Modern Family Living

Happy new year!

When families get together over Christmas, they get a concentrated view of how well their homes meet their needs.  This makes it a great time to reflect on the demands of modern family living. Whilst every project is unique, this is a recurrent theme.

It is a privilidge to meet and get to know so many families in their homes.  In order to help, it is important to understand how they live and what their needs are.  Embracing and reflecting the individual characteristics of each family is critical to the success of any design, but there is, of course, some commonality between projects. Recognising this, is recognising that family life is changing.

One notable example is a change in emphasis towards the Kitchen.  Many existing houses include only a small preparation room, or Scullery, with a separate dining space.  Modern families spend time in the Kitchen; cooking, eating and relaxing there. This requires it to be larger and more open to other spaces. 

This project featured an enlarged family kitchen and an  improved connection with the garden.

This project featured an enlarged family kitchen and an  improved connection with the garden.

There is an increasing desire for houses to include multiple living spaces and for these to connect with each other, including with the garden.  It is now more common for children to have separate rooms and for families to have multiple bathrooms.  As expectations of comfort levels increase, energy efficiency becomes paramount, and our aging population makes future-proofing eminently important.

All of the above are the result of incremental socio-economic changes, especially in the twentieth century.  It is therefore logical for older properties to require upgrades to remain in use, and this is particularly relavent to listed buildings.  Remarkably, many homes currently being built by house-builders also fail to meet the demands of modern living. Fortunately they are generally quite easy to make alterations to, with the help of a friendly Architect!