In recent years multi-generational living has been growing at a rapid pace and is showing no signs of slowing down. Families are buying homes together and are remodeling them to accommodate multiple family units. Universal design is another term assigned to multi-generational living. Its ultimate concept is to consider the needs of family members of all ages and to provide a safe and convenient environment.
As property prices rise, more and more homes will house three or four generations of the same family. Parents with ageing parents will know that it is not easy to live under the same roof with young, teenagers or young adult children. So how do you factor in multi-generational living when planning renovation?
Flexible Spaces- With so many people to accommodate and with their ever changing needs, versatile spaces are a key to multigenerational living. Think a living area that can turn into bedrooms or an office into a guest room when the need arises. Flexibility is essential.
Privacy with Proximity- While it feels great to bond with one another under the same roof, most people find privacy on their priority list. So it is important to take extra care of this factor when you are planning your remodeling. Separate Entrances are a great way in giving people their own space. Some areas can be closed off with sliding doors and the units can have separate entrances so you have your own space and privacy.
Kitchen- In a multi-generational home, the pressure on kitchen area is immense to work functionally. Consider installing an island bench so that everyone has place for food prep – this could have two levels, the lower one accommodating elder members so they can be seated. You can install a second sink but a scullery is a better option. It will double the size of your kitchen and create room for everyone.
Smart Storage- Clever storage ensures spaces can be used for a variety of purposes. A quick tidy up of children’s toys can create space for older parents to read and relax or a study nook for the teens. De-cluttering can be a full time job but it also makes place for everything and everybody.
Accessibility- This is important for the elders of the family; the ground floor should also be wheel chair friendly. Ground floor bedrooms are best for the elderly, make it ensuite so the older members don’t have to go upstairs or travel a distance to use the bathrooms. Make the bathrooms user friendly for the aged members with a shower seat and grab handles for support.
A traditional little living space at the back of your home can be used for multi-purposes by both the young and the old. This little granny flat, as it is called, adds to the resale value.
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