Baby Boomers, Senior Living and Design

It’s no secret that most Baby Boomers have an affinity for great design. Look at the likes of Apple® or Target®. It’s not just young kids out there running around with Michael Graves Tea Kettles or the latest iPhone. OK, we realize Michael Graves-inspired merch is now licensed mostly through JC Penney’s and that his tea kettle is a somewhat dated example. You get my point. Anyhow, it’s also obvious that the Baby Boomers are driving the growth of the Senior Living Centers going up across the county. And, with upwards of 40-50% of all healthcare-related flooring business being represented by Senior Living Centers, doesn’t it make sense that the design of these Centers matters in a big way? (This is where you nod your head up and down.) We think so, too!

At the nexus of residential, commercial and hospitality industries sits the modern Senior Living Center, designed from the ground up to appeal to these new design-savvy consumers. From acoustic considerations to visual (and textural) appeal, every piece of the design puzzle must fit neatly into place for a property to fulfill this new vision for Senior Living. A designer’s job is all-encompassing to say the least. And, the reality is, there are many flooring options out there. We believe there is room for every kind of choice given its proper application. While we’re not always in the drivers seat when it comes to all the design decisions on a project, we frequently find ourselves analyzing trends in the market to help inform our own decision-making process. Plus, we’re always interested in what our peers are doing nationwide in this space. It seems that several trends are developing in the space and are worthy of consideration.

The idea of bringing nature indoors is prevalent nationwide. Its implications are obvious and much time is being dedicated to research involving the use of color, light and material in relation to resident health and happiness. The findings so far are clear. Great design can make you feel better? Who knew?! Stylized contemporary florals and other nature-inspired patterns and color are becoming top-sellers in this segment. New patterns and colors are being developed daily by many of the top flooring manufacturers.

Sheet vinyl with a wood look has always been a useful tool in the designer’s toolbox when it comes to Senior Centers. Its properties are extremely conducive for such application when you consider the metrics on wear-and-tear, hygiene and comfort. However, we’re seeing the color palette of this flooring choice shift from warm reds to a more neutral, rustic and/or reclaimed look. For more clinical spaces or acute care, though, these looks can be perceived as dirty and are usually avoided.

We’ve just begun to scratch the surface (get it?!) when it comes to Senior Living Centers and the multitude of flooring choices required to do the job right. There is so much to cover and so few characters we’re all willing to sit through at one time. So, trust us when we say that this Senior Living Center space is moving! We’ll continue to share what we’re seeing right here.

If you’re building a Senior Center or working with someone who is as an interior designer, we’d love to work with you. Let’s connect!