With stalled job and housing markets bringing more adults together under one roof, more home buyers opting for smaller homes and more aging baby boomers downsizing, we’re shifting the way we think about our bedrooms. You could say we’re in a sort of perfect storm of demographic trends that are expected to yield some interesting changes in home and room design layout ahead.
The American dream of owning a home may have taken a beating recently, but we don’t love our homes any less! Today’s baby boomer plans to live at home as long as possible. Apparently, so do their children. According to research data by TwentySomething, 83% of college grads moved home in 2010! When asked about the future, many grown kids expect it might be the other way around, with their parents living under their roof.
That makes turning a kid’s bedroom into an adult retreat, or one house into two homes (with in-law suite or guest room addition) among the more popular reasons to remodel today. This new (actually very old) idea of housing three generations under one roof has some significant advantages: financial security, care for aging parents and more adults to care for young children.
Condos and apartments are also in demand, as aging boomers look to downsize, or families opt to rent rather than own.
Over 77 million Millennials (a.k.a. 20-somethings) are entering their first apartment and first-house years... with needs that don’t quite resemble their parent’s at their age.
THE NEW HOME
Home builders are already responding to these market shifts with more flexible home designs. Most new homes are smaller than the McMansions of the past, with priority given to larger public spaces. (Floor plans with open views between kitchen, living and dining rooms help a small home look and live bigger.) Areas for privacy, though, may be more limited, requiring the bedroom to double as a place for some much-needed quiet time alone.
Smaller homes don’t have to sacrifice style or function, but they do suggest we look at our homes in a new way, giving as much consideration to the bedroom that houses the privacy-conscious teen, college grad or aging parent, as we do the master bedroom.
Moving into a small apartment or multi-generational home may squeeze our space, but it doesn’t have to cramp our style!
Check out the Coming of Age article and bedroom design pictures in our current home decorating magazine issue (begins on page 5) for some great small room ideas... and some savvy small room furniture that does double duty in a tight space.