Group-colorfulColor preferences change over time as people move through their life cycles. In some degree, age does make a difference in how a person responds to color.  Someone’s favorite color at 25 may be different from their favorite at 52.

Choosing the appropriate colors for a new product line for a specific market is an important part of the equation.  While color preferences are highly personal, this section will provide you with guidelines pertaining to color preferences for major demographic age groups.


Prime Time (over 65)


  The colors of one’s environment can have a profound effect on one’s mood and well-being.  This is especially true for individuals who spend more time indoors or are less    active, such as many retired individuals over the age of 65.

  To meet Prime Time’s needs, it’s important to use color combinations that are functional, beautiful and enjoyable.

  Instead of using muddy hues, such as olive and khaki, consider using fresh and cheerful colors such as: clear blues, buttery yellows, fresh pinks and warm whites. 

  Be sure to include green.  Studies show that people report less stomach upset when surrounded with lush, foliage-inspired colors.  Cleaner hues of green, such as jade, are  preferable to darker ones, such as avocado.

Baby Boomers (1945-1964)


  Leave it to the Baby Boomers to seek spirituality and self-expression through their color choices, especially in their home.  For them, home is a sanctuary.  It’s a place for entertaining, artistic expression, relaxation, and inspiration.

  Baby Boomers favor soothing hues that cool and refresh the spirit, such as: sky blue, blues enhanced with purple, and potent, iridescent blues with hints of green.

  For neutrals, they prefer chameleon hues that take on the undertones of colors around them.  These could be grays paired with greens, plum, or possibly yellow-green undertones that bridge the gap between gray and tan. 


Generation X (1964-1980) & Older Generation X (1983-1990)

Hernandez Silva Arquitectos

Hernandez Silva Arquitectos

  Generation X’ers and Y’ers have primarily lived in a global economy and this is reflected in their color preferences.  Members of this group are unusually fond of nostalgia and cherish fashion, TV shows, music and films from 1966 to 1979. 

  Members of this group experiment with styles from around the world, so it’s not surprising that they embrace the global color palette.  This group favors colors such as violet and indigo hues, or exotic greens from tropical landscapes.  Deep reds are also favored, as they add drama to any space.  While people in this group are experimenting with a diverse color palette, they’re also favoring grays and neutrals.  

  Clean and modern seem to be hot buttons for the younger generation.  Gen X and Y homeowners favor streamlined looks that offer a bright and modern sensibility.

YoungerGeneration Y (1991-2003)

Benedict August

Benedict August

  For the younger Generation Y’ers, cool sophistication is the design goal.  Children favor neon-like colors and tropical hues, especially green, yellow and purple.

  Whimsical flower garden and sports team colors are always popular among children. 

  Research on the visual performance of babies shows that high-contrast colors and simple patterns encourage scanning, focusing, orienting and pattern recognition.  Color also stimulates physical and cognitive development. Studies indicate that infants prefer reds and blues.


Denise Turner, ASID, CID, CMG is an award winning international colorist and speaker, color and design trend forecaster, Color Therapy specialist, marketing expert, author, and president of the Color Turners. She is an authority on cultural colors for the US and international market.

Denise regularly appears in the press, as a media spokesperson for ASID National and CMG Expert Speaker’s Bureau. She is an ASID professional member, former ASID chapter president, Certified Interior Designer, CMG Chair Holder CCIDC (California Council for Interior Design Certification) Board Member, ASID Designated Seat and UCLA graduate.