7 Tips for Multigenerational Home Design
What are 7 must-have design features for multigenerational living? Many must-haves allow each generation to maintain private, dedicated living spaces. Others features make aging in place easier.
See what Raleigh home buyers are including, in their custom multi-gen homes.
1. Private Bathrooms
Homes with a guest suite (or two master bedrooms) often incorporate an indispensable feature of multigenerational living: a reserved, private bathroom.
While guest, mother in law, and second master bathrooms are typically smaller than master bathrooms, they can feature upscale designs such as tile tub surrounds, large his and her vanities, and separate toilet rooms.
2. Private Kitchenette
One of the most requested - and expensive - multi-gen features is a private Kitchenette for mom and dad.
What's the difference between a kitchen and Kitchenette?
Square footage and appliances (number, type) are two primary features distinguishing a kitchen and Kitchenette.
This basement mother in law design offers a single-wall kitchenette equipped with a refrigerator, sink, microwave, lots of cabinet space, and convenient wall plugs placed for a coffee maker and other essential appliances.
A tile floor stretches from the kitchen into the bathroom and storage room, making it easier to keep the dedicated kitchen space clean. (Another private bathroom is attached to the bedroom suite, just past the living room.)
3. Independent Living Room
A separate living space - living room, sun room, or sitting room - offers independent space for each generation to work and play at home.
In this Raleigh custom home, double French doors separate the bedroom and living room, which has direct access to outdoor living spaces.
4. Indoor-Outdoor Entrance
A private entrance allows family and friends to come and go without disturbing the household.
In this Raleigh home, a private entrance offers access to outdoor living spaces (a concrete patio and screen room).
The door on the left leads to the great room. The door on the right leads to the extended stay guest suite.
5. Access to Laundry Room
Laundry rooms with multiple entrances - in a "buddy" style - allow extended stay guests direct access to the washer and dryer.
In this version of The Dunston, adapted from The Rosemore Place by Frank Betz, Stanton Homes made a few home-owner requested modifications:
These custom modifications, including an expanded keeping room with door-only access and an additional door to the laundry room, transformed shared spaces into a private wing of the home.
6. Entire Living Spaces on Separate Floors
Multigenerational designs can emphasize space separation with a basement or second floor suite.
In this version of The Dugan, a mother in law suite extends throughout the entire second floor. An elevator (added with future use in mind) extends accessibility to the space.
7. Adapted features, wheelchair accessibility, Universal Design
From roll-under and reduced height counter tops and sinks to easy grip cabinet pulls and maximum lighting for increased visibility, multigenerational kitchens can include a range of adapted, accessible, and universal features.
What features should I look for in an accessible home? Learn more about wider hallways, entry ways, turning radius capability, non-slip flooring, ramps, and other basic requirements.
More Information - and Photos - of Multigenerational Living Homes
Separate apartments, guest suites, and mother in law quarters are a common element in today's custom homes. If you can't find a plan that has what you need, we can show you more multigenerational living floor plans - just ask us for more ideas.