Decorating Tips for Millennials: Style and Utility on a Budget

Every generation has its own sense of style and that’s perfectly understandable. Therefore, outside of the most basic aspects of design, what seems like a home for one person may seem too staid or odd for another.

Millennials are not as likely to buy houses as their predecessors, but that doesn’t mean they can’t exercise their taste and creativity wherever it is that they call home. Money can be especially tight for young people these days, but 70% of all millennials identified home decor as being of importance to them. Here are some tips that can add style without great expenditure.

Avoid Clutter

Millenials generally like living minimally and not just because of cost. It’s sometimes a reaction to having grown up in homes filled with unnecessary materialism. A clutter-free environment is much easier to keep tidy (showing off that you make the time and effort to maintain a clean living space) and also healthier.

Make Optimum Use of Space

Most millennials start off in a fairly small living space. A great way to maximize the square footage available is to purchase products that also offer a place to store things. Storage benches and ottomans are both excellent for this purpose and usually quite inexpensive. You can also find fairly low-cost beds with built-in storage options.

Inexpensive Art

Art can be a great investment, but most millennials don’t have that kind of money available. However, if you’re willing to put in the time, stylish art pieces can be found for relatively little money online or via secondhand stores and flea markets.

Bold Colors for Walls

Another advantage with minimalism is that there is usually a good amount of wall space visible. Being bold and creative when choosing either paint or wallpaper can add a definite sense of personal style and doesn’t need to break the bank.

What Will Happen to the Toronto Cube House?

toronto cube house
Martin Trainor calls the cubes home sweet home. From the Toronto Star

Toronto is home to a score of amazing architectural feats. There’s the striking, contentious Crystal addition which juts out onto the street from the Royal Ontario Museum; the glass palace that is the Globe & Mail Centre; and, of course, the iconic CN Tower.

With so many massive structures, it’s easy to forget this modest entry in modern architecture: the cube house on Sumach St.

Designed by architect Ben Kutner in 1996, the Unitri cubes may be the most unique home in Toronto. And though it’s not as big as the ROM or the G&M, it’s hard to miss it.

The home is sandwiched between two on/off ramps between Adelaide and Eastern Avenue, greeting drivers heading to and from the Don Valley Parkway. Though originally intended as a three-condo unit, it has gradually transformed into a house-billboard hybrid.

Each cube is 42 feet by 42 feet and divided into three separate floors, which adds up to over 9,000 square feet of living space. Though they have few windows, the cubes get enough natural light to grow house plants inside.

Kutner based his idea on Rotterdam’s famous Cubic Houses. The cubes are designed to be the versatile and affordable modular homes of the future. They can be erected in weeks and arranged complex residential or commercial units. They can also fit in areas where there’s no room to build a traditional house. Kutner calls them, “Meccano on steroids.”

Of course, the cubes didn’t catch on like their Dutch inspiration did. Kutner never got around to building more cube homes, and they didn’t exactly lead the way to the future of architecture. But that just makes the Toronto prototype all the more special.

CBC video producer Martin Trainor calls the cube house home for fifteen years. “I choose to live here because it’s unique”, he says. “It’s a great architectural masterpiece, if you ask me.”

Unfortunately, these cute little cubes face an uncertain future. Last fall, the owner of the property placed the entire lot up for sale – cube home and all.

It’s not surprising, given how the value of the land has soared in the past decade. Since the cubes are just over twenty years old, it’s unlikely they could get protection as heritage properties. What happens to the Unitri cubes will be up to whoever buys the property.

Sure, not everyone wants to live in a forest-green cube with billboards plastered to the side. But there’s no shortage of identical suburban townhomes out there for plain, ordinary folk to snap up. There’s only one Unitri cube in all the world!

Building are part of what make the city what it is. Let’s hope the eventual buyer will help keep this spark alive.