7 Differences Between Older Millennials’ & Younger Millennials’ Apartments

If you're a millennial, you know there's a huge difference between older millennials and younger millennials: older millennials may be established in their careers, getting married, and having kids, while younger millennials are only just starting to think about what their post-grad life will look like. It's a big demographic. And older and younger millennials make a lot of different choices about how they arrange their live. Because the housing market and millennial salaries make home ownership a distant dream (isn't being an adult fun!), many of us, younger and older millennials alike, find ourselves in smaller pads — but what's in our apartments can distinguish us from the other half of the generation.

Millennial aesthetics have attracted a lot of interest from businesses and trend-watchers; we may not have mortgages, but we do have defined tastes that absorb more global influences than ever before. Whether we're buying our furnishings from an actual store our parents might pick up an end table from, or still taking stuff off the street marked 'free,' we can be sure that our generational fellows are pretty much on the same page as us. Here are the tell-tale signs you're in an older millennial or a younger millennial's apartment.

1Their Photographs

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Older Millennials: Actual, honest-to-god photographs from the days when people went to the local Kodak store and got film developed. They probably date back to high school or (at latest) college, or are the product of Significant Events like weddings, but they're definitely there, posted on walls or in some Pinterest-inspired device that uses clothes pegs and rustic rope. Bonus points for people who've kept those weird sticky-backed miniature photos that were popular in around 2002.

Younger Millennials: Polaroids. Everybody knew they were coming back, but the kitsch value had to build for years before the shake-shake of the instant photos became a property of millennial cool again.

2Their Jewelery Cupboards

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Older Millennials: Old-school Pamela Love-style witchy accessories, five sets of studs for their many ear piercings, feathers from a long-ago Coachella, #ThisPussyGrabsBack merch from Etsy, hammered artisanal copper from the local artist's stall at the farmer's market.

Younger Millennials: Ear cuffs, on-trend stuff that first showed up on Instagram, and un-ironic chokers — because nobody who went through chokers the first time round is wearing those again.

3Their Box Sets

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Older Millennials: Friends, Sex & The City, The Wire ("oh my god, you haven't seen it? SO good"), Pushing Daisies, obscure Danish crime drama, Gilmore Girls, and other stuff that was available on DVD and looked great at the grocery store at like 11pm on a Sunday.

Younger Millennials: Who the hell has room for box sets when Netflix exists and you're sharing an apartment with eight other people?

4Their Music

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Older Millennials: Hipster vinyl, including the latest releases from 00's faves like Mogwai or Jack White; they can now afford a decent turntable to play it all on, and spend at least part of their parties showing that off to guests. Plus a giant box of CDs (including the first ones they ever bought) that are brought out occasionally or used for sing-alongs in the car. Particular highlight: the mix CD a cooler classmate made using music ripped from the internet. That track list is still amazing.

Younger Millennials: Spotify playlists and Musical.ly, which is impossible to use without shame unless you're under 20 or very, very famous.

5Their Art

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Older Millennials: At least one piece or birthday card that's in the faux-naive 1960s illustration style that was incredibly popular around 2010. Art that's designed to look like tattoos, or like Renaissance-style portraiture with a twist (a dog in a ruff collar). Embroidery with swearwords in it. A challenging bit of anatomical art they found in a thrift shop on a vacation to Stockholm. Probably something under a bell jar. If they're earning enough, possibly a vintage framed band poster for New Order or something else abstract.

Younger Millennials: An amazing poster or screenshot from a favorite obscure film. Kardashian-style luxe faux furs. No inspirational quotes, ever. But most likely, a word or icon in neon tubing.

6Their Aesthetic

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Older Millennials: Maybe they can't afford to buy a house yet (or ever), but older millennials have started to accumulate pieces that go with them everywhere they live. Mid-century modern chairs, Scandi-style sofas and lamps, handmade kitchenware like Japanese knives and artisanal beech chopping boards, little ceramic drinking cups they picked up on a trip around Asia: everything has a story. And Mac computers, of course.

Younger Millennials: "Millennial minimalism" is a thing. Largely because of a lifestyle that involves moving between rental places and a focus on 'authenticity', environmentalism, and mindfulness, younger millennials may not have a lot of stuff around. While older millennials have enough money to start design trends like "rustic-tech", younger millennials are trying to cut down.

7Their Food Cupboards

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Older Millennials: Coconut oil, flaxseeds, gluten-free crackers, "good" cheese from the market, kale, goji berries (somebody said they were good once), free-range eggs, Whole Foods cereals, obscure spice mixes, and remnants of that time everybody tried to go vegan for a month and just ended up eating a lot of carrots. Plus take-out containers with five types of leftovers of varying freshness.

Younger Millennials: Pre-prepared food is a massive trend for millennials in general, and more so for younger generations who tend to be pretty time-poor. Food exploration and novelty is also huge: Korean fried chicken and kombucha are last year, now it's all about offal, seaweed and "new" Japanese. But younger millennials also want stuff that's healthy, organic, ethical and easy — or that they can get delivered within five minutes after heading home from yet another unpaid internship.