Post by Stacey Walker. Stacey mostly works behind the scenes for Walker Woodworking, managing day to day operations, and marketing. Stacey has helped many clients create their dream space.
Designing a Multigenerational Home
Multigenerational homes are on the rise and more than likely here to stay as many adult children begin to take on the responsibility of caring for their parents while still raising their own children. This leads to a special design for the home that allows each generation to have a space of their own where they can operate independently but still be connected to each other especially if they need help or just want to socialize. The key to this type of design is intention because there needs to be specific thought put into each area of the home particularly its function and purpose. A good, intentional design will enable you to create a multigenerational home that is perfectly suited to everyone’s needs.
Flexible bedroom design
Bedrooms are an important element in any home design as they provide each family member with a space to call their own, it is their area where they can go to relax and be surrounded by what matters to them. While many floor plans offer bonus areas such as an additional family room or even a home office, consider making them into bedrooms first since there are certain regulations that govern a room being called a bedroom versus just a spare room. Even if you decide not to use it as a bedroom, you can always switch to a spare room instead but it is not so easy to do it the other way around. You can never have too many bedrooms since they can always be transformed into something useful such as a craft room or home office later.
A basement is often the most overlooked area in the home and holds the greatest potential to maximize space. The possibilities are endless in a finished basement. One great idea and one that is popular, is to transform it into a second living space including a kitchen and living room. This creates an area for the grandparents to live independently yet still be close enough to you in case they need anything. This renovation will also increase the value of your home especially for those who are in need of multigenerational accommodations or want a space they can rent out to help offset the mortgage payments. If you have a basement that is not finished, consider completing it and turning it into a liveable space that can serve multiple purposes for your family.
Open floor plans are a great way for families to stay connected even though they are doing different things in the home. It is nice to have sight lines from the kitchen to the living or dining room. One important thing to remember when designing an open concept area is distinction. Each area should have its own distinct section, these boundaries can be created with furniture or even area rugs but remember to keep the decor style similar. If you mix too many colors and styles it can create discord instead of harmony and that impacts the overall mood of the home. Another benefit to having an open concept is broader traffic flow areas which makes it easier for those who need to get around the home with a wheelchair or walker. Keep this in mind when designing for older parents or even aging in place. Consider doing wider gaps between the kitchen perimeter and island as well. When working with a designer, be sure to mention any specific needs up front, this helps them create a plan that works for everyone.
Multi Level homes
For many homeowners, a multi level home is great and often looks elegant but it can be a problem for family members that are older. This does not mean, however, that you cannot have a second story or even a basement but some thought should be given when creating the layout and design. If you have a specific area for your parents, be sure to have everything they need on one level so their trips up or downstairs will be limited such as bathrooms and even a small kitchen area if they want to have that sense of independence. For basement apartments it is always a good idea to have a second entrance that has limited stairs or incline when possible. This will make it easier for them and for you as you age in place. Choosing to have a bathroom on every level also makes it easy for every member and even guests to have access to a necessary area of the home.
Outdoor spaces are trending but not just because they are fun but practical. It is the perfect space for everyone to spread out and do what they love whether that is just sitting on the patio or enjoying the pool. From the kids to the grandparents, having an outdoor space extends the liveable square footage of the home and allows you to easily enjoy nature. These spaces also come with benefits such as a place to destress after a hard day or if you cook outside this can lessen the run time of the AC units since the extra heat is already outside. Think about adding a second kitchen or a covered deck which allows everyone to have a good time outside. Sunrooms are also a great addition to the home and can even be added to a basement apartment or master bedroom.
Design is unique to the individual which means when there are multiple generations in the home it can be difficult to settle on just one. It is best to have a general design style for the whole home but individual spaces such as bedrooms and even the home office can be allowed some flex room. This means that each member of the family has an area that is theirs where they can express themselves through colors and patterns that reflect them. This is an important aspect when having more than one family in a home. There are also many ways to blend varying styles together now as grand millennial style has shown us. Be sure to browse places like Pinterest for inspiration on how to design a home with multiple design styles together and still look amazing.
Designing a multigenerational home
As a family run business, we understand that family is important and that means they should come first. Our design team is experienced in creating a layout that works well for everyone in the family, from custom cabinets in the kitchens to smart storage solutions in bathrooms, we have the skill needed to design a home where everyone feels at ease. We encourage you to browse through our many galleries that allow you to view individual projects and rooms in the home to discover how we have helped hundreds of clients over the last twenty year find the solutions needed for their home. Serving over 15 counties across two states and still growing, we guarantee we can assist you in creating a home that is perfect for every member of your family.
The Walker Woodworking Showroom is located at Greenbrook Design.