Here are 10 trends in home amenities and interior design that elicit interest from the newest generation of buyers that are relevant to Key West.

Cory Held, Key West luxury Real Estate specialist
Cory Held, Key West luxury Real Estate specialist

For years we have been focused on what baby boomers or generation Xers want in home features, interior design, and outdoor space. But the new cohort now poised to rule the world is the millennials — loosely defined as those born between the early 1980s and early 2000s and numbering between 80 million and 90 million. It’s the largest group to emerge since baby boomers, and it’s changing how home buying and design is conducted — along with the results.
Here are 10 tips about them that have particular relevance to Key West:
1. Fast information gathering.  The Internet is an essential source of information including Facebook, website, Twitter, Pinterest and similar sources
2. Urban and smaller. “Location, location, location” for this generation means close to an urban core so they can easily get to services. Home is not necessarily where they camp out; they’re very active. Home is more of a base for other activities. 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.
3. Fewer embellishments. Millennials are not generally looking for all the traditional details and fancy materials that can increase a home’s price. 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
4. Open, multifunctional open plan interiors. The interior layouts that attract millennials are varied, but the key is fewer partitions and walls since this group likes to socialize and live casually. Many don’t want a formal living or dining room. In smaller homes and condos, multifunctional spaces take on greater importance.
5. Less maintenance. Because millennials work long hours and have many interests, they prefer materials that require minimal time and care, such as faux wood or porcelain tiled floors that mimic wood.
6. Technologically efficient, green, and healthy. High on millennials’ wish list is being able to use all their “toys,” — tablets, phones, audio systems, programmable LED lighting, and energy-efficient heating and cooling systems and all the rest. Interiors with lots of outlets and flexible placement of charging stations are also appealing.
7. Colorful pow, industrial wow and comfortable chic. While many of their parents and older counterparts made beige the new white, this generation has veered toward grays and bold accents such as the burgundy accent wall. Many work from home, so they might sit on a couch at times to perform tasks instead of a desk.
8. Less outdoor space. While spending time outdoors still matters, having a large space to maintain is not of interest to this group. A small balcony or terrace will do nicely with gravel and some cactus rather than labor-intensive grass and rose bushes. But millennials still crave light and air, which suggests big windows, skylights and glass walls that open.
9. Value-minded. While they may splurge on a favorite furnishing or appliance—maybe an imported coffee machine that grinds and brews their favorite beans—they’re also highly value-conscious.
10. Ready, set, go. Because millennials think in shorter time frames, they like the idea of a finished house.
Bottom line: Millennials don’t view their homes as a status symbol or long-term investment but as an important purchase for living now and enjoying life. But they also know that as they age, their tastes and style of doing everything may also evolve.