I was fascinated to read in the Wall Street Journal recently that the doorbell is on its way out. Instead the preference now seems to be to text “I’m here” when outside the front door. That got me to thinking…are the changes brought on by millennials just a trend, or are they here to stay?
These changes we’re seeing push deep into the design world. First, there is the millennial penchant for not wanting, and in many cases not being able to afford, a large home. Spaces are smaller, and more minimalist in their design. Possessions tend to be few, but meaningful. Design choices are colorful and pared down to meet this new aesthetic.
Then there are the color choices we’ve been seeing. These aren’t necessarily the “what’s old is new again” colors. For example, “Millennial Pink” is an accepted phrase for a certain dusky shade of pink that is now seen everywhere, from clothing to hotel lobbies. And bright colors are being embraced more now than ever. Witness Gen Z yellow, which is a cheery, optimistic bright yellow that is showing up on nearly every red carpet. Millennials are all about celebrating individuality and having the freedom to be authentic and diverse. Thus, these colors appear in surprising forms (green lipstick and yellow eyeliner), with surprising frequency and are instantly populated via Instagram.
Photo Credit: Wall Street Journal Magazine
What’s the genesis of this color shift? CNN Style magazine reported that Leatrice Eiseman, executive director at the Pantone Color Institute, says the high-riding wave of color is all from the kids. “Our relationship with color has changed hugely. Today, people are more open, especially younger people, or people who think young—to defying the old and absolute color rules about what is appropriate for certain uses. I think this is all to the good—using color is a creative exercise and shouldn’t be bound by too much dogma.”
So are these millennial changes trends, or are they here to stay? A little of both. Our relationship with color will constantly evolve—in fashion, design and what we find acceptable and pleasing. But, like Victorian décor, I think the changes in the aesthetics of our homes are here to stay, and we won’t be seeing too many doorbells in the future!