It is important to consider the smaller people in your family, when you are building a new home
When building a custom stick built home that is family friendly, you should create rooms that pull double the work. Like this flex room here!. It can be upgraded as they get older, but it works perfectly for all of their activities and needs!
When I was growing up, my grandmother had plastic on all of her mattresses, and on her furniture, even though we were not allowed to sit on it – none of us. From the time that we could walk, it was made very clear that there was to be no horseplay, eating/drinking, or sitting for that matter, on her couches (we were literally only allowed to sit on the basement furniture). My grandmother could have just exiled us all from that room, but she did not because that was her entertainment space (no TV, no radio, just chairs couches and some knick-knack’s).
Today’s parents and grandparents have a lot less to worry about when it comes to furniture, thanks to great advances in textile design. But they still have more to consider regarding the family friendliness of the rest of the home. Between technology, toys, sporting equipment, and gaming systems, the average American child owns a ton of stuff. So, you may find that you will ask yourself “where do I put it all?” As it turns out, storage is not the only consideration when building a home that is family friendly.
Spaces for the Children
Kids are loud. Very, very loud creatures. Between their video games, TV shows, and music – it seems that they may be turning your stick built home into a concert hall/movie theatre. When they are not turning up their music to unholy levels, or blowing up stuff with their video games, the littlest ones can be found singing or making jokes, while teens can just talk for hours on the phone.
To keep all that noise contained to one space, architects and custom home builders recommend flexible rooms across from the main living area that can perform double-time as both a play room and a study. Jason Pearce, of the Becker Morgan Group in Salisbury, MD says “Most couples start a family and think kids will keep toys in their bedroom and find a spot to study. But all of that stuff overflows into rooms you usually want to keep clean.”
With the children activity area, you may want to include plenty of storage for: Toys, Books, Arts & Crafts Gaming Consoles (Xbox, PlayStation, Wii, Original Nintendo, Original Super Nintendo, etc.,). Pocket doors can be opened into the main living space for added seating room and hang out space when they have friends over (or even if the adults needed more space). Avoid putting these flex areas near bedrooms. Most children love to be near their parents so they can ask for help, or ask for food and drinks.
The all-inclusive Kitchen is the key to living family-friendly. This room is the main hub for any home, but when you have a growing family, it becomes more important. Homework gets done there, you make all the meals there. It acts as a central gathering area for everyone in the house (in my house, we all hang out in the kitchen all the time).
If you have an open floor plan, the kitchen will more often than not lead into the living room for more entertaining space.
In any fully functioning Kitchen, there is usually: A breakfast area, or morning room; an island; a countertop that functions as a bar also; A stand for your iPad, or laptop; and a functional homework area. Sometimes there is a TV, but if your kitchen opens up into your living area, there is no need for a TV in the Kitchen.
When children are little, being outside gives them a safe, natural environment where they can explore the garden, or play on the monkey bars. Maybe in their teen years play football with dad, or hula hoop with mom. If they get into sports in school, it will be helpful for them to practice outside, in the back yard of your custom built home. If you don’t plan ahead, you might end up giving up your driveway to these activities.
Small children love swing sets, sandboxes, and the such. I remember, when I was growing up, I had my sand box, and my swing set next to the woods, where we had a very badly crafted tree house (mind you, me and my brother built it ourselves when we were kids). But that will never change. Kids love swing sets, playing in the sand, and climbing trees. To ensure that your children have what they need outside, make sure there is enough space for football and other sports, gymnastics, cheerleading practice, imagination games, and other things. If you give them enough space to create their own world, they will.
There is the option of flexible sport courts, like the ones that Flex Courts sells. So they may be able to decide what sport they would like to play, or just play them all. One multi-sport court can accommodate dozens of activities and games. You can have them customized to your preferences and go from there! Retaining walls to catch the balls from breaking your neighbors’ windows is a good touch.
Also, don’t forget the BBQ area! Every family-friendly home, needs a custom built back deck where they can grill and have family get-togethers.
Eventually the kids leave
Eventually the kids leave, and they may go off to get married and build a home of their own, OR they come back and live with you until they can get back on their feet. Your options then are to: Bulldoze their rooms and spaces, and turn it into the rooms you would like to have in your home (office, library, parlor, yoga studio, etc.,), or you can allow them to take their old spaces back.
To truly make a home family friendly for years to come, consider what your family will need as the children grow. Don’t just think about what they need right now. This will ensure that you are ready for anything.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
That’s all for now friends…
Nicole D., Toback’s Resident Blogger