Articles - New Homes

Creating the Ultimate Multi-Generational Home

14th March 2019
How to Design a Functional Multi-Generational Home

Did you know that more than twenty percent of Australians have turned to the security offered by multi-generational living? With what may be the perfect financial and practical solution, will you be one of them?

What is multi-generational living?

Multi-generational living is a familial living arrangement in which more than one generation of related adults live within the same household. While the prospect of living with family may be daunting for some, it has become the answer for a rising number of Australian families, such as those caring for aging parents, those with adult children living at home, and those wanting to tighten their budget.

Designing the ideal layout

When planning your multigenerational home, the idea is to create an organised space that assures harmonious familial relations in close quarters. Negotiating this in a way that is simultaneously flexible, practical, and private can be a challenge, but with some careful planning, the perfect solution can be found. It’s a good idea to consider the following when making your plan:

Do you want multiple living spaces so that you each may entertain at your leisure?

Do you want a central living space where the family gathers and socialises?

Would you want to divide the household into a private adults' and kids' wing?

Have you considered a self-contained granny flat on the same property?

Naturally, every family has different needs, so creating a home that functions around those needs is essential to keeping the peace. Start by addressing the basics, such as work schedules, leisurely activities around the house, and the possibility of the family expanding shortly, all while considering their spatial requirements.

Often neglected in planning a household layout is noise transference. Open-plan living is a favourite design for obvious spatial reasons, and while it creates flow within the household, noise transference can become an issue; this can be particularly difficult for older generations within the home, so it’s never a bad idea to allocate a quiet space where you can enjoy some solitude.

Separate access and areas of living

Private areas and space are critical in any living situation, but especially a multi-generational one. As much as we love our family, a home that provides each member with their own space is bound to ease the familial tension that we are all made subject to on occasion. Whether that's a detached granny flat with its entrance or a separate loft, having a space to call our own makes everybody happy.

It's all about balance. Making communal areas multi-purpose allows for the kind of flexibility needed in a shared home, whilst bedroom wings ensure every family member has their much-needed privacy. Furthermore, designing a home with the potential to expand over time will be highly beneficial as the family grows and changes. It can be the difference between having a house and having a long-term investment you can always call home.

The many benefits of granny flats and lofts

The biggest annoyance faced by those in multi-generational living is a lack of privacy. Thankfully there's an answer to that - granny flats and lofts! Self-contained ones are the perfect solution, allowing for complete privacy within the same household and separate access.

Helping your family avoid the many inevitable bathroom queues during the morning, as well as many other issues, such as disturbing others as you can and go. Essentially a granny flat affords independence to its inhabitants – think of it as a kind of mini home that exists within the family home.

Aside from being a fantastic use of empty space, there is also the future possibility of renting out a bedroom granny flat additional income. If living arrangements were to change, like in the event of adult children moving out, your carefully planned house can keep on giving with the help of renters. Furthermore, the privacy you instilled in its design means you are not subject to the feeling of living with strangers.

Bonus Tips

  • Visit a display home built by your builder before you sign your contract to give you an idea of build quality.
  • Make sure you are aware of what are standard inclusions and what isn't before you start your project.
  • Make sure bedrooms designs have lots of privacy - this is key to successful multigenerational living.
  • Discuss the floor plan with all extended family who plan to live or stay in the house to ensure it suits the whole family.
  • Make sure each generation has their own living area for some much-needed peace and quiet.
  • If you are looking for a granny flat design
  • Don't forget friends and family will visit so make a designated area for when everyone gets together.
  • Talk to other families who live in a multigenerational household to see whether they would of done things the same or differently.

So why not make the smart move and make the change to multi-generational living? There’s no reason not to!