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I shared this post, creating a meaningful home a couple months ago over at my friend Jenna’s blog, SaS Interiors. I was thrilled when she asked me to participate in her summer series, Creating a Meaningful Home. I thought to myself, how to create a meaningful multigenerational home? Hmmm. Good question! Our multigenerational home as you know, is a bit unique and definitely not the norm. With that said, we have three families, four generations all creating a meaningful home together.
Can you imagine living with your parents and grandparents? We are going on 5+ years of this insane journey and lets just say, it’s been interesting! ha. Our home is my childhood home owned by my mom and dad. Jenna’s series, Creating a Meaningful Home for us, is all about creating a home that suits everyone’s needs both physically and emotionally. What do I mean by that? My grandmother and grandfather both require a chair lift to get up stairs so we installed a chair lift and a handicapped accessible bathroom. Many of our renovations in our home have been done to accomodate individual needs. While my grandparents required necessary handicap items, we also each required personal space and privacy.
Personal space is important to keeping your sanity in our home. There are two thoughts that come to mind for me about how we create a meaningful multigenerational home.
1. Create individual living quarters under one roof.
While our home may be very different than many, the overall living style and concept is the same. What I mean by that is, it’s important for everyone to have personal space whether it be a room or heck, even a closet to call you own! For us, we created individual family spaces. My mom, grandmother and I all have different decorating styles. We decided to create multiple TV rooms and build an additional kitchen in order to accomodate everyone’s needs. For my family (me, my husband, son and step-daughters) our personal spaces are casual, comfy and cozy. We love a modern cottage style with rustic elements. Our main goal when renovating our personal spaces was to create a family room that we loved, gave us a sense of calm and a room that was comfortable that we could all lounge in together.
I added wide pine planks on the wall and chose a pretty blue green paint color which exudes relaxation. In case you are wondering, yes, all the kids and two dogs are allowed in this room and the room never looks like this in real life. Only when company is coming :).
My grandfather’s space is his workshop. This is necessary! If he spends to much time in the house, my grandmother goes crazy! ha
2. Create multipurpose rooms for eating, gathering and homework!
The days of a formal living and dining room are long gone in our family. I remember when I first graduated college, got married and bought my first home. It had a formal living and dining room that I thought I needed. The rooms collected dust and what a waste of space! Our home is constantly full of people coming and going, different activities from transporting my grandparents to doctor appointments or going to soccer and baseball games. We all eat at different times but for my family, our dining room is an extension of our kitchen. It’s where everything happens. We eat, gather, do homework, play lego’s and work on blog posts all in our dining room.
These pictures are courtesy of Woman’s Day Magazine. When we were renovating the kitchen, we wanted an open concept so we removed the wall between the kitchen and dining room.
When I was a kid, this dining room was setup as a “formal dining” room. My dad would kiddingly say during holiday dinners, “so, this is the dining room.” ha.
My dad, grandfather and I do all of the renovations ourselves and we actually have fun doing it. Our home is full of DIY home projects and family memories that will last for eternity. Below is our covered porch where we love to sit, read and relax.
A meaningful home in my opinion, isn’t just about the things in it, it’s what you do with those things. My dad and I built this media console together along with my grandfather for our family room.
Creating memories and long lasting traditions that will live on is what’s important. We spend our weekends together working on our home. I kiddingly said to my son the other day, do you think you will live here in this house with your family someday? Keep in mind he is six, he said, “mom, I’m living here with everyone forever!”. In my son’s mind, home is all about family. In some ways, it’s all about basics and how families lived years ago.
How to create a meaningful multigenerational home may not be the exact question you ask yourself, but I’m curious, what does creating a meaningful home mean to you? Does anyone live in a multigenerational home out there?
What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.