The Baby Boomer generation makes up over 25 percent of the U.S. population. These dynamic seniors have influenced the consumer landscape for decades, and as more seniors reach the age of retirement they are having a positive influence on the interior design industry. Baby Boomers demand style, function, and safety features in their forever home so that they can continue to lead independent, dignified lives.
Take a look at the aging in place design trends that Baby Boomers are seeking, from style and function to affordability and comfort.
Eyesight weakens with age, making ample lighting an important design element. Seniors need proper lighting so that their eyes don’t have to work as hard. Designers incorporate larger windows to attract more natural light and strategically place functional lighting in rooms such as recessed lighting and luminous chandeliers. Ample exterior path lighting and sufficient illumination in the kitchen and leisure rooms are also important when creating a comfortable living space.
Comfort and Function
Baby Boomers recognize the need to sacrifice style for comfort and function in the home. Seniors want a combination of comfort and function in their furniture, like seating with structured cushions that is easy to stand up from.
It’s always a smart idea to make informed purchase decisions. Boomer Buyer Guides does the homework for you by posting weekly reviews on everything from furniture and money managers to credit cards and travel perks. Boomers can find money-saving suggestions on home and garden design, product guides to find the best home appliances, finance guides, and senior-friendly travel tips. Explore BoomerBuyerGuides for a little help on how to make the most out of the next stage of life.
Boomers tend to downsize when they redecorate but they still need places to display sentimental trinkets and memories. Designers need to keep a less-is-more mentality when finding furniture and decor pieces. This means creating a low-maintenance design with easy to clean surfaces that don’t encourage clutter, smaller furniture, a central vacuum system, and low-maintenance house plants.
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Flexibility and Versatility
Just because Boomers are retired doesn’t mean their social lives do, too. Baby Boomers seek flexibility and versatility in their home design. A room that functions as an office now may be converted later on to a guest bedroom for grandchildren.
Instead of redesigning an already functional space entirely, designers can incorporate versatility by installing an easy-access Murphy bed that’s available as needed. Flexible and versatile spaces are important when downsizing to a smaller home.
Multipurpose Living Areas
Baby Boomers value the ability to have the bedrooms and bathrooms located on the first floor of the home to avoid the worry of not being able to climb stairs. Home designers are tasked with designing bedrooms on the main level that are furnished with low-profile beds and nightstands that are the same height as the bed. Ample clearance space around the bed, pull-down closet rods, and ample closet lighting are important elements when designing for clients who may experience reduced mobility.
Bathrooms are dangerous places for seniors with limited mobility thanks to slippery surfaces. Installing a walk-in shower/tub with anti-slip coating, a handheld showerhead, slip-resistant floor treatment, and grab bars near the toilet and in the shower/tub are important design elements that will give seniors the safety and confidence needed to live independently. These are just some of the ways that Baby Boomers are positively shaping the interior design industry.