What Your Age Says About Your Design Style

We know that design styles evolve over time, but a new study by interior design startup Modsy, suggests they also change as we age. After analysing the results of style quizzes taken by clients, they discovered that the majority of millennials, ages 18 to 34, overwhelmingly gravitated toward one very distinct style: mid-century modern minimalism. It’s close to the decor their grandparents may have lived with, but is distinctively different. It doesn’t exactly look like the set of Mad Men. Instead, the iconic style is blended with minimalist shapes, eclectic accessories, and industrial tones for a more modern take.

Alessandra Wood, design history PhD and director of style at Modsy, links the millennial obsession with mid-century minimalism to location and lifestyle. “Younger generations living in cities are likely living in smaller apartments and condos, so a minimalist aesthetic is more appropriate — perhaps even necessary! — for the size of their spaces,” says Wood. Mid-century-style furniture is also less bulky, features clean lines, and can be accessed at all sorts of price points. Urban areas are the perfect environment for a touch of industrial style, with converted lofts and newer buildings that capture a loft-like feel.

So what about the baby boomers and generation Z? Quiz data shows that baby boomers can’t get enough of the “refined rustic” style, which makes sense with a crowd that occupies larger suburban homes. The style screams classic but comfortable. Surprisingly, generation Z is close behind, choosing “rustic warmth” as their style of choice. Picture oversize furniture, layered textures, and a smattering of vintage collectibles from flea-market and thrift-store searches.