<p>Indy100 spoke to Emily Shaw, the 23-year-old interior designer who showcases her incredible transformations to her 4.3M followers </p>

Indy100 spoke to Emily Shaw, the 23-year-old interior designer who showcases her incredible transformations to her 4.3M followers

Shutterstock / Lea Rae

They’ve “cancelled” skinny jeans; called side partings “cheugy” (a revamped take on the term “basic”); outed millennials for their military-style Instagram use and shunned their use of outdated emojis – oh, and how could we forget the time they tried to put Eminem in the trash?!

Of course, we’re talking Gen Z - the most populous generation in the world right now with 68 million people aged between 16 and 24 years old in America alone.

Putting aside the fact that Millennials might be slightly offended by their opinions on style, you can’t help but admire their self-expression, innovative creativity and passion for individuality. When Gen Z are faced with the question, “style or substance?”, they demand both – and rightly so.

They’ve put their stamp on fashion (despite claiming ‘90s style as their own, which is another story for another day) and now they’re ready to dominate the world of interiors.

Millennials, prepare yourself for yet another existential crisis...

Gen Z seeks out the potential in every room. They find a way to implement their unique styling sense and bold preferences through the likes of upcycling old furniture, handmade Etsy additions and viral TikTok hacks. And, despite the culture war between Millennials and Gen Z, there is one thing that unites the two polarised generations... The online mood board, Pinterest.

Founded in 2009, Pinterest continues to thrive as an inspiration outlet in its own right. It now provides an additional feature as a destination to shop for products that reflect the differing desires of both Gen Z and Millennials.

Pinterest told indy100: “As lockdown continues to ease and we’re able to welcome friends and family into our homes for the first time in a long time, these two generations want to make the most of their regained freedom and are coming to Pinterest for shopping inspiration to mark the moment.”

High on the Gen Z interiors agenda are “iconic noughties” with “room decor Y2K” being searched an incredible 30x more in the last year. The Y2K aesthetic is “radically distinctive” with strong ties to the mid-’90s to early 2000s – think nostalgic inflatable furniture and lava lamps.

Generation Z is moving away from white-washed rooms and minimal decor. Instead, they want fresh, inviting colour schemes, which is often reflected in their frequently searched terms – “pastel dorm rooms” being one of many.

Pinterest said that decor that pays homage to hobbies picked up over lockdown is also on the rise for the younger generation. “Skate room decor” has been searched 30x more over the last year.

Interior designer Emily Shaw (@emilyrayna), took the internet by storm with an interior design TikTok account boasting 4.3m followers and over 50m likes.

The 23-year-old’s account gained rapid traction overnight due to the well-received renovation she was doing on her parents’ house. Despite initially being nervous to read through comments and messages, Emily “was pleasantly surprised with the amount of people who were asking for advice about their own spaces and for in-depth tutorials.”

Emily first discovered her passion for interior design as a child when she took a lot of pride in decorating and creating art. She told indy100: “I didn’t grow up wealthy by any means so trendy decor was not something that was always available to me and I had to be resourceful with what I had.”

From renovating multiple homes on a budget and designing the displays for Canada’s ‘The Body Shop’ to creating logo designs for an array of businesses, Emily already has a wealth of experience.

She’s also a self-proclaimed Pinterest addict - though she is not a fan of trends. Emily turns to the inspiration outlet to stay updated on exciting, diverse and ergonomic commercial design ideas. “I find it really fun to use similar principles in residential spaces to make them more adaptable”, she said.

However, she does think TikTok is more interactive and attainable to the Gen Z audience, which she has experienced first-hand with a total of 55.1M likes across her TikTok channel.

Emily showcases her genius DIY transformations to her 4.3M followersEmily showcases her genius DIY transformations to her 4.3M followersTikTok

“Pinterest works well for me when I am looking for still images of impressive, monumental spaces, but TikTok provides that finer detail with a fast-paced learning component that really no other app can compete with”, the Gen Z interior designer said.

Emily tries her best to avoid the use of the word “dated” when it comes to interiors, as it “can take away from people finding their own personal style and make design, as a whole, less sustainable.”

There are, however, design styles she has a personal distaste towards such as “all-white” rooms which she does not find stimulating enough - especially when the majority of time is spent in that space.

Incorporating textures and decorative objects can make an \u2018all-white\u2019 room feel more stimulating Incorporating textures and decorative objects can make an ‘all-white’ room feel more stimulating Shutterstock / Roman King

“I think all-white decor is having a moment especially due to the housing market and people wanting a simple, sellable space. I think if someone’s goal is to create an all-white space, then they should focus heavily on textures and finding ways to make the space stimulating without color.”

Despite Emily avoiding the term “dated”, when it comes to interior design, indy100 put her to the ultimate test to rate these five famous homes (number one being Emily’s top pick all the way to her least favourite at number five.)

1.     The ‘New Girl’ apartment

“I am a lover of exposed brick and I love the storage solution appearing to be integrated into the side of the couch. If I could change anything I would raise the curtains and make them reach the floor as well.”

2.     Daphne’s ‘Bridgerton’ drawing room

“This style isn’t necessarily my favorite but it is very iconic and definitely evokes feelings. If I could change anything I would address how large the scale of the artwork is compared to the size of the furniture.”

3.     Monica’s ‘Friends’ apartment

“I love the use of colour in this space but it is a bit chaotic and could use a little more streamlining.”

4.     Carrie Bradshaw’s ‘Sex & the City’ apartment

“This space has a lot of potential, but I think it would benefit from a bit more contrast and less shades of beige.”

5.     ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel Air’s’ kitchen

“This space could also use a bit more contrast and more colour as well.”

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