How to Design a Home for Multi-Generational Living

Ready to build your dream home? Perhaps that means a single-family home with a white picket fence. Or perhaps that means a home to suit a family with modern needs. Maybe you’re preparing to care for aging parents while also raising young kids. In that case, you’ll likely want a kid-friendly home that’s also well suited to older adults. No matter what you’re looking for, Mitchell Homes is here to help you in designing your dream home.

How to Design a Home for Multi-Generational Living

If you’re planning on designing your dream home for multi-generational living, here are some things you should keep in mind.
If you’re living in a multi-generational household, you’re not alone. According to Pew Research Center, a record number of Americans were living in multi-generational households in the last few years. Even if this situation doesn’t currently apply to you, it could in the near future. Therefore, it’s important to plan ahead when designing your dream home.

The first thing you should keep in mind is that everyone in the family should have their own space. It’s important that each family member have a personal retreat and a space to call their own.

Consider, for instance, an in-law suite with a separate entrance and its own kitchenette. This will enable older family members to maintain a sense of privacy, while also allowing them to feel independent when living under your roof.

Likewise, the kids should have a playroom or space where they can be creative and let loose without having to worry about being too loud.

Similarly, if you have adult children living at home, consider a basement apartment with its own entrance or another space where your children can maintain privacy. Having a personal retreat for each family member is an important part of having an inclusive multi-generational home design.

At the same time, remember to create family spaces with room for everyone to gather. The kitchen and living area should be large enough to accommodate all family members. You’ll also want to ensure that it has a functional design. Install easy to reach cabinets or a Lazy Susan so elder family members can easily retrieve items. Consider implementing larger cabinet handles or automated enhancements that simplify daily tasks. Make sure the living room also has adequate storage areas so that toys can be packed away, preventing tripping hazards and keeping the space free from clutter.

Accessibility is another factor to consider. While you’ll certainly want to childproof your home for small children, you’ll also want to ensure that it’s accessible for elder family members. For instance, make sure doors and entryways are large enough so that they’re wheelchair accessible. Also, be sure that all rooms are adequately lit.

If possible, have a separate bathroom for elder family members. If that’s not possible, make sure the family bathroom is easily accessible for them. There are many design elements you can incorporate into the bathroom to prevent slips and falls. Consider, for instance, a level-entry shower to prevent falls when stepping in and out. You should also incorporate grab bars and shower seating as well.

Open floor plans are also integral to creating open access throughout the home. The fewer doors and hallways to be navigated, the easier it will be to move from room to room. Open floor plans also create feelings of togetherness and inclusivity among family members, fostering better communication and interaction.

Of course, it’s also important to have outdoor gathering space for your family as well. Consider a back deck with a ramp for easy access to the backyard. Have handles on both sides so the ramp will be easy to grip with either hand. You may also want to add a fire pit or backyard barbeque area with ample seating for family gatherings. These spaces will be perfect for planned family get-togethers or impromptu gatherings on a nice summer day.

You’ll also want to think over the amount of garage space you’ll need for your household. Do you want an attached or detached garage? How many people in your household own vehicles? This is an important factor in designing a home for multi-generational households.

While there are many things to consider, the important thing to keep in mind when designing your dream home for a multi-generational living is that you remain flexible. While you may want to customize your home to your current situation and needs, you should also keep it flexible enough that the areas can be transformed into new spaces as those needs change. For instance, you may decide you want to grow your family. This may require an additional bedroom and extra space.

On the other hand, as kids grow older, they may move out of the house. In that case, you may want to transform their bedroom into a guest area or home office. While you should certainly customize your floor plan to your family’s needs, you should also remain flexible to whatever the future may bring.

There are many details, both big and small, to keep in mind when designing your dream home for multi-generational living. With rising residential home care costs for aging adults, this is something you may want to plan for well in advance.

With our variety of customizable floor plan designs, we’ll find the right design for you and your family. Take a look at our gallery of homes and request a planning guide to help with ideas for your home’s design. Each family has different needs, particularly those with multi-generational households. We’ll help you design the perfect dream home so each member of your family feels right at home.