There’s a new trend in living on the rise – but it may not be what you think. With space at a premium in popular living areas, rental costs consistently rising and lifespans expanding, multigenerational living is increasingly the situation for a lot of families. This means that you may well find yourself living with adult children who can’t yet afford to move out, at the same time as considering living arrangements to bring you closer to elderly parents who increasingly need more practical support. Many are choosing to embrace this new style of living and focus on the benefits. However, it does take some adjustment, and there are definitely ways of making it easier on all involved, with a few good design tricks and a little co-operation.
Think Social And Non-Social
Any home design has to work for all of its occupants, and in order to do that, you have two main considerations – adequate social space, and adequate non-social, or private, space. Think about the ways in which the different generations you’ll have living together will need to use the space available, and their daily activities. There will be different needs and requirements of the space to meet. For example, you may be planning to cook and eat together, or you may need to think about separate kitchen facilities if that doesn’t work.There needs to be areas with enough space for everyone to come together, and then designated quieter spaces that family members can split off into to promote harmony.
Create More Space
You may have to think laterally when it comes to creating more space in an existing home if you aren’t planning to move. Something like a loft conversion to add an extra bedroom and bathroom for adult children or teenagers can be worthwhile. Similarly, some families look at a basement conversion to add extra social space. It all depends on what you already have and what you need the space to do for you. There are other options which you may not have considered. For example, it’s possible to buy relocatable homes to house your parents – they can continue living independently in their own space, but the home can be relocated onto your property when there is a need to be closer together.
Make It Good For Now And In The Future
You’ll need to consider any alterations you make with one eye on your current situation and one on the future. For instance, if you have young children and elderly parents with health issues, and you decide to install a ground floor wet room to accommodate the elders, will that also be using for the kids when they grow up and play sports? Consider issues such as lots of clear circulation space and a layout without steps so that wheelchair access isn’t an issue in the future. Try to include ensuite facilities where possible so that people can always have access to a toilet and shower. Things like sound insulation can also make a huge difference to how easily different generations can live together. With a bit of careful planning, you can make a multigenerational home that works for everyone.