12.–16.01.2025 #immcologne

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Sustainable, practical, creative

Millennial living

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Born between 1981 and 1998, millennials are the first generation to be dubbed “digital natives”. They ask questions and strive for personal fulfilment, yet they also find themselves in a world where the fear of unemployment and financial difficulties is ever-present. The cost of living is rising, it’s more difficult to get a foot in the door when it comes to work and there is an increasing sense of inequality. But they’re not letting this get them down – quite the opposite, in fact. They’re adopting creativity and diligence to find ways to meet the challenges of everyday life and unlock their full potential despite those challenges.

With the right furniture, a small living space can be split into an area for work and an area for relaxation.

On average, Generation Y are living in increasingly smaller spaces, so practical use of furniture is a must. (Photo: Bench Accounting, Unsplash)

The need for flexibility

Millennials (also known as Generation Y) prefer an interior design style characterised predominantly by flexibility and practicality, and less by expensive furniture pieces. This is clearly evident in the results of the 2023 - The Report study by Foresight Factory: at 68%, they represent the generation that worries most about its finances. This affects choices when it comes to the home itself, but also pieces of furniture, which need to offer as much as possible, while taking up as little space as possible – and, of course, being aesthetically pleasing and durable.

To make use of the available living space as effectively as possible, Generation Y is keen to take advantage of modular furniture systems that can be customised and rearranged in a few quick steps. Another benefit of this is that it creates scope for creativity – an aspect that appeals to millennials. A bookshelf can quickly become a room divider, for example, or a sofa can be turned into an armchair.

Modular furniture can divide a room to create both a workspace without distractions and a relaxed living area.

Modular furniture looks smart and cleverly creates different living areas. (Photo: Patrick Perkins, unsplash and Mikhail Niov, pexels)

Room for sustainability

Budgets may be tighter overall, but millennials aren’t losing their taste for environmentally friendly investments. Furniture made from sustainable resources is in demand, while plastic plants are being rejected in favour of their natural counterparts. Where the opportunity arises, pieces of second-hand furniture – such as a dining table handed down from parents – are a popular choice. And digital natives won’t shy away from DIY projects – after all, pallets can quickly be turned into a cosy corner seat.

Practical steps like these ensure an individual and inviting look that is perfectly in keeping with the millennial style!

Stylish pallet furniture and lush green plants create a homely atmosphere in this bright living room.

Sustainable and organic – millennials are increasingly concerned about protecting the environment when it comes to choosing furniture. (Photo: Huy Phan, pexels, and Teona Swift, Pexels)

Clashing styles, cleverly staged

Those who aspire to an autarkic lifestyle will probably want to make themselves independent of the currently vulnerable energy market first of all. This is something construction companies will need to take into greater consideration in the future. Alternative energy sources have been popular for a while, but the autarkic living trend has given them a new boost. Photovoltaics, wind power, geothermal energy – we can expect to see many great advances in the field of power generation in coming years. Already today, the first companies are exploring how to connect solar batteries to a solar-powered biomass power plant. And that’s just one example on the path to energy independence.

Preloved pieces of furniture are incorporated neatly into modern interior design styles.

Clashing styles can often be found in Gen Y households, but with a few skilful tweaks they blend in cleverly with the rest of the decor. (Photos: Ksenia Chernaya, Pexels, and Charlotte May, Pexels)

Smart home solutions as a practical investment

When it comes to technology, digital natives are willing to put their hands even deeper into their pockets. As the first generation to have grown up with a mobile phone, on the whole they value smart home devices. The Smart Home Study 2022 by trade association Bitkom concluded that the use of networked lighting in particular is highly popular among this demographic. Controlled by an app, it can show individual rooms in various different lights – both literally and figuratively. It’s flexible, inspiring and attractive – which is exactly what millennials like.

But the main aspect of the concept that appeals to them is the savings it offers in terms of money and energy. Smart home households save around 15 per cent on energy and heating costs!

Take the opportunity to showcase your latest products to millennials and discover more current trends at imm cologne Spring Edition 2023. Register now as an exhibitor .

Millennials love technology – they can’t be without smart home devices in their households.

Smart home solutions are efficient and save energy – so it’s no surprise that they particularly appeal to tech-savvy millennials. (Photos: Yan Krukau, Pexels, and cloudlynx, pixabay)