KBB Collective | The Designers' Corner

May 17 2011

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Will generational shifts change the way you design?

At a KBIS blogger dinner sponsored by Masco a couple weeks ago, an index card on my table asked the question: “What are the top 3 kitchen extras for Gen Y, Gen X and Boomers?”

Since I’ve been prattling on for the past couple of years about the supreme shift in generational design and what that means to us as designers, you bet I was interested to see what the answers were. While the answers weren’t on the card, it was an invitation to find out in Masco’s new study called GenShift 2011: Lifestages Redefining the Kitchen.

The study asked more than 1,000 homeowners between the ages of 18-65 for their thoughts on kitchen design. While some of the results are as you expect, others are fascinating.

While there’s no surprise that safety and accessibility elements of kitchen design will become a major focus in the coming decade, a key finding of the study points out that 73% of homeowners live in homes that are not universally designed for young and old.

Many Boomers will face their parents moving in (since we’re all living longer) while Gen X is faced with a wider spread: sandwiched between children and parents in the same household.

The study also notes that:

• 87% of all homeowners would incorporate a semi-open or completely open floor plan if they were creating their ideal kitchen…unless they’re Gen Y: 92% of them consider the open plan ideal.
• While Gen Y is not yet our main market, they will eventually become the biggest demographic, topping out at 84 million compared to 76 million for Boomers and only 50 million for Gen X.
• Gen Y spends more time (44%) in the kitchen watching TV and working on computers than Gen X (36%) and Baby Boomers (33%)
• Gen X homeowners believe they will spend up to a decade in their homes, up from real estate estimates of five to seven years.

Further insight can be found at: www.GenShiftKitchen.com. (Download requires name and email to access.)

Are any of you still curious to see the top 3 kitchen extras for each generation? They are:

• A place for hiding small appliances (even if those small appliances will now include laptops, televisions, coffee grinders and pet food dispensers).
• A place for bulk food and/or cleaning supplies.
• A place for waste/recycling.

Let me know your thoughts. Do you think the study has captured your client segment or not?

Until next time,


This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 17th, 2011 at 6:00 AM and is filed under Inspiration, Kitchen Design, Trends. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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