Recently I attended Spring Market at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood. Amid two days of receptions, presentations and new line introductions was a fun panel called “Generation Now: Designing for Young Affluents.” It was moderated by Sophie Donelson, editor-in-chief of House Beautiful, and featured designers Jeff Andrews, Lindsey Coral Harper and Molly Luetkemeyer.

Their topic? Affluent millennial clients, including young Hollywood stars, who purchased fabulous homes after coming into sudden fame and fortune. Many had been renting apartments and had not developed styles of their own. They bought their first homes lock, stock and barrel, completely furnished down to the accessories. Many were decorated in neutral palettes to appeal to as many potential homebuyers as possible.


But as these millennials were exposed to the beautiful homes of colleagues, they began to appreciate more sophisticated design. They wanted spaces that reflected their own personalities. And they wanted more luxe decor than what their staged homes came with.


These photos are from showrooms I saw at the design center. They illustrate what the panelists described: interior design that appeals to young, affluent buyers. Lots of energy and personality, and statement pieces like this Porta Romana duck feet lamp with ostrich feather lampshade make them and me smile.

While for the most part the designers enjoyed working with their young clients, they talked nostalgically about the days when families arranged for favorite designers to style the homes of their newly married kids. Millennials feel they don’t need designers nowadays. After all, it looks so easy on TV and Pinterest, right? The standing-room-only crowd of design professionals got a chuckle out of that.


While I agree that TV and Pinterest can offer great inspiration, it’s not always easy to create that put-together, wow effect that many people want. It takes a step-by-step understanding — as well as some key tips. And that’s where columns like this one come in!

Look for more pics and info on my design trip to West Hollywood in my next column!

Cathy Lee is a home style expert, speaker, president and designer of Cathy Lee Style. Her redesigns of residential and business spaces have been featured in local and national publications and on HGTV. For more info and inspiring photos of design projects, visit