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  • Writer's pictureFiona Gibson

Family-Friendly Homes

How to Design a Home that will Adapt with your Family

Being a mum to three girls, I know first-hand how the needs of your family can change over a pretty short space of time.

When you’re in toddler and baby world it’s hard to imagine being out of that phase (it feels like you’ll be stuck there forever!) and yet within 12 months suddenly all the things that felt difficult are no longer a problem – yet you have another set of challenges to deal with.

So designing a house that is adaptable to these changing needs can help you feel more comfortable in your home, help family life to flow and maybe even save a bit more of your sanity (no promises though 😆)!

Since becoming a parent, the time I spend in the kitchen feels like it’s more than tripled, so it really does become the heart of the home. It’s handy having a small space with a direct line of sight from the kitchen that functions as a play area for babies and toddlers – close at hand for quick intervention if needed, and with some good storage to easily pack things away when not in use. As they grow into little people, this area continues to be used for toy storage, crafts and reading.

And while everyone needs their own space every now and then (and bedrooms are perfect for this) my kids much prefer to be in my vicinity more often than not, and having this dedicated space strengthens family connections day to day.

At primary school age, the age my girls are currently at, this can be used as a homework area, to enable parent support and oversight - without compromising dinner prep and without taking over the dining room table! Our space at home also doubles as the music area, where guitars and cello are displayed on their stands, making them more likely to be picked up and played (in theory!).

And while we’re not yet in the teenage years, I still see this space being used for music, reading, homework – again to lure them out of their bedrooms and keep family connections strong.

The other important area is connection to the backyard. Having a strong visual connection from the kitchen to the backyard is key, enabling you to keep an eye on their play – whether it be trampoline, sandpit, swimming pool, tree-climbing, or whatever your kids are in to.

The other sanity-saver is having good storage in good proximity to where you enter your home. If this is through the front door, then having storage for shoes, bags, coats and umbrellas in an entry area helps to keep your home feeling more zen every time you walk through the door. Alternatively, if you park in a carport or garage and your daily entry is through the rear or side of your home, then having a mud room or good sized laundry is ideal, to accommodate storage for these things – and saves your floors from muddy boots.

We also find that good kitchen and bathroom design can really help make these spaces functional for multiple family members to use at one time without tripping over each other or crowding your space. These are just some of the aspects we consider when designing new homes or renovations for families, ensuring the spaces we create are beautiful, functional and healthy for you and your family.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to chat about how we can help you with your home.

Your sincerely,

Fiona and the Sanctuary Design Team

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