The generation portrayed in the movie “The Big Chill” is ready to do some serious chilling after years of hard work. To design a haven that’s geared to winding down—but not slowing down—Builder turned to award-winning architect Michael Woodley, who observes that buyers at this stage of life usually have grown children and need to worry much less about choosing a house that caters to their family’s needs. In addition to working hard at their careers, buyers in this group have put heart and soul into rearing kids. It’s quite likely they’ve cared for aging parents, too (there’s a good reason Boomers are sometimes called the Sandwich Generation). “It’s their time, and they want to celebrate,” says Woodley. “Like the Gen Y and Gen X homes, this one flows beautifully for entertaining,” says Osterman of Centerline Homes. “Everything about this house says, ‘Let’s party,’” he adds. Walk into the courtyard: It’s both entry and lounge space, complete with a fountain, fire pit, and seating area. Step inside for a kitchen that’s a foodie’s dream and this home’s true heart. A tapered work island anchors the room. With a five-burner cooktop, it’s perfect for channeling your inner Iron Chef. The kitchen has its own bar area with seating and plenty of wine storage. The living room, both cozy and open, is perfectly set right near the action. C’mon outside: A tiled pool, hot tub, and swim-up bar offer plenty of room for hanging out, sunbathing, drinks, and snacks. For a dramatic touch come nightfall, a second fire pit lines the far edge of the pool.
In this house, the less visible spaces are just as inviting as the open ones. The laundry room, just off the kitchen, offers pantry storage, stacked washers, and a roomy sink for hand-washing. The master bedroom has sliding doors that lead out to the pool and its master bathroom has a deluxe-sized double shower. In the study, there’s even a secret storage space hidden behind a fake wall that’s made for hiding valuables. Last but not least, don’t forget to circle back outside through the courtyard for a peek upstairs. The guest room, a private aerie with its own bath and mini-kitchen, is separate from the rest of the house yet connected to it. Here’s the ideal weekend hideaway for friends who are in from out of town, or for adult children and their young kids, whose sleeping schedules might be a different than the rest of the family. “Boomers feel that finally, it’s their time,” says Woodley. “They want space for themselves, and they want to celebrate it.”
Plan B The house is situated on a wide, flared piece of property that’s typical of a cul-de-sac end lot. The flare is reflected in the angling of the wing where the guest room, study, and second bedroom are located. But the plan flexes easily for a conventional lot: The angled wing can be brought parallel to the rest of the home. Except for the upstairs guest suite (located above the second bedroom), this home is all on one floor, making it suitable for aging in place.