The Evolving Tastes of Younger Homeowners

While it’s commonly assumed that that younger consumers love complicated technology and anything trendy, that’s not necessarily true when it comes to kitchen and bath design choices. In fact, while younger consumers may love their technology and idolize Tim Gunn, that doesn’t mean they’re willing to sacrifice practicality, or durability, in order to achieve their high-tech, fashion-forward vision.

Generations X and Y may have modern-day sensibilities, but these are still consumers raised by practically minded parents – and those parents would likely be proud of the way those values “took.” So it should come as no surprise that when kitchen and bath designers were recently surveyed about what they saw these generations looking for in design, practical, durable products and designs rated high on the list. Fashion is important, but so is time; that means time-saving products that are easy to clean and maintain win big points with these consumers. Likewise, technology is popular, but only if it’s easy to learn and use – no 500 page “start up” manual for these folks, thank you very much!

Likewise, when it comes to overall design styles, many of these 20- and 30-somethings still favor a side of simplicity and timeless design to go along with their high-tech amenities. Appearance and image matter, but Generations X and Y feel design should also be a reflection of who they are.

Now obviously budgetary constraints play a role in these choices – younger consumers tend to have less disposable income, and simple designs are generally the most affordable. Yet even the wealthiest consumers in these age brackets seem to favor simple, durable and practical choices – ideally while also expressing their inner fashionista!

Below is a small sampling of what kitchen and bath designers across the nation see as in high demand from younger consumers:

From Arizona:

“They almost demand granite in both the kitchen and bath. The younger generations seem to like stainless appliances, decorative tile details and dark wood finished cabinets.”

From Virginia:

“Gen X and Gen Y like to show off their successes. So, to meet their needs, we find we are doing more high-end contemporary looks, incorporating dark stains, bright glass tiles, stainless bar pulls, and – always – stainless appliances

From Hawaii:

Younger homeowners tend to lean toward clean lines and true functionality. They are very budget minded, and want functional, durable designs.

From Colorado:

Functionality and ease of maintenance seem to be two of the biggest issues for customers in that age group. With Gen X and Gen Y, we see demand for lots of drawers and white or natural colored wood finishes.

From Indiana:

As a rule, these younger consumers look for simplicity in design, function and style...less complication.

From Pennsylvania:

There seems to be a growing appreciation for 'modern vintage' in kitchens belonging to the younger generation: a place where the newest technology blends with timelessness of a subway tile backsplash.

From Florida:

From what we’re seeing, Gen X and Gen Y clients are looking for more efficient designs with clean lines and darker colors like more grays and metals. They are adding one or two impact accessories /appliances as well.

From Minnesota:

Younger homeowners are fashion conscious, and they want fashion trend design such as textured surfaces, flat-panel doors, clean urban looks, lineal emphasis, etc. The style and functionality seem to be more important than case or drawer construction. Basically, they want design that is a representation of who they are.

From Illinois:

The design trends that we are receiving requests for are for more contemporary styles. Custom or unique designs are also requested by the 'younger' customers. Other design requests from this demographic include efficient cabinet layout, and higher quality cabinet hardware and amenities.

What do you see younger homeowners looking for in your neck of the woods? Feel free to share what’s trending in your area in the comments below!