There’s been some debate on whether more children makes couples happier, but one thing is for certain: There are a lot of couples who want more than two kids. And it makes sense—the media has painted children as an invaluable part of the American dream. Whether having them biologically or through adoption, couples can certainly have fulfilling lives as parents, especially if they can afford it.
If you and your partner are dreaming of having a lot of kids, however, your home needs to accommodate this dream. Here are some tips for choosing the best home layout and floor plan for a growing family.
The COVID-19 crisis brought on the open floor plan versus traditional floor plan debate back into the architectural industry, and there are merits to both. An open floor plan encourages spending more quality time with each other, even if the members are doing different things. It would also be safest for families with toddlers and small kids because you get to watch them even if you’re cooking in the kitchen or watching TV in the living room. On the other hand, a traditional floor plan is more conducive for a post-pandemic world since it allows more room for self-isolation and physical distancing in case one of you contracts COVID-19.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to your family’s specific needs. Here are some questions you need to answer to identify which floor plan works best for you:
- Are there accessibility concerns in the family? Does anyone use a wheelchair or a cane?
- How often will the family be entertaining guests when the pandemic is over?
- Is there enough indoor space for a home office and a homework station?
- How much outdoor living space do you and your family need or want?
Having enough bedrooms is already a given—a new study found that babies sleep better in their rooms after four months, and your kids growing up with their rooms will be beneficial for them because they can have their place to retreat to and be their person. So if you’re thinking of having three kids, make sure you have at least a five-bedroom home, including the master bedroom and the guest room.
Aside from the number of bedrooms, bedroom location is also a huge consideration. If you’re having a newborn soon, the nursery should be beside the master bedroom. It would be a nightmare if the nursery were located on one floor while your bedroom is located on another; it would be extremely inconvenient to go back and forth during late-night feedings.
However, families with older kids would benefit greatly from bedrooms in separate wings—both parents and children would have sanctuaries to retreat to at the end of the day. You don’t have to be bothered by loud music or video games, and you and your partner would have some much-needed privacy.
You also need to consider the bathroom situation—how many bathrooms there are and where they’re located because the last thing you want is heavy bathroom traffic in the morning with multiple kids complaining all at once.
We often get lost in the aesthetics of the homes we’re looking at that we forget to inspect if it passes some crucial safety considerations. Here are some safety factors to look for:
- Is there a clear escape plan in case of a fire or a hostage situation? Can you decorate the home in a way that won’t block people in case you have to make a quick run escape?
- How about natural disaster safety? Does the home pass earthquake safety standards? How about when there’s a typhoon? Is the area known for flooding? Is the roof quality up to scratch and able to withstand heavy rains and snowfall?
The answers to these questions will help you narrow down your list of home options and plan a home that is as safe as possible for your kids.
- Make sure that there’s enough space for playing, both indoors and outdoors.
- A laundry room will not only make everyday life more convenient; it might save your relationship with your partner, too.
- More than one kid means more need for storage space for their activities and hobbies.
- A mudroom is also crucial for ensuring your home remains as tidy as possible.
Building a home, especially for many kids, is a lot of work, but it can also be fulfilling. Invest in the best possible home for your growing family; your partner and your kids are worth the effort, and they will thank you for providing them with a safe and happy childhood.