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How do you live with multiple generations?

How do you live with multiple generations under one roof? I get that question emailed to me almost daily. Most of the comments and emails are genuine and stem from curiosity about how our home is setup, how meals are handled, how personal space and privacy are handled. The biggest question is, do you fight or have disagreements? Sometimes I forget that our living arrangement is abnormal and fascinating to some. I honestly go about my day and think nothing of it. It’s been over four years now that we have all been living together. It’s not strange anymore for me to come home to my dad walking around in his pajama’s or listening to my gram and gramp bicker back and forth about nothing.

This is a typical Saturday morning with my gramp and dad hanging out together in my mom and dad’s family room watching re-runs of MASH.

four generations living under one roof watching tv

Our home is setup so that my grandparents are on one end of the house, my husband, son and I are in the middle and my parents are on the opposite end of the house. We have multiple kitchens, multiple tv rooms and multiple bathrooms. We also have 2 driveways and everyone has their own designated parking spot. Problems occur if someone parks in my grandfather’s spot, then he freaks.  Here is a picture showing “big gramp’s” spot and a enormous tree that covers the front of the house that I would LOVE and even pay to get rid of but my mom loves this tree like it’s her child. That’s a post for another day.

four generations one roof house

For the past couple years, I would wake up to the smell of bacon, eggs and pancakes on Sunday mornings. I know, the most unhealthy thing you can eat. Many of my family members are on a diet now so the breakfasts have been limited to just pancakes for my son. It’s been a ritual for years now that my dad and son would make the Sunday morning breakfast together. Here is a picture of my dad and son making breakfast together. This picture was taken before we renovated the kitchen.

multiple generations cooking together

I will be posting the renovated kitchen reveal pictures sometime this month.

Living with multiple generations definitely has it’s advantages and sometimes it’s drawbacks. Many ask how do you handle the bills. Well, we split everything for the most part. That is definitely an added bonus. I will be sharing more of our multi generational living arrangement and household this year. In the past, I have struggled with “do I share this with my readers or not?” for fear it’s silly or boring. For those of you who follow me because of our multigenerational living arrangement, thank you and I promise to share more of our unique lifestyle and how we make it work. I appreciate your emails telling me to share more of my family and living arrangement :). PS. Thank you to Tonya at Love of Family & Home for featuring our bathroom renovation as part of her happily ever before & after series!

We are a crew of four generations all living together under one roof. We share our
Do-It-Yourself renovations, project tutorials, room makevers and bits of what life is like living together under one roof. Could you live with multiple generations?

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Responses to How do you live with multiple generations?

  1. Hannah January 7, 2013 at 11:06 am #

    Definitely not silly or boring at all! We live intergenerationally as well, although with only three generations instead of four :) my parents, my siblings, my husband, and our son, for a total of nine people. I love hearing about other families’ experiences with this living situation, since it’s so unique in our culture. I’m looking forward to learning more about how you all make it work!

    • Jessica Bruno January 8, 2013 at 7:49 pm #

      Thank you Hannah. That is great you have 3 generations. Sounds like you enjoy it as well! Thanks for stopping by :)

  2. Deb C January 8, 2013 at 10:27 am #

    I think it is wonderful that you have so many generaions under one roof. I would give anything to have spent time like that with my grandparents. I think you are giving your son a gift and a life experience that will make him a caring and loving man. I can understand the curiosity of how to make everything work, especially the privacy issues.

    • Jessica Bruno January 8, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

      Thank you Deb! I agree, I think my son has it pretty good :) Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Colleen January 9, 2013 at 11:59 pm #

    I am looking forword to read more . I cant wait

  4. Nancy January 16, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

    Hi jessica
    I just started following you on IG (gracelikerain123). Anyway, i am intrigued by your living situation, because we are currently building a house that will accomodate my parents down the road, and our friends totally think we’re crazy for giving up our privacy. I don’t see it that way- I think it’s a win-win, and yeah, there will be nuisances and days when i want to be left alone, but i think the benefits outweighs the rainy days. And I am so DIY inspired by you and some of my other fave bloggers, so I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves in my new house and DIY it into our home! thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Cathy January 16, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    Just found your blog via IHeartOrganizing. I would love to hear more about living with multiple generations! My husband and I moved in with my parents for financial reasons a few years ago, and our new son lives there too. Our financial situation will be improving this year, but now I expect that when we buy our own house we will have my parents move with us. Love to hear tips on how you make it work!

