Every home is different and each family has different needs for their home as well. But – it is safe to say that some things are universal such as an open floor plan, practical storage, functionality and the ability to host with ease in your home. Here are the seven features or elements that we believe no family home should be without!
Storage is crucial in a family home. A shortage of storage can lead to clutter, chaos and disorganization as you navigate toys, school bags and books, sporting equipment and everything else that comes along with family living. Functional storage helps you create organized systems so clutter doesn’t build up on surfaces and in the corners of rooms. It’s the key to maintaining some level of peace in your home.
2. Plan For The Future
It’s obvious that children grow into full-size adults, but when you are planning a renovation or new build with small children, consider how spaces will be used in years to come. The number of homes I’ve been to with second-story additions that have low ceilings, small rooms suited to single beds and minimal storage always surprises me. These rooms become a problem when the kids outgrow the single bed and there is no room to squeeze in a queen bed, or the sweet desk that was perfect for primary school coloring in is now inappropriate for final school exams or university textbooks. That collection of giant skater-basketball-dance shoes may no longer have a space in the small closet either. When planning children’s rooms, aim for a 13-by-13-foot floor area to future-proof the room. And if you can extend the budget, push the ceiling up from the minimum for a bit more headroom as well.
3. Walk-In Pantry
We believe a walk-in pantry is a must-have in the kitchen of a busy family home. With more of us having open-plan living areas, the kitchen is front and center. A walk-in pantry helps keep the main kitchen tidy — you can store all your small appliances here and do food preparation when you’re hosting.
If the walk in-pantry has the space, try to include a sink, dishwasher drawer or a full dishwasher, plenty of open storage and closed storage in the area that can be seen from the door when it’s open.
Drawers to store food items are key as well. They keep everything neatly stored away and items are easy to access, particularly when you’re in a rush. A walk-in pantry isn’t just about food storage these days. It’s a space to make drinks, snacks and prepare dishes when you’re entertaining.
Comfort is key in a family home — particularly when it comes to pieces such as sofas where you’ll probably spend a lot of time over the years. Everyone’s idea of comfort is different, so in my view it’s worth going to the expense of having pieces custom-designed so they’re right for you. For example, you may want to have the sofas in your family room or living area custom-made to suit your desired comfort level.
Light affects everything from the aesthetic, mood and functionality of a home to indoor temperature. Just like the weather affects our mood, so does the amount and quality of light we receive in our living spaces. During the day, natural light can transform a room, depending on the orientation and window size. Likewise, a colder day can make you feel less cozy or even gloomy. It isn’t always an option to have favorable orientation, so the best way to remedy gloomy spaces is to have considered light sources, whether that is general ambient light, task lighting or mood lighting. In conjunction with lighting, paint finishes and color selections are key to accentuating the required light and mood of a room.
6. Space Planning
We always encourage clients with families to surround themselves with the colors, pieces and features they love rather than slavishly following trends. This way you’ll create a home that has personal meaning to you, which you’ll enjoy spending time in.
Bring cherished items and pieces of family history into the design — this is, after all, what will make your family home uniquely your own.
And Now It’s Your Turn: What’s your must-have for a great family home? Share in the Comments!