4 Ways to Design Your Home for Multigenerational Living

November 10, 2022

Even though multigenerational living is not a new concept, it is becoming more common in the United States. Nearly 64 million Americans live in multigenerational homes as costs of healthcare, childcare, and housing expenses all continue to rise. While it might sound crowded, there are ways to design a custom home that works for everyone. Here are a few ways to design your home for multigenerational living:

1. Make Spaces Accessible

If you plan to live in a multigenerational home, open floor plans are usually a good idea. The open floor plan allows people to move about your home easier without constantly bumping into each other.

Open spaces are also helpful for family members who may require the use of a wheelchair or walker. Even if they don’t currently use them, there’s always the possibility that they will in the future. Having open spaces now will make transitions easier.

2. Connect in the Kitchen

The kitchen almost always becomes the hub of the home. People bond over food and cooking. Making sure your kitchen is useful for everyone will help keep your family connected. Consider having a few different heights of countertops installed. This way, people of different heights or those in wheelchairs can still be involved in cooking or be independent.

A kitchen island is also a useful addition as it adds extra space, storage, and even seating. Plus, kitchen islands are customizable and there are several types of kitchen islands, including split-level where you can have different countertop heights.

Also, think of ways to store pantry items or kitchen utensils so they are easy to find or reach. Instead of storing dishes up high, consider pull-out drawers at waist level so everyone can easily get plates or cups. Use a variety of pantry organization tips for a well-organized pantry! This way, everyone can see what’s available and can find it easily.

3. Put Bedrooms and Bathrooms on the Main Floor

While most people think of multigenerational homes as being on one floor, they don’t have to be. As long as you have a bedroom or two on the main level, it’s fine to have a second floor. Be sure to have a full bathroom on the main floor as well.

Having these rooms on the main floor will be helpful as family members age and the stairs become hard to navigate or unusable. You can also follow some tips for age-in-place bathroom design to make bathrooms as accessible, convenient, and easy to use as possible.

Having a few bedrooms and a bathroom on the main floor will also help create separation and offer privacy and it is a family-friendly home design. This is important in multigenerational homes. It allows autonomy and will help create helpful boundaries for family members.

If family members don’t need these rooms as bedrooms quite yet, they can double as a home office or playroom. It’s easy to convert a bedroom into another space, but harder to take other spaces and turn them into bedrooms.

4. Consider an In-Law Suite

If your custom home design allows for it, an in-law suite is a great way to have a multigenerational home. This offers the most privacy between generations and still keeps the family close together.

An in-law suite typically has a bedroom or two, a bathroom, a kitchen, and a living space. You can decide how big or what rooms are needed. Your in-law suite can be connected via a door within your home if both parties agree. However, a necessity of an in-law suite is a separate entrance regardless of an entrance inside your home.

Keep in mind that your family’s needs will be different from others. Decide what’s most important to you as you plan and design. When you’re ready to make your dream home a reality, contact Custom Home Group at 717-284-4090!