    • Jessica Bruno January 16, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

      That is great that you all live together! My biggest tip is to make sure you have privacy for each family. We ended up putting on an addition and refinishing the basement. We have many TV rooms that are designated for each family as well as multiple kitchens. We found it easier for each family to be on their own for buying groceries ect. and planning meals. Don’t get me wrong, we eat all the time together but we contribute to the meal each of us. Does that make sense? Privacy is the key :) Good luck and so happy you stopped by and introduced yourself!

  6. Corissa January 16, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    I love this! I live with my spouse, two kids and my parents…we are currently talking about having my sister and her husband live with us too! I love how close my parents and my children are…Thank you for talking about this on your blog…this is the first time I have actually “met” someone else living the same way.

    • Jessica Bruno January 16, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

      That is great Corissa! How fun would that be if your sis moved it ? :) I think multigenerational living is becoming more and more popular. You are right though, there are not many blogs out there who write about it. Keep coming back:) We share lots here!

  7. Linda January 16, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

    Hi Jessica,

    I just found your blog through “I heart organizing” and I can’t wait to read more about how you do this. For 2 and 1/2 years my daughter and her family (husband and 3 children) lived with me, my husband and our adult son. We have a very small house, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, and it was very tight quarters. If we ever had to do it again we would need to put on an addition. We found it difficult. I’m anxious to hear how you do it successfully!

    • Jessica Bruno January 17, 2013 at 6:35 am #

      Hi Linda, when we first moved in, the addition and finished basement were not complete for about a year so I can understand the tight quarters! Sharing a kitchen is also sometimes an invasion of personal space ha! We added on an additional kitchen, finished the basement and master suite with another bath. Multiple kitchens and TV rooms are the key to success in my opinion. . Thank you so much for stopping by and introducing yourself :) Have a great day!

  8. Denise January 17, 2013 at 9:59 pm #

    We, too are four generations under one roof…has its challenges, and blessings… I’m looking forward to reading more about how you make things “work” in Your home. 😉

    • Jessica Bruno January 19, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

      Wow, I don’t hear from many four generation clans, usually three :) So happy you stopped by and said hello. Yes, making it work sometimes has it’s challenges but we mostly each have our own space so that is helpful. Have a great weekend!

  9. Paula@SweetPea January 20, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

    I think this is a very interesting topic and I look forward to learning more about your arrangement.

    Separate areas have to be the key to making this work!

    • Jessica Bruno January 21, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

      Oh yes, privacy is the key to success!

  10. Pam August 15, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

    Hi Jessica – Delighted to read your blog and love the DIY creations. Currently, it’s just my Mom and I under the same roof in a rural community. Our goal is to build a home to house not only me and Mom, but also my son and his family (4 total). I’ve considered the privacy issue, but very curious if you have any insight to a “top 5 list” of important things when designing a new home?

  11. Catherine June 24, 2014 at 10:36 pm #

    I just discovered your blog through the blog tour (came over from The Inspired Room) and I just love it! A big dream of our family is to have our own compound I guess you can call it. A big enough parcel of land for multiple homes with a big pool in the middle! We often talk about it and I wonder if it would work. What a gift for your son! I think it is wonderful that you make it work out. I miss my grandparent’s so much (I live on the other side of the world from my family for now) so I might just hang around and live vicariously through you. :)

    • Jessica Bruno June 27, 2014 at 7:57 am #

      Hi, nice to meet you Catherine :). We are going on almost 6 years of living like this and it’ been wonderful, most of the time. ha. Thanks so much for stopping by and hopefully your dream will come true someday to have your own compound.

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