Space is fi­nal fron­tier of open-plan liv­ing

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - East Kent Property - - DIYLIVING -

It’s im­por­tant to think through all your fam­ily’s needs when adapt­ing and ex­pand­ing your home, be­cause do­ing the wrong home im­prove­ments can be an ex­pen­sive mis­take.

Open-plan liv­ing space is what most fam­i­lies want be­cause it’s great for en­ter­tain­ing and en­ables ev­ery­one to be to­gether, but do­ing dif­fer­ent things if they want.

The key to a suc­cess­ful open-plan space is to di­vide it into dif­fer­ent ‘zones’, so you have clearly de­fined ar­eas for cook­ing, din­ing, sit­ting, study­ing, etc. Open-plan kitchen-din­ers/fam­ily rooms are of­ten achieved by knock­ing two or more rooms into one and adding a ground-floor ex­ten­sion, which isn’t cheap but can be a life­saver in busy multi-gen­er­a­tional homes.

Sep­a­rat­ing liv­ing space, such as a more for­mal sit­ting room away from the hus­tle and bus­tle of fam­ily life, can also be ideal for some fam­ily mem­bers.

If you have three or more gen­er­a­tions liv­ing un­der one roof, di­vid­ing up the house hor­i­zon­tally for sleep­ing is of­ten the best so­lu­tion.

Hav­ing mum and dad in a loft con­ver­sion with an en suite, the kids on the first floor with the fam­ily bath­room, and the grand­par­ents on the ground floor with a bath­room, shower room or wet room, is a great ar­range­ment, if there’s enough space.

Loft con­ver­sions can be done suc­cess­fully in all sorts of homes, but find­ing space for a ground-floor bed­room and bath­room, shower room or wet room can be more of a chal­lenge.

A down­stairs cloak­room is a must in fam­ily homes and some­times even a small cloak­room can be turned into a shower room or wet room for el­derly fam­ily mem­bers who strug­gle to get up the stairs.

Many homes have a sep­a­rate loo and bath­room.

This is a dated lay­out, but can work bet­ter in multi-gen­er­a­tional homes than knock­ing the two rooms to­gether, be­cause a sep­a­rate loo can still be used when some­one’s in the bath­room.

Adapt­ing a house for three gen­er­a­tions

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