Property advice
Find your perfect retirement property with our guides including tips on retirement rentals, shared ownership, interior design, locations and more. Read now

Inspiring interiors trends for over 65s

A new study of Brits aged 65 plus has revealed a list of interior trends for retirees, that are IN and the ones that are well and truly OUT.

Garden gnomes
Property advice
Posted 14 April 2022
Share this article:

Interior design trends for the over 65s

Forget net curtains, lace doilies, garden gnomes and china figurines, modern retirees want houseplants, home gyms, smart speakers and electric vehicle charging points, according to new research.

Our new study of Brits aged 65 plus has revealed a list of interior trends that are IN and ones that are well and truly OUT. 
Today’s over 65s are after top spec home security systems (a must for 50 percent), electric vehicle charging points (44 percent), Alexa (41 percent) and hive heating (29 percent). They also want walk-in wardrobes (54 percent), wet rooms (53 percent), kitchen islands (48 percent), wine fridges (35 percent) and modern art on the walls (19 percent). 

On the flip side, as many as 78 percent said fluffy toilet seat covers were old-hat, while 74 percent cannot stand avocado bathrooms suites, and 56 percent would rather have a fashionable blind than a net curtain on their window.

When it comes to tableware, 67 percent wouldn’t dream of using doilies, 58 percent would never lay out a lace tablecloth, and 70 percent wouldn’t be seen dead using a tea cosy.   

And it’s also becoming increasingly unlikely that older Britons will have cheeky gnome statues adorning their gardens (53 percent), patterned carpets in their rooms (51 percent) and pebbledash walls on the outside of their homes (50 percent).

Forget upholstered floral print furniture - 35 percent of those polled want a home full of houseplants, hanging pendant lights (18 percent), and a minimalist kitchen (28 percent). 

While 12 percent would like on-trend industrial fixtures and fittings, 9 percent a home gym, and a further 9 percent a yoga practice area.

Stan Smolyar, Head of Brand for McCarthy Stone, says: “This research shows how today's over 65s are favouring stylish home environments they can tailor to their modern and vibrant lifestyles. McCarthy Stone apartments offer plenty of sophisticated design features from spacious open plan living and minimalist kitchens, to walk in wardrobes and wet rooms, and are the perfect canvas to add their own unique style and personality, however they choose. Our research also shows the importance of location and with our unique settings, positioned close to local high streets, whatever our homeowners are into there's something for everyone right on the doorstep.”

The study also found that the over-65s are NOT fans of flowery and patterned wallpaper (47 percent), traditional china figurines (47 percent) and shag pile carpets (43 percent).

They are also saying goodbye to flowery bed covers (39 percent), lavender soap (38 percent), and talcum powder (36 percent).

So it’s no surprise that almost HALF (45 percent) of Brits aged 65 and over agree that it’s a complete misconception that older people are less stylish than younger generations.

In fact 59 percent of today’s over 65s think that when it comes to interiors and fashion, older Brits are able to put their own stamp on things and don’t follow the crowd, while 58 percent say they avoid short lived trends and instead stick to classic, timeless styles instead.

One in two (51 percent) even say they have more self-confidence in their style than younger people do.

And when it comes to seeking inspiration for fashion and interiors, almost a fifth (17 percent) of older Britons look to social media platforms like Instagram or Pinterest.

The research also revealed that today’s over 65s are all about location, location, location, and would like to live close to parks and green spaces (74 percent), good restaurants (68 percent) and farmers’ markets (57 percent).

53 percent want to be near a good coffee house, 53 percent are after an independent greengrocer and four in ten (42 percent) would like to be a stone’s throw away from an artisan bakery.

Meet some homeowners with inspiring interiors

A fan of modern design, John Pritchard, a homeowner at McCarthy Stone’s Blyton House who is an active member of several organisations and does charity work in his spare time, made sure he put his own contemporary stamp on his apartment:

“I wanted my apartment to reflect my character”, says John. “Although I’m not necessarily one for bright and bold, I’ve brought my own style into the design using complementary colours, chrome touches and modern furniture. I took inspiration from brochures, magazines and showrooms initially for how I wanted it to look and feel. There are lots of grey tones and slivers throughout too -some may label it as a ‘man cave’ but that suits me!

“I’m an organised, yet social person with a large social circle so am always having guests over for a glass of wine or a cup of coffee and a natter, so it’s important that they feel at home and relaxed too. I also turned my second bedroom into a study. It has the same modern feel as the rest of the apartment but is very much my ‘workspace’. When I’ve finished my work, I like to be able to close the door and instantly step into relax mode!”

John and Geraldine Harrison enlisted the help of Emma Valerio, a Designer for John Lewis which offers a free, in-store home design service, to help them make their mark on their new McCarthy Stone apartment at Farnham House.

