How Millennials Are Changing Design Trends

How Millennials Are Changing Design Trends

Home design trends are like fashion— constantly changing. Here we will look at how millennials  (who are the up-and-coming home buyers) are beginning to drastically shape the design trends. Millennials have a unique perspective on life and how it should be lived, and this outlook is shaping how homes are being designed and built. Let’s take a closer look at the impact Millennials are having on the home design trends and how Proto Homes implements them.

Millennials have a unique perspective on life and how it should be lived, and this outlook is shaping how homes are being designed and built


Before we explain how millennials are redefining design, we better first explain who exactly these millennials are.

The Millennial generation or as some call them the Generation Y is largely considered to be a group of people born between 1980 – 2000.  Millennials have come of age during a time of technological change, globalization and economic disruption. That’s given them a different set of behaviors and experiences than their parents.

According to Goldman Sachs ,Millennials have been slower to marry and move out on their own, and have shown different attitudes to ownership that have helped spawn what’s being called a “sharing economy.”

They’re also the first generation of digital natives, and their affinity for technology helps shape how they live. Finally, they are dedicated to wellness, devoting time and money to exercising and eating right. Their active lifestyle influences trends in everything from food and drink to home design.

I think Millennials are a generation unlike anything we've seen on this planet.

Millennials are sparking some new trends in interior design, though the rules are loose. “Preconceived notions about what is correct have been shaken and stirred, and the boundary between formal versus informal seems less important to them,” says designer Chad Graci of Graci Interiors in New Orleans, who just missed being a millennial but whose business partner and sister Christina is a member of the generation.

Take a look at the top 10 current trends for Millennials, according to the Realtor Magazine.


“Location, location, location” for this generation means close to an urban center so they can easily get to services, says Kevin Woody, CRS, GRI, broker-owner of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Go Realty. “Home is not necessarily where they camp out; they’re very active. Home is more of a base for other activities,” he says. Besides living in dense downtown, cost is another factor for diminished square footage. They tend to be financially conservative for a host of reasons: Many saw parents and older counterparts reel from the recession and foreclosures; they face repaying their own huge student loans; they’re interested in putting down a higher down payment than prior buyers have rather than qualifying for the biggest loan available. “They don’t want to be maxed out,” Woody says.


Living Room Proto Westwood Residence

Millennials are not generally looking for all the traditional details and fancy materials that can increase a home’s price. Crown moldings, which used to be a sign of status and craftsmanship, no longer hold allure and make some buyers wonder what’s hiding behind them, says Larry Abbott, a remodeling and home improvement specialist in Houston and member of the Remodelers Council of the Greater Houston Builders Association.


“For hundreds of years, the house narrative has remained unchanged. I think the number of bathrooms, hardwood floor and granite countertop conversation is getting old,” said Frank Vafaee, CEO and Founder of Proto Homes.


The interior layouts that attract millennials come in all sorts of variations, but the key is fewer partitions and walls since this group likes to socialize and live casually, Abbott says. Many don’t want a formal living or dining room, says designer Shana Jacobs of MP Studio in Houston. And in smaller homes and condos, multi functional spaces take on greater importance. Exercise equipment may share space in a bedroom, and a hammock may get tucked into a dining room corner if there’s no or little outdoor space, says Arthur Lasky of Silberstang Lasky Architects in New York.

With Proto Homes there’s a lot of flexibility in the interior configuration. Double-height ceilings connect the first and second levels to create the feeling of one inclusive space. Each plan allows for an open, livable flow by designating adaptable zones in the home. Homeowners can upgrade the second floor from two to three bedrooms just by moving walls and storage units, which are on casters. Even the kitchen island floats on casters.

There are no stringent requirements for the installation of interior finishes. As long as you can tack it to the stud walls, you can use it.


Proto Baldwin Hills Residence Exterior View

Because millennials work long hours and have many interests, they prefer materials that require minimal time and care,. This new generation finds maintenance a tedious chore. Millennials want a maintenance-free house so they can use their weekends for recreation, not reconstruction. Some of the most popular features are:


Low Maintenance Roofing


Roofs clad with ordinary asphalt shingles will last about 30 years, depending upon weather conditions. Proto Homes offers a Light-reflective “TPO Cool Roof”  that reflects sunlight and minimizes heat gain of the house. Comprised of the Commercial grade material this roof  reflects the sun’s energy  and can play a significant role in reducing the buildings cooling costs. It also offers benefits to the surrounding environment through a reduction of the urban heat island (UHI) effect.

