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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
  • Are retailers finding new customers on Facebook?

    Instagram claims about 300 million monthly active users, Twitter reports 302 million monthly active users in Q1 and Facebook boasts 1.44 billion monthly active users as of March 31. Given the sheer volume of people utilizing these platforms, it’s easy to see why more and more businesses strive to connect with current and potential customers there. But are retailers actually converting any of these social media users into new customers? The short answer — yes. According to a new report from the National Retail Federation, social media is becoming an increasingly important customer acquisition channel for retailers, and they ... Read More
  • Designing for smaller-scale living

    It’s something the industry has buzzed about anecdotally for a while now – the trend of more Americans, particularly young adults, flocking to the nation’s cities. Living in smaller dwellings at the heart of urban areas brings with it the need for smaller-scale furnishings and a fresh design approach. A 2015 study by Luke J. Juday, a research and policy analyst for the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center Demographics Research Group, quantifies this phenomenon by examining demographic shifts in U.S. metropolitan areas since 1990. At the heart of Juday’s study, “The Changing Shape of American ... Read More
  • Boomers, Millennials are more similar than you think

    One group is just entering adulthood, establishing careers and starting families. The other is seeing their children leave the nest, and some are retiring. One is fast becoming an influential consumer base; the other, according to data from Nielsen, still controls about 70% of disposable income. Millennials and Baby Boomers certainly have their differences – different life stages, different experiences, different characteristics – and they appeal to marketers for different reasons. But they have their similarities, too. And while much coverage of generational dynamics pits Boomers and Millennials against one another in an “us versus them” sort of way, the two groups ... Read More
  • Marketing and the Millennial mindset

    While Baby Boomers still have the greatest spending power, Millennials are rapidly growing into their own significant role in the marketplace as they advance in their careers, buy homes and start families. They are the most diverse generation the United States has ever seen, and they shop differently than the generations before them. Millennials are less likely to respond to traditional advertising methods, so businesses that want to attract this consumer base must rethink their marketing strategies. A recent webinar from Google and Raleigh, N.C.-based digital marketing firm Netsertive offered some helpful tips for how businesses can target ... Read More
  • Pew: Millennials are now largest generation in U.S. workforce

    “Lazy” and “jobless” are among the stereotypes sometimes associated with Millennials, and there is certainly plenty of information out there about Gen Y’s continuing struggle with unemployment and underemployment. But according to a new report from Pew Research Center, more than one in three workers in the United States today are actually Millennials. Generation Y, which Pew defines as adults between age 18 and 34, surpassed Generation X (age 35 to 50) in the first quarter of 2015 to become the largest percentage of the American labor force, with 53.5 million Millennials at work compared to 52.7 ... Read More
  • Five color trends for the year ahead

    For the past three years, I’ve undertaken the task of spearheading Home Accents Today’s annual color forecast, and it’s a project I thoroughly enjoy. I’m fascinated by color’s place in the design world, why product designers make the color selections they do and how trending colors reflect our society at a given time. For each forecast I consult several color experts about their projections for the year ahead, and my fellow editors and I consider each expert’s input as we narrow down the four key looks we think will be most prevalent. But these ... Read More
  • See what’s trending for 2016 with HAT’s latest color forecast

    We may only be a few months into 2015, but it’s not too early to start looking ahead to 2016. Home Accents Today’s 2016 color forecast, sponsored by Surya, is now available to download for free for a limited time. This year, we consulted color experts at Pantone, The Trend Curve, The Color Association, Sherwin-Williams and Cotton Inc. about their color predictions for the year ahead, and based on their feedback we narrowed down our list to the four key looks we think will be most prevalent. The overarching theme for our 2016 forecast is Chaos Theory, as ... Read More
  • Make way for the Maker Movement

    During a fall High Point Market discussion about the consumer habits of Millennials and Baby Boomers, the designers on the panel emphasized that both generations crave unique products that embody their individual tastes. This attitude reflects the growing popularity of the “Maker Movement,” a culture defined by independent craftsmen and handmade creations. “The way that we talk about the Maker Movement is summarized in a really neat little quote by a strategist and thought leader of the Maker Movement, Jeremiah Owyang,” said Joanne Domeniconi, co-founder and chief discovery officer of online product launch platform The Grommet. “He said the Maker ... Read More
  • How well do you see color?

    Last week I blogged about The Dress, that mysterious article of clothing that went viral because an oddly-lit photo of it had some people seeing black and blue and others seeing white and gold. In addition to igniting heated debates across the internet, the dress also sparked a lot of intriguing discussion about how people perceive color. From a design perspective, even the most subtle differences in color perception fascinate me. As it turns out, X-Rite, the parent company of color authority Pantone, has a nifty online test to help you determine your color acuity. The test features four rows ... Read More
  • The great dress debate and our perception of color

    Unless you’ve stayed away from the internet for the past several days, odds are you know all about The Dress. You’ve seen it. You’ve weighed in on its mysterious color changing abilities. You might even be sick of it by now. But I for one am still completely fascinated by it, or more specifically, I’m fascinated by the fact that people see the colors in this photo in such drastically different ways. After all, the colorway of a particular home décor product is a conscious choice made by the designer – so what does all this ... Read More
  • Don’t give up on Millennials in the housing market

    At Progressive Business Media’s Future Leadership Conference in September, Andrew Gross, senior vice president of marketing for Serta, gave a presentation that included a chart comparing Millennials with Generation X, Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation when they were Millennials’ age.   Though more Millennials have four-year college degrees than previous generations, and the median household income for college grads is higher among 25- to 32-year-olds today, fewer of them own homes than Gen X and Boomers did at that age. Millennials are also less likely to be married — a key driver of household formation — than other generations when they ... Read More
  • What about Generation X?

    In sales and marketing, much of the current conversation about generational dynamics centers on Baby Boomers, people in their 50s and 60s who have traditionally maintained the greatest buying power, and Millennials, adults in the 18 to early 30s age range whose consumer habits still baffle many businesses. But what about the generation in between them? A 2014 report from Pew Research Center calls Generation X “America’s neglected middle child.” But Xers – many of whom own homes, have families and are approaching their peak earning years – are a viable consumer base often overlooked in favor of the buzzed-about generations ... Read More