Designing For A Different Generation

Homes and the Generation Gap

An article written by Anita Shaw, titled Bridging the Gap, reminds kitchen and bath designers that each generation has a different personality and specific needs. Below are the highlights:

Bridging the Gap
By Antia Shaw
May 2011

Many different issues and elements influence which trends rise and fall and which products meet with success or failure among today’s consumers. Environment, income and individual personality all play a major role in influencing kitchen and bath design, as does another element – what generation the client belongs to.

“There are different priorities from one generation to the next.”

Marston identifies the four main generations with purchasing power in today’s marketplace: The Matures are 66 and older, the Baby Boomers range in age from 47 to 65, Generation Xers are 32 to 46 years old, and the Millennials, or Generation Y, are under 30.


When selling to members of the Mature group, Marston advises that you emphasize your expertise, and make things easy for them. “They believe in dedication and sacrifice, and that experience is the best teacher,” he comments.

Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers are a core group – 80 million strong. As the biggest generation of consumers, their success is visible. “They are workaholics and are defined by their work, and they love their trophies,” he reports, and interested in high-end amenities such as state-of-the-art kitchens.

The two younger generations are less focused on the team mentality of the older groups and more in tune with the idea of the “unique individual,” Marston notes.


“GenXers are the first generation that was told that they were special and unique,” he stresses. He warns that they exhaustively research everything, and are very difficult to please. “They educate themselves and don’t trust others to teach them. However, once they make the decision to trust you, they are very loyal,” Marston adds.


The last of the group – the Millennials – are only now coming into their buying power (see Inside Today’s Showroom). They are an optimistic group, according to Marston, though they are busy and stressed. “The future is very short term to them, and they have huge goals,” he notes. They also want instant gratification, he stresses.

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May, 2011

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