The Wall Street Journal just ran a fun story on what millennials want in a home. Interesting to see how domestic priorities have changed in a few decades:
Outdoor space is important—but please, just a place to put the grill and have some friends over. Lawn-mowing not desired. Amenities such as fitness centers, game rooms and party rooms are important (“Is the room big enough to host a baby shower?” a millennial might think). “Outdoor fire pits,” suggested Tony Weremeichik of Canin Associates, an architecture firm in Orlando. “Consider designing outdoor spaces as if they were living rooms.”
Smaller rooms and fewer cavernous hallways to get everywhere, a bigger shower stall and skip the tub, he said. Oh, but don’t forget space in front of the television for the Wii, and space to eat meals while glued to the tube, because dinner parties and families gathered around the table are so last-Gen. And maybe a little nook in the laundry room for Rover’s bed?
I don’t love the aspect of millennial preferences that involves shying away from building a family through marriage and childraising. In fact, outside of singleness due to clear personal wiring or for purposes of gospel promotion, I would caution this worldview. I don’t think young Americans should be gunning for two decades of unattached, directionless post-college social recreation. That’s a recipe for spiritual and moral struggle, to say the least.
Those caveats noted, I am fully in line with the millennial desire to be able to walk to places. It’s such a bummer to live in your car. Millennials actually want town centers, communities, gathering places, and I love that. I’m not one who would throw rhetorical firebombs at the suburbs; that seems silly. But I am generational in liking the older communal style–centered, intent on pulling people together, as walking-oriented as possible.
It’s ironic, actually, that this is so. A generation that is adopting unconventional (unbiblical, in many cases) living patterns wants thoroughly traditional living structures. The trappings of your traditional American small town are now what many young people want–albeit shed of a good number of the social constraints that came with them.
Here’s hoping for not simply a return to the architecture of the olden days, but past ideals, especially gospel ideals, breathed out in thoroughly modern fashion.
(Image: Fitchburg, WI)