Every so often I come across something that talks about the benefits of aging in place, and it always worries me a bit because our house has so many stairs and a very high-maintenance garden. It suits our needs fine now, but will it in the future? I’m not so sure.
One of the benefits of designing a brand new house is that a person can consider the evolving needs of their family – and even what their own needs might be as they age. So I thought this guest post, with pointers on how to design a new home for the future, was very interesting.
The following is a contributed post. For more information on my contributed posts, please see this page.
Design Your Home With The Future In Mind
When you are designing something as important as the home you will live in, you obviously want to make sure that it is going to suit your needs, and the needs of your changing and growing family, for many years to come. You’ll want to focus not only on your present needs, but on what your needs might be in the future. Designing your home with the future in mind sounds simple, but it can actually be a considerable challenge.
If you are planning to design a new home and live in it for many years to come, here are a few things you may want to keep in mind.
Flexibility Above All Else
To create a home that will be likely to stand the test of time, you will generally need to promote flexibility above all else. What does this mean? Basically, it is a way of ensuring that each room in your home can be changed around relatively easily and quickly if you should need it to be. Of course you will start off with a plan for how the room will be used, but the more that you can integrate future possibilities into the design, the more you are preparing the whole house for the future.
One example would be if you design a ground-floor room to be a study – but keeping in mind that, in the future, it might need to be a bedroom for someone who can’t climb stairs anymore.
Consider Worst-Case Scenarios
None of us can predict what our future needs might be. A perfect home would be one that is likely to accommodate all of the possible futures that might crop up for you and your family.
As well as planning for the things you expect and hope for, it is wise to plan for any worst-case scenarios just in case they crop up. Especially if you are planning to age in place, or possibly care for an elderly parent in your home, ensuring accessibility to the home is a major consideration. This could mean including wheelchair ramps and any other features you would need in those circumstances.
Think Long-Term When Choosing A House Style
When choosing the style of the home, consider that not all current design trends will stand up to the test of time. But by choosing a classic and timeless design, you can ensure that your home will never go out of style. And with a design that is classic yet simple, it’s easy to change up your interior décor as you wish and infuse current décor trends to keep your home looking contemporary.
You Can Only Do So Much
As you strive to design a home to suit your needs now and in the future, be aware that you are almost certainly going to fail in some way – because the truth is that no one really knows what the future will bring. And you can only do so much to prepare for it. So, all you can do is give it your very best shot and remember the most important thing of all: Design a home that will make you happy.
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