Everyone dreams of living in their own space. The freedom! The independence! Who wouldn’t want to live by their own rules and terms?
However, it doesn’t seem like that will be a possibility for most. Housing prices and living costs are on the rise. At first, intergenerational/multigenerational homes were exclusive to immigrant households, but now? It’s a trend across the board.
A third of the UK currently lives in multigenerational homes, and more families are investing in renovations to accommodate this.
You’d think this movement would be exclusive to suburban areas. You know, places that have the space for it. But New London Architecture (NLA) acknowledges the need for intergenerational homes across the country–especially in the cities.
Multigenerational Living in London
Traditionally, vibrant cities like London attract a younger crowd. Think people in their early 20s to late 30s.
When they decide to build families and settle down, they move away from London and opt for quieter towns.
Even child-free couples don’t stay in London for long. They move to places like Brighton, Dorset, Devon, and Sussex when they retire. Houses and flats in London are just too small and expensive.
So when you see multigenerational homes in London, you know things are pushed to the brink. There are three main challenges for multigenerational living in London:
- Space – There’s a big difference between a flat that can accommodate a couple and a guest versus a family of three. Guest implies a short-term stay, so storage is not an issue. However, if you have three different people with their own necessities and hobbies–things get cramped quickly.
- Privacy – Bedrooms are off-limits; that’s a given. But what will you do about common areas like the kitchen, living room, dining room, and bathroom? Are there enough amenities for you to use all spaces without conflict?
- Division of Cost – Sometimes, living with a roommate is easier since everything is split evenly. What will you do if you are family and everyone has differing finances?
To avoid complications, there are five essentials you should look into:
5 Essentials for Large Families
London Self Storage
Space is in short supply in the city. You can always knock down a wall and expand in the suburbs or countryside. If you live on a large tract of land, you can even create a separate wing for your parents.
But in the city? Especially London?
What you see is what you get.
London self-storage expands the possibilities of your house/flat. You can transfer all the belongings from your attic or basement and turn those spaces into an extra bedroom.
Your unit can also act as an extension of your closet and reduce the organization and storage furniture you have at home. Get the space of a larger home without the drastic rent increase.
While multigenerational homes are centered on accessibility, you can’t deny the effectiveness of the bunk bed.
Bunk beds allow you to use vertical space, which is often neglected in a home and double the number of people who can stay in a given room.
When you have young kids and teens, bunk beds are a must.
When you are designing shared spaces, look for transforming furniture. When pieces have more than one job, you don’t have to invest in too many items.
Let’s say you have a couch that can convert into a bed. You can do away with the bulky air mattress.
If you have an ottoman with built-in storage, you wouldn’t need an extra trunk. These might look like small decisions, but they add up.
Keys, glasses, IDs, phones, and wallets are commonly misplaced items. When you have a lot of roommates and family members, mix-ups are bound to happen.
It would be great if nothing important were going on. But if you need to go to a job interview and someone else has your wallet, what are you going to do?
Nip the problem out the bud with a catch-all tray by the main entrance. You could have separate boxes or cubbies per individual to avoid misunderstandings. Of course, this will only work when trust is established in the home.
When you live with young children and elderly parents, you’ll need to keep their paperwork in order. Think birth certificate, social security, insurance, and the like. These should be well labeled and tucked away in your home safe.
Your home safe is not something people have easy access to. Less movement means you are less likely to misplace them.
Besides, most home safes are waterproof and fire-resistant. It will protect the fragile paper in case of emergencies.
It isn’t easy to live in a multigenerational household. Everyone has their own ideas of how to manage things.
But with practice and a lot of patience, you will learn to adjust to each other’s rhythms. Remember, this is a valuable experience, don’t waste it.