There are lots of myths today about what baby boomers want in a home and their home decor preferences.
I’ve noticed many home decor specialists ignore baby boomers and focus more on the younger generation. That’s surprising to me because it’s the boomers that have the money to spend. Baby boomers are at a time in their lives where they can get a lot more involved in much loved hobbies, sports, travel, church activities and volunteer events. They love to entertain and are willing to spend money on those things; and not leave it to their kids.
They are not people who retire and live a life of leisure; they’re busy people with lots of responsibilities. Many care for grandchildren, elderly parents and, sad to say, the kids that move back home after college.
As boomers ourselves we’re busier than ever! No sitting around figuring out what we’ll be watching on TV.
So What do Baby Boomers Want in a Home?
Contrary to popular belief, baby boomers are techy. They love ‘smart homes’ for practical use, organization, entertainment and security. They use ipads, TV cameras, online banking, and iphones that control home features while away. Many of the automation features that use to be considered unnecessary perks, buyers are now demanding them.
Most significantly, BABY boomers have the money to spend for retirement homes and their home decor requirements.
Boomers are also green. In fact they are about as green as you can get.
The active-adult home building company Del Webb conducted a survey on how green baby boomers are willing to be and here’s what they found out.
- 54% were considering purchasing an electric car
- 87% wanted to or were investing in green technology.
The American LIVES research firm reported these results from a 2012 survey on baby boomers:
- 66 % expressed concern about air, water and processed foods their family was exposed to.
- 92% preferred less toxic construction and maintenance materials.
- 97% were leaning toward high energy efficient heating and cooling systems for their home.
- 89% felt strongly that, “it is in our self interest to improve our energy independence.”
- 85% were interested in a home with a smaller carbon footprint and less operating costs.
Baby boomers are definitely sensitive to the ecosystem using recycled materials, and an affection for homemade and handmade. They’re not folks that run with the trends or buy cheap overseas manufactured run-of-the-mill pieces, they truly love unique, quality home decor items.
Home Trends of the Baby Boomers
BABY boomers love home decor that looks good but involves low maintenance. For example, hardwood and ceramic floors, granite or easy care surfaces, self cleaning ovens, easy organization and storage pieces are just a few of the ways that Baby Boomers reduce their home’s maintenance needs.
Good lighting is a must. Let’s face it, we don’t see as well as we use to so good lighting is important. Things like under counter lighting and motion sensor lighting is preferred. Handrails, larger hallways, and fewer stairs are things that help us not to be a burden to others.
Smaller furnishings are ideal. As boomers downsize for less maintenance and ease of living they look for both sturdy and sleek elements to create a space that’s both functional and artful. Large, bulky furniture can look and feel cramped in smaller spaces. They look for contemporary yet transitional styles.
Favorite Baby Boomer Home Amenities
Boomers want great living spaces, both indoors and out. Speaking for myself we’re not about spending time cleaning and doing heavy gardening. I for one want a garden I can enjoy and tinker with. Mowing lawns and lots of heavy maintenance is not my ideal outdoor area, but I do appreciate relaxing and enjoying my flowers.
Things like a fabulous master suite, modern kitchens and easy access bathrooms are necessary as these are the areas where they spend the most time. Baby boomers are most likely to look for these.
- Good and adequate storage that’s on the same floor where they need it and use it. They also want good ergonomics for cooking and counter top areas.
- Easy maintenance is a key feature for all areas of the home.
- Outdoor living is a favorite. Comfortable patios and screened in porches are preferred.
- Don’t want a lot of space to maintain. No huge, high maintenance yards.
- Love entertaining so small home bar areas, outdoor patio space, adequate dining and areas for home entertainment are preferred.
With discerning taste and seasoned life experiences, baby boomers know what they want in home design and style. Though the millennials may be a desired demographic among advertisers, boomers are a significant influence for our society’s home and interior design trends.
What would you want in your retirement home? Share your thoughts below.
Top Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net