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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
  • 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
  • Home accents vendors make way for Marsala

    In early December, Pantone Color Institute made its always-anticipated Color of the Year announcement, revealing Marsala as its selection for 2015. The choice caught some by surprise – after years of bold, vibrant hues like Tangerine Tango, Emerald and Radiant Orchid, Marsala is an earthier, more muted tone. According to a press release from Pantone, Marsala is “a naturally robust and earthy wine red” that makes for an “elegant, grounded statement color when used on its own or as a strong accent to many other colors.” In interiors, the color institute expects Marsala to translate well to accent pieces, accessories, paint ... Read More
  • Strategies for more insightful marketing

    At Home Accents Today parent company Progressive Business Media’s Future Leadership Conference in September, Ajay Nainani, product manager at Google, emphasized the importance of using analytics to study the trends of today and determine how they could affect the consumer behavior of tomorrow. As reported by Furniture Today’s Bill McLoughlin, “Nainani said that analyzing present market trends can offer guidance when attempting to make decisions about the future. ‘Think about your core consumer,’ he said. ‘The 25-year-olds of tomorrow are 15 today.’ And the way they interact with technology, the brands that motivate them and the stores they ... Read More
  • Zillow: Millennials will be biggest home buying group in 2015

    Google “Millennials and housing” and you’ll find a bevy of articles about Gen Y’s reluctance to buy their first homes. 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 ... Read More
  • High Point panel tackles ‘Boomers vs. Millennials’

    During the October High Point Market, interior designer Michelle Jennings Wiebe moderated a panel discussion that explored the differences and similarities between selling to Baby Boomers and Millennials as part of the Design Viewpoints Series. “Boomers vs. Millennials: The Great Debate” featured Mitzi Beach, designer and author of Boomer Smarts Boomer Power, and retailer Dianne Ray of Garden City Furniture discussing the design demands of their Boomer customers, while interior designer Denise McGaha and Shay Geyer, designer at the retail store IBB Design Fine Furnishings, tackled the Millennial perspective. “Millennials have been called the ‘selfie generation,’ perhaps self-involved, perhaps narcissistic ... Read More
  • Personal taste drives decorating decisions for homeowners of all ages

    According to a report by The Boston Consulting Group, Millennials account for $1.3 trillion in direct annual spending. A multitude of drivers influence Millennial spending habits in the home décor sector, but one that I hear about repeatedly is a desire for personalization, the need for something different that reflects one’s own personal taste. In a special report in our March issue about the Millennial consumer, Jason Dorsey, a Gen Y speaker, retail consultant and chief strategy officer at The Center for Generational Kinetics, and Mat Herman, co-owner of e-tailer Apt2B, both emphasized the value Millennials place ... Read More
  • As Seen on TV, Vol. 2

    The fall TV season officially kicked off last week, and already I’ve begun scouring my favorite shows for furnishings that I recognize. For the past two years, we’ve highlighted companies whose products have appeared alongside the likes of Jennifer Lawrence and Julia Louis-Dreyfus on the big and small screens. In one of our High Point Market dailies from October 2012, we featured Currey & Company on True Blood, Global Views on Revenge, Interlude Home on The Good Wife, John-Richard on Veep, Howard Elliott on CBS News, Phillips Collection in The Hunger Games and Raymond Waites in Django Unchained. Last ... Read More
  • What makes Millennials tick as consumers, employees

    At July’s Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market, generational relations and leadership expert Lisa Orrell delivered an insightful presentation about how Millennials relate to other generations in the professional world. Orrell is an author, speaker, consultant and leadership coach who works with businesses – including major corporations like Wells Fargo and Johnson & Johnson – to help them understand how to recruit, work with and sell to Millennials. She also offers seminars and workshops for Millennials about professional leadership. Here are some key takeaways from her presentation: Millennials vs. Gen X Much of the current discussion about Millennials centers on how they ... Read More
  • Pantone looks ahead to color in Autumn/Winter 15/16

    The slowly turning leaves haven’t quite given way to fall, but Pantone is already looking ahead to autumn 2015 and beyond. Last week I attended a webinar hosted by the renowned color institute, “Engaging with Color in Autumn/Winter 15/16,” that offered a glimpse at the wide array of shades projected to influence fashion, interiors and more a year to 18 months from now. Laurie Pressman, vice president of Pantone Color Institute, highlighted several key color palettes that appear in the Pantone View Colour Planner Autumn/Winter 2015/2016, as well as other color and pattern trends on ... Read More
  • The next generation for Moe's Home Collection

    Since I joined the Home Accents Today staff about two years ago, I’ve heard a constant stream of statistics and opinions about Millennials, typically defined as those in the age range of 18 to mid-30s. As a Millennial myself, I never gave much thought to the rationale behind my consumer habits, or why it matters. But Gen Y is now planted firmly in the adult world, advancing in our careers, starting families and buying our first houses. Whether they’re consumers, vendors or designers, Millennials are here, and they’re shaping this industry’s future. My new column in ... Read More
  • The Millennial Movement

    It’s been an interesting phenomenon to see my own generation become one of the most talked about topics in the home furnishings industry and beyond. It seems virtually everywhere I look lately, from CNN and The New York Times to The Economist and Forbes, there are new statistics and analyses about the mysterious Millennials – how we shop, our investment habits, our views on government and more. Though some may already be tiring of the constant Gen Y chatter, the discussion is prevalent for good reason. At more than 80 million strong, Millennials have surpassed the Baby Boomers as the ... Read More
  • Sherwin-Williams’ Colormix conveys optimistic outlook for 2015

    The summer 2014 markets are just kicking off, but that doesn’t mean designers, manufacturers and suppliers aren’t already looking ahead to 2015. Earlier this month, I attended the Showtime fabric fair in High Point, where textile producers showcased the fabric designs we’ll see next year in the form of upholstery, pillows, top-of-bed and draperies. There were bright colors and eye-catching patterns aplenty, and you can take a look at some of them in my show report in our July issue. Sherwin-Williams also had its sights set on 2015 at last week’s Neocon in Chicago, where the ... Read More