Design tips to future-proof your home
Be prepared for anything with a well-designed living space
We all have our ideas about how our futures will pan out. Maybe you see yourself married with four kids and a big house in the country? Perhaps you have a city apartment and are child-free, and would like to keep it that way? Some could want to sell everything they own and become a grey nomad.
However, life rarely goes according to plan, no matter how hard we try. So, keeping the unpredictability of life in mind when you design your home is a great way to ensure your living space doesn’t need to be completely remodelled when something unexpected happens. Whether it’s a set of twins or triplets, an elderly parent that needs to move in, or a particularly energetic and/or destructive pet, you will be ready to take on anything that life throws your way with a well-designed home.
Think about the possible uses for each room, and how that purpose might change over time. Your second living space might be better as a rumpus room for the kids in a few years, or a shared home office space for you and your partner. It is the small details that turn single purpose spaces into multipurpose rooms. Little things like extra power points or cable connections for televisions and computers can make life easier when rearranging your home. Built-in cupboards providing storage are another example. The size and shape of each room is also a consideration. Bedrooms that allow for two single beds are a great idea for growing families!
So, you’ve got your tile, floorboard, carpet, paint colours and bench top material samples laid out in front of you and are struggling to fit the aesthetic elements all together (not to mention price tags). We hate to add another factor, but you may also want to consider the durability of these materials. Will they repel stains, and resist scratching, marking and denting? Will they be durable enough to last the next 10 or even 20 years? Colours are an important part of this decision. Obviously lighter colours are more likely to show dirt and stains and can be problematic to clean. Dark colours provide more camouflage. Smart choices for a family home could be robust timbers that can be sanded back and solid tiles that resist weathering.
Make it easy
Perhaps this is already a priority when you design your home – making everything easily accessible and practical in terms of liveability. Do you have family members who might be susceptible to reduced mobility in years to come at this home? You may want to install doors to a living space so it can be turned into a bedroom, if need be.
You may also consider showers that you don’t have to step into, toilets separated from bathrooms so they can be used when someone is washing, and minimal stairs.
If you have or are planning to have toddlers, are there places where heavy falls are possible? Safety railings may be a solution.
Prioritise smart storage
Storage is one common issue every household seems to have, whether you could fill a people mover with your brood or not. A well-designed home will have storage solutions for all kinds of needs such as bikes, a wine collection or a large collection of shoes. Even something as simple as including drawers under each bed in the house can expand the storage capacity. It will give you more floor space in smaller rooms. Don’t forget to think beyond the space inside each room. A spacious attic or basement can be the answer to your storage problems.
Prepared to invest in your future?
The ultimate solution to future proofing your home comes in the form of a secondary dwelling on your property, known fondly as the ‘granny flat’. These spaces can be constructed in the back/front yard, in the shed or garage, or even over the top. They can serve as accommodation for elderly parents, teenage children needing a retreat, or even parents (who also need a retreat sometimes). It can also be a secondary entertainment space or rumpus room. A granny flat can also be used as a source of revenue and made available for rent.
This information is of a general nature and does not comprise professional advice or product recommendations. Before making any decision about any investments, financial products and services, you should consult with your own independent legal, taxation and financial advisors, who can provide advice which takes into account your own personal circumstances, goals and objectives.