More to Love: Designing a Home for a Large Family

Updated Bathroom

When designing a home for a large family, there’s a lot of factors to consider. The most obvious is how many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need, but there are many other issues to take into consideration. With the right planning, a large family can live comfortably in a wide range of home sizes and layouts.

Balance the Bedrooms and Bathrooms

There’s a reason bedrooms and bathrooms are in the title of most home listings: they’re just about the most important thing to know. When it comes to designing a house for a large family, you need to first decide how many bedrooms you need. This is often determined by the family members you have living with you. Children may be able to share a bedroom, but if you have older family members living with you, they will likely need their own room. You also need to think ahead: do you plan on having more children, or is there the possibility of elderly relatives moving in down the road?

Bathrooms are usually a little more flexible, but most large families need at least 2 full and one half, and can benefit from three fulls. This is again dependent upon who needs what — some older family members may need their own ‘suite’, or a handicap accessible bathroom may need to be considered.

Open Floor Plans

‘Open floor plans’ are one of the most common requests on home design shows, which has led many families to thinking they’re the preferred layout in homes. To an extent, when it comes to large families, that’s mostly right! An open floor plan lets you socialize and communicate through several of the main rooms, like kitchen, dining room, and living room, and also makes your home more friendly to family gatherings like birthday or holiday parties.

However, with large families often comes a lot of noise and action, so there is such a thing as a floorplan being too open. It may not be a bad idea for one or two ‘public’ rooms to be a little more isolated, allowing family members a place to work or relax in a quiet room away from the hustle and bustle of family life. Similarly, if one family member usually does all the cooking and prefers to not be bothered in the kitchen, you might choose to plan ahead for that and not include the kitchen in the open area of the floor plan.

Multitasking Spaces