Tag Archive for: #interiordesignerlife

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.


The previous owner had added an expanse of window to the second floor which became their master bedroom suite.

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.

The  red highlighted area is the “in-law suite

 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.

Double French doors replaced windows

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.

The hallway leading to the mother-in-law’s “suite”

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.

New powder room off the hallway

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.

The final result.

Parting Words

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?

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.  
  1. 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!

And remember…

“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