05 Aug Interior Design for The Family Home
I was asked recently who my ideal client would be… who I really love to work with. My favourite type of interior design project is designing for families with children of all ages, considering their needs and creating spaces for them to feel good in and be proud of. Interior design in the family home finds a way of not only maximising the practicality of living space but also making that space beautiful, styled in the taste of the family that will occupy it.
These family interior design projects are (almost) always for the entire home, and if there could be a cherry on top for my ideal client it would be those that have multiple family homes that they like to work with me on. As I walk you through the elements that should be considered when designing a family home, you will begin to understand why I prefer to work with clients who engage me to design (or redesign, depending on the project) the whole home.
Designing spaces with children in mind
When designing a family home, I work with clients who have children of all ages, right from toddlers through to teenagers. Depending on the age of your child/children, will give clues towards the living plans of your space. Younger children require constant supervision, so open-plan kitchens and family rooms are much more practical, or interleading between key living spaces.
Teenagers on the other hand require the opposite of young children; they prefer their own space and crave privacy as they navigate the world between childhood and adulthood. When designing a family home, it’s important to consider the needs of all of the members of the family. Creating separate living areas for different generations, or a rumpus room retreat or media room can be a big winner with the younger generation (plus give the parents a bit of peace and quiet of their own).
A shared study space works well for some families too. To provide that quiet space for a teenager studying for exams, a designated area for younger children to tackle their homework, or even a retreat for parents to complete some of their own work from home. What’s most important when designing a family home is listening to the needs of everybody in the family and how they like to use their space in day to day life.
The Kitchen – the heart of the family home
Everybody loves to congregate in the kitchen, no matter what age. It’s the hub of the home, the heart of the home. While an open plan kitchen and living spaces work so well for younger children, this is something that can accommodate your family for years to come. I like to include an eat-in area in a kitchen, such as an island with bar stools (which works well for Mum & Dad entertaining too), or in some cases banquette seating, so there is always enough space for everybody (family and visitors).
Creating organised storage solutions helps to run a less stressful (and less cluttered) family home. We can design a solution for almost everything, from children’s toys to books, electrical equipment for entertainment such as TVs (that need to be kept well away from little fingers), right through to baskets in the laundry for each member of the family. When we design a family home, we consider the individual storage needs in that particular space and that unique family, creating solutions that work with every element of the overall design.
Open shelving looks great, but requires more attention to detail in terms of styling. This isn’t always practical, so creating solutions such as cupboards that have internal shelves hidden behind closed doors allows style and practicality to co-exist in the same space. Key pieces of quality furniture such as a chest or ottoman can serve both as something to place things upon, whilst being able to store things inside.
Materials & finishes perfect for family living
A home can still be child and dog friendly, whilst maintaining a sophistication, by selecting the right materials, finishes and fabrics. For example, darker colours are much easier to hide a multitude of sins, whether this is your paintwork or the colour of your sofa. Materials that are stain-resistant or easier to service play an important role in keeping a family home not only clean but looking as fresh as the day it was decorated.
Materials and finishes aren’t just important for soft furnishings, but also for the harder finishes. Stone or timber floors not only can complement a space aesthetically but are very easy to keep clean and maintain. It is these small considerations that all come together to create the perfect spaces for families.
Don’t compromise on style when designing your family home. Identify what your family needs and work from there. Create spaces that can be filled with life, happiness and love (while hiding away the less attractive features of day to day life).
If you are considering designing your next family home or redesigning your existing home, please reach out to us, we would love to discuss your next project with you and if we can help create your next forever home.