What defines the millennial generation that we hear about so often? The majority of millennials are in their 20s and forming a culture different from that of their parents, meaning that they're considering their finances and lifestyles from a new perspective. Millennials are typically very thoughtful about how they spend money, because they have seen their families struggle during the recession and have student loan debt to manage among other considerations. When millennials feel ready to buy an apartment or house, they'll prioritize certain characteristics for the kitchen.
First of all, there's opennness. Millennials are moving away from traditional spaces with designated functions. Most see the formal dining room as unnecessary, and would prefer the kitchen to be an open multi-use space for cooking, dining and entertainment.
For Generation X, size of a home (and kitchen) were top of the list. However, millennials tend to prefer quality over quantity. While the kitchen should be open with enough counter space for entertainment, bigger isn't necesssarily better when it comes to all elements of the kitchen. Millennials for example might choose less counter space if the kitchen counters are a high-quality material like granite over more counter space made with a less durable material.
Millennials are also thinking about sustainability. They want a kitchen constructed with materials and filled with appliances that are both better for the environment and will save them money in the long-term. They recognize that the up-front costs might be more expensive on the front end, but they see the long-term benefits.
Seeing as both partners in millennial couples tend to work and often work more hours than the standard 9-5, they want less maintenance in the kitchen so they can relax or do fun activities when they're not working. Millennials will choose wood flooring that can be cleaned easily and only as often as is necessary.
In most cases, millennials want a home that is updated and ready to move in without unforeseen costs. This is especially true for spaces like the kitchen and bathrooms. The kitchen should be updated with contemporary kitchen cabinets and in terms of appliances and so that the kitchen won't potentially fall in resell value.
As you can see from the list, one way to think about the millennial kitchen is that in some ways, it's more about the experience in the kitchen rather than what's in the kitchen.
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