How to Build a Home That Will Help Your Family Thrive
Here at L. O’Grady Constructions we’re not architects or draftsmen, it’s true. However, we do have a family and we have built many family homes over the past ten years, including one of our own.
Through this experience we’ve learnt a lot about what to do, and more importantly, what not to do when it comes to building a family home. Families grow and change so a home that is built well should accommodate years of love and growth.
So how do you build a family home that works, now and always?
We’re about to share some wisdom that you can either take with a grain of salt or use to live comfortably in your family home for a long time.
1. Always choose timeless over trending
Tastes and trends change over time – even yours – so we recommend sticking with neutral tones in items that are more fixed and permanent or expensive to change. This includes fixtures, basins, paint colour, cabinetry and flooring. That pink carpet choice may be gorgeous for your newborn baby girl now, but will she like it when she’s 15? Probably not!
The most important thing is that your rooms work in regard to size, shape and lighting. You can then add personal touches in your finishes and soft furnishings such as rugs, couches and cushions, which can be replaced over time depending on your taste.
2. Design a long-term floorplan
It’s important to consider your bedrooms, how they’re sized and how they’re arranged when building a family home.
When you have a young family, being close to the kids’ bedrooms is great for convenience with night-time waking. However, in the grand scheme of things, your kids aren’t little for long and you may not always want them right next door.
A great strategy is to create a study near the master bedroom, while keeping the majority of bedrooms separate. That way you can use the study as a nursery in the short term, with room for privacy in the long term.
Kids stay at home a lot longer these days, so sizing bedrooms at 3.3 metres by 3.3 metres (plus their wardrobe) will fit a single bed and desk whilst they’re younger, and a double bed when they’re older. Even if you plan to never put them in a double bed it helps for resale to size the bedrooms suitably.
3. Hide the mess!
Let’s be honest, who has time to run around like a crazy person cleaning the house before they have visitors? No one! Therefore, we recommend building a house where you can ‘hide’ the mess. One great way of doing this is by including a Butler’s pantry. This design takes the walk-in-pantry up a notch, and provides a space where messy, everyday kitchen activities can be kept out of sight.
Another example is to avoid placing bedrooms off the entrance or main hallway of the house – instead have them slightly separated from the living areas so messy bedrooms are away from eyesight.
4. Can you keep it clean?
It’s all very well if you can afford a personal cleaner every week to scrub dirt from the white tiles in your shower, but unfortunately most people don’t have this luxury. Therefore, before you decide on crisp white tiles, matte black basins or timber vanities, think about the mess children make and their penchant for not cleaning up after themselves.
Just a tip – matte black basins and timber benchtops in the bathroom are not a great choice when you have children as they will likely get destroyed (take it from someone who knows!) Make your choices functional, practical and easy to clean every day.
5. Quality over quantity
You might think the bigger the house, the better right? This may be the case in large families, but most of the time it’s not so. Don’t include a room in the family home that won’t be used.
Ensure every room in your home has a purpose and use quality materials to create these.
Generally speaking, the bigger the house, the bigger your budget will have to be. So be smart in building your house – keep it high quality but not necessarily the biggest on the street.
6. Have a birds eye view
Our modern busy lives often mean we juggle many jobs at once, and this is no different in your home. With young and growing families, this often means getting daily tasks done while kids can be supervised or entertained from afar.
Ensure your kitchen has a good view of internal and external play areas, including your swimming pool if you have one. Having a kitchen island bench can double as a conversation hotspot and homework zone.
Another great idea is to have a study nook near the kitchen, which can help with supervision of computer use and enables you, as parents, to have somewhere to easily access your calendar, bills and school notes.
7. Create an ‘indoor/outdoor room’
This comes in handy for messy birthday parties in particular! Choose a flooring material that can be easily cleaned, like tiles or polished concrete. Make these room accessible to the backyard for shade and protection for all weather purposes. You’ll thank us when it cmes time to clean squashed fairy bread from the floor!
So much of the success in building a family home comes from the order of your priorities. With this in mind, you’ll be creating a home not only helps you survive – it will help you (and your family) thrive.
And isn’t that what we all want from our family homes?