Under the Same Roof: Tips for Multi-Generational Living

With the ever-increasing costs of housing and healthcare, it’s becoming more and more common to see grandparents, parents and children living under one roof. While several generations residing in a single house might seem less than ideal, it does have its perks, whether it be the economic benefits or in-home care. But with a number of family members occupying the same space, there’s bound to be some discomfort. When it comes to multi-generational living then, it’s especially important to ensure comfort, privacy and accessibility for all family members. With this in mind, check out our top five tips below and learn how to create balance in your multi-generational home…

1. Ease of access
Open plan living is great for getting around and ideal for homes with many people of different ages. Creating spaces that are wheelchair accessible, or at the least, aren’t too cramped, is one way to guarantee that Grandma and Grandpa won’t encounter any difficulties as they age. Configuring bedrooms so that everyone can easily reach their private space is equally important too, especially when it comes to ensuring the comfort and independence of older family members.

multi-generational living

2. Choose the right bedrooms
Multi-generational living works best when those less able have convenient access to the kitchen and bathroom. In the case of double story homes, it makes sense for older family members to occupy the lower level bedrooms. Not only does this allow them to retain some autonomy, but it also creates a natural separation, giving everyone some additional privacy and breathing room.

3. Dual-purpose design
While it may be relatively easy to convert a bedroom into a study or theatre room, it’s not always as straightforward when considering the reverse. Given bedrooms often require windows and a wardrobe, it can be best to opt for a dual-purpose approach when designing your multi-generational home. By incorporating as many bedrooms as possible, you’ll achieve greater flexibility in the long-term by having a number of rooms which can readily double as other spaces or be easily converted as desired.

4. Space separation
More space isn’t always the answer when it comes to increasing privacy. Ensuring space is well-used via means of natural separations and connections is the easiest way to keep everyone comfortable. By establishing clear communal areas and places of solitude, whether it be an upstairs loft, playroom, or den, each family member is able to enjoy the company of one another and yet can also retreat for some alone time when necessary.

multi-generational living

5. Utilise every inch
Space is all the more precious when it comes to multi-generational living. Rethink the purpose of your rooms and ensure even through your furniture placement that there’s enough space to accommodate multiple activities and levels of privacy. For instance, your living area can have a large lounge perfect for socialising and watching TV, while also featuring an armchair with an ottoman closer to the edge of the room for reading or relaxing. For more large-scale alterations you may want to consider converting your garage into an additional living area, or – if your backyard is large enough – construct a granny flat complete with separate entrance. Remember, multi-generational living is all about getting creative with your space!

If you are building a new home, make sure you head over to iBuildNew and compare house designs and builders who can help you build your dream home. Alternatively, you can call one of our expert consultants on 1800 184 284 or book a call.

Kaylah Chesson

Kaylah is completing her final year of a Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Laws degree at Deakin University. Her particular areas of interest include property and land law, home design and the creative arts.


iBuildNew is the market leading aggregator dedicated to residential home construction and land development. As an independent platform, iBuildNew helps Australians identify and compare new home designs, house and land packages and land estates. It’s the smart way home buyers, who are considering a new build, can find the ideal options to match their individual needs. Home building is a big decision, we make sure you get it right.

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