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New Research Into Interiors Priorities For South West Senior Homeowners

Posted 5 May 2022 by Keith Osborne

McCarthy Stone has asked older people about their thoughts on what's 'in' and 'out' with interior design features...

A new study of Brits aged 65-plus from specialist developer McCarthy Stone has revealed a list of interior trends for retirees that are IN and the ones that are well and truly OUT.

The multi-award-winning company behind the Dorset Retirement Living developments, Casterbridge Court in Dorchester and Gordon Court in Bridport, conducted the research and has found that today’s over-65s in the South West are after top-spec home security systems (a must for 46%), electric vehicle charging points (39%), Alexa (35%) and Hive heating (18%).

Over-65s in the South West also want walk-in wardrobes (51%), wet rooms (49%), kitchen islands (43%), wine fridges (29%) and modern art on the walls (21%). On the flip side, as many as 79% said fluffy toilet seat covers were old-hat, while 70% cannot stand avocado bathrooms suites, and 57 % would rather have a fashionable blind than a net curtain on their window.

When it comes to tableware, 66% wouldn’t dream of using doilies, 61% would never lay out a lace tablecloth, and 69% wouldn’t be seen dead using a tea cosy. And it’s also becoming increasingly unlikely that older Britons will have cheeky gnome statues adorning their gardens (47%), patterned carpets in their rooms (53%) and pebbledash walls on the outside of their homes (55%).

Forget upholstered floral print furniture – 35% of those polled want a home full of houseplants, hanging pendant lights (12%), and a minimalist kitchen (29%). While 9% would like on-trend industrial fixtures and fittings, 6% a home gym, and a further 6% a yoga practice area.

Casterbridge CourtCasterbridge Court

Verity McKay, divisional marketing manager for McCarthy Stone, which conducted the research said: “This research shows how today's over-65s in the South West are favouring stylish home environments they can tailor to their modern and vibrant lifestyles.

McCarthy Stone apartments offer plenty of sophisticated design features from spacious open plan living and minimalist kitchens, to walk in wardrobes and wet rooms, and are the perfect canvas to add their own unique style and personality, however they choose. Our research also shows the importance of location and with our unique settings, positioned close to local high streets, whatever our homeowners are into there's something for everyone right on the doorstep.”

The study also found that the over-65s are not fans of flowery and patterned wallpaper (50%), traditional china figurines (48%) and shag pile carpets (34%). They are also saying goodbye to flowery bed covers (35 %), lavender soap (42%), and talcum powder (37%).

Some 61% of today’s over-65s think that when it comes to interiors and fashion, older Brits are able to put their own stamp on things and don’t follow the crowd, while 53% say they avoid short-lived trends and instead stick to classic, timeless styles instead. Over half (55%) even say they have more self-confidence in their style than younger people do.

And when it comes to seeking inspiration for fashion and interiors, 14% of older Britons in the South West look to social media platforms like Instagram or Pinterest.

The research also revealed that today’s over-65s are all about location, location, location, and would like to live close to parks and green spaces (67%), good restaurants (69%) and farmers’ markets (57%). 49% want to be near a good coffee house, 54% are after an independent greengrocer and 34% would like to be a stone’s throw away from an artisan bakery.

Gordon CourtGordon Court

McCarthy Stone’s Retirement Living developments, such as Casterbridge Court in Dorchester and Gordon Court in Bridport, have been exclusively designed for an independent lifestyle for the over-60s. Featuring landscaped gardens and a courtyard area, and a hotel-style guest suite which offer a home for family and friends, each Retirement Living development provide an ideal downsizing option for retirees and features.

Find out more about current McCarthy Stone developments in the South West.


The most outdated interiors according to British over-65s in the South West

  1. Fluffy toilet seat covers 79%
  2. Avocado bathrooms 70%
  3. Tea cosies 69%
  4. Doilies 66%
  5. Lace tablecloths 61%
  6. Fake flowers or fruit bowls 57%
  7. Net curtains 57%
  8. Pebbledash walls 55%
  9. Patterned carpets 53%
  10. Flowery or patterned wallpaper 50%
  11. China figurines 48%
  12. Garden gnomes 47%
  13. Flowery bed covers 35%
  14. Pot Pourri 35%
  15. Shag pile carpets 34%

The interiors that over-65s in the South West want in their homes today

  1. Walk-in wardrobes 51%
  2. A wet room shower 49%
  3. Home security 46%
  4. Kitchen island 43%
  5. Electric vehicle charging point 39%
  6. Alexa 35%
  7. House plants 35%
  8. Open-plan spaces 35%
  9. Smart speakers 35%
  10. Netflix 29%
  11. Wine fridge or rack 29%
  12. Herb garden 28%
  13. Scented candles 28%
  14. Free standing bath 26%
  15. Hive heating 18%


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