Lita Dirks, president and owner of Lita Dirks & Co. and expert 55-plus interior designer and merchandiser, recently presented at the Southeastern Builder Conference in Kissimmee, Fla. Her presentation, available here, helps builders understand where to focus their design dollars. When working on a 55-plus project like the NEXTadventure home, many of these trends are brought forth.

Here are seven design tips to remember when building for the 55-plus crowd:

  1. The entry sets the stage. Thoughtful outdoor lighting, an eye-catching feature wall, detailed design on the front door, and unique art within the foyer are all options to create a well-designed entrance for the NEXTadventure home.
  2. The line of sight in the entry of the NEXTadventure home draws visitors in to further explore. From the moment visitors step in the door, they are embraced by the indoor/outdoor experience the home offers with an open, airy feel and a floor-to-ceiling wall of windows.
  3. Don’t forget the owner’s entry. Homeowners are welcomed with a creatively designed entrance from the garage that includes a well-organized and aesthetically pleasing drop zone, in addition to a bench and hooks for storage.
  4. Because 55-plus homeowners love to entertain, design dollars are wisely spent on the kitchen island, great room, beverage center, and back kitchen. Along with these features indoors, the outdoor area should include multiple seating options and a kitchen for the ultimate party.
  5. It's smart to spend money on the owner’s suite, complete with a spa-like bathroom and abundance of closet space. In the NEXTadventure home, the master bath is the ultimate retreat for homeowners with sleek finishes and a rainfall showerhead. Continuing through the bath, the walk-in closet is stylishly organized with custom-built cabinetry and easy access to the laundry room.
  6. Designing smart storage is very important for the 55-plus buyer. The NEXTadventure home caters to this demand with easy stair access to the attic in the garage, a messy kitchen, custom cabinetry throughout the home, and creative storage options in the kitchen island and owner’s entry.
  7. Finally, consider the strong relationship between the indoor and outdoor spaces. In the NEXTadventure home, the indoor/outdoor connection is ideal for the Florida climate and the buyer’s lifestyle. Indoor flooring that continues to the outdoor lanai is paired with floor-to-ceiling windows and creates a seamless flow, allowing the outdoor space to serve as additional square footage.

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