When clients brief us about their needs for a home they usually focus on current needs, often driven by children. However a well designed home needs to adapt to change over time.
If spaces are flexible, they can meet current needs and allow for change. Here are some hints and tips for a ‘lifetime home’.
One of the joys of a lovely home is sharing it with family and friends and so you'll want to make sure that you have space for a party.
Why does everyone end up in the Kitchen? Because your guests feel most relaxed there. A kitchen island with high stools encourages guests sit and keep you company and can double as a serving area.
Few families use a Dining Room regularly, but its a great asset for hosting a dinner party. Remember that you will be hosting holiday meals such as Easter or Christmas and of course birthdays throughout the year so provide space for a slightly larger number than you might normally expect.
Expansive interiors start with a good sized Sitting Room and open connections to the rest of the house and garden. Interconnected spaces make hosting easier and your house feel larger.
See our page about outdoor living.
Ground Floor Study/Bedroom
A study/bedroom at ground floor level with a generously sized shower room allows for future disabled use.
First impressions are important! Your entrance should be warm and inviting, clutter free, and large enough for a few people gather if the weather is poor. Think about shoe storage and coats.
Allow for a parking space 3.3m wide close to the house with a level or gently sloping well lit path to the front door. A covered entrance gives you space to find your when its raining and make sure there is a low threshold to the entrance door.
Wherever you can you use low maintenance materials and invest in insulation and renewable energy features to keep energy bills low.
Our Tips For Lifetime Design
Your Brief: Think deeply and carefully about you brief. Consider the changing needs of you and your children over time. Plan for the next 10-20 years, not for the present
Entrances: Think about the view of the entrance from the street. Is it attractive and easy to find. Think about home deliveries. Make the entrance hall large enough to welcome friends and family out of the rain
Family Space: Prioritise family space. Allow for flexible us to suit everyone, for different times of the day and for different seasons. Make space for celebrations. Connect with the garden and let the sunlight in
Adult Space: Reserve space for the grown-ups. Somewhere you can retreat to and relax
Garden: Treat the garden as an outdoor room
Working from home: Try and plan in somewhere that allows you the flexibility to work from home now or in the future
Technology: Think about future changes in technology and how they can be accommodated
Energy use: Invest in features that save energy over the time you expect to be living in the house