. Murals

Gen Z wants personalised experiences. They want to stand out from the crowd, to be different, and a McKinsey study found that they really value individual expression

How does that translate to home decor? Original artwork. 

Accounts like Richard O’Gorman’s @househomo have gone viral for sharing images of bright murals painted directly onto the walls, that make the rooms themselves into art pieces. 

And it’s not just designers who are venturing into the world of wall art. More and more users are documenting their experimentation with murals as home decor, sharing shots of rooms which are impossible to exactly recreate – and therefore more individual than almost anything else could be. Perfect for Gen Z

4. Scandi maximalism

Also known as “Danish Pastels” or “Avant Basic”, this style trend is focused primarily on building vibrant colour onto basics: white walls and wooden floors. 

To this simple backdrop are added pops of pastel colour; psychedelic, checkered and floral patterns; candlesticks, funky coffee tables and wiggly pieces (especially mirrors, amongst which Ettore Sottsass’ Ultrafragola mirror is a wishlist item). 

@sarahbelleelizabeth new office makeover is live on my channel with all the links you could want #homedecor #OverShareInYourUnderwear #ultrafragola #90saesthetic ♬ Alice in Wonderland - Joanna Wang

@frejaaugustaah new office makeover is live on my channel with all the links you could want #homedecor #OverShareInYourUnderwear #ultrafragola #90saesthetic ♬ Alice in Wonderland - Joanna Wang

The result? A surprisingly cosy twist on a modern aesthetic. Clean, bright, and a completely different brand of hipster than that made popular by millennial interior designers. It could also be described as a more grown-up version of cottagecore. It’s easy to see why this trend works for young interior design aficionados, as it can be applied to standard rented flats without having to repaint walls.

5. Throwback style

Gen Zers love nostalgia. They love nostalgic clothing, nostalgic games, movies and soundtracks – so it’s no surprise that they also love nostalgic home decor

From ‘90s wall stickers to ‘70s conversation pits, Generation Z is bringing the throwbacks back to the forefront. Retro chairs and accessories are rife, with zany wall colours and framed vintage prints and posters adorning the walls.

Gen Z loves referencing mid-century home decor trends, whether that’s a minimalist take, or more eccentric home design tastes. ‘70s oranges and browns are coming back, alongside pile rugs. But beloved also are sculptural sofas and refined Eames chairs (or rather, less expensive homages to them). It makes sense for this thrifty generation, who look to Etsy and Facebook marketplace to find characterful pieces that have history to them.

5. Spiritual details

Gen Zers love astrology. We wrote about this in detail in our article, Gen Z’s astrology obsession explained. They might not always totally believe it, but that doesn’t stop them checking their horoscopes, referencing their star signs, or appreciating the aesthetic associated with reading fortunes in the stars. 

Spiritual details offer a perfect mix of personalised style and vintage glam, with influences from the natural world, too. So definitely expect to find lots of tarot card wall hangings, solar system mobiles, star motifs and crystals populating the shelves of Gen Zershome spaces

@le0fairie ‧͙⁺˚*・༓☾ sept. 03, 2021 mini room tour #pumpkinseason #astrology #roomtour ♬ this song slaps - Yukihixa

Our home is our fortress, as well as the space where we express ourselves. Astrology has become a refuge and source of meaning for young people in uncertain times. Interior brands looking to connect with them should create designs that offer this comfort, whether that‘s through channeling vintage nostalgia, cute aesthetic idealism or personalised details.

Gen Z: No place like home

After such a long period of being stuck at home during the Covid pandemic, many people focused on rejuvenating their living spaces. 

And even now that we’re free to leave them, the state of our homes has become a priority for many – Gen Z included. A whopping 51% of 13-39-year-olds plan to spend most of their time at home, even after the threat of COVID-19 has completely passed

For this reason, Gen Z interior design trends have focused on turning living spaces into unique, picturesque places that reflect Gen Zers’ desires to see themselves in their surroundings, and promote their mental health through calm, beautiful homes they feel comfortable spending a lot of time in. 

We spend a lot of time getting to know Gen Z: we have a social-listening suite of tools that allow us to see exactly what they’re loving, and spot trends before anyone else. They also allow us to find the perfect influencer to market any campaign. If you’d like to understand more about how we’ll place your brand at the top of Gen Z’s interior design wish list, get in touch. We’ll talk you through how to inspire a younger generation to express themselves with your products.

We have more advice for brands hoping to atracting Gen Zers towards big purchases, or luxury items. Read on for more marketing expertise: 

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