Creating the Perfect Family Home for Gatherings and VisitsUncategorised, Lifestyle
Do you remember what it was like visiting your grandparents’ house when you were little? Running around and playing games, perhaps even the smell of freshly baked goodies coming from the kitchen? Remember how it was a place that you wanted to visit? Wouldn’t it be great if your home felt the same when family visit you?
If you love the thought of grandchildren coming to visit – either now, or in the future depending on your age – then it’s important that you understand the role that building design plays in creating an inviting space. As family home designers and architects, we consider families of all shapes and sizes.
Give them what they want – a key to great building design
A friend of mine has mentioned on occasion how his children don’t like going to grandma’s because it’s boring. They find it cluttered and there is nothing to do there except watch daytime television. And not of the children’s kind that they prefer to watch. They apparently find the home to be dark and gloomy and it smells funny.
Now, yours might not be as bad as all that. And perhaps my friend’s mother’s isn’t either. But kids are very attuned to the ‘vibe’ of a place. The mood of a home can either attract them, or put them off wanting to go.
Now, when I talk about kids, we need to acknowledge that there are young children, there are teenagers and then there are those in between. Children’s interests change as they grow. A home that is designed with these changing interests in mind will help to keep them coming back.
So, what do each age group want? Well, in terms of the basics, there’s not a lot of difference. A home that features plenty of natural light and fresh air. Now some of you may be thinking ‘Teenagers want bright, naturally lit spaces? I don’t think so.’ But they actually do. Whilst we all appreciate that kids spend a LOT of time on their devices playing video games or going onto social media, when they leave their house to come to yours, they want a space that feels inviting. A bit of natural light is comforting and inviting.
So natural lighting and ventilation are of great importance to your building design. But you probably already know that, particularly when it comes to saving on power bills. But what else do they want?
Greenslopes Queenslander Renovation – With a growing family, Andrew and Margaret’s original home did not meet the needs of their bustling lifestyle. With an improved layout, connections and open spaces, this Queenslander served our clients a treat for 17 years post our renovation work.
Designing for outside activities
Younger kids love running around outside. Now sure, I am generalising, but for the most part, kids love to be outside in the fresh air. Little minds with active imaginations love spaces that offer interest and discovery. They love bright colours, so gardens with brightly coloured flowers are appealing. Having distinct spaces within your yard can encourage exploring as well as coming in handy when it comes to playing hide and seek.
If you don’t have a large yard then an activity centre is a great option. Sandpits, swings, ladders, monkey bars, cubby houses and forts are all really appealing. Being able to see these spaces from the kitchen or living area of your home might be desirable, for those times when you can’t be outside supervising.
As grandchildren get older they will outgrow these types of activities, although you’d be surprised at how long trampolines can keep their appeal. Older kids look for spaces where they can comfortably relax and sit and talk. Well, talk if you can get them to look up from their screens. But this is where things like firepits or pergolas become more popular.
Camp Hill Addition and Renovation – With 14 grandchildren, Jan and Keith needed an improved outdoor space for their growing family to run around in and enjoy. With open space, natural light and breezes, I’d be surprised if the grandchildren ever wanted to leave!
Considering inside activities in your building design
If your grandchildren are little, then spaces where they can do arts and crafts is a great starting point, with the added bonus that you can end up with a wonderful piece of hand-painted artwork to proudly display around your home.
Board games are great, even for older children. Your building design should consider this in the floorplan, giving you a space where you can set up and play, that doesn’t interfere with the rest of the home. Nothing worse than trying to navigate your way around a tense game of monopoly as you move from room to room.
Of course, teenagers are not going to want to do exactly the same thing as they did when they were little. But remember, for many of them their lives are quite monotonous, with hour after endless hour of screen time. Giving them something different for a while can be an enjoyable escape for them. But, keep in mind that they will want to get back to their devices to check in on what their friends are doing, so having a space where they can kick back and do modern teenager things will help encourage them to want to come over.
The important things here will be comfortable seating – think big soft lounges, chairs or even beanbags. Perhaps a television with some video games for when they have gotten completely bored with talking and doing other things. And don’t forget about the dining room. Family dinners can be one of the most important times of the day, when you all come together at the dining table to enjoy a home-cooked meal. Creating a comfortable space for socialising, eating and laughing about those funny family stories is something you should consider when creating the perfect family home.
It’s not all about the kids
Ok, so we’ve spoken a lot about grandkids, but you probably want to cater for their parents as well. The size of your family will dictate much of the building design when it comes to creating a comfortable, inviting home for people to visit. But how you like to hang out and entertain is also important. Are you an outdoors kind of family? Do you like to catch up for BBQs? Or do you like to eat more formally? All of these things and more need to be considered in your building design.
If you’re anything like me, then family is important. You don’t want a home design that puts family off coming to visit. Having a quality home design that understands yours and your family’s needs is important.
As family home architects, we are renowned for designing the perfect family homes that are tailored to your personal needs, and that foster beautiful memories.
Contact us today and let’s discuss how we can create a home design that your family will love to visit and hate to leave.
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DION SEMINARA, DION SEMINARA ARCHITECTUREWe are experts at home design, renovations and new homes and ensure good value for money outcomes.
Hi, I am Dion Seminara, practicing architect and licensed general builder for 30 years as well as an environmental sustainable design (ESD) expert. I graduated from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with honours, QLD in 1989. Registered as an architect in 1991 and registered as a builder in 1992, I am also a fellow member of the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA). Having received 12 ArCHdes Residential Architecture Awards, LJ Hooker Flood Free Home Design Award and the 2016 AIA Regional Commendation for Public Architecture, my expertise with both residential renovation (to all types of houses, especially Queenslanders, 50s/60s/80s), new contemporary homes and luxury residences has earned me a reputation as one of Brisbane's architectural specialists in lifestyle design architecture, interior design and landscape design.