This text will be updated. Baby Boomers Trends: aging in place, user-friendly, accessibility, planning not to be as mobile, grab bars, walk-in showers with hand showers, easy to clean items, functionality, cabinet organization, ease of use, soft close, quartz countertops, recycling drawers, traditional style with classic lines, quartz and granite, focus on resale, easy to clean appliances, moving to transitional cabinets easier to clean, uncluttered design, good service, personalization
Simplify, Quality over Quanity, multiple generation entertaining. Our ‘Silver Community’ wants everything bright and light, and timeless.
Adapting their homes for reduced mobility.
Paul Buckel Jr., Buckel Remodeling, PA
“Comfortable, pleasant, unencumbered living is essential to seniors,” states Joanna Barker, of Inspirations Interior Design Inc., in xx, CA. “Open floor plans and single-level living appeals to them.”
REMAIN IN HOME
“Stay in place is the new norm, so this group wants quality, dependable products that will last and be virtually maintenance free,” remarks Steve Livingston of Livingston Interiors in xx, CA.
“As a CAPS-certified designer, I see the mature homeowner becoming more concerned with how they will live out their remaining years in comfort and ease,” comments Amy Ahearn, CKD, CAPS, Allied ASID of Ahearn Cabinetry Designs, LLC in ?. “A by-product of the Great Recession has been the overriding desire of seniors to remain in their own homes, either with an aide or alone.”
Ahearn notes that, as a result, projects for mature customers often include a retro-fit or remodel of a bathroom that provides them the ability to use the space with greater facility as they age.
Linda Rainey of Sierra Plumbing Supply in xx, CA agrees. “Baths are the number-one priority for this group,” she stresses.
Sabrina DaLomb of Supply New England in XX, RI notes that comfort-height toilets, grab bars, curbless showers, shower seats and faucets that are easy to operate are all in demand for the senior bath. “They also want low-maintenance, so tiled shower floors are on the decline,” she reports.
Lynn Hegstrom of Bollinger Design Group in xx, CO reports that mature homeowners are getting rid of the master bathtub. “It has become something to dust,” she states. “Instead, this group is asking for a roll-in shower without a curb or a walk-in tub, and always a bench on which to sit.”
“Whirlpools have gone the way of the Edsel,” comments Ned Smith, of Ned Smith Construction,LLC, in xx, CT.
“Staying in their homes as long as possible is a major concern for the mature client,” offers Lynn Hegstrom of Bollinger Design Group, in xx, CO.
Designers are split as to whether traditional or contemporary styles are favored by this age group, particularly when it comes to choosing cabinets. Matures are the most likely to gravitate toward traditional styles – complete with moldings, corbels and detailing, yet many are opting for more transitional elements for a look that is cleaner and easier to maintain.
“My last two projects were for people in their 60s and up,” reports William Palmer of Divine Cabinet Design. “One project was pure contemporary and the other was beat up/Old World in a monster home on the water. The first client wanted plain and simple. The other wanted unique design elements – fancy hoods, unique crown molding, corbels, furniture toe, etc.”
“The mature purchasers have had a history of favoring traditional looks,” offers Ed McCaughey of Old Town Bath and Kitchen in Alexandria, VA. “Now they seem to lean to the more contemporary style. The cabinets they are drawn to reflect similar styles that the yournger purchasers are looking for – the Shaker styles or slab contemporary doors.”
Scott Sherman of Dream Kitchens in Nashua, NH is also seeing mature homeowners trending toward contemporary design. “[They are choosing] clean, sleek, straight lines and bold colors,” he notes. “They are not looking to more ornate or traditional looks as in the past.”
Katheryn Cowles, CKD, CBD of K.W. Cowles Design Center in xx, FL, agrees. “Among the few who go all out, contemporary design is at the top of their list,” she says.
Still some are clinging to traditional designs, often mixed with contemporary elements for a classic look. In addition to the look, they want the modern conveniences as well, such as pull-outs, drawers and soft close.
Wood is a big seller with the mature homeowner, with maple and even oak still getting attention. “I do notice a gravitation toward oak and quarter-sawn oak with this group,” notes one designer in PA.
But, Frank Harcus of Lifetime Cabinet & Interiors in XX, XX, believes this group is going darker this year in the walnut and cherry finishes.
“This group is loving the painted finishes with glazes,” offers Evelyn Boldt of Interior Expression in xx, FL.
FOCUS ON UPGRADES
“Most mature clients are upgrading because what they have has simply worn out,” reports Jeremy Corthals of Capital Granite in xx, MI. “I see a lot of folks who have raised families in outdated kitchens and have now decided that they deserve a modern, upgraded space.”
“As we all have our ‘comfort foods,’ I’m finding the mature homeowner is looking for their ‘comfort kitchen’ and ‘comfort bath.’ Gone is the big ‘grand style’ rooms of the past. They are being replaced with downsized, more manageable and brighter rooms,” comments Art Warren, CMKBD, of Gravelle Woodworking in Ontario, Canada. “The rooms reflect the homeowner now and not so much ‘trendy’ ones. These new kitchens and baths have items that work completely for the owner and not so much for anyone else. In their words ‘I worked for this…and now I’m going to enjoy it.”
“Mature homeowners want a kitchen that shows a personalized detail to show their own personalities,” reports Steve Livingston, of Livingston Interiors, in xx, CA.
This group is downsizing to smaller but efficient kitchens, adds Debbie Morick of Debbie Morick Interiors of xx, xx.
“Less is more, less entertaining, less cooking – so a purging of excess ‘stuff’ that is not needed but easy to access what is left,” reports Lynn Hegstrom of Bollinger Design Group in xx, CO.
“They want simple and uncluttered design,” notes Thomas Richard Kelly of TRK Design Co. in xx, xx, “a place for everything but minimal. Much like younger generation, they want a seamless transition between rooms and spaces…and no clutter.”
“We have found that mature homeowners are wanting quality – even at the added expense,” notes Lori Brock of Brock Designs in xx, OR. The plumbing fixtures are either nickel or bronze, for the most part. These clients still like their granite, but will mix in some quartz materials on surrounding countertops. In the kitchen, we have also been doing a few more custom hoods as well as comfortable built-in seating where they can be surrounded by people when they are in the kitchen. Also, we’re seeing requests for varying degrees of lighting in both the bath and kitchen – lots of dimmers.”
With regard to the mature homeowner, one designer noted, “they are the thriftiest of all customers, but I don’t mean that in a negative way.”
Indeed, this group is very budget conscious, and has an understanding of value.
“For this group, the cost and customer service (follow through) are important project elements,” noted an Arizona designer.
Just as cost and value are important to the mature homeowner, so is customer service.
“Members of this group know what they like and want the right person to help them achieve their personal objective,” offers Linea Di Marchio of QC.
“My mature customers want to be directed,” agrees Rachel Barone of PDP Countertops in xx, GA. All decision making at this stage in life takes more time, more debate and compromise with the spouses, she reports. “I am especially patient with this group, whose members are slow to develop confidence in our company and our wealth of knowledge in the industry.”
She notes that they love granite, undermount sinks, air-switch disposals, under cabinet lighting, decorative corbels “and the little things they never considered.” She adds, “This group is my favorite. Their appreciation for our professionalism is unmatched and most fulfilling.”