Families come in all shapes and sizes. Whether you live alone; with friends, housemates or a partner; or are part of a large multi-generational household, it’s clear that 21st century families mean something different for everyone.
There are many cultural and socio-economic reasons why families ‘look’ different than how they did a decade or two ago: many 20-somethings are returning to live with their parents after college and elderly relatives are moving into their children’s homes as they grow older. Add to this the increase of blended families and the flexibility to work remotely, and we may find that our homes no longer meet our requirements. As a result, open and broken plan living is increasing in popularity and homes rooms with more traditional layouts may need to be reworked to suit additional purposes.
If a renovation project is on your agenda, think about how best to use the additional space you’ll be creating. If you’re catering to increased numbers, a large open plan kitchen/dining/living space might be the most practical solution for you. Converting a garage, sun room or a loft into an in-law suite provides extended family with the privacy they need while remaining part of the family unit. A basement could make an excellent entertaining area, game room or apartment for a child who has just graduated college. If you have high ceilings or an open gable roof, investigate the possibility of creating a mezzanine to use as a den or home office.
Smaller projects, such as adding an en-suite bathroom to one end of a bedroom, could give you the additional facilities that a growing family demands.
When space is at a premium it can be difficult trying to find workable solutions. Flexible thinking may be required in terms of space and function. If structural work is not practical, think about whether any existing rooms could take on an extra function. For example, can a guest bedroom double up as an office or is there a landing space which is large enough for a study or reading area?
Get in the zone
Zoning is an excellent way of dividing up large spaces that need to take on several roles. Using furniture to separate areas is common but ‘rooms’ can also be created by varying the style of flooring or the way in which it is laid. Changing plank or tile direction provides continuity of design while defining separate areas, while a change in floor color makes a statement about where one ‘room’ ends and another begins.
If your home has smaller rooms, lay planks or tiles along the length to elongate a space or across to widen it. A 45-degree angle, herringbone or chevron pattern can also create the illusion of a larger interior. Other tricks can be used to create the impression of space: add wall mirrors, ensure unrestricted window views and minimize clutter.
Being clever with space
If storage is an issue, clever thinking may be necessary. Create shelf space along hallways, under stairs or in alcoves. Make the most of storage space under or at the end of beds or combine storage with an additional sleeping or seating area. Choose furniture that can perform more than one function: a sofa that can double-up as a bed or a table that has drawers.
Whatever size of project you undertake in your home, it’s always worth considering how your needs may change in the future. If you think you’ll be renovating again soon, look at room layouts that are easy to adapt. Our loose lay and rigid core ranges for example are perfect for both temporary and permanent flooring as they are quick and easy to install with little or no adhesive and can be installed over imperfect subfloors. The pre-attached acoustic foam backing reduces noise transfer to rooms below by up to 22dB making these formats ideal flooring solutions for playrooms, home offices, bedrooms or loft conversions.
If you’re in need of more ideas about making the most of your space, take a look at our blog on how to choose a floor for a small space.