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When I work with young adults buying their first home, I often hear from them that they believe they have gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to economic history. When they compare their own station in life at the age of, say, 30, compared to their parents at that age, they often feel they are lagging behind, particularly in the field of home ownership. But are they really? Sure, the economy may be growing slowly these days and real estate values in most Canadian cities – especially in Vancouver – have indeed enjoyed impressive growth in recent decades, but the Baby Boomer generation that was buying their first homes 30 or 40 years ago had some economic barriers of their own to contend with: high interest rates, the 1973 oil crisis, and so on.
So who really had more affordable homes, today’s Generation Y or the Baby Boomers? This great new infographic by a realtor in Hawaii named “Aloha” Tony Kawaguchi digs deep into the financial statistics to provide us with an answer. As with many things in life, the answer is anything but simple; read on for yourself and you’ll see what I mean!
Created by: Aloha Tony
Having used his store’s products in a few homes, I am very pleased to present this interview with Thomas Rasmussen of Mobler Furniture, Vancouver’s most well-known modern furniture store. We discussed the role that furniture can play in selling a home, as well as what interior design trends to look out for in the future.
Robert Moore: What role can furniture play in home staging?
Thomas Rasmussen: Furniture is key to selling a home quickly. In my own experience, seeing a home furnished thoughtfully with functional, beautiful furniture is very important, but the most important thing is seeing a home filled with the correct sized furniture. The trend towards smaller apartments in the Lower Mainland is going to continue, therefore the furniture has to be multifunctional and optimized for small spaces. Modern furniture for the most part cuts away the excess; you won’t find overstuffed pillows or huge rolled arms on a modern-style sofa, and that saves a lot of space without hindering comfort.
RM: What are the most popular interior design trends in Vancouver at the moment?
TR: Barstools are a huge trend, because they’re simultaneously stylish and functional in smaller spaces. Fitting a dining room table into a 500 square foot apartment is extremely difficult, whereas using a kitchen counter for kitchen prep and dining optimizes space. In a lot of ways, the interior design trends in Vancouver right now are simply responses to the spatial limitations of condos and townhomes. As the average home’s square footage has gotten smaller over the years, people have had to adapt their interior designs accordingly – and there are a lot of fun, stylish ways to do that!
RM: What new furniture pieces or interior design trends do you see becoming more popular over the coming years?
TR: As Vancouver’s real estate market continues to produce more condos than detached homes, I expect minimalist furnishings to continue their rise to prominence, as well as multi-functional furnishings like sofabeds. Conversely, for those living in larger homes, I can definitely see a return to a more elaborate and spacious mindset at some point, particularly when it comes to living rooms, dining rooms, and other places that typically seat large numbers of people.
RM: If people want to furnish their homes on a budget, what do you recommend?
TR: As with any purchase, I’d recommend they do their research online first. We spend a lot of effort on our photos for our website and our customers appreciate that. Similarly, if they are looking for a deal, Mobler’s anniversary sale is beginning in August, and that’s when our prices will be at their lowest. People can visit our showroom at 3351 Sweden Way in Richmond at that time to see our selection and sale prices first-hand; there’s usually a staff member available to help you find what you may be looking for.