Geraldine explains: “I’m all about bright, bold colours, whether it comes to my clothes, home design or picking out artwork. Cobalt blue is my absolute favourite, but I also love oranges, reds and yellows – the brighter the better! We have a wonderful orange armchair which takes centre stage in our living room and looks amazing with the navy-blue sofas. It all really stands out against the backdrop. I also love to cook so Emma suggested we extend the worktop of our new kitchen and include some floating shelves for storage. It not only looks brilliant, but I have even more workspace than before which is wonderful. We love to entertain too so our extending glass dining table, and of course, our glass gin cabinet are our most important pieces!”


  1. Fluffy toilet seat covers - 78%
  2. Avocado bathrooms - 74%
  3. .Tea cosies - 70%
  4. Doilies - 67%
  5. Lace tablecloths - 58%
  6. Net curtains - 56%
  7. Fake flowers or fruit bowls - 56%
  8. Garden gnomes - 53%
  9. Patterned carpets - 51%
  10. Pebbledash walls - 50%
  11. Flowery or patterned wallpaper - 47%
  12. China figurines- 47%
  13. Shag pile carpets - 43%
  14. Flowery bed carpets - 39%
  15. Lavender soap - 38%
  16. Talcum powder - 36%
  17. Water beds - 36%
  18. Bath salts - 34%
  19. Pot pourri - 34%
  20. Grandfather clocks - 33%
  21. Toast racks - 31%
  22. Magnolia paint - 30%
  23. Satin bed sheets - 29%
  24. Teapots - 28%
  25. Bidets - 22%
  26. Wicker furniture - 22%
  27. Biscuit tins - 18%
  28. Pine or oak furniture - 14%
  29. Grandfather clocks - 33%
  30. Grandfather clocks - 33%
  31. Grandfather clocks - 33%
  32. Grandfather clocks - 33%


  1. Walk in wardrobes - 54%
  2. A wet room shower - 53%
  3. Home security - 50%
  4. Home security - 50%
  5. Kitchen island - 48%
  6. Electric vehicle charging point - 44%
  7. Alexa - 41%
  8. Smart speakers - 38%
  9. Netflix - 37%
  10. . Open plan spaces - 37%
  11. Wine fridge or rack - 35%
  12. House plants - 35%
  13. Scented candles - 31%
  14. Herb garden - 31%
  15. Hive heating - 29%
  16. Free standing bath - 29%
  17. Minimalist kitchen - 28%
  18. Modern art - 19%
  19. Porcelain tiled floors - 19%
  20. Wooden shutters - 19%
  21. Sliding doors - 18%
  22. Separate live and work spaces - 16%
  23. Hanging pendant lights - 15%
  24. Hanging plants - 15%
  25. Reading nook - 14%
  26. Industrial fittings - 12%
  27. Living wall - 11%
  28. Cocktail trolleys - 10%
  29. A home gym 9%
  30. Yoga practice area - 9%
  31. Rattan furniture - 8%
Research of 1,000 UK residents aged 65 and over, commissioned by McCarthy Stone, and conducted by Perspectus Global in March 2022. 


Reserve a McCarthy Stone retirement apartment by 31st July 2022* and you could win your very own £20,000 makeover with help from the John Lewis Home Design team. The prize involves meeting with a Home Design Stylist to discuss your ideas.

Reserve a property and receive a £500 John Lewis voucher

As well as the incredible top prize, everyone that reserves by 31st July 2022 will receive a £500 John Lewis Gift Card to spend on whatever they like*!
Sound good? Start browsing for your perfect retirement property below.

Visit one of our developments and receive a £20 John Lewis voucher

Interested in the lifestyle but not ready to reserve just yet? Book onto a guided tour at one of our developments by 31st July 2022 and you’ll receive a £20 John Lewis Gift Card* as a thank you! Find your perfect retirement property below, or call 0800 201 4811 now to book a visit.

*Terms and conditions and qualifying dates apply. Participating developments only.

Ann Carroll in her apartment
Ann Carroll

Ann Carroll’s cheery McCarthy Stone apartment is as colourful as her character. “I couldn’t live in an apartment with no colour. When I walk in, it uplifts me, I feel different. Life’s just better in colour!"

Meet Ann
Gilly Tilden in her McCarthy Stone apartment
Gilly Tilden

Gilly Tillden’s McCarthy Stone apartment is as eclectic as she is. “I’d describe my space as warm, comfortable and happy. When people see it, they instantly say, ‘oh yes this is very Gilly!’"

Meet Gilly
John in his office at his McCarthy Stone retirement apartment
John Pritchard

John was determined to put his own stamp on his new apartment so when his family and friends walked through the door, they would immediately know it was his. “Every man needs a man cave!”

Meet John
Share this article:

Stay in the loop

Keep updated on news, events & exclusive offers

We need your email to complete your request but you can unsubscribe from updates at any time.