How to create a functional multi-generational home

If you have multiple generations living under one roof, it can be tough. Here are some tips for creating the ideal space for you all to share.

living in multi-generational home

 

The pandemic has meant that many more people are now living in multi-generational households in the UK. And while this can mean wonderful family gatherings and being able to support one another, it can mean stepping on each other’s toes a lot. But there are ways that you can organise your home to maximise the space you have, creating the ideal multi-generational household where everyone’s needs are catered for.

Finding rules to live by

Having some ground rules to live by can help everyone get along and keep you all from invading each other’s space. These rules might include who can use the TV and gaming console at a particular time, who cooks dinner, or where hobby equipment is kept. Discuss these rule ideas with the other members of your family, and put together some things that you’re all happy with onto a schedule. Then, give the rules a trial run to see if they keep things running smoothly and make changes to them as necessary. If you have very young children, try to take their ideas into account when forming the rules, but don’t be afraid to override them, as the little ones might have some strange ideas!

Introduce a positive atmosphere

When spending time with your family, you’ll want to feel relaxed, and a great way to help you all feel good is to employ some décor techniques to make the atmosphere of your home more positive. Lighting is one of the best ways to do this — if possible, maximise the amount of sunlight coming into your home through using blinds instead of curtains, or even installing more windows. Light tunnels can bring sunlight into areas of the house where windows aren’t possible, which can really brighten up a room. Other positivity boosters include bright, cheery colours for the walls, and comfortable fabrics for furnishings.

Create a space for family meals

Sitting down to dinner as a family is an important social occasion and a helpful routine to keep up when everyone is busy doing different activities. If you don’t have the space for a specific dining room, you can instead create a corner or multi-functional area that allows you to all sit round the table together. This will also facilitate activities such as cooking, trying different foods, cocktail making and other fun things that you can try when spending time together. If you have young children, it can be useful to have some space at the table for them to play board games or draw while the older members of the family might still be socialising.

Separating work and personal spaces

As more people are working from home than ever before, you might find that you are struggling to keep work and downtime separate from each other. Creating a designated work space within your home can make this much easier, leading to you all having an easier time relaxing at the end of the day. In addition, having a dedicated workspace can ensure that all work materials are kept together and don’t impinge on anyone else’s relaxation space. This is a particularly useful strategy if you have multiple people working from home in the same household, and it can really be a gamechanger. A converted loft is often a good space to do this in, as it is separate from the rest of the house.

Create a space for parents to relax

When living in a busy household, it can be difficult for parents to take some time just for themselves, so making a space specifically for yourselves to relax is ideal. Try dedicating a sitting room, a converted loft space, or even a corner of the living room, to your hobbies and having fun. This might include things like a drinks cabinet, a comfy space to watch TV or play video games, or just a reading nook with a bookcase full of enjoyable books. Try to keep this space as free of children’s toys and games as possible, and carve out some time for your favourite pastimes after the kids have gone to bed, or on weekend mornings when they are sleeping in.

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