Create the perfect family space
Create the perfect family space
Room ideas for busy abodes that will keep everyone happy
Feature image: Staron Solid Surfaces
Words: Tina Lofthouse
The pandemic really shone a light on how well – or how dysfunctional – our homes actually are when all the family congregate to work, study, play and socialise. And while we may be heading back to work and school, we’ve seen how our homes are at the heart of everything. If they don’t function, then life can feel chaotic and overwhelming. But there are some easy tweaks, as well as more considerable design changes, that you can make to the family space in your house.
Make your kitchen multifunctional
If you have open-plan, consider how well the space works for every task. A large island in the middle of the room helps to zone the space and give it some structure. Make sure you have enough sockets and charging stations for all the family. And consider how lighting needs to adapt to cooking, working and studying and socialising. An over-sized island offers concealed functionality in this project from Staron and when the centrepiece rises electronically, it reveals four dimensions of activity including a breakfast zone, a cooking station with pantry essentials, a study nook with a media tech zone and a fully stocked bar!
A place for everything
Good storage is essential. Make the most of every space you have by going bespoke. Awkward alcoves or even that dead space above a door can be utilised and turned into handy storage. While a family white board with reminders and diary dates is super useful, a fun alternative is a feature wall of magnetic wallpaper, which offers a great place to hang the children’s art, reminders and more. Or frame their artwork as part of a gallery wall and add in a bookshelf with storage boxes that they can reach too, to encourage them to tidy away.
IMAGES: RUN Projects (credit: Chris Snook) / John Lewis Anyday shelves or pictures
Take it outside
Garden rooms are more popular than ever, providing the perfect multi-functional family space. Turn them into games rooms, yoga studios, hobby rooms or a quiet place to work or study.
IMAGE: Green Retreats
Go with the flow
Opening up the back of the home with large glass doors allow the family to spill out into the garden or onto the terrace in the warmer weather, and let you keep an eye on the children as they play outside. Internal flooring can continue out onto the terrace to provide a seamless connection. For safety, check that flooring inside and out won’t get slippery, and consider keeping the inside level with the outside to avoid the tripping hazard of a door frame.
IMAGE: RUN Projects (credit: Chris Snook)
Families that play together
What does your family do together to relax? Whether it’s movie nights or sports, look at how you might want to incorporate that into your home. A loft conversion can be turned into a cinema space and the skylights can be darkened easily with blinds. But a movie nook off the kitchen or lounge might be more suited if you’re a family that like to pull up a beanbag or pouf, along with loads of snacks –therefore you’ll need easy access to the kitchen. What about activities? Go for a dining table that can be converted for table tennis or pool.
IMAGES: Ashton House Design
Think textures and surfaces
While you might need to consider the practicality of walls and floors (wipe clean paint, and any floor surface that isn’t white!), it doesn’t have to be all about functionality. Layer sofas with throws (they’re cosy and offer some protection to the sofa) and rugs can add a simple and effective update to a room (while protecting the carpet). Rugs and soft furnishes also help deaden some of the noise in a lively household!