There is no standard solution when undertaking property projects for different age groups even though they all have the same basic needs.
Dutch interior designer Piet Boon, owner and founder of Studio Piet Boon, says: “Each generation wants furniture to be comfortable, office space to be pleasant and the home, to be effortless [in maintaining].”
The differences lie mainly in culture, personal taste and style preferences, he says. “To me, design is just as much about how it looks as it is about how it works. We like to create a comfortable and balanced environment, completely free of dissonance.
“A harmonious combination of functionality, aesthetics and individuality allows us to make decisions on how a space or product functions in its surroundings – in the context of its use,” he says.
“[Generally speaking], Baby Boomers are ageing, so they want comfort in their lives. Gen Yers also make up our clientele as we are designing small apartments as well. If you are living in a small space, then the quality has to be higher,” he tells FocusM.
Boon cites the example of “very small apartments in the centre of Amsterdam” of 400 to 500 sq ft that do not have kitchens and cater to millennial buyers.
“Amsterdam is getting very expensive [due to the rising cost of land]. People are living in small apartments that have to be very well designed. If the unit is small, the details have to be planned well with good, high-end materials that are sustainable, stay beautiful and age gracefully, besides being damage-proof,” he says. The same could probably be said for the millennials in Malaysia.
Boon’s work takes him around the world in search of “the perfect fusion of ingredients for that one extraordinary design”. He says he is searching for that “harmonious and effortless design experience for clients” which cuts across the generations.
“Over the years, we see more and more cross-pollination. Something that cuts across markets, including Malaysia, with various cultures merging into one exciting mix. Aira Residence, our first project in Malaysia, is a good example of such cross-pollination. It’s a residential development for which we created an East-meets-West design concept.
“With help from the local team, we are able to successfully blend our Western concept of spatial arrangements with the East Asian way of living,” he says.
Aira is a niche development comprising 105 high-end, low-density condominium units on 1.2ha in Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur. The project is undertaken by Selangor Properties Bhd.
“[We want the] perfect balance between functionality, aesthetics and individuality for the development’s ultra-high net worth clients,” he says.