Giving voice to your brand


New “Psyched About Psychographics” White Paper from Mary Cook Associates Explores Each Generation’s Characteristic Housing Preferences Post Pandemic

July 9, 2021

Chicago-based Mary Cook Associates (MCA), a national, award-winning commercial interior design firm, today published a white paper entitled “Psyched About Psychographics,” which examines the role psychographics plays in uncovering each generation’s evolving housing needs and preferences. It is the second in a series of eight white papers MCA is releasing in coming months, each sharing insights based on the firm’s proprietary seven fundamentals of interior design methodology and identifying opportunities for builders and developers to respond to the shifting paradigm of home with thoughtful designs and innovative spaces.

“Our firm’s design process always starts with psychographics because a deep understanding of what matters to a target audience and who they really, truly are – not just what demographic group they can be lumped into – is vital to creating engaging spaces that resonate with the end user,” said Mary Cook, president and founder of Mary Cook Associates. “Today, generational housing decisions are more diverse than ever before. Plus, they are swayed by other factors ranging from geographic influences to specific circumstances like the pandemic, all of which makes psychographics an even more valuable tool. With this white paper, we’re able to give a glimpse into our proven approach and share insights on how psychographics can inform the design of successful residential projects.”

In addition to discussing the role psychographics can and should play in real estate, the white paper also provides an overview of generational identities and how each group’s wants, needs, values and beliefs influence what they prioritize in a home, including:

  • Baby Boomers: Aging but active, boomers prioritize homes and features that allow them to create experiences and build connections in spaces they can enjoy with family and friends. When their ‘nest’ becomes empty, they don’t want to move to a smaller one.
  • Generation X: The so-called “Sandwich Generation” is pragmatic and resourceful, and values flexible options for multi-generational living as well as high-quality materials and finishes. While early-born Gen Xers share many boomer characteristics, those born later lean closer to the values of a millennial.
  • Millennials: As they grow their wealth, millennials seek the biggest bang for their buck on what they want most: modern home technology, plus a location and features that match their lifestyle. They are a cohort full of creatives and multi-taskers.
  • Generation Z: Although still forming, the characteristics and habits of this self-reliant, innovative and goal-oriented group are already being factored into the design of student housing and rental projects. They’re very different and on track to be the most educated generation ever. 

The full white paper can be viewed online or downloaded as a PDF at

For more information about Mary Cook Associates, visit 

About Mary Cook Associates:

Established in 1986, Mary Cook Associates (MCA) is a fully integrated interior architecture and design firm nationally known for creating innovative interiors for premiere owners and developers of real estate. The firm’s projects include multifamily, model homes, student living, senior living, clubhouses, restaurants, and hospitality environments. MCA’s work emphasizes functionality, showcases possibilities, and delivers a measurable Return on Environment (R.O.E.℠). MCA’s team includes more than two dozen designers and architects that are strategic, imaginative and skilled at designing a wide variety of spaces that respond to demographic, geographic and lifestyle influences of target markets. Smart, functional spaces that establish immediate connections with their users and boost Living Better by Design℠, increase property value, and accelerate sales and occupancy rates are the hallmarks of the results MCA consistently achieves. Currently celebrating its 35th anniversary, the firm continues its national presence with award-winning work that spans 36 states.


Mary Cook is president and founder of Mary Cook Associates, a national, award-winning commercial interior design firm that today published a white paper entitled “Psyched About Psychographics.”