Mezzanine floors, the in-between floors situated between the main floors of a building, have seen a surge in popularity in recent years, especially among millennials. As per experts like AW Structures, as the largest generation in the Australaian workforce, millennials have unique housing needs and preferences that have fueled demand for these versatile spaces. Here’s a closer look at why mezzanine floors appeal so strongly to millennial homebuyers and renters.
More Space Without Moving
For starters, mezzanine floors add extra square footage without requiring a move to a larger apartment or home. As millennials have put off marriage and children longer than previous generations, many only need small living spaces in expensive urban areas. Mezzanine floors are the perfect way to create a home office, library, or extra bedroom without breaking the bank on a larger apartment. Even studio apartments can gain a sleeping loft. This expanded room to spread out comes in handy when working from home too, which became essential during COVID-19 lockdowns.
Flexible Multi-Purpose Space
Beyond just fitting more rooms into a compact floor plan, mezzanine floors allow for adaptable environments. Millennials came of age during the Great Recession and value flexibility in case of changing life circumstances. An open mezzanine can transform from home gym to media room to guest bedroom seamlessly. Railings and walls let occupants enclose the space for privacy or keep it open depending on temporary needs. Couch surfers can even crash there when visiting friends in pricey metros.
Industrial Chic Aesthetic
Exposed pipes, ductwork, brick walls, and iron railings used to give mezzanine floors a gritty, industrial look. But millennials have embraced this minimalist industrial chic style for its authentic vibe. More architects now incorporate mezzanine floors specifically to add modern, edgy design elements into even new construction homes. Their industrial bones paired with sleek, modern furnishings create the lived-in luxury look popularized by sites like Pinterest. Exposed beams also keep build costs lower compared to traditional floor and ceiling treatments.
Shared Community Living Spaces
For city-dwelling millennials, mezzanine floors facilitate community in spaces designed explicitly for sharing. Co-living communities have emerged with compact private bedrooms for residents but common kitchens, gyms, lounges and workspaces to socialize and collaborate. Mezzanine floors allow architects to build these multi-functional spaces vertically without a dramatically larger building footprint. And community events feel livelier when you can peer down at them from a balcony lounge atop the mezzanine.
Space for Side Hustles
Like no generation before them, resourceful millennials depend on side hustles and gig work to supplement incomes from full-time jobs. Nearly 60% earn money from a side business outside of traditional employment. But selling handmade crafts on Etsy or managing an Airbnb side hustle takes space. Mezzanine nooks carved out above a kitchen or overlooking the living room provide perfect built-in office spaces without constructing an expensive detached home addition. A spare bedroom easily converts into a photography studio to take product shots too.
No Yard Required
As millennials flocked to walkable city neighborhoods, they eschewed sprawling suburban homes for condos and apartments close to dining, entertainment and jobs. But that means no backyard for projects, gardening or grilling. Mezzanine terraces built beyond sliding glass doors offer indoor/outdoor space without a yard. Just big enough for a bistro set or grill, they bring urban balconies inside the weatherproof envelope. Built-in planters along the rails bring green space inside too.
So if you’ve noticed mezzanine floors appearing everywhere from micro-apartments to renovated warehouses turned co-living campuses, you can thank millennial preferences. Their desire for flexible multi-use spaces, industrial styling, and shared community environments makes mezzanine floors increasingly popular. And as an affordable way to carve out extra square footage amid rising housing costs, the mezzanine floor has never made more sense. Looking ahead, Generation Z also values minimalist spaces that fuse work, life and play so mezzanine living spaces are sure to remain a sought-after feature.