5 steps to planning a home for the blended family
Before 1970, divorce was relatively unheard of, meaning the average family unit in the UK was your generic 2.4 children. Through changes in society and laws however, this is no more. And where there is divorce and separation, there is new cohabitation and remarriage – say hello to the era of the blended family.
Families that start out with the stereotypical 2-3 children count can quite easily, and quickly, grow to 6+. But how and where do you accommodate them? Because let me tell you, little Henry and Joseph may grow to be the best of friends and step brothers, but you can’t throw them in a small bedroom together at the offset and hope for the best.
So this is a fairly obvious step – as your family grows, so too should your footprint. Extensions do not have to be expensive, or cause considerable impact on your family life whilst the build takes place; a simple one to two room extension can be designed, approved and built in the space of six months.
We ensure an in-depth, stress free and speedy turnover for our clients. So if you think your home has the potential to be – or needs to be – extended to accommodate your growing family, then get in touch and let us do the planning for you.
You have a three double bedroom home, but suddenly you find yourself with six children. Moving children into a bedroom (their personal and private space) together can cause unwarranted stress and make the tricky transition more difficult. A simple partition wall can be erected with minimal impact (subject to inspections) so if you have the scope to divide the rooms into smaller ones, do it.
The opposite can be said for your living space. Your once spacious living room can all of a sudden seem crowded, and no one wants to be sitting on someone else’s lap, or the floor, during ‘TV’ time. So consider knocking down any internal partition walls and opening up your space – you will be surprised at the effect an open-plan kitchen, dining and / or living space can have on the room and your mental well being.
Look up, or down, and consider how a loft or basement conversion can help ease the congestion in your home. Move mum and dad upstairs into a spacious and private en-suite loft room and convert the former master bedroom into two brand spanking new rooms for the children. Are the kids and parents on top of each other when doing homework and cooking dinner respectively? Make a dark and dreary basement a cosy snug or office.
4. “Clever Furniture Placement”
You don’t have to extend, remodel or move home to accommodate your new, larger family – you could be sitting on a spatial goldmine you just don’t know it yet.
Consider dividing larger rooms up with furniture such as bookshelves, storage units, wardrobes or even curtains. When it comes to bedrooms, if you are moving in two or more children together who know little of each other, ensure that an area of the room is allocated just for them – their study zone, reading nook or play space. Keep an eye on the lighting and how your new furniture placement will affect how it falls in the room – you don’t want one section to be shaded whilst the other enjoys all of the natural light from the windows.
5. “Organisation and Clever Storage”
When a home goes from housing four people to six or seven (or more, of course), space can get very limited, very fast. Think about how you can make the most of every nook; turn spacious hallways into play zones for the children, install window seats with storage for all the extra books and toys, put up shelves on otherwise blank walls for bits and pieces and use every inch of dead space. With a bit of organisation and forward planning things don’t have to be cluttered and crammed.
The information in this Coffee Break article is intended for guidance only. The authors cannot accept any liability for any loss or damage which may result from the use of this article.