Gen Z dreams of independent homes, bright and meticulously furnished with iconic pieces of (used) design. Perhaps thanks to the lockdowns and the new info-educational use of social media

Those born under the sign of Gen z, and therefore between 1997 and 2012, are fast, digital, apparently unaware - because they are still too young - but in reality much more prepared, informed and determined on the subject of home than you might think. It is they who represent the future of the market, of the way of living, of the requests to be satisfied.

Perhaps thanks (and finally) to the affirmation of a new informative use of the social media increasingly populated with vertical and in-depth content, but also the long time spent in close contact with the home walls due to the numerous lockdowns, i very young they had a very precise idea about which house to dream of for the future.

We must not miss nature, green even indoors, light, environments dedicated to passions.

The home for young people is a space to be taken care of carefully, and the pieces identified to furnish it are chosen with meticulous accuracy. Yes to second-hand, as long as it is iconic and has made history.

Let's start with the basics: apartment or detached house?

According to the latest survey conducted after Covid, in September 2021, from the portal, the 53% of the respondents from a sample of 1,500 people aged between 15 and 30 aspire to live in a detached house, 36% would prefer a apartment instead and 11% are attracted to loft.

This was confirmed by Diletta Secco, digital creator born in 1997 who counts 1,3 million followers (mostly peers or even younger) on TikTok. On his social channels he talks abundantly about the way of living the home and, in particular the kitchen: "I recently left the apartment where I lived in Milan: it did not reflect my needs. I often tell my community about the 'House of dreams' and the feedback is always quite enthusiastic.

I like to propose ideas and talk about how the ideal home should be. It should definitely be bright, independent, with lots of greenery and a large kitchen. I would add decentralized with respect to the city".

And she adds: "The reactions intensify when I tell my experience with plants: the interest in the care of spaces and greenery is considerable". In fact, on TikTok but also on Instagram and Pinterest, the contents with the protagonist plants, especially indoors, are among the most clicked at the moment.

"A house without plants is unthinkable". She continues: "It happened a while ago that I told of an experience with the home cultivation of a avocado: months later I still receive testimonies and photos of followers who have replied".

Where does inspiration come from

Social networks are now increasingly performing the function of digital archive, but also - with their continuous inputs - of suggesting trends. The Millennials (today in their thirties or thirty-five years) grew up dreaming of ocean-view homes that appeared in the very first TV series, at the time of 'telefilms', like the famous Orange County villas. The so-called 'Boomers' (now fifty-sixty years old) still have paper folders, filed in different corners of the house, in which to collect the most homes seen on the pages of newspapers around the world.

The Gen Z draw inspiration from social media, continues Diletta Secco: "My aspiration is to be able to buy a house of my own and then furnish it. To get inspired, I follow numerous dedicated accounts. I like to get ideas. from homes all over the world, I create folders in which I save photos and videos grouped by environment or by function".

Among the various accounts and social pages, the rooms dedicated to passions are soaring, as in the case of Diletta, who nurtures a deep bond with the kitchen, but also environments dedicated to spirituality, to relaxation, to well-being.

Numerous creators register the contents offered on social profiles in suitable environments: real creative and recording studios home.

Second hand, responsibility: tomorrow's home is beautiful and good

The new generation shows a strong participation in everything related to reuse: upcycling and deccluttering are themes that are now internalized by Gen Z; This is demonstrated by successful apps such as Vinted, Depop and Wallapop by the most used to sell or recover used items.

When it comes to furniture, however, there are even more specialized portals that deal with the entire second life cycle of a piece of design : from selection to the choice of the buyer. An example of this is Deesup, which offers used furnishing elements and in particular unique icons in their genre and often out of production.

Valentina Cerolini, co-founder & tells us CEO of Deesup: "We observe that the taking of responsibility and awareness of the user, including the very young, are now intrinsic in the choice, even when this concerns a durable good such as furniture. It is first of all a choice of opportunities, not because you encounter a more accessible piece than the new one, but also to contribute in some way to the well-being of the planet".

Furniture, a serious matter

Virginia Napoleone , co-founder & curator of - vintage furniture marketplace, testifies to how Generation Z seems to be decidedly attentive to the choice of the object: "The very young public seems to have very clear what they want - a few pieces, functional and that can also turn into a good investment - but above all what is behind the brand: who we are , what are our values ​​and who is the natural person who sells the object".

The preparation, as mentioned, is high, and the most popular references are those of the past, with a focus on made in Italy: "It is not uncommon for the object of dreams to be a cult piece of the 60s or 70s that once furnished the grandparents' house and that the following generation had abandoned.

We see a preference for the vintage or antique piece chosen, compared to the new one in the same price range. In particular, the Italian designers of the twentieth century who have gained worldwide fame are admired by the new generations, they search for their pieces and start collecting them. Original objects by Franco Albini, Joe Colombo, Vico Magistretti, Piero Fornasetti, Ettore Sottsass, just to name a few, are highly sought after".

Among the most requested: sofas and lighting

"At the top of every young person's list of 'wishes' we note the seats and in particular the sofas. Today we like modular, curvilinear and comfortable ones.

Vintage decor and decorative arts are also chosen because they are unique pieces that characterize an environment and can be easily transported from one house to another" explains Virginia Napoleone.

From Deesup, on the other hand, they confirm that, immediately following the furnishings, the lighting is positioned.

The response of companies

Considering that Gen Z shows a greater interest in identifying single iconic pieces of design, it is natural to wonder how companies are, from their front, working to always meet plus the needs of the younger generation.

IKEA, a pioneer in proposing simple, comparable and affordable furniture, tells us how a adaptation of the proposal is making its way: "IKEA is always attentive to listening to its consumers who for obvious reasons cover different age groups and are in different stages of life" explains Laura Schiatti, country marketing manager of IKEA Italy.

"The new spot has been on the air for a few weeks now, which also talks about this: a girl who grows up and wants her room to look more like the person she is today, no longer a child. The young girl, now a teenager, reuses the old furniture of her bedroom to renovate it, changing accessories and textiles, embracing a sustainable philosophy in respect of the Planet, in a circular approach very dear to young people".

IKEA Italia has also recently opened the TikTok channel with the That's ok boomer campaign that brings together two generations represented by Elio (the Boomer) and Madame (the Gen Z) who closed in the house in the last few years, due to the pandemic, they have increasingly found themselves sharing spaces with different needs.

"IKEA wants to be the spokesperson for the needs of Gen Z too, demonstrating how it is possible to find solutions that make the home the place for a positive encounter, respecting the different needs and mutual spaces, offering the infinite combination of his solutions "concludes Laura Schiatti.

Just to meet the fresh gaze of Gen Z, from August 26th to September 10th this year IKEA launched a new edition of the IKEA Festival: two weeks of creativity at home, with a rich digital schedule aimed at inspiring people to transform domestic spaces and express their creativity and passions.

Cover photo: Project by Davide Vizzini from dvdvarch Studio, apartament in Milan (you can read more here). Ph. Max Lowe