Is living under the same roof as your parents and kids hell on earth? Or a savvy alternative to tackle the cost of living? We meet one mum who’s just moved back home with her folks in Darlington, County Durham, and another dad – living 10 minutes down the road – who’s well used to this way of life. Here are their honest verdicts…
SHUHEL’S TOP TIP FOR STACEY:
“After listening to many other Asian families, we soon learned the biggest issue for multi-generational living is the lack of privacy. You really need to draw up boundaries – and respect them. Everyone needs a space, however small, they can retreat to and know they won’t be disturbed. If the door is shut, let them have that time out until they’re ready to join the family rabble again.”
The keys to success
If at all possible, have different generations accessing their part of the property from their own front door for more independence.
Treat doors within the house as personal thresholds, have a ‘knock before entering’ rule to respect personal and private space.
An adequate number of bedrooms – with doors you can close – is key to a happy and successful multi-generational setup.
More bathrooms = better. Shower rooms take up less space if that’s an issue. But queues for the loo are not cool.
Install the biggest island you can fit in a communal kitchen to avoid fighting for preparation surfaces. And the longest dining table so everyone can fit!
Use zones cleverly, you don’t need to build a new wall, free-standing bookshelves can work well.
Have designated cupboards for family members to reduce clutter and people losing belongings with others tidying up.
Use washable paints on the walls, and choose hard wearing flooring, inevitably more people means houses work harder, but you can still keep them looking fresh.
Words: Susanna Galton
Photography: Mark Pinder