When my husband and I bought our home 20+ years ago, it was just perfect for our two kids and us. Little did we know that our family (many years later) would multiply! Our third child arrived eleven years after our first. We also welcomed another permanent resident—my mother-in-law.
Bringing a new family member into your home is exciting and daunting, especially if accommodating them is not as simple as setting up a guest bedroom. It can also be challenging to maintain privacy in a home with multiple family members.
According to the Pew Research Center, In 2016, a record 64 million people, or 20% of the U.S. population, lived with multiple generations under one roof. As an interior designer, the task of rethinking the layout of our home and ensuring no one felt out of place happily fell into my lap. Here’s how we remodeled our home and made smart choices to comfortably accommodate all of us.
Our kids’ bedrooms were originally on the ground floor of our two-story house, with the master bedroom suite on the floor above. When we invited my mother-in-law to live with us, we moved the kids upstairs with us.
How did we reconfigure our home?
The answer – teamwork! We got a hold of our original blueprints, a licensed architect, and set out to work on the new plans.
Five important changes we made to our home:
1. Each of the two children’s original bedrooms became a sitting room and a bedroom for my mother-in-law.
2. French doors were added to each of the rooms on the ground floor to create a separate entry for my mother-in-law. Privacy was an important consideration.
3. Closing off an adjoining L-shaped portion of the hallway with a door allowed us to create a separation between my mother-in-law’s bedroom and the newly created kitchenette without interrupting the design of the spacious hallway.
4. Since we lost the downstairs bathroom in the process, we stole space from one of the two hallway closets and turned it into a powder room.
5. Aside from adding bedrooms upstairs for the kids, we added a spare room for exercise equipment and another full bathroom on the second floor.
The Birth of a New Porch!
We always wanted a spacious front porch, and this renovation gave us the perfect opportunity to bring our idea to life! Spanning the length of the house, its depth spans from 8 to 12 feet. For myself, the kids, and my husband, this serves as the perfect outdoor seating area on the right side of the house. To the left, we created a similar but smaller, seating area for my mother-in-law to unwind and maintain her privacy as needed.
Renovating a home can be challenging and exciting at the same time — the choices are limitless! As an interior designer, I especially enjoyed the challenge of using the existing layout to achieve our customized, desired result.
It’s hard to envision the future in 20, 30 or even 40 years from now, but this plan has enabled our family to live through this pandemic somewhat seamlessly. Multi-generational living has served my family well throughout the years and especially during this pandemic. In some ways it has even made our lives a bit richer as we continue to adjust to this ever changing world.
Looking for ways to utilize your home efficiently while still keeping your privacy intact? Keep an eye out for upcoming blog posts on my home (and my client’s homes!) remodeling adventures.
As a boutique interior design firm, we have been carefully navigating and constantly monitoring the ups and downs of this world we find ourselves in today. Typically I like to begin my blog posts on a positive note. Stay with me until the end of this post – I promise you’ll see that there is a rainbow at the end of this tunnel.
Why lead times are so lengthy.
One publication we regularly subscribe to explains it as such:
“When severe winter weather struck the Gulf Coast region earlier this year, it halted production for chemical foam manufacturers—yet even as summer has thawed frozen facilities, the industry is still at a loss for foam. Like many other supply chain shortages, the issue is one of unrelenting consumer demand, which has been consistently running above capacity for chemical suppliers since the pandemic began. Industry insiders aren’t expecting demand to return to stable levels until June 2022.
The industry’s supply of foam for mattresses and upholstery production remains wanting. The answer, it appears, has less to do with what the industry might call “normal” supply of foam and chemicals for foam than with the relentless surge in demand for product that has yet to abate. Think of it this way: if the chemical suppliers are running at 100% capacity, industry demand continues to run at 120% or 130% of that capacity. The chemical suppliers simply have not been able to catch up.”
Why prices continue to increase
Not only have ocean freight rates increased astronomically, but commodities like steel, brass, aluminum, cardboard and lumber have all increased dramatically as demand surges across the board. In addition, other products (aside from foam) made from petrochemicals such as paints, acrylic, fabric and coatings have also increased.
So what is Fiori Interior Design doing to navigate this storm?
- Ninety percent of the products we specify are made in the USA or like the vintage pieces we use in our designs, are sourced locally (aka sustainable). This has always been an important part of our core beliefs. So for the most part, we are not affected by ocean freight rates.
- Weekly ongoing communication with our manufacturers and trades means that you are kept up to date with any delays, so that you are also able to plan. We will always find an equally beautiful piece should one backordered element of a design hold up an install.
- We are further streamlining our processes so that we can work “leaner.” Our installations continue to take place on either back to back days, depending on the size of the project, or in one full day.
- We are looking at the big picture and planning ahead… even more so than in the past. We recently installed a kitchen project in under two months because we started designing the project and “stockpiled” all of the components so that every trade was lined up and ready to go. I can’t lie – I held my breath until the end, but it was the most seamless design we’ve worked on to date! Teaser: Look for this project next month in an upcoming New Jersey publication!
So, are you thinking about your next design project? Why not start to plan now?
Give us a call and let us know how we can make that dream become your dream home!
“The more time you spend contemplating what you should have done… you lose valuable time planning what you can and will do.” ― Lil Wayne, rapper
Have you found yourself trying to get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable? For many of us, the daily news has bred a sense of uncertainty about our world and our surroundings. Displaced from offices, schools, college, and our jobs, home is the one place where everyone finds calm and comes back to center. Throughout the pandemic, I’ve been balancing a busy design business while staying on top of the needs of my family of five (plus my live-in mother-in-law.) Since my home was designed to ensure that work spaces, living spaces and kicking-back spaces would always provide warmth, comfort and privacy, our experience has been pleasantly seamless.
Click on the link below for my latest article featured in the August/September, 2020 issue of Design NJ. No matter what’s going on in the world around us, your living space can reflect a sense of wellness.
Last year at the National Kitchen and Bath show there was one feature that stood out to us that we’re using in all of our designs: Lighting…everywhere. This “simple” feature combines beauty, safety and function.
These products are now readily available to consumers and they just make life easier…for anyone, at any ability.
I can sometimes tolerate a room without windows on a dreary day but on a sunny day… it’s unbearable! People tend to gravitate to the areas of their homes that provide them with the most sunlight and the best views.
Why? Because research repeatedly proves that natural light is healing. Stress levels decrease and mental energy is replenished in spaces that provide natural light and provide views of nature.
Do you have a favorite place in your home where you can thrive?
Harvey Cedars, New Jersey Beach House
I have a habit of redesigning homes in my head. So when my good friend, who happens to be a realtor, showed me this amazing home on Long Beach Island in Harvey Cedars, these images appeared in my head.
Starting with the dining area, I envisioned a classic round Saarinen tulip table surrounded by vintage wicker chairs.
The living room is surrounded by a beautiful open staircase. The modern meets vintage theme continues. Grounding the area with a colorful wool rug, I (shamelessly?) envisioned one of our semi custom sofas, two wicker chairs and end table and a streamlined Serena and Lily coffee table. The lighting is from Design Within Reach.
And of course…no view is complete without a hanging daybed.
You might just find me there this weekend.
|I faithfully read the Wall Street Journal. Surprisingly (or NOT…) I typically don’t read the financial section but a bold headline in a recent wealth management report caught my eye. It read… “The Best Financial Advice I Ever Got”.. Manisha Thakor, VP of Financial well-being at wealth-management firm Brighton Jones quoted her grandfather who said: “buy few, but buy the best you can afford.”|
Music to my ears. She goes on to say “each time you see, touch or use these items, you think “Ahhh, I have made a good choice and feel content. It’s much deeper than simply quality over quantity. It’s a way to repeatedly appreciate what you have versus that which you do not”. I was raised with this same mentality so these words resonate with me. It’s also true to how I run my business and the products that I offer to my clients. (although I might not be as eloquent with my own words of wisdom: “buy once, cry once”)When you own something of quality it should last at least a generation. Amortized over time, it could be one of the the best investments you will ever make.
Several weeks ago we spent the weekend in Philadelphia.
The hotel’s restaurant, The Urban Farmer, has such a cool vibe that I had to check out its back story.
“The Urban Farmer backdrop is warm and elegant, yet quaint and rustic visually telling the life-story of the hardworking, country farmer who marries the cosmopolitan art-collector. The result is a space that is at once a restored farmhouse combined with an eclectically sophisticated art gallery. Each location of Urban Farmer, though inspired by the same unexpected couple, each have their own twist that is uniquely original and authentic to the city it lives within.”
Successful design always starts with a story…whether it’s about who you are, where you’ve been … or where you want to go.
So what story does your home tell?
Our design process always begins with your vision..and if you don’t know what that exact vision is…we’re able to interpret and then curate your vision through our processes.
And how cool is that?