College grad back from college?
Grandparents alone or unable to care for themselves?
Families combining incomes to own a home?
Whatever the circumstances, homes are being lived in jointly today. Adult children with their parents. Divorced couples and their children. Multiple generations under one roof. As long as we need a roof over our heads and a desire to have a place to call our own, this trend is here to stay.
The disadvantages are pretty obvious to most: loss of privacy, space issues, conflict, or too weird. But the benefits: childcare, eldercare, pooled finances are real too. Even the stress you may think it creates, can actually be reduced.
“Being able to care for one another, but not do it alone.”
How do we know?
Well, although we don’t talk too much about our personal family lifestyle too much, which we should because we are pretty much experts on this topic, but we have lived in multigenerational homes all of our lives. We have grown up with grandparents and great grandparents all of our lives. We have always designed homes to accommodate this arrangement.
We understand how a home needs to flow to allow for private space and for family unity. We know all too well the struggles, ok the downright fights, that arise in these types of living arrangements. We also know about the beautiful relationships that grow from a sense of community and homegrown sense of togetherness. Children thrive in this environment. Older generations stay vital and not shut away. Young adults get support and assistance. Currently we are a family of, a great-grandfather, grandmother, mother and father, two toddlers and another due any day now. Oh and a dog.
Yes, FOUR GENERATIONS. ONE ROOF.
If you want to hear how crazy we can go with this. Last year we had a long time family friend and her husband under this one roof for a year…and their two dogs. So to say we are experts is not really giving us due credit. We are certifiable. LOL. Seriously, we believe in this, yet we also believe in design. We believe your home should be your sanctuary. It should be beautiful. It should inspire a feel good feeling for everyone that it welcomes. You don’t have to limit accessibility to accomplish this. The more the merrier. It just takes some good design sense and planning.
“Not bliss all the time but it’s not hellish either.”
Here are some tips for designing for multigenerational living:
-It is all about the floor plan. Everyone will need a place to sleep, a place to get away, but you need to plan for communal space.
-Ensure safety and ease for all ages.
-Building an addition isn’t always financially or structurally possible, but you don’t want to detract from your property resale value.
-Work with a designer that understands your needs and is mindful of your home’s aesthetic.
-It needs to be universally designed which means its flexible space that can be used for a variety of purposes.
-Take some time with your space planning, you don’t want to make rushed decisions, you want to make decisions that will survive the long run.
This may or may not be the ideal living situation for many of you. We get it. Trust us.
But however hard it has been through the years for us. We wouldn’t trade our home life with anyone else. It takes a village…at least it always has for us. That’s impeccable.