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Millennial Musings

Alexa Boschini
Alexa Boschini joined the Furniture Today Group in May 2012 as assistant editor for Home Accents Today and Casual Living. A native of Greensboro, N.C., she graduated from Elon University in 2010 with a degree in journalism. She spent two years as an award-winning education and features reporter with The Sanford (N.C.) Herald, and has also covered arts and entertainment for Go Triad at the Greensboro News & Record. When she isn't delving into the latest news and trends in home décor, you can find her at the movies, with her nose stuck in a book or volunteering to help the Triad's homeless animals. You can reach her at aboschini@homeaccentstoday.com
  • The Millennials have taken over

    It’s official: Millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest living generation in the United States. Pew Research Center analyzed population estimates released in April by the U.S. Census Bureau and determined that the Millennial generation now totals 75.4 million compared to 74.9 million Baby Boomers. The think tank defines Millennials as adults age 18-34 in 2015 and Baby Boomers as age 51-69. The institute attributes the shift in part to fluctuations in the country’s immigrant population — the number of deaths among Baby Boomers is now greater than the number of older immigrants moving to ... Read More
  • The land of (mostly) blue states

    There’s a lot of talk right now about red states and blue states, but it appears overall the country overwhelmingly leans blue – at least in its home décor selections. Spoonflower, an online community of independent textile designers that allows users to design, print and sell their own fabric, wallpaper and gift wrap, recently conducted a study about the most popular colors for home décor by region. And in a whopping 41 out of 50 states, blue is the most-purchased home décor color. Black is the top color choice in five western states – California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona ... Read More
  • Which generation is the most influential?

    Two distinct audiences tend to dominate the marketing conversation – Millennials and their future spending potential, and Baby Boomers and their current buying power. But which generation is actually the most influential in today’s marketplace? According to a recent study from Yahoo, it’s the often-overlooked Generation X. A Pew Research Center report calls Xers “America’s neglected middle child” because they fall between two larger generations that tend to dominate marketing and cultural discussions. But Yahoo’s research shows that “Generation X, comprised of 81 million adults, has the highest spending power today, controlling 29% of estimated net worth ... Read More
  • The 3-D revolution

    It’s a mind-boggling concept, the idea of pushing a button and printing a dress, a medical device or a piece of furniture. In reality the process of 3-D printing is much more complex, but it is rapidly becoming a disruptive force in manufacturing. The earliest 3-D printing technologies were developed in the 1980s, but the practice is still in its infancy in most applications. Jean-Jacques L’Henaff, vice president of design for American Standard Brands, likened it to a new industrial revolution during a presentation in High Point last fall, which the Bienenstock Furniture Library released in video form ... Read More
  • What’s hot (and not) with color for interiors in 2016

    “Orange is WAY too loud for me.” “Red is too overpowering.” “Green is too institutional.” Those are just a handful of the insights Better Homes and Gardens gleaned from a survey of nearly 400 homeowners about their color preferences for home interiors in 2016. But while respondents said they typically steer clear of ample amounts of bright, bold tones like the aforementioned shades, they embrace color in their homes in other ways. Blue remains a steadfast player in interior design, with 62% of respondents saying they are most likely to incorporate the perennial favorite into their home decorating, while 49 ... Read More
  • Instagram adds long-awaited account switching feature

    Do you hear that gleeful noise in the distance? That’s the sound of social media managers everywhere rejoicing, because Instagram just made our lives a little bit easier. The popular photo sharing app announced this week that it is finally – finally! – launching an account switching feature that allows users to easily toggle back and forth between multiple accounts without logging out of the platform. Other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter implemented similar features in their mobile apps ages ago. But until now, those of us who juggle personal and brand accounts had to completely log out of ... Read More
  • Designing for Gen Y

    In what seems like countless seminars, webinars and articles recently, I’ve seen designers, retailers and marketers emphasize the importance of data in developing a digital strategy. More and more businesses are using analytics and A/B testing to measure and understand their customers’ behavior, and adjusting their approach in response to that feedback to better meet customer needs. So I was intrigued when I learned that a group of builders, architects and designers applied a similar idea to a physical, big-ticket item – a house. Last month I caught up with designer Bobby Berk to discuss the Responsive Home Project ... Read More
  • The next-gen home

    Perhaps one of the most discussed topics about my generation is our comparatively slow entry into the housing market. Hindered by student loan debt and low credit scores, many Millennials struggle with making the leap to homeownership despite the overall economic recovery. This, of course, is not welcome news for home furnishings. Particularly for young first-time homebuyers who likely haven’t yet invested in a lot of décor, buying a home means buying more furniture. But Millennials do want to buy homes, and with rising rents and mounting speculation that the Fed will raise interest rates over the course ... Read More
  • What’s the ‘Color to Avoid’ in 2016?

    Much excitement and fanfare always surrounds Pantone’s annual Color of the Year announcement, with eager color enthusiasts (like yours truly) ready for an early glimpse at the shade expected to rock the design world in the year ahead. But what about the shades at the other end of the design spectrum, those alarming colors that assault the senses rather than inspire creativity? Where is their day in the spotlight? Spoonflower, a custom fabric and wallpaper site and community for independent textile designers, offers a humorous antithesis to the Color of the Year with its 2016 Color to Avoid. The ... Read More
  • Starting a conversation through the clutter

    It's a recurring theme in marketing discussions today – in an age of tech-savvy consumers, an overabundance of information at our fingertips and decreasing attention spans, traditional marketing methods no longer work. The approaching New Year is the perfect time to reassess your digital marketing strategy and experiment with some new techniques. Twitter recently partnered with marketing software company Hubspot for a webinar aimed at helping businesses take their customer engagement “beyond marketing,” particularly through social media platforms like Twitter. Anne Mercogliano, head of small business marketing for Twitter, pointed out that while email was once reserved for people in ... Read More
  • Connecting with customers via the e-tail experience

    Many of the educational seminars at the fall High Point Market focused on the future of the industry, from the evolving role of designers to the next generation of consumers. One such seminar on Oct. 20, moderated by Home Accents Today Editor in Chief Jenny Heinzen York, tackled the changing ways in which retailers are using the web to sell to and engage with today’s consumers – particularly Millennials. “Millennials and E-Retailing: Connecting to America’s Largest Shopping Audience” included insights from Chairish co-founder Anna Brockway, Guildery co-founder Shane Reilly and Joybird co-founder Josh Stellin about Millennial consumer habits, e-tail ... Read More
  • The road to affluence

    According to research from marketing consulting firm Unity Marketing, affluent consumers comprise only 20% of U.S. households, but make up more than 40% of the home furnishings industry’s sales. These affluent consumers – defined in the study as the top quintile of U.S. households, with an income starting at about $100,000 annually – are incredibly valuable to the home furnishings industry. But the luxury market is about to undergo a significant shift as Millennials reach higher income levels. While many Millennials haven’t achieved affluence yet, their values and shopping habits that differ from previous generations will likely ... Read More