Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and Décor

By Melanie Orr

Do you know where you fit on the generational demographic? Dates seem to differ a bit, however generally anyone born before early-mid 60’s is considered a Baby Boomer; anyone born between then and late 70’s to early 80’s is Generation X; anyone born between the early 80’s and about 2000 are Millennials, also called Generation Y; and everyone since then is Generation Z.

Each group has its tendencies. Baby Boomers have reached retirement age, and typically expect a good lifestyle after retirement. Gen X is known for a work hard and play hard mentality. Millennials grew up with technology and innovation. They like to write their own rules, work well in supportive environments, and are better at living a balanced lifestyle. The next generation, Gen Z, will be the largest of all these groups to date, predicted to be highly entrepreneurial, technologically reliant, private and hyper aware.

Why is this important?

Anyone who is selling to, buying from, appealing to, or otherwise engaging with other people, will do it better given an understanding of the other person’s lifestyle, spending habits, and priorities.

In my work, I use an awareness of generational differences all the time. However I notice the differences between generations the most when I’m staging a home lived in by Baby Boomers or Gen X, and the likely buyer I’m staging the home for is a Millennial. Sometimes these sellers think the staging strategy is nuts until they see the positive reaction of the buyers.

Here are some typical home décor features that Millennials love:

  1. Modern, sleek lines mixed with rustic features
  2. Use of natural materials, such as wood and stone
  3. Brightly coloured lights in fireplaces and in showers
  4. Smart home technology
  5. Artisan items and craftsman pieces that can add a curated look to their homes; love of rustic-tech chic

Millennials are the driving force behind the fair trade and sustainable movements that have redefined the retail landscape in recent years. How products are made, in what conditions, and by whom has become important again. Millennials want to leave a more natural, safe, eco-dynamic, healthy and productive world to their children and future generations. Pretty awesome, right?


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