I've logged more hours watching HGTV than I'm ever willing to admit publicly, but trust me when I say it's a lot. I yell at the TV during an episode of
House Hunters like it's the Super Bowl. "THE COLONIAL FIXER UPPER?!? OVER THE MOVE-IN READY COTTAGE???! NOOOO!" is the kind of nonsense my neighbors hear when things get heated. Basically, I'm really passionate about home decor and have a lot to say about it. Broadway Video
As trends evolve, it's interesting to see which design and decor choices are requirements for one person but totally prohibited for another, and how it varies from age group to age group. Millennials might looove white cabinets, but Gen X might see them and immediately get the dark brown paint ready to go.
Here are 16 home decor trends that are total giveaways for each generation:
GEN Z: Cozy cottagecore
Gen Z is
very into ~aesthetics~, and cottagecore is a major player. A staple of cottagecore are faux leaves and assorted mushroom decor that nestles them riiight in the middle of the woods, in the middle of their room. Cottagecore becomes *cozy* cottagecore with the addition of plushies and soft blankets, which is shown here with a cameo by a cartoon character that Gen Z strongly identifies with: Snoopy the dog. u/ewstinkyy / u/DownrightDirt-E / Via reddit.com / reddit.com
GEN Z: Dark academia
Gen Z loves dark aesthetics, reading books, and staying home — so of course another decor of choice feels like a gothic library where they can comfortably isolate in shadowy solitude.
Jelena990 / Getty Images/iStockphoto / u/meadxwsweet / Via reddit.com
GEN Z: "Big light" free zone
Another way to easily identify Gen Z decor is to count how many funky lil' lamps are scattered about the room. This generation would rather walk into the ocean than turn on the dreaded "big light," aka any overhead light.
u/curiouslilpsychonaut / u/driedsponge / Via reddit.com / reddit.com
GEN Z: Squishmallow central
If you don't know what a Squishmallow is, it's basically the Gen Z equivalent of a Beanie Baby. The chokehold that they have on this generation needs to be studied, because they *all* have them. I don't trust them! Something about the blank stare behind those eyes... What are they hiding? Whenever I look at two Squishmallows side by side, I feel like one of them knows when I'll die and the other knows how I'll die.
The Washington Post / The Washington Post via Getty Images
MILLENNIALS: Plants on plants on plants
Us millennials are more likely to be plant parents before
ever having an actual spawn of our own, but we will absolutely raise those plants like our own flesh and blood. Flesh and blood < grass and dirt. Bogdan Kurylo / Getty Images/iStockphoto
MILLENNIAL: Recovered Tumblr girl
If you see a mandala, you've entered the barracks of a millennial. To understand this trend, you have to remember that being a "hipster" was the standard for millennials when we were teenagers or super young adults in the 2010s. If you wanted to be cool, you had to decorate your room or apartment like you played mandolin in a folk band. I also blame Tumblr for this aesthetic. The tapestry, hanging bulb lights, and strung-up Polaroids just meant you had a loooong night of reblogging ahead of you. If you know, you know...and you deserve some kind of emotional compensation for that.
u/Theazel / Thomasvogel / Getty Images/iStockphoto / Via reddit.com
MILLENNIAL: Moody maximalism
Listen, if you have a sign on your wall that says, "You can't make everyone happy. You are not a taco," then you are 100% a millennial. What Gen Z calls "cringe," we affectionately refer to as "quirky." Thrift stores are our best friends because we're all broke and sad, so it's normal for millennials to just throw everything they found thrifting on the wall and call it a day.
u/Creamy_tangeriney / Via reddit.com
MILLENNIAL: Crystal coven
Crystals and moon decor are immediate giveaways for millennials. If you want millennials to let go of our crystals, then you can pry them out of our cold, dead hands!!! We're anxious, and they're soothing!! We just want to sit in our little lunar caves and clutch our happy rocks.
u/Cronchy_Tacos / Via reddit.com
GEN X: Living room safari
Since Gen X includes everyone born between 1965 and 1980, that means they were coming into adulthood and beginning to decorate their homes in the early 2000s. Of COURSE they couldn't escape the animal printification of Y2K. I'm talkin' cheetah print curtains, framed portraits of tigers, and of course, ceramic elephants.
Baloncici / Getty Images/iStockphoto / u/sophrosyne-and-chill / Via reddit.com
GEN X: Modern minimalism
While I fear and respect the Gen X'ers who are still dedicated to their cheetah print throw pillows to this day, the others had enough of hearing "Welcome to the Jungle" playing in their head the moment they entered any room. The beige couch, beige walls, and beige curtains are a perfect palate cleanser, and maybe a bit of a snooze fest in comparison...but they
did get to keep their tribal vases. Oxygen / Getty Images
GEN X: Goooo sports team!
This one might seem like a roast, but I've honestly never been in a Gen X'er's home that didn't feature a room bursting with enthusiasm for a very specific football team. It could be because
Gen X is statistically more likely to be a football fan than other generations, so I don't see anything wrong with them expressing their identity through decor. Go sports!! u/PhillyPhanatik / Via reddit.com
GEN X: Tuscan kitchens
🎶When the earth tones hit your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Tuscan kitchen🎶 — which this generation goes absolutely feral for. Earth tones, tall bottles of oil, and fake grapes are VERY Gen X coded.
Annatamila / Getty Images/iStockphoto / Richlegg / Getty Images
BOOMER: Floral couches
I refuse to say anything negative about this couch. I respect this piece of furniture as my elder. She's an icon. She's a legend. She's the standout diva in your Grandma's living room. This couch could be a judge on
Drag Race. Dmyto / Getty Images/iStockphoto
No dining room in a boomer's home is complete without a chandelier. If this behemoth of a lighting fixture is watching over me during dinnertime, I just know I'm at someone's Grandma's house.
Tony Anderson / Getty Images
BOOMER: Country cookin' kitchen
I'm convinced that boomers get their home decor inspiration from Cracker Barrel. You know what, though? I would gladly chow down on a plate from a kitchen like this. I think they're on to something here. As a millennial who may never afford to retire, I'm just going to vicariously live through the boomers who are living their best retired lives home on the range...even if "the range" in question is just their kitchen. No farm animals required, except the decorative ceramic chicken.
Capturednuance / Getty Images
What do you think? Do you agree with this list? Let me know in the comments what generation you belong to and which decor choices you love and will always defend!