Creating Harmony: Multigenerational Remodeling Strategies

March 2024

Modern living room with a coffered ceiling to make a design statement

Creating Harmony: Multigenerational Remodeling Strategies

Multigenerational homes were on the rise before the pandemic and are now one of the biggest trends in residential home design. According to Pew Research, a record 64 million Americans –20% of the population – live in multigenerational homes. That number is up from a low of 12% in the 1980s and is expected to soar to nearly 35% by 2030. The majority of young adults aged 18 to 29 are living at home for the first time since the Great Depression.

The surge in multigenerational living is driven by the dramatically changing economic climate, mainly affecting younger and older generations. Rising housing costs and the escalating burden of student loans make living independently challenging for many young adults. Conversely, older generations, facing retirement, increasing healthcare costs, and support needs, find financial solace in sharing expenses within the family.

Whether adult children are returning home, aging parents are moving in, or families are choosing shared spaces for other reasons, multi-generational living presents opportunities and challenges. This article delves into effective remodeling strategies for multigenerational households, prioritizing harmony, comfort, and privacy.

Respecting Diverse Needs

Understanding each generation’s needs and preferences is crucial in home remodeling for multigenerational living. Consider mobility, accessibility, privacy, and personal space requirements. For instance, aging parents may benefit from wider hallways and doorways and installing safety features such as grab bars. At the same time, adult children may seek a separate living area with a kitchen and private bathroom for independence. Consider the ability to control temperature, lighting, and sunlight with smart home thermostats and room-darkening blinds. Extending this to the bathroom with temperature-controlled faucets to prevent scalding and tub sensors that prevent overflow ensures safety is integrated into the home design.

Creating Distinct Living Spaces

Successful multi-generational living hinges on providing interconnected yet separate living spaces. Options include creating a separate ADU or guest cottage connected by a courtyard, an in-law suite, or a converted basement or garage with private entrances. Alternatively, the home can be divided into wings or zones with shared common areas.

Honoring Privacy Needs

Creating spaces that provide privacy for each occupant is paramount in promoting harmony in multigenerational living. Separate entrances, ensuite bathrooms, kitchenettes, and installing soundproofing help maintain harmony and respect boundaries. Privacy concerns can be further addressed by creating designated private areas within the home.

Incorporating Universal Design

Universal design principles ensure accessibility and functionality for all residents, regardless of age or physical limitations. Consider zero-step entrances, lever-style handles, non-slip flooring, curbless showers, and ample lighting throughout the home. Moreover, varying the heights of countertops and shelves provides versatility to accommodate different and changing needs.

Embracing Flexibility

Flexibility is critical to accommodating evolving family dynamics. A room that can be closed off and utilized for multiple purposes as needs change- such as for a bedroom, an office, or a playroom will be a successful use of space in a multigenerational home. Incorporate modular furniture and adaptable design elements to modify the home as needs change.

Promoting Interconnectedness

While privacy is essential in multigenerational living, incorporating communal spaces that encourage socialization and bonding, such as a central courtyard or an open kitchen/family room area with ample seating, will facilitate gathering without feeling cramped.

Navigating the complexities of remodeling for multigenerational living requires professional expertise. Consult an experienced contractor and designer whose insights and innovative solutions can help transform your vision into a functional and accommodating living environment.

Harmonious multigenerational living requires thoughtful planning, creativity, and a focus on meeting the unique needs of each generation. By prioritizing privacy, accessibility, flexibility, and interconnectedness, you can create an environment that accommodates your family’s evolving dynamics.

If you are considering or embracing multigenerational living, contact us today to put our design and home remodeling team to work creating a living environment with personalized solutions tailored to your family’s needs.


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