Have your kids outgrown their tot-sized bedrooms and playrooms?
Is the design of your current home somewhat outdated and not well-equipped for a modern, tech-savvy family such as yours? Have you had trouble finding a used home in a centrally located, kid-friendly neighbourhood and now want to build a new one in a more exclusive community?
If so, you may want to consider including the following 6 elements into the design of your new home to ensure it will comfortably accommodate you and your school-aged children for many years to come.
1. Install vinyl or laminate flooring.
If you love the visual appeal of hardwood but hate the thought of it being scratched or damaged by furniture scuff marks, vinyl and laminate are both good options. Floors made from these materials are cheaper to install and replace than hardwood flooring, and much more resistant to all types of damage.
In fact, it's pretty unlikely that you'll need to replace them at all during your children's residence. And high-quality vinyl and laminate flooring can be extremely realistic to boot, often fooling even the most avid hardwood enthusiasts.
2. Install tiled walls in the bathroom.
If you're a parent, opting for tile walls in your family bathrooms is a smart idea. Children tend to inadvertently splash a lot of water around in the bathroom, whether they're brushing their teeth or getting out of the shower, and tile won't warp, crack, or mildew the way wallpaper or paint will. It's also easier to clean and sanitize in case your child mistakes the bathtub for the toilet while half-asleep.
3. Include lots of closets and storage space in your design.
It's impossible to have too much storage space if you have kids, and the easiest way to keep your home free of clutter from toys and other assorted gadgets is to include lots of it in your home design. You'll want to incorporate a nice blend of cabinet, drawer, and closet storage to handle all the various kinds of objects.
The more traffic in a room or area, the more need there is for a nearby storage closet or cubbyhole. Consider adding a compact storage area under your stairs, and built-in storage shelves and cabinets in your living area to keep movies and games from cluttering up your floors and furniture. And, needless to say, you'll want a spacious attic, basement, and/or garage (possibly all three, depending on the size of your family) to store hefty items or holiday stuff.
4. Design a breakfast island for your kitchen.
The kitchen is one of the most heavily trafficked rooms in a home with children, who frequently come in to eat snacks or do homework while you're preparing food. For this reason, you'll definitely need family-friendly kitchen features.
Kitchen islands are great additions to your kitchen design as they function as terrific hangout spots for kids and you can design them to suit your family's particular needs. It's very popular for large families to use the kitchen island as a comfortable homework/snack area, with stools that can be conveniently slid back under the ledges when unoccupied, and plenty of room still for meal prepping.
5. Plan your kids' rooms close (but not right next-door) to your own.
If your children are between the ages of 6 and 12, you'll probably want to have their bedrooms located fairly close to your own, for the purposes of supervision and so they'll have easy access to you in case of emergencies. On the other hand, you still need a certain level of privacy, and you probably don't want the ear-blasting noise from your kids' video games and music penetrating the walls of your own room.
One smart way to bring these differing needs into harmony is to locate your bedrooms on the same floor or hallway, but have a closet or bathroom in-between your kids’ rooms and your master bedroom to help muffle the noise. That way, you'll have a decent amount of privacy when your door is closed, but no problem keeping an ear on your kids a few rooms down when it's open.
For maximum privacy, another viable option is to design a basement bedroom for your kids. This is a great option for prepubescent and teenage children who are mature enough to not need constant supervision at night.
6. Make room for lots of electrical outlets.
Kids nowadays have tons of electrical gadgets that require charging, and for that reason, you can never have too many power outlets. To avoid having unsightly tangles of cords stretched all over the house, try to place your outlets in inconspicuous areas, like with in-drawer power outlets.
Some houses just aren't equipped for a full-sized family, a fact which you now realize all too well. Now that you're ready to step up into a bigger and fancier home, you can make sure all your loved ones feel as comfortable and important as possible. The kid-friendly elements above are a step in the right direction to creating the most functional floor plan for your family.
Photo credits: feet