Double Play - Designs that Appeal to Both Baby Boomer and Millennial Generations

Comment

Double Play - Designs that Appeal to Both Baby Boomer and Millennial Generations

Today, Baby Boomers and Millennials make up the largest demographic in the nation. Over the next decade, these two groups are expected to dominate the housing market as they gear up to purchase new homes. As home builders, architects and design merchandisers, we need to be prepared with how to meet that demand.

By incorporating design features that these buyers are looking for, we can successfully appeal to both groups, giving them exactly what they need, based on their similarities and differences.

Similarities:

  • The desire to downsize. Millennials don't have a lot of "stuff," while Boomers no longer need as much space if they are empty nesters. Both buyers are looking for a smaller sized home to call their own. Anywhere from 1,850 to 1,900 square feet is the median size that appeals to both types of buyers.
  • Focus on excellent kitchen space. Whenever a gathering is hosted, everyone eventually gravitates to the kitchen. It's the "heart" of the home. Boomers and Millennials recognize this and are drawn to homes that offer an open, well-designed kitchen, optimized for entertaining guests and cooking together as a family.
  • An open great room. These buyers imagine fun, social interactions to be happening in one central area. Both Millenials and Boomers are "experience oriented" and, therefore, often entertain family, friends, kids, grandkids or co-workers. Integrating the dining, living and kitchen areas for a space that can accommodate an array of situations is ideal for both types of buyers.
  • Outdoor living space they love. Whether grilling outdoors on summer nights, playing in the yard, or enjoying the sunset with friends and family, both Boomers and Millennials demand outdoor living space and are often willing to pay $5,000+ for an upgraded outdoor area.
  • Provide space for flex rooms. Boomers are looking for extra space that can change over time and adapt to their hobbies and interests. Millennials need space that can adjust to the increasing size of their family. Having this space readily available in your plans is ideal for both types of buyers.
  • Pets need love too. For both Boomers and Millennials, pets are family members. Both groups appreciate particular space for their pets as well as storage space for all of their food, toys and other necessities. A nook under the staircase for a pet bed or built-in storage in the laundry room will peak your buyers' interest as they picture a comfortable area for their furry family member while keeping food and supplies out of view.
  • Go easy on the stairs. Many Millennials are working around a fast-growing family with small children. Boomers are looking for space that requires less physical maintenance so they can focus more on relaxing and having fun. For both lifestyles, stairs can pose an inconvenience. Therefore, consider avoiding the use of stairs in your floor plans when you can.

Differences:

  • Separate living rooms. Boomers had formal living rooms in their prior homes that were rarely used. Now, Boomers don't want or need that extra living area. It creates an unused space that requires unnecessary upkeep. Millennials, on the other hand, want a separate living room to "show off" for guests. Although this might be considered "formal" living space, Millennials will keep this area more casual than the Boomers' previous formal living rooms.
  • The great garage debate. Being conscious of the environment, Millennials tend to embrace public transit and ridesharing. They don't necessarily need a garage for vehicle parking, although they may use it for storing bikes, sporting equipment or garden supplies. However, they may prefer to have the square footage in the interior of the home, rather than in a garage. Boomers also use their garages for more than just cars. They may utilize them for workspace, extra storage, or a place to keep their golf clubs, skis, and other equipment. Boomers often want a three-car garage even if they are a one car family.
  • Energy efficiency. Energy efficient homes appeal to the Boomer population, saving them time and hassle. In fact, 76% of them are willing to spend the additional cost for upgrades for efficiency packages that can save them at least $100 a month. Millennials feel that these types of options should already be included in the home and aren't going to pay additional for this feature.
  • Storage. At this point in their lives, Boomers are downsizing but don't necessarily want to get rid of all the items that they've collected over the years. 71% of Boomers are willing to spend an extra $5,000 for an area designated solely for storage. Because experiences are more important than tangible items, less than half of the Millennial population are willing to pay additional for storage in their homes.
  • Location, location, location. Premiums for a fantastic home site are popular among Boomers. This is not the case for Millennials. With less money to spend, Millennials are more focused on being close to good schools, lush parks, and shopping, rather than having a home on a premium site within the community. Boomers have the means to purchase a home with the best views, in a desirable part of town or perhaps nicely situated on a golf course or near the beach.

