Baby Boomers to Generation Z: 21 Tips to Plan Your Dream Home for Every Age
Have you ever thought about planning your home around your age? It may seem far-stretched, but generational trends are impacting the housing industry, and these insights might serve as the answer to building your dream home as you age. Whether you’re a multigenerational family or you’re a Gen Z buying your first home, each generation has unique needs that need consideration and preparation to ensure you live a healthy and happy life. Let’s dive in to learn how to make a few small changes to build lasting comfort.
4 Tips for Baby Boomers (1946 to 1964)
It can be jarring preparing your home as you get older, especially if you’re not ready to make a change. But it is wise to embrace design that allows function as you approach retirement.
- Convenience. Your kitchen, bathroom, and main bedroom should all be accessible and located on the ground floor when you experience health changes that prevent you from climbing the stairs. If the thought of saying goodbye to a two-story home creates anxiety, move guest bedrooms, offices, and other points of entertainment to higher floors.
- Spacious. Everything should be open for maximized function no matter your health concern.
- Don’t forget the bathroom. Everything needs a makeover. The toilet should be higher to accommodate weaker knees, the countertops should be accessible for wheelchairs, and the shower needs a grab bar to prevent accidents. Thankfully, you don’t need to part with your favorite bathtub. Many bathtub designs now offer doors for easy access.
- Entertainment. If you’re soon-to-retire or newly retired, you’ll want a home close to entertainment, community, and enjoyment. You deserve to have fun and embrace this phase of your life.
Your home should reflect the joys of retirement. Take advantage of your newfound freedom, space, and begin prioritizing time for your dreams, hobbies, relationships, and things that make you feel good. If you feel your home doesn’t reflect your dream retirement, shop around and find your perfect home. Thankfully, the housing market currently supports the baby boomer generation.
3 Tips for Generation X (1965 to 1980)
Known as baby busters, the latchkey generation, and post-boomers, those born in this generation prioritize family, organization, and time management.
- Flexible living. This type of design adapts to your evolving lifestyle and needs. While working towards retirement, you’ll want your family room, kitchen, and eating area to be multi-functional. It will not only improve time management, but it will also decrease stress.
- Rethink spaces. With many of your Gen-Z kids moving out, you now have new rooms to redesign. Ever wanted a home office? Or a meditation room? It is the perfect time to start preparing for the home you dream of as you begin the next chapter of your life.
- Centralized. Is your current home an easy and safe walk to local restaurants, parks, and shopping? Ensuring your home supports a sense of community, entertainment, and accessibility will give you a better work-life balance. It will also serve as the foundation to continue to build family memories even if your kids no longer live at home.
This turning point in your life offers an exciting time to accomplish different goals for your health, finances, travel, and experiences. Whether you’re experiencing empty-nest syndrome or you still have children living with you, you can make a few changes that support you mentally and physically. It may even be the perfect time to invest in a successful remodel to fit your changing lifestyle.
6 Tips for Generation Y (1981 to 1996)
Unlike their parents, Generation Y is less concerned about accommodating children and more concerned about their homes enhancing their lives collectively. With their age group dominating the housing industry and with less and less having children, more millennials are buying their dream homes to support different interests;
- Minimal space. Smaller spaces mean lower maintenance and less clutter. Go through your home, get rid of items that don’t spark joy, release the stress, and adopt a minimalist approach.
- Technology. Integrated technology is a non-negotiable part of millennial functionality. Your lights, locks, temperature settings, smoke detectors, speakers, and TVs should all be accessible and monitored from your phones or tablets. This feature enhances security and decreases time spent walking from one room to another.
- Low maintenance. What can you do to minimize time, energy, and expenses? This generation is all about eliminating the stress that goes into the upkeep of homes. You can still prioritize high design but look for cheaper alternatives that support your wellbeing and the environment.
- Flexibility. Similar to baby boomers, millennials think ahead and adopt flexible living into their design. Rooms that can morph into a new space in the future provide peace of mind and room for creativity.
- Eco-friendly. You’ll want to prepare your home with the environment in mind. Choose sustainable and cruelty-free materials such as non-toxic paint, LEED-compliant light fixtures, cost-conscious windows, green materials, and solar panels.
- Don’t forget a garden. Not only do green spaces benefit the environment, but they support holistic living – your physical and mental health both receive a happy boost. If creating space for a garden is not an option, create a DIY window-box garden or join a community garden.
If finances or housing trends are keeping you up at night, look for solutions that are inexpensive and give you space to make budget changes. Reusing materials, embracing smaller homes, and cutting costs where you can will give you more time and energy to focus on matters close to your heart.
5 Tips for Generation Z (1997 to 2012)
Besides being true digital natives and having exposure to the internet since birth, Gen Z, iGen, or Centennials want homes that support their socially conscious lifestyles. They are less concerned about having children like millennials and want to invest in designs that leave an impact. If you’re preparing to buy your first home, here are a few tips to ensure it meets your needs and leaves a more positive footprint;
- Individuality. Your preferences and tastes are unique, and your home should above all support your individuality. As a first-home buyer, take your time searching for a home that makes a statement for your boldness.
- Innovation. An innovative home needs to prioritize functionality. Everything should be accessible, including online rent payments, several USB ports, fast Wi-Fi, and, if possible, integrated technology.
- Eco-friendly. Choose a home that provides opportunities and space to give back to your health and mother nature – creating a garden will allow you to do both. Not only will you receive mood-boosting and physical benefits, but plants naturally clean the air, reduce cooling costs, and support life – a gift that keeps giving.
- Upcycling design. Staying true to environmentally conscious living, choose handmade, sustainable, recycled, and upcycled materials to help you feel more in touch with nature, who you are, and what matters most to you.
- Creativity. Gen Z wants to move from mass-produced products and support locally grown, made, and fair-trade practices. Get creative by preparing your home with sustainable materials and items from socially conscious businesses.
Whether you’re still saving for a home or recently bought your dream home, supporting socially conscious businesses, using available space to garden, and mixing your tastes with your interests, you’ll feel more prepared and more at home, wherever you are.
3 Tips for Generation Alpha (2013-2025)
It may seem a bit early to start discussing generation alpha, but those born after 2013 are already making a statement.
- Online interactions. Gen alphas have spent their childhood becoming familiar with voice interfaces like Siri and Alexa. When they are old enough to buy a home, this feature will be no exception.
- AI platforms. We’re moving closer and closer to AI platforms within our cars, mobile devices, and even homes. Children growing up with technological platforms automating their purchases will rely on their advanced technology for decision making.
- Socially conscious. Just like gen Y and gen Z, generation alpha will prioritize companies that support diversity, inclusivity, and environmentally-friendly initiatives.
When planning for your home, you don’t need to worry about this generation yet, but it is helpful to learn how it could impact your future as you age.
Ready to prepare your home?
With the world quickly changing, inflation rising, the possibility of retirement feeling further away, and other concerns that build anxiety, you can get creative and either use the space you have, or prepare for the next chapter of your life. Making a few small changes in your habits, lifestyles, and preferences will make you feel more in control and happier with your future. If you need help with interior design as you approach the next phase, schedule a free consultation. I’d love to help you on your journey.