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How to Design a Multi-Generational Home

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Multi-generational living is a growing trend in landed home architecture. With adequate interior design, a landed property can be transformed to accommodate generations of families where they can live harmoniously under one roof.

What is a multi-generational home?

In essence, a multi-generational home is a household that consists of two or more adult generations living in the same house.

An example of multi-generational living is when a household consists not only of husband and wife and their children, but also the parents of the husband or wife, and sometimes adult siblings of either side.

Reasons multi-generational homes exist

Multi-generational homes exist due to various reasons. First is due to close family ties, which is common among Asian cultures. Some people choose to live with their families even if they are already adults due to the bond they share with their parents and siblings. Some of them even opt to stay in their family home even after they marry.

The rising costs of housing also contribute to the emergence of multi-generational homes. Rather than move out of the house after finishing their studies, young professionals prefer to stay in their family homes and find work nearby.

landed house interior design

Some individuals choose to work at home (or become digital nomads); thus, they find staying in their family house a practical option instead of living independently.

Other working professionals likewise return to their family homes after spending years elsewhere. It can be attributed to better livelihood options in their hometown or the unhealthy lifestyle conditions in urban landscapes that take a toll on their wellbeing.

Factors to consider when designing a multi-generational home

Multi-generational homes require careful planning. They fall under landed house interior design, but they have unique needs that have to be addressed explicitly since more than one family will use the house at the same time.

Landed house interior design usually considers the following factors for multi-generational homes:

  • Open access areas – shared spaces in the house should be easily accessed by each inhabitant without any form of hindrance. They must be able to navigate across rooms without feeling cramped.
  • Multiple masters’ bedrooms – since more than one family lives in this kind of home, interior design should consider creating multiple masters’ bedrooms to accommodate heads of each family living in the same house.
  • Mini apartments for in-laws – each family living in a multi-generational home would want to enjoy some level of privacy. Hence, it is ideal to consider building mini apartments within the property for the in-laws to stay in.
  • Privacy conditions – while they live on the same premises, families have their own privacy needs. The home design must also come up with partitions (or areas with limited access) to protect each family’s privacy and prevent intrusion by other extended family members.
  • Multi-function rooms – multi-generational homes should likewise have multi-function rooms for people to gather and socialise. These rooms, such as living rooms that can be turned into entertainment areas, serve as places of bonding within family members.
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