Create a Home for the needs of different Generations

Over the past 5 years research shows that there has been a jump in older relatives living with their children from 9 to 14%, with this now making up 1.28 million households. Many elderly parents moved in with their younger adult children at the beginning of the Covid lockdown in 2020 and this is likely to be one of the reasons for the increase. Lots of families across the world decided that it would be the best way to take care of their loved ones without the need and additional expenses of carers or residential homes.

A ‘multi-generational’ kitchen is the official term being used within the kitchen industry that is specifically designed to suit the needs of the different generations living in the same home. Some homes have changed where families have rebuilt to accommodate older loved ones, and some have already benefited from properties where existing annexes or granny flats are already built on. However, regardless of what the sleeping arrangements are, the kitchen-dining space is where the whole family tends to gather and is the area that is used most frequently.

In this blog, we will look at what needs to be considered when planning a kitchen for a multi-generational household.

Supersize the appliances

The more people that live together the need for more food storage, seating and general space to move around. More dirty crockery and laundry will appear too, which can often be overlooked!

When it comes to the process of designing your kitchen storage and the size of the appliances is key. You will always need more storage than you think, so consider how much space you require for crockery and cookware, and then think about the food storage separately.

Fridges and freezers come in all shapes and sizes and the capacity is important to feed more family members, accessibility is also an important factor too. Large American-style fridge freezers provide more capacity, but they can be heavier to open and have shelves that are harder to reach for an elderly relative.

Incorporating two dishwashers into the design can also ensure there is never any dirty crockery waiting on the side, this also helps to keep the worksurfaces clear and clutter-free for that minimalist look.

Seating for everyone

Consider how often you will eat together as a whole household and what else you need a seat and surface for. Your kitchen needs to have the space to house a large dining table if you eat together as a family and entertain regularly. If you work from home and you use your kitchen to study or work, is an additional seating area that’s more comfortable key in the design?

A seating area such as a banquette that is integrated into an island saves space as well as being more accessible and practical for elderly relatives compared to the classic breakfast bar style. A banquette can also make a more comfortable seat if you are working from home.

If you are lucky to have a room large enough, you might be able to incorporate both. The bar-style option can provide a perch for younger relatives and guests for a quick bite to eat and coffee catchups.

Multiple chefs

With lots of family members living together and different generations, it is likely that there will be more than one preparing food at any one time. Plan your kitchen to accommodate at least 2 chefs. Include galley styles, two islands and adjustable-height worksurfaces to create more space and a kitchen that is perfect for wheelchair users or family members with different height differences.

Extra food storage

Walk-in pantries and standalone larders work extremely well in large family households. Having bespoke furniture allows it to be customised to store specific items, and the size you require. All your favourite snacks can be organised and accessible in different sections.

Breakfast and day pantries are perfect for a busy family. Everything can be stored in one place, including smaller appliances such as coffee machines and toasters, it allows to keep the main work surface clear and clutter-free.

Broken plan or an open-plan layout

An open-plan layout has been very popular amongst homeowners over the last decade where the kitchen and dining areas are combined to create one large family space.

Due to Covid lockdowns over the last year and working from home, privacy has increased and the need for an individual space is a must. When thinking about the different generations too, some may not want to socialise as one group or listen/watch the same things. These factors all play a major role in the layout and that is why broken plan layouts are starting to become prominent again.

There are lots of endless options to create room divisions, which can create an open-plan space when desired. Separating the snug/living area from the kitchen is one of the most common layouts, it allows family members to watch/listen to music away from the main kitchen area and it also provides a cosier space to relax in before dinner.

Quality materials

A kitchen is a place where it’s used several times a day, every day by all the family. You want to invest in good quality cabinets and fittings it will pay off in the long run. If you are deciding to improve your home rather than move, a good quality kitchen is worth the investment.

If you would like to know more about our kitchen designs and start planning a new family kitchen contact us today – we look forward to hearing from you.

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