TPO roofs are durable; resisting dirt, bacteria, algae and debris build-up. The flexibility of the membrane makes it highly resistant to tears, punctures and impact damage. This flexibility also allows for a building’s movement and setting, without compromising the roof’s performance. Moreover, a TPO roof can withstand damaging ultraviolet, ozone and chemical exposure. Hot-air welded seams are very strong, with seam strengths being as much as 3-4 times greater than EPDM adhesive and tape seams.





Low Maintenance House Siding


Quality siding can keep any house looking good. Proto Homes uses corrugated metal siding materials that are very easy to install, require no maintenance and are easily replaceable should the client want to completely change the exterior look of the house at a small cost.

Proto Exterior Simi Valley,CA

Proto Exterior Simi Valley,CA



The entire infrastructure of the Proto Home is within a central “core,” about the size of a shipping container on end. In the last room on my tour, this two-story “engine” allows access to valves, vents, pipes, conduits, the water heater, and furnace. Using a minimum of ducts and wires, there’s no need to rip open a wall to repair anything. Electrical outlets on outer walls are in a pop-out strip. “This house is not fussy. It’s easy to maintain with built-in adaptability,” explained Vafaee. Proto Core™ minimizes initial construction costs, utility and energy expenses over the lifetime of the house.

It is a lot more than a conventional mechanical room or a chase, which are traditionally underutilized and inefficient.  Inside the Proto Core™, the home’s mechanical, plumbing, electrical and the water filtration systems, as well the security panel, Wi-Fi router, and lighting and irrigation controls are efficiently organized and accessible.  The mere accessibility to the infrastructural sources and hardware simplifies any future upgrades and repairs.


The kitchen, laundry room, and all bathrooms back into the Proto Core™.  All plumbing components such as water pipes, drain lines, water heater, toilettes, faucets and p-traps are wall-mount, exposed and part of the prefabricated Proto Core™.  Such components, in a typical house, are a nightmare to replace or repair.  This is not the case in a Proto House. Additionally, all the major mechanical and electrical endpoints are directly connected to the core.  This makes troubleshooting, maintenance and upgrades very easy.






Millennials are accustomed to being “connected” to technology—and they want their homes to be connected too.

Millennials would rather brag about a home with technological innovations than a kitchen upgrade. They want smart, Wi-Fi-connected technology built in to the home that enables them to easily control things like lighting, heating/cooling, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, speakers, TVs, and appliances using their phones or tablets.

For us at Proto Homes®, ‘connected’ does not mean retrofitting a smart home system into a traditional home. Of course a Proto Home has functional connectivity, which allows an owner to control all electrical devices, locks, security system, cameras, audio visual devices and thermal control from anywhere on earth. However, we also think in terms of social connectivity. People are not simply consumers, but rather producers of cultural content within their own homes. A connected house can foster passions, hobbies, work and ideas as part of a network can make a real impact on our the quality of our lives and communities.

By incorporating technology into our lives, we can have more efficient societies, and thus, we can have better communities

Frank Vafaee, CEO Proto Homes


Our goal is to domesticate the “Internet of Everything”. Traditional smart house, via internet, connects the user to the house for mere remote operations of electrical devices, security system, temperature control and operation of audiovisual devices.  However, Proto Homes® envisions connectedness as a relationship between homes and the city they are in.  Beyond simple remote operations, our Proto Core™ technology allows us to access, meter and analyze the most minute aspects of resource uses and behavioral patterns in a house. Data collected from each house,  can help the city to manage its resources in a more targeted manner.  Resources ranging from traffic to electricity and data transmission could be managed and allocated more efficiently.  Thus, the future of connected home is really about a connected community;  a connectivity, which is beyond consumption of data by owners or controlling their lighting remotely.

Never before, we have really understood how people use their homes. A detailed understanding of house use pattern in various communities, will help us manage the resources of those communities accordingly


At Proto, being “green” isn’t a revered exception…it is the rule.

Our building systems are inherently more environmentally friendly than other forms of construction for a number of reasons. The factory-controlled environment enables us to use resources more e, resulting in less waste that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Also, by shipping pre-assembled components to the home site, the amount of construction staging area required is significantly smaller, resulting in less site disturbance and greater protection of the surrounding habitat.

We use sustainable materials and building methods to create a house whose green aspects are integral to the structure itself, and then we fit it with equally efficient finishes, fixtures, and appliances. In addition, we partner with companies that share the same vision for a more responsible approach to design and manufacturing. Passive solar design of the floor plans minimizes heat gain during the day and allows daylight to play a significant role in the use of the home. Cross-ventilation of operable windows and doors creates a pleasant living environment without the use of forced air-cooling systems.


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