Boomers and Millennials have surprising similarities and some differences as well. By paying attention to what they are looking for, architects, builders, model home merchandisers, and designers can deliver homes that resonate with these buyers and help them visualize their dreams. When homes and communities are created to appeal to these two buyer segments and their similarities, it indeed is a double play!

For more than 30 years, Lita Dirks has been a nationally recognized leader and respected force in the interior design and model merchandising industry. Since its inception, Lita Dirks & Co.'s distinctive interior design solutions have contributed to homebuilders' and developers' selling success with award winning model homes, sales, leasing and information centers, clubhouses, apartments and other commercial and hospitality amenities throughout the United States.

Comment

Ease of Living: Building, Designing & Selling to the New Boomer Buyer

Comment

Ease of Living: Building, Designing & Selling to the New Boomer Buyer

The Second E: Ease of Living

Do you know what the new boomer buyer wants and what they expect?  We want you to reach this particular market in a way that is meaningful to them, so we’ve worked with industry professionals to develop “The Four Es’: Design That Attracts the 55+ Buyer.”

The Four E’s: Design that Attracts the 55+ Buyer

  • Experiences

  • Ease of Living

  • Efficiency

  • Exceeded Expectations

This is the second of four blogs, where we'll share the second of four design factors that influence this market’s home-buying decision: Ease of Living.

A Home Without the Headache.

Low maintenance makes for happy homeowners! One way to help achieve a low maintenance lifestyle is by using products that are easy to clean and upkeep. Large format tiles in bathrooms and kitchens are easy to maintain and look expensive and elegant.

Countertops that won't chip, stain or scratch, are one less home item to worry about. Additionally, easy to maintain flooring like “wood look” luxury vinyl or ceramic tiles make day-to-day upkeep simple.

 Regals Builders, Nobles Pond, Bradford Model

Regals Builders, Nobles Pond, Bradford Model

Also, be mindful that outdoor home maintenance was routine for them for years.  They still want peaceful and private outdoor living spaces but do not want to spend time and energy keeping them up. Small outdoor garden boxes, lounging space and an area for entertaining are all ways to entice your buyer to envision a blissful outdoor experience.

It’s also important to remember that this buyer wants privacy while entertaining. Using attractive trellises, screens and lush vegetation can help make an area more cozy and private.

Don’t overlook the outdoors when merchandising!  Showing this area as an inviting, additional living space can set you above your competition.  

 Parkwood Homes, Sterling Ranch

Parkwood Homes, Sterling Ranch

Light It Up.

Abundant and strategic window placement creates a bright and inviting space. But, when the sun goes down, high quality, well placed artificial light is key. Adding floor lighting ensures safety and sweet dreams.  Under the counter lighting, abundant closet/pantry lighting, extra can lights, and attractive overhead pendants are all appealing to the boomer buyer.

ease of living clap on clap off the clapper.jpg

Clap On, Clap Off?

Remember "the clapper"? Clap your hands twice, and the light turns on or off without even leaving the comfort of your bed!  This invention came out around 1985. Look at how far we've come since then. Technological advances are consistently astounding!  They play a vital role in achieving a low maintenance lifestyle for the boomer buyer.

They expect homes that are updated with the latest tech conveniences, bypassing their own need to mess with installs and wiring, which takes away from their leisure time.

It's a bonus to include as many “smart home” systems as possible, including wiring for smart speakers, utilizing motorized window shades and having high tech security and keyless entry.

Active 55+ adults aren't just looking for a new house, they are seeking a lifestyle. Experiences (read about the First E here!) and Ease of Living are two of the Four E’s for building, designing & selling to the new boomer buyer!

Up next……. The 3rd blog entry in this series: Efficiency

Comment

THE FOUR E’s of Building, Designing & Selling to the New Boomer Buyer

Comment

THE FOUR E’s of Building, Designing & Selling to the New Boomer Buyer

Do you know what the new boomer buyer wants and what they expect?  We want you to reach this special market in a way that is meaningful to them, so we’ve worked with industry professionals to develop “The Four Es’: Design That Attracts the 55+ Buyer”. Over the course of the next four blogs, we’ll share four design factors that influence this market’s home-buying decision.

Although every homebuyer is different and many factors influence their home-buying decision, we’re going to boil it down to what we call the Four E’s:

The Four E’s: Design that Attracts the 55+ Buyer

  • Experiences
  • Ease of Living
  • Efficiency
  • Exceeded Expectations

The First E: Experiences

It's "their" time now!

The 55+ buyer has more freedom and less responsibility than ever before and wants to use this time in life to have fun. As a builder, you have a grand opportunity to make this happen for them when you build and design their next home!  How exciting!

What’s inside: Maximizing the ideal interior.

  Taylor Morrison Next Adventure Homes.   Main Entry and Flex Rooms - From couch to murphy bed, this updated and chic flex space (below) goes from TV retreat to guest room.

Taylor Morrison Next Adventure Homes.  Main Entry and Flex Rooms - From couch to murphy bed, this updated and chic flex space (below) goes from TV retreat to guest room.

What does this homebuyer want to see, feel and experience when they walk through the door of their new home?  Even though the 55+ buyer is as diverse as any other group of buyers, what they have in common is the desire for a flexible floorplan.  A formal dining room could be turned into an optional study. Flex spaces can be used for exercise, sewing, playing games or efficiently convert from an office to a guest room.

Some additional features that appeal to them include spa-like bathrooms, wine/beverage centers and “messy” kitchens* (scroll down to learn more!). And, don’t forget, beauty is in the details: fireplaces, lots of natural light and built-in bookcases add charm.  

The heart and soul of this home is an open great room and kitchen, where the vital experience of time with family and friends happens. This open floorplan accommodates a social traffic flow from one area to the other so that hosts can cook and guests can mingle at the same time.

What’s outside: Exterior living space with impact.

Regardless of the season, a back porch or deck isn’t just a place where the BBQ grill sits neglected. The new boomer buyer wants a home design with seamless fluidity between indoors and out, with added living space for relaxing and entertaining. Therefore, it’s important that your home designs capture the essence of indoor/outdoor living. Remember, home buyers are looking at ways to get as much use out of their porch and outdoor spaces as possible. By creating a multi-functional area, the possibilities are endless when it comes to design and utilization of space.  Additionally, an outdoor kitchen, television, fireplace or firepit are cozy and functional features to include.

NK8_2409_2100px_Q5_Sample.JPG

Community development: Places to explore and connect.

Active 55+ adults aren't just looking for a new house, they are seeking a lifestyle.  Constructing a community that is close to entertainment or a golf course, featuring an array of fantastic amenities is sure to pique your buyer’s interest.  Picture functional outdoor spaces, resort style pools, a large clubhouse, an event lawn and walking and biking trails. The new boomer buyer is seeking those daily experiences.  They want to live in a community they are proud of and where they can say, “there’s always something fun to do here!”

The 55+ population has spent most of their life purchasing “stuff.”  Now, they want to take advantage of their new, exciting lifestyle. They desire to spend their time and resources enjoying relationships and experiencing life in a well-built, thoughtfully -designed home and community that celebrates both.  

Up next and coming soon…..The Second E of the Four E’s: Ease of Living


 

*the “messy” kitchen - The secret hideaway in an open concept kitchen. The messy kitchen is a separate kitchen/pantry area in the back (you can see it through the doorway in the picture below), set away from the gorgeous and open island kitchen. Party preparation, everyday messes and counter top clutter remain out of sight.

What_is_a_Messy_Kitchen_and_why_this_trend_for_luxury_homes_is_growing_.jpg
"Taylor Morrison has collaborated with other industry experts to create a dynamic aesthetic. The architects at Housing Design Matters optimized NEXTadventure Home with a floorplan and exterior that sets a new benchmark for the segment. Lita Dirks & Co has designed the interior with their signature style that melds architectural excellence with an emphasis on livability. Meanwhile, our partners at Waldrop Engineering are creating the ultimate outdoor sanctuary."

Comment

Farewell Emma!

Comment

Farewell Emma!

Emma Figone - Design Intern

Emma Figone, an Interior Design Major at Colorado State University, grew up in Marin County (located between San Francisco and Napa).  She has a twin sister, a love for pasta, and her favorite color is purple.

Emma worked on multiple projects, including one that involved furniture layouts and selections for the Bacome residence in Athens, Georgia. 

An internship is a valuable experience that allows students to practice their applied-learning skills in the real world. We love participating in their growth while enriching the practical side of their education! 

About her experience with Lita Dirks & Co. Emma says, “What I loved most about my internship at Lita Dirks & Co. was how many different tasks I performed.  It allowed me to be exposed to not only different design but business as well.” 

It was so wonderful to have Emma on our Design Team this summer.  Thank you for sharing your summer with us, Emma!  We wish you the best as you finish your degree and embark on your exciting career in Interior Design.

Comment

Lita Dirks to Present at SEBC 2018

Comment

Lita Dirks to Present at SEBC 2018

Lita Dirks, National Interior Merchandising Expert to Present at Upcoming 2018 Southeast Building Conference in Kissimmee, FL

Joined by Deryl Patterson and John Rymer, Dirks speaks about designs that appeal to both Baby Boomers and Millennials

Lita Dirks, Owner of LD & Co., Deryl Patterson, President of Housing Design Matters and John Rymer, President/CEO of Rymer Strategies, will present Double Play:  Designs that Appeal to Boomers and Millennials at the 2018 Southeast Building Conference (SEBC) in Kissimmee, FL on Friday, August 17 from 11:15 – 12:15.

During this program, the trio of national building industry experts will discuss if and how the same housing product can appeal to two different generations of buyers. Through conducted research, the presenters will cover the wants and needs of both demographics as well as how to incorporate sensible design and floor plan solutions that have a “wow factor.” Going beyond design, they will also discuss research on how to reach these buyer markets.  For more information on this session, click here.

The 2018 SEBC, held at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center August 16 – 17 and hosted by the Florida Home Builders Association, is the largest building industry trade show in the southeast U.S. Featuring educational programs with hard-hitting, innovative and current information as well as several networking opportunities, round table discussions and industry briefings, this highly acclaimed conference provides numerous opportunities for all who work in the building industry.

This is the second year Dirks has presented at SEBC and is delighted to attend again.

“I am thrilled to have been invited to speak again at SEBC.  I am looking forward to meeting some new faces and sharing helpful information with those who attend.” - Lita Dirks

To attend SEBC and any of the educational seminars, participants must register at https://sebcshow.com/registration.

LD & Co., a national interior design and model merchandising company, has provided clients award-winning designs for more than 20 years.  Located in Greenwood Village, CO, its professional team has designed model hoes, clubhouses, apartments and sales and design centers nationwide. More information at  www.litadirks.com.

Comment

Model Home Merchandising

Comment

Model Home Merchandising

The most effective and lucrative design in a model home requires a strategic combination of art, precision, creativity, and marketing. As a builder if you want the highest return on your investment you need interior design and merchandising that highlights great architectural elements and emphasizes livability. 

Comment

Four Fireplace Faux Pas

Comment

Four Fireplace Faux Pas

There’s nothing quite like a fireplace to create a warm and inviting ambiance.  It’s often also one of the most important focal points of a room. So, in order to make sure your fireplace sizzles instead of fizzles, avoid these four common design faux paus.

Comment