“With my parents, two of our adult children, and their children all living in this house with my husband and me, it was starting to get seriously crowded in here,” Donna said. “Everyone loves everyone, but we didn’t need to be on top of each other all of the time.”
Home design for multi-generational living involves making sure there’s enough space for each individual family unit to have some privacy and control. “We learned that separate entrances are very important,” Donna said. “My son works at the hospital – sometimes he doesn’t get home until after midnight. And my Mom is an early riser. She loves that sunrise Mass.” The changes Donna had her Hopkinton custom home builder make to her home created the privacy everyone was seeking – but there wasn’t enough space for everyone to have their own kitchen with the home’s current floorplan.
“My parents don’t cook their own meals anymore,” Donna said. “But the kids do – and the grandkids are always hungry! Meanwhile, my husband loves to bake and he’s very fussy about keeping everything just the way he likes it. We needed a kitchen to make everyone happy.”
Multi-Generation Kitchen Design Tips
As custom home builders in Hopkinton, here are some kitchen design features multi-generational families appreciate:
Multiple Refrigerators: The number one source of tension and fights in shared kitchens comes from confusion about who can use what food to make their meals. The simplest proven way to deal with this is to provide food storage solutions for each family unit. “The kids know that Gram-Gram’s fridge is absolutely off limits,” Donna said, “And they snack out of their family’s fridge, but not their cousin’s.” She laughed. “And then they raid Grandma’s fridge – but they know I won’t tell them no.”
Central Clean Up Station: “We only have one sink and one dishwasher,” Donna said. “But they’re in a central location, with lots of counterspace on either side and a step stool, so even the littlest ones can rinse their dishes easily.”
Grab Bars and Universal Design Fixtures: For aging parents & anyone with mobility issues in the household, strategically placed grab bars and sink faucets, drawer pulls, and cabinet handles that can be operated without needing to grasp with the fingers makes sense.