With their children now having left for college (and, perhaps for good), the baby boomer begins life anew. Alone in a big house, laden with maintenance issues that a structure of this size demands, empty nesters seek a simpler way of being. The demands of the family no longer upon them, they yearn for a new kind of home, a sanctuary.
Empty nesters, typically the generation of baby boomers, have particular desires and interests. While they are still concerned about their children’s welfare, their focus is now upon themselves. Their dreams, needs, lifestyle become their priorities. No longer interested in mowing lawns, fixing roofs, cleaning gutters, the baby boomer sees the third triptych of their lives in a very different way. Perhaps, they are retired, or divorced, widowed, or remarried. Whatever their personal circumstances, the Empty Nester desires a new way of living, one that is less complicated and simplified.
City life with close proximity to culture, restaurants, theatre, movies, lectures appeals to them. By and large, Empty Nesters enjoy an active lifestyle. They happily relinquish the hassle of car rides to and from their children’s school. Hailing a taxi or riding mass transit is immeasurably easier. The animation of living in town is vibrant, so that even, if alone, one never feels isolated, as one might feel in a big house in the suburbs.
Developers are quickly perceiving this generation’s needs and desires who, like the echo boomers, want accommodations that suit their lifestyle. By installing gyms, roof gardens, refrigerator rooms, dry cleaners, ATM’s, and even concierge services, these buildings provide the Empty Nester with collective amenities. There are lots of conveniences, suiting their creature comforts. Even the lobbies, where presentation is everything, are thoughtfully renovated, making the baby boomer feel especially welcomed and cared for.
While the Empty Nester’s apartment tends to be downsized from their previous home, it is definitely upscale with many more luxe features. Attention to detail, quality craftsmanship, flowing floor plans, and customized blueprints make each home unique. Exquisite finishes and materials that are typically maintenance free, such as granite, are customary. Walls are moved and spaces reworked to the specificity of the empty nester’s needs and desires. With a new coat of paint, beautiful cabinetry, and quality furniture, they are ready to move in.
These Empty Nester homes tend to be uncluttered and easier to manage. Where hallways are concerned, they are now required to accommodate the free passage of wheelchairs. An open floor plan with great flow is more conducive to maneuvering around. Well thought out architecture and interior design that meets all their needs creates spaces that move easily from one to another. Flexibility and multifunctionality are key.
Stylistically, the Empty Nester tends towards more modern interiors with clean and simple lines. It is an uncluttered look, easy to maintain, easy to see, uncomplicated with a bright, airy and open feel. Oftentimes, the design is influenced by hotel rooms the empty nester stayed in while on vacation. They want to live as though they are on holiday. The appearance of their home is critical to them, desiring their apartment to reflect their new life.
The Bathrooms tend towards being accommodating to a more senior person. Easier to access than the cast iron tub, the walk in shower is both spacious and amenable to getting in and out of. Wall handle bars and railings are important for stability and a built in seat is a great help. Efficiency is very important. Lots of built in storage for towels and medicines are neatly designed and installed at a height so that bending is minimally necessary. The Empty Nester wants manageable space. In addition, the bath tends to provide more ambient and brighter lighting, easier on the eyes. Master Baths tend towards luxurious finishes and materials: marble floors and countertops, tiled walls, beautiful faucets with easy to operate handles, water closets that easily operate are all desired.
The Kitchen leans towards being smaller albeit luxe. Oftentimes, there is wine storage, as many Baby boomers have more sophisticated palettes for food and wine. The floor plan is designed for easy flow and navigation, with convenient access to the major utility areas. Updated kitchens with stainless steel appliances, stone countertops open to the dining / living areas suggest a more communal, relaxed, and informal way of living. Work surfaces are customized to fit the height of the individual user. Usually a washer / dryer is installed near the kitchen area.
As for the flooring, Empty nester’s appreciate large area carpets and wall-to-wall carpeting that is soft and warm to the touch of their feet. Whether wood or stone, radiant floors are often installed for warmth and comfort. Floors with some give, like tumbled marble or wood are preferable. But for the bedroom, lush wool carpets are de rigeur. Beds are custom fabricated to the specification of each person, as insomnia is not atypical for seniors, with a good night’s rest as essential.
Typical to the Empty Nester’s home is the second bedroom. Oftentimes used as a his and her home office, this room also functions as a space for grandchildren and guests to sleep. A sofa in this room becomes a bed at night. Outfitted with built-in desks and wall hung televisions, the guest room becomes multifunctional with flexible living and sleeping arrangements.
Empty Nester’s also tend to start collecting art. Whether it be paintings, sculpture, or any combination thereof, these possessions are their pride and joy and need to be properly displayed. Galleries throughout the apartment are outfitted with proper lighting and support for artwork. Sculpture is artfully placed on designed pedestals or countertops displaying their beauty.
The furniture is oftentimes modern in feel with natural fabrics and leathers complimenting the decor. Classic pieces are chosen for their elegance and light, airy feeling. Furniture floats in a sophisticated balance of comfort and grace. The Empty Nester is proud to entertain in their homes.
Reclaiming the Nest as their own, the Empty Nester no longer sees their home as just an investment in their future, but rather a labor of love. With the children gone, they are creating their own personal sanctuary, an elegant place in which to feel comfort and delight.