As a nation, we’re changing the way we live and the houses we live in. Recent statistics show that new homes are smaller than they were a few years back, but also better designed, more energy efficient and less costly to maintain. Moreover, we are staying in our homes longer.

Kitchen in Newport Cove’s HIGHMEADOW model

A recent study sponsored by Masco Cabinets, home of the KraftMaid®, Merillat®, QualityCabinets™ and DeNova™ brands, revealed some interesting generational shifts which will impact the houses we own and build.

The study, conducted by Harris Interactive, surveyed 1,027 adults in three population groups: Baby Boomers (born from 1946 to 1964 – 76 million folks), Generation X (born from 1965 to 1978 – 50 million strong) and Generation Y (born from 1979 to 1999 – 87 million, the first true internet generation).

Here are some interesting findings from the study:


While Baby Boomers were not so inclined to expect their parents to live with them (just one percent answered in the affirmative), Gen Y feels much differently, with some 40 percent saying they assume mom and dad eventually will move in. Why the attitudinal change?  Gen Y adults are much more likely to frequently socialize and be friends with their parents than were the older age groups.


Today’s kitchen is not just a place to cook, but a place to eat, watch TV, sort mail, check the internet, do homework, etc. It appears as if kitchen activities will only continue to multiply. Forty four percent of Gen Y spends time in the kitchen watching TV and working on computers, with Gen X at 36 percent and Baby Boomers at 33 percent.


The vast majority of today’s consumers like open floorplans – some 87 percent, per the Masco study. The number is even higher for Gen Y: 92 percent.


More households than ever have pets. While 22 percent of the Masco study respondents felt it important to have a space for pet feeding in their kitchens, only 10 percent felt it important to have a place for wine.


Newport Cove has anticipated these trends.

  1. We’re preparing for multi-generational living situations. For example, our LIFEhouse™ (although just 1,992 square feet on the main floor) has an option for a finished lookout basement with bedroom, bath and kitchenette. This sunny space can be accessed from a garage stairway or an elevator that stops at the main floor, garage and lower level, allowing a live-in parent or bounce-back adult child to be able to move from the garage to the lower level living quarters without going through the main home. Other floor plans can be adjusted to offer the same sort of amenity – either in the lower level or in a second floor space.
  2. We offer design-your-own-kitchens in all our homes. Although our Cottages have standard layouts, we allow buyers to design their own kitchens to accommodate the way they cook and live. As long as the layouts fit into the cabinet, appliance, plumbing fixture and countertop allowances, there is no additional cost.
  3. All our floor plans are “open”, with many of the areas flexible enough to accommodate multiple uses. For example, certain spaces could serve either as an office, a den or even a bedroom, depending upon the owner’s specific needs.
  4. More than 75 percent of our current owners share their homes with a four-footed family member. We have created pet spaces in kitchens and laundries, even installed puppy baths. Our walking paths and waterfront park are great places to exercise Fido. (For the record, we build wine cellars, too!)

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