The needs of the family change as children develop into teenagers, and taking this into consideration when designing and building your new home will help to ensure family harmony is maintained during the adolescent years. Here, we’ll look at design elements to keep teenagers and the family happy, while also ensuring your home remains practical in the future.
Independent and communal spaces
When designing a home with teenagers in mind, there is a balance that should be maintained between encouraging family time while also allowing them – and you – to have space and be independent.
As children develop into teens, most will increasingly want their own space, privacy and independence, so it’s important to consider how this will be achieved in the design stage of building a new home.
One way to achieve this could be to have a second living area or an additional space (such as a den, basement or room) where teenagers can hang out with friends, play games, watch TV, or do hobbies. The benefit of this is that they can have privacy, but you can as well, with the added bonus of eliminating fights about what to watch on TV.
If money, space and planning permits are not an issue, you may consider a two storey house where the children – or you – have rooms and a bathroom upstairs, or a granny flat where they can hang out away from the main house.
You can also consider a floor plan where the master bedroom is in a different part of the house to the children’s room to create more of a separation, as well as having multiple bathrooms.
While providing teens with space, privacy and independence is important, it is equally important to encourage time together as a family through the communal spaces.
Open plan kitchens and dining areas, and communal living space which can comfortably fit the entire family along with extra people, are crucial to encouraging and allowing the family to gather in one place and spend time together. They can also provide the space for different functions such as parties when needed.
Being smart with storage
As children get older, they inevitably have more possessions, so making it easier for them to stay organised is important.
If you have the space, this could be in the form of a walk-in-robe or additional cupboard space in or near the bedrooms. A separate mud room or one combined with the utility room can also help keep things organised, allowing your family to keep bags, shoes, coats and other gear neat, tidy and in a convenient location, while also stopping dirt, sand, water and other mess from entering the main house.
If you don’t have the space to include these, or don’t want to, using the space you do have wisely will ensure there’s still plenty of storage space. Key to this is thinking about the items that they have – or might have in the future – and designing the cupboard space and other supplementary storage around that to suit their needs. This could include considering how much hanging space is needed, what needs to go in draws, what their interests are and how those items should be organised. Tailoring the cupboard space to their needs will make it easier for them to keep everything neat and tidy.
Room to study
Having a dedicated study space is also vital in the teenage years – and beyond, if they remain at home while undertaking higher education.
If a dedicated study room works for your needs and budget, it is the ideal solution as it remains separate to their sleeping area and reduces the chance of them being distracted. This also creates additional storage space where the family can keep books, paper and study or office materials.
If a study room doesn’t work for you, allow space for a desk in their bedroom or design and furnish a communal area in a way where they are able to sit quietly and study.
The design trap to avoid
It can be easy to fall into the design trap that in order to design a house with teenagers in mind, more space and rooms are needed – but this doesn’t have to be the case, especially if you don’t have the budget, or you want to retire in the house and don’t want too much extra space. What it comes down to is a smart floor plan and interior design, and keeping future needs in mind.
The teenage years are few and there will come a time – sooner or later – when they decide to move out and become fully independent. If your plan is to downgrade when this happens, then designing to your current needs is fine. However, if you plan to stay in the house long term, then more thought is needed as to the function of any extra rooms. For example an additional room can transition from a children’s play room to a teenager’s den to a study, guest bedroom or craft room.
If you don’t have the budget or won’t need the extra space in the future, having a flexible floor plan will be ideal. For example, can the study and teenager’s retreat be combined into one room? Can a formal dining area double as a living area during the teenage years? Can bedrooms be designed to allow for a study area or retreat?
Why custom built is the way to go
By selecting a custom home builder, you will be able to have a home that is designed to meet your needs now and into the future. Whereas, if you select a volume builder, you are limited to the ready-made floor plans that they offer which provide limited scope to be modified and can be costly if you choose to do so.
The team at Grollo Homes has been designing and building custom homes for over 50 years. You will work with the same team, including an architect and a builder, throughout the entire design and build process, guiding you every step of the way to ensure it is an enjoyable journey and you get your dream home, within your budget.
With years of experience designing and building custom homes for families of all sizes and age ranges, Grollo Homes will be able to ask questions and advise on functional designs based on your requirements and desires.
Get in contact with the Grollo team today to organise your no-cost, no-obligation meeting to discuss your dream home.