6 New Baby Boomer Home Design Trends to Beautify Your Home

What are some of the current baby boomer home trends?

Baby boomers make up 26% of the population but own 53% of real estate, so our opinions still count. As our dynamic generation heads into retirement, our needs for style and function continue to be a positive and strong influence on current home design.

This subject is of interest to me since we recently sold our house. We’ll be renting for a while until real estate prices come down, but that doesn’t stop me from daydreaming about decorating my future home.

So, what’s new? How do boomers’ decorating tastes differ from other age groups? Here are some design trends popular with us boomers:

Clean Lines with a Touch of Coziness

So, it seems boomers prefer a relaxing environment enhanced by nature. Sounds good to me!

While many millennials are fascinated with mid-century modern (popular in the 50s to mid 60s), older boomers have a bit of “been there, done that” feeling towards this new trend.

Instead, design experts say boomers prefer modern rustic spaces. Not rustic as in a log cabin or western vibe – but more along Joanna Gaines’ tastes. A minimalistic look but with plenty warmth.

Picture a light and airy home with classic exposed wood beams, a natural stone fireplace, large windows, lightly stained hardwood floors, and perhaps a farmhouse sink.

Tranquil Color Palettes

Many millennials like high-contrast colors that fit in with the modern, minimal look. Boomers, on the other hand, prefer nature-inspired colors that tend to be more muted.

“Homeowners are looking for a fresh perspective on color, regardless of their age,” says Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams states in the article “The Five Home Trends Millennials and Baby Boomers Just Can’t Agree On.” “However, we may notice a slight difference in which shades of these trending colors each generation embraces the most. Baby Boomers often look to color as a way to explore self-expression and are often drawn to soothing colors that cool and refresh the spirit.”

If you’re going for this look, this article suggests soft white or creamy colors, neutral grays with warm undertones, or muted greens and blues. Classic navy might be used as an accent wall or in a small bathroom for a more dramatic effect.

Less Space but Quality Finishes

Most boomers don’t want a huge two- or three-story house.  Empty nesters don’t need all that space anymore and, let’s face it, this age group is over maintaining a large home or mowing a lawn. That’s why many boomers are opting for smaller one-story homes where they can settle and gracefully age-in-place.

However, boomers want those smaller homes to come with multi-functional spaces. For example, a combined kitchen and family room allows boomers space to entertain. And they want rooms with flexibility. Many boomers are choosing to work past 65 but want a more adaptable schedule by working from home. A home office fits that lifestyle, but many would like a multi-purpose space. With a closed door and a sleeper sofa, the room might also be used as a guest room. Or add some exercise equipment and part of the space can be utilized as a gym.

Although boomers may choose to downsize, that doesn’t mean they want to skimp on high-end finishes and beautifully styled details. They are looking for easy-to-clean surfaces like quartz or granite countertops, elegant high ceilings, crafted molding, and quality cabinetry.

“Boomers don’t just want to live – they want to live WELL,” Pi Architects notes in their article, “Adapting Interiors to a Baby Boomer Generation.”

Well….yeah!

Functional and Stylish Furnishings

Forget those over-stuffed, bulky couches and chairs that make it hard to get up. Ditto for trendy but uncomfortable furniture. Boomers are not willing to sacrifice comfort for the sake of fashion. They want to be stylish with a natural but modern look – but also want furniture to be sustainable, comfy, and multi-functional.

However, while wanting a modern look, boomers don’t want to be TOO trendy. In 2022, design experts say curved furniture, geometric designs, and brass and gold accents are a faddish look for the younger crowd. However, boomers tend to stick with timeless classic woods and textured fabrics in neutral colors.

Even outdoor furniture needs to be comfortable and stylish at the same time. Nature-inspired colors and materials are a popular choice. Green, cream, beige, olive green, and neutral gray are some popular colors this year. Combine these colors with bamboo, rattan, and wood for an up-to-date look.

Let There be Lots of Light

No eye strain, please.

Like many homeowners, large windows that bring in both nature and natural lighting is a must. Functional light fixtures such as exquisite chandeliers, chic lamps, and recessed lighting can also make a difference.

Add task lighting throughout the home – like lighting under kitchen cabinets and thoughtfully placed reading lamps – and boomers are happy.

Tech Savvy Homes

Less space maybe, but boomers often choose more technology. Despite popular belief, the plus-50 age group can be tech savvy when they want!

Remote controlled fans and lighting, surround sound, and smart home apps are just a few of the ways boomers like to integrate technology into their homes.

An interesting little fact, millennials are more likely to have a TV in the living room and boomers were far more likely to have a TV in the bedroom. Nothing like the comfort of watching TV from bed!

So, do you agree or disagree with these boomer trends? What’s your favorite style? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

juliegorges

Julie A. Gorges is the author of two young adult novels, Just Call Me Goody Two Shoes and Time to Cast Away and co-author of Residential Steel Design and Construction published by McGraw Hill. In addition, hundreds of her articles and short stories have been published in national and regional magazines, and she received three journalism awards from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association while working as a newspaper reporter. Julie currently lives in southern California with her husband, Scott, and has two grown children and three grandchildren.

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6 Responses

  1. What a fun and interesting post, Julie.
    My favorite is, “Let There be Lots of Light.” I can’t stand dark rooms. I sit in our family room that has three walls of windows to do my work each day. I love it!
    You always find the best things to write about. Thank you for these!
    Happy February!

    • juliegorges says:

      We’re on the same page there! I love when the light comes streaming in through our French doors. It cheers me up first thing in the morning! You have a great February too!

  2. Hi Julie, I agree with most of these trends, but have no plans to downsize anytime soon. We love living in our big country home with lots of open spaces, plenty of light and rooms to spare for when the grandkids come to stay. We have wonderful big windows to let in the natural light and view the bush and mountains around. Our house has simple but interesting line with exposed beams and lots of inviting spaces to sit and enjoy company.

    • juliegorges says:

      I love when you post pics of your property – especially with all the kangaroos roaming about. It looks so relaxing! You’re not alone, not all boomers choose to downsize. Some are remaining in their larger homes. Personal choice, and I can tell it’s working for you!

  3. CatMichaels says:

    All of the above ! We rightsized a few years ago. First-floor living before we needed it. Small yard with little to keep up. Clean, unfussy lines inside and out. Bright, open spaces. The only thing we regret: not living within walking distance to parks or greenways, but at least they are just a five minute ride away.

    • juliegorges says:

      Glad you found something that works so well for you. I know that moving was stressful, but now you know you can settle down for good. We’re not quite there yet, still have at least one more move to go, but hope to settle down one day in the perfect house for us. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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