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.