How about making home designs meaningful for Baby Boomers?

Why is it that designers and builders are not meeting the demands of the 55+ market?

Over half of the population will be over 50 years or more within five years. The focus is the construction industry is to kick start the first home buyers.  But …the 55+ market is responsible for close to 50 percent of consumer spending.  Alas, the perception is the traditional model of senior housing and retirement villages and this drives the designs.

Reality check needed here!  ACTIVE is the word          .Baby Boomers Active (2)

Stop and think about the cultural, social and personal values that this demographic group place on how they live. Everywhere you read about the 50 plus fighting fit and have more time to be committed to their health and travelling. Yes they have a strong desire to seek new housing opportunities that will enable them to age in place.  Offer of “maintenance free” living is mighty appealing.

Ditch the traditional layout with stairs and small bedrooms for little kids; it is about time for hobbies and interests. It is all about smart technology, being connected. This translates to our living spaces with private indoor and outdoor spaces.   I am being asked for contemporary designs, a sense of vitality to living spaces brimming with natural light.

People are choosing still to work and working from home. The designated home office room and desk is something of the past. “Working from home” has evolved from desktop computers to laptops that can be moved around the home.

Today’s 55+ homebuyers are sophisticated and active. They are seeking homes designed and engineered for a lifestyle that reflects this.  I am being asked for a more open-plan approach, a seamless flow of elements like lighting and flooring.  Uncluttered spaces utilising a statement pieces like a stunning focal light feature or a fireplace bring personality into the design.

The other word to describe the Baby Boomers is something different.  Remember the Baby Boomers were trail blazers and now they have money to spend. Let me know if I can help with the design of your new home.  After all I understand. I am a Baby Boomer myself.


Trending today and wheelchair friendly tomorrow

I am referring to  some forward planning into a home design to take into consideration that life’s circumstances might change.

A design that makes the house easier to access, navigate with a wheelchair or walking frame. A design that is able to be manageable for a person with a disability or provide peace of mind for a senior person to live comfortably in their own home.

It is so much more efficient to think about adaptability upfront in the design of a new home.

Not just about enhancing the quality of life for the aging baby boomers! Give some consideration to pushing a pram around or someone who has a sporting injury or disability.

Would you be surprised to know that one in five which is around 4 million Australians have special needs due to a disability1.

It is about future flexibility and functionality to a house design. This is real plus when coming to resell your home too!

So it makes economic sense for wider doors and hallway to allow the house to transition and functional as needs change. No threshold to an entry door will be wheelchair friendly later.

A snapshot to our demographics and the Baby Boomers currently comprise 25% of the population so it makes economic and social sense to review our house designs.

It is so important to give consideration to a host of concepts that will allow a home to serve the needs of you, the home owner today, but adjust to the changes as they occur.Hobless shower trending today

Some simple considerations such as

Multiple light switches to reduce the number of trips can make quite a difference to livability.  The need for more lighting is important as we age.  Think hallways, stairwells and under cabinetry.  Plenty of natural light as a person probably might be spending more time inside the house.

Raised garden beds are a bonus as well as a design trend to allow the occupants still to manage their garden hobbies.

And of course careful selection to the bathroom layout is essential.  So seek out advice – There is a host of standards as government moves to make homes more sustainable and livable.