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Ask anyone in the senior living design industry these days what is the top trend influencing facility design, and they’ll say, “Baby Boomers.”

Well, there’s no doubt that the 73 million Boomers, who are knowledgeable, outspoken, assertive, and used to having their own way, are and will be shaping how and where seniors live over the next 20 years. But there are other trends, too.

For the past two years, J+J Flooring Group has explored these trends by inviting a dozen or so senior living design experts to participate in a two-day Senior Living Design Symposium. Each was asked to share recent projects they worked on and trends that they see emerging.

Here are the top trends identified this year:

  1. Contemporary/Transitional Interiors — varies by region, but traditional is out
  2. HGTV Effect — everybody wants it faster, cheaper
  3. Naturally Neutral — gray is the new beige
  4. New Models — to support active aging, community integration

Here are the top trends identified last year:

  1. Hospitable Luxury — increase of hospitality influences
  2. User-Driven Design — Baby Boomers want more contemporary, stylish environments
  3. Green House Project Passion — a unique model with familiar homelike qualities
  4. Nature-Inspired Healing — warmer finishes and abstract organics

As you can see, there are some common threads between this year and last. But I think the most important trend is New Models that support active aging and access to the community. One that intrigues me is the concept of senior living communities on campus (watch for a feature article on this in the fall issue of Environments for Aging).

I’m also encouraged to see more urban models emerging. Because not everyone wants to live out at the edge of town in a contained community.

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Have You Seen the Best of Senior Living Design Yet? - Sara Marberry Sara Marberry

2 years ago

[…] “Top Trends Influencing Senior Living Design,” my post about J+J Flooring Group’s Senior Living Design Symposium, August 14, 2015. […]


Sara Marberry, EDAC, is a healthcare design knowledge expert, thought catalyst, and strategic marketing and business development consultant. The author/editor of three books, Sara writes and speaks frequently about industry trends and evidence-based design. She can be reached at sara@saramarberry.com.

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