Looking for home inspiration? Today’s guest post has lots of ideas for family-friendly home improvements that will make life easier – what’s not to love?!
The hectic pace of life with kids can make it hard to keep your home functioning really well for the whole family. And when moving to a bigger or more family-friendly property isn’t an option, you need some clever tricks to make your existing space work harder. Here are some ideas for home improvements that will take the strain out of busy home life.
Improve your garden
Invest in your garden to make a family-friendly upgrade to your home. If you have a rectangular back garden as many of us do, with a lawn in the middle and flower beds around the edge, then consider splitting your garden up into different ‘rooms’ or sections. Break up the straight lines, and you’ll create attractive vistas from your home. It’s a practical solution too, as you can use different sections for different purposes such as a play area, a patio or a vegetable patch.
Use rose arches, trellis or other architectural features to break up your rectangular lawn, or simply cut into the lawn using triangles or curves to give your flower beds a deeper and less regular look. A top tip here is to lay a hose pipe along your lawn to get a sense of the shape you’ll give your flower beds, then look back at it from the house. Once you’ve decided on the shape, use the hose pipe as a guide when cutting out the edges. Alternatively, draw a garden plan employing three overlapping circles to give a square or rectangular garden a quite different appearance.
Add an eating area
It might sound obvious, but lots of family homes don’t have a dedicated dining room, or even anywhere a family can sit down and enjoy a meal together. If your budget and home can accommodate it, a spacious kitchen diner is a great option for flexible family living. Otherwise just experiment with where you can accommodate a dining table in your home; ideally try to fit one into the kitchen, as you’ll benefit from the ease of serving meals, as well as having somewhere for the kids to work or play while you’re busy but want to keep an eye on them. If space is tight try a bistro set or a fold-away table, or create a breakfast bar. It’s also worth considering whether you could sacrifice a fitted cupboard or two to create extra space, or consider tucking a dining area into an alcove or window bay.
Enhance natural light levels
Improve the natural light levels in your home and also improve your quality of life. Natural light levels are important to well-being, so look at ways you can improve it. A great way to do this is by installing French doors, patio doors or aluminium bifold doors into your home. Patio doors are a practical and stylish way to bring more light into your home, and enable your family to enjoy the garden all year round, whatever the weather. Good natural light levels are also an important factor when it comes to selling your property, and something which buyers want – another good reason to focus on bringing more light into your home.
Create extra space
Look at how you can add extra space to your home by converting your loft or garage, or by adding a conservatory. Done well, all of these can add much-needed family space and value to your home. Just ensure you have all the relevant permissions in place, and that you don’t adversely impact on the original charm and character of your home. Yes, any of these projects entail a significant investment, but they are probably the most family-friendly upgrade you could make to your home. They’re also ideal for accommodating multiple family generations in one property; if there’s a family member with mobility issues you might also need to get a stairlift, so make sure you incorporate this into your designs.
Add an extra bathroom
We all know what it’s like to be queuing for the family bathroom when you need to dash off to school or work, so a second bathroom is a hugely popular choice when making a home more family-friendly. Look for under-utilised spaces such as alcoves in bedrooms, landing cupboards or under stairs spaces to fit in your new bathroom. Even adding an extra toilet and sink or a shower room will make a huge difference.
So there you have it: a few home improvements you could make to get your space working harder for the whole family. Which upgrades would make the most difference to your family life?
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