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What do GenXer’s and Baby Boomers Want Out of A Home?

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We are all human, so our human instincts will desire generally the same aspects of a home. It’s anthropological for us to desire a roof over our heads and shelter from the outside world. But different generations desire specific things based on certain factors. Naturally, a young and single Millennial will have different needs than a Gen-Xer who is most likely to upsize or upgrade their home. Then there are baby boomers, who have done the upsizing and are ready to downsize. 

“Millennials often live in smaller homes and focus on flexible, multiuse spaces and furnishings,” said Jill Mastrostefano, creative director of P Four, an interior design and marketing firm in Alexandria, Va.

An example of this is how a kitchen island can include a pull-out section for work or dining, to replace a full on dining table. Millennials are all about maximizing their space so another popular one is that of a narrow table for working at home with books or artwork above

“If we’re looking at a small but open kitchen, a built-in banquette can make a statement and, since it’s pushed against the wall, make the space feel even more open,” said Mastrostefano.

Artisanal objects and emphasized sustainability are favorites for Millennials. Such examples are exposed beams, vintage or found items, and unique pieces such as a door repurposed as a headboard

“Today’s families are more likely to be smaller than in the past and include single parents, older parents, and ethnically mixed families,” said Doris Pearlman, president of Possibilities for Design. “Their priorities are indoor-outdoor living, energy-efficiency, smart home features, and flex spaces such as a great room where everyone can work, play, and do homework or a hobby room for all kinds of activities.”

Millennials don’t require as much space as new families, but they are also budget-conscious. Maybe it has something to do with the higher percentage of student loan debt among this generations. So instead of an expensive Turkish rug or carpet, they’ll likely choose the luxury vinyl plank instead. 

“A flexible-use home office, not one with a big executive desk, is important for families because they want a contained space for work, homework, and hobbies with comfortable seating,” said Mastrostefano. “Another option is a second-floor loft with tables and seats for the same purpose.”

The Genx-Xers are those in the 40-55 age range and at this point, tend to be more financially secure, so they would be more interested in luxury and high-end materials. 

“For example, they want a showcase kitchen with an even bigger island, high quality appliances, and sometimes two islands,” said Kate Pourhassanian, chief operating officer of HRI Design.  “They’re more likely to have a catering kitchen in addition to the showcase kitchen and to display their wine collection like art in a dining room or great room.”

This data suggests how different generations and their priorities truly are. 

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