Young adults moving out on their own may never have been as affected by design as they are today. An increasing availability of highly stylized, affordable home furnishings have transformed dorm rooms and starter apartments from Milk-Crate Modular to Swedish Chic. Janice Simonsen, a spokesperson for the Stockholm-based home furnishings giant Ikea, helped us pinpoint some of the leading home decor trends among the Gen Y set.
Bold oranges, pinks and greens â€” but not chartreuse â€” are the hot hues among today's young home furnishers. Solid colors and textures are preferred, but when young adults do go for patterns, they subscribe to the notion that â€œthe more abstract, the better.â€? In other words, forget the floral motifs.
In the Age of the Swiffer, Gen Y decorators demand that their furnishings be easy to clean. At Ikea, wood furnishings have a lacquer finish and can be easily wiped free of dust with a light cloth without risk of surface damage. No furniture polish or Murphy's Oil Soap for this bunch â€” please!
Generation Y has been bred to multitask, so it's not surprising that it expects home furnishings to do double duty as well. Ikea's furniture is often designed for multipurposes, like a desk that can be used as a dining table, a cedar chest that can serve as a coffee table or a sofa that turns into a bed. Even such everyday items as lights, clocks and message boards often double as artwork.
ON THE MOVE
Space is usually at a premium in dorm rooms and first apartments, so today's young adults are increasingly searching for furnishings on wheels that can make rearranging a room a cinch. Big, clunky casters also have that industrial look that is oh-so-hot to these consumers.
Enter the abode of many young adults today, and you might think you've stumbled back into the 1960s. Call it the Austin Powers effect, but shag rugs, inflatable furniture and bead curtains are all back in vogue. Just goes to show that the never-throw-anything-out philosophy also applies to home decor.