Addison Single Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet with Touch2O® and ShieldSpray® Technologies, Transitional Soap Dispenser with Touch2O.xt® Technology

Homeowners are expected to spend 3% more this year on remodeling projects than in 2018, totaling nearly $390 million in activity, according to John Burns Real Estate Consulting’s latest Remodeling Outlook report. The report also predicts that household growth between 2016 and 2025 will be largest among those ages 25–44, and those 65+, encompassing two highly influential demographics in today’s housing market—growing families and seniors aging in place.
What your clients want to get out of their next big remodel varies widely depending on their life stage. Becoming familiar with the unique needs of these stages will help you design human-inspired spaces that check every box on your clients’ wish lists.

Trinsic® Bath Collection. Photo credit: Micah Abbananto Designs @micahabbanantodesigns

New Households
With half of its members now in their 30s, the Millennial generation is beginning to form new households in greater numbers. According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University (JCHS), Millennials formed an average of 2.1 million new households annually between 2012 and 2017. In fact, Zillow reports that this group comprises 42% of all homebuyers in the U.S., making it the largest demographic in the market.

Compared to previous generations, these new homebuyers have very different ideas of what their starter homes should look and feel like. Judd Lord, Delta Faucet Company’s director of industrial design, says Millennials are interested in adding texture to their living spaces, partly because it provides a counterpoint to the smooth, hard, flat surfaces of the tablets and phones they’ve become accustomed to. They’re also very comfortable with smart home technology such as voice activation.

Of course, the vast majority of this generation are avid users of social media, which also plays into their desire for highly designed, “Instagrammable” spaces. Striking finishes like Matte Black or Champagne Bronze, paired with modern design elements like a Trinsic Bath Collection faucet, are likely to catch Millennials’ attention.

Photo credit: Camilla Thurman @navygraceblog

Growing Families
For clients with growing families or who are caring for aging parents, dream kitchens and baths are likely to be quite different. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 12% of homebuyers purchased a multigenerational home last year to take care of aging parents, accommodate children over the age of 18 moving back home, and to realize cost-savings. The John Burns remodeling report shows that homeowners in this particular life stage are most interested in expanding existing living spaces or adding new living spaces to their current homes.
Designing larger spaces that serve a multitude of needs across all age groups can make a big difference in the daily lives of growing families and multigenerational households—particularly multifunctional kitchens that serve as the heart of the home. Features like single handle or touch-enabled faucets are a great place to start, as are spaces that encourage kids to get involved in meal prep, or just grab a snack and finish their homework.

18” and 36” Contemporary Decorative ADA Grab Bars, Adjustable Wall-Mount Hand Shower, Compel® Single Handle Bathroom Faucet, Compel 18” Towel Bar, Compel TempAssure® H2Okinetic® Shower

Boomers Aging in Place
While younger families are certainly making their mark on the housing market, roughly 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 each day, contributing to significant growth in the number of older households. Over the past 10 years, the number of older households grew by more than 7 million, rising from one in five households to one in four, according to the JCHS report. By 2035, one out of every three households will be at least 65 years old.
Most of these homeowners want to remain in their homes as long as possible and are interested in learning about ways to adapt their homes to accommodate this goal (even if they’re a bit uncomfortable talking about getting older). According to the AARP, 76% of Americans 50 and older say they prefer to remain in their current homes and 77% would like to live in their community as long as possible, yet just 59% think they will be able to. Understanding how to talk with older clients about aging in place, and the options available to them, is important in helping a larger number of seniors stay in their homes well into retirement.
Barrier-free and zero-threshold shower entries are not only attractive, but will also accommodate wheelchair access and reduce the risk of falls. Hand showers, too, make showering much easier for people with limited mobility. And features like towel bars and toilet tissue holders are now available in styles that double as support bars, enabling your older clients to add functionality without sacrificing style.
With so many options to choose from, your clients can add features that will help them remain comfortable in their homes for years to come—without sacrificing their personal style.