Posted by Melissa Lynn Galland on May 2, 2017 7:46:08 AM
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Having parents move in or welcoming adult children back into your home can require some adjustment. Your daily schedules and living preferences might not always align, and unexpected privacy issues might occur if you didn’t plan for them in advance. Fortunately, with a short adjustment period and some forethought, you can make the transition to multigenerational home life go more smoothly.

Oftentimes, the family members moving into your home won’t want to feel like a burden or that they are disrupting the existing rhythms of the household. Taking a few simple steps to make them feel immediately welcome can help ease this worry and allow everybody to settle into the new situation more quickly.  

Create a Safe Space

Older parents with mobility issues will feel more comfortable with single-level living that requires few or no stairs, so set them up in a comfortable bedroom on the first floor, if possible. Ideally, it will also have a private bathroom that is easily accessible from the bedroom. Make sure the handrails on both interior and exterior stairs are properly installed and able to support body weight. You can also check for smooth transitions over door thresholds and between different types of flooring to prevent tripping.

Create Functional Spaces

Multigenerational home life is not as simple as setting up the guest room. Long-term additions to the household need more than just a place to rest their heads. They need space to store their belongings, private sitting areas, and work spaces where they can read, write, or type as needed. Having their own space to relax and work will allow family members to be comfortable without feeling like they are intruding on your space. Consider space-saving storage solutions like built-in cabinets and under-bed storage for items that do not need to be readily accessible.

Encourage Independence

While you might need to assist older family members when they occasionally need it, if they are able to live largely independently, allow them to do so. Finding the right balance will be a different process for every family, but the key point is to allow all members of the family to operate at their own comfort levels with respect to cooking, relaxing, and performing household chores.

Decorate to Match Their Style

You might not share the same aesthetic as your parents or children, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to enjoy their private spaces in style. When decorating, consider their style preferences. Better yet, work directly with them to choose furnishings, paint colors, and window treatments. A chair that you consider cozy might be difficult for a parent to rise from. On the other hand, your decor tastes might be classy, but that doesn’t mean your 25-year-old son will feel at home in a room you designed to match your preferences.

Making a multigenerational home feel comfortable for everybody doesn’t have to be expensive. If you’re building a new home, consider whether or not other family members are likely to join you in a few years and make smart design decisions now. Keeping other family members in mind throughout the design process will allow you to create the spaces that will make everybody feel welcome. Contact Adair Homes today to learn more about our multigenerational home plans.