“My Mother is one of the strongest, most independent women I know,” Brandie said. “To be honest, I don’t know how well she’d ever tolerate living in a nursing home. But after I saw how things were handled with this pandemic, the nursing home option is completely off the table.”
Interest in in-law apartments has increased exponentially, as many families are seeking find the best living situation for their parents. While every in-law suite is different, most include a kitchen, living area, bedroom, bath and separate entranceway. “We’re not merging households,” Brandie explained. “We’re sharing a roof.”
In-Law Suites: Best Design Principles
When you’re creating an in-law suite, the idea is often that it will be used by aging family members. As Newton kitchen designers, we emphasize making it easy to use and enjoy the kitchen without worrying about physical limitations. This principle dictates things like flooring choices, the number and placement of windows to allow for natural lighting, and the use of drawer pulls, handles, and plumbing fixtures that can be operated easily, without needing to grasp or turn things in an effortful way.
Another area of interest is the bathroom. “If the point comes where my Mother needs help caring for herself, we will have an aide come in to assist her,” Brandie explained. “But realistically, we chose a walk-in tub to prolong the amount of time Mother can bathe independently. She’s very proud, and I want to help her hold onto that.”
In-law suites are often built as a first floor addition. This is done to address any existing or future mobility challenges by eliminating the need for stairs. However, this isn’t always an option. As Newton building contractors, we’ve also created in-law suites in finished basements, as a second story addition, or as a garage or outbuilding conversion.