If you have a family, planning home improvements should be a family matter. Still, you want to stick to ideas that work.
We’ve all seen families who get along well most of the time and families who are constantly at odds with each other. One common denominator among families who get along are homes that work for them. Let’s talk about ideas seen more than once in homes that work. It may help you explore what will work for you.
Many families with school age children have a computer and homework area near the kitchen. It’s often a computer desk and the breakfast area table. This is usually sandwiched between the kitchen and family room, and all three areas are open to each other. It’s an easy area for parents to make themselves available to help and supervise the children while they themselves perhaps cook, talk, read, or have a cup of tea (or other beverage) before or after dinner.
Family rooms are also great for TV, movies, and computer games. A finished basement provides an ideal place for a “home theater” for the same sorts of things, but supervision becomes tougher.
Unfinished basement areas can be just what’s needed for a workbench, an artist’s studio (especially walk-out basements with big north facing windows), a sewing area, a place to practice a musical instrument, a place to refinish furniture, a potting bench for plants, a place for the pets when the family has guests. I’ve seen all of the above work well alone and in a variety of combinations.
Many modern homes have a “formal living room” that is too small to really work as a living room. It can be set up and decorated as a library or study and be the perfect place for a parent to do some serious work and not be interrupted too frequently.
Master bedrooms are getting larger and larger. They often have a small seating arrangement included in their design. This can be a parental retreat for quiet conversation.
Master bedrooms can also provide a quiet corner for a computer desk and work area. If looking at work space isn’t relaxing to you, you can always shield it from view with a decorative folding screen.
Don’t forget the importance of family dinners. Studies show that children of families who have dinner and conversation together several nights a week, week in and week out, tend to be more successful and happier than those who don’t. It can be at the kitchen table, in the breakfast area, or in the dining room, but plan for it and make it happen if you value the success and happiness of your children.
Every home is unique and so is your family. When improving your home, look for ideas that work.