You're planning your custom home. You've likely started thinking about the logical details such as size, location, style, and features. You probably even have a dream list of things you've always wanted in a home but never had. Great! You're off to a good start. Let's take things in a different direction. Who is going to be living in your home? Your spouse, kids, parents or in-laws, your pets...? Take a moment to think about (or even ask them) what they want and need in the home. Here are some ideas on how to design with your family in mind.
What does your spouse spend most of their time doing when at home? Maybe your spouse works from home. Think of what he/she needs in order to work more efficiently and happily from home. Maybe you can build a home office with a beautiful view of your back yard. Consider adding a small or large exercise room. It could serve as a general exercise space as well as a spot to be able to work.
What are your spouse's hobbies? Build in features that allow your spouse to spend time at home enjoying his or her hobbies such as a craft room, music studio, library, or wine cellar.
Build lasting features in the home that make sense for your kids now and as they get older. For example, create a reading nook by opening up the unused space under the stairs. Add a rug and floor pillows to make it more cozy. When your kids are young, they'll love using it as a place to create a fort or a secret hideout. As they get older, they could use it as a space to take a break with a book.
Encourage your kids to be active by doing what they love. Add in to your custom home plans an indoor recreational room, an outdoor basketball court, large playground equipment, or anything else that would keep your kids active and entertained.
Often when parents or in-laws get to a point where they can no longer live on their own, a good solution is having them move in with you and your spouse. Being able to offer them more than the spare bedroom in your home would be beneficial for both your parent/in-laws as well as you and your spouse. Consider what would be helpful to include in your custom home to cater to this situation. Perhaps building a completely separate parents' quarters would give them a space they could feel is still their own while being able to take advantage of having you and your spouse a few steps away. These quarters could be fully equipped with features such as an ensuite bathroom, a kitchen, and a living room. Keep in mind that you could build this portion of your home to be handicapped accessible. Also, think of features like extra hand rails, safely accessible showers, and phone jacks in each room for emergencies. Being in a position where you can create a space that is safe, comfortable, and enjoyable for your parents/in-laws is rewarding. You can take joy in being able to give back.
Pets are a big part of families. So, having a home designed with your pets in mind is a great way to show your pets how much you love having them as a part of your family. Think about what needs your pets have. Do you need a space to put food dishes, litter boxes, scratching posts, toys, and so on? Consider making a pet mud room of sorts. Build in a pet grooming station that is designated for bathing your pets. You can also include back yard access from this room so you can easily let them in and out as needed. Think about the last time your pets came running back in the house and tracked mud all over everything. If you built in a mudroom that could be closed off, you could keep the mud in one room and then wash your pets in the designated tub before they jump on the couch and roll on the floor with their muddy paws.
Now that you've taken some time to consider each individual family member, what are some things you could include in your custom home that would be useful
for the whole family? Consider options such as a home theater, game room or a gym. Take your family outside with a great outdoor living space complete
with a pool, hot tub, outdoor kitchen, and deck. With so many amazing things to do, you don't have to worry as much about the family not wanting to
spend time together. In fact, your kids might have their friends over to your house for a change. You may even find yourself hosting more family get
togethers and summer parties.
Hopefully these ideas have proved helpful and have made you think about your home in ways you may not have yet. We'd love to hear what other ideas you have! Contact Carrington Custom Homes to talk to our experts about designing your custom home with your family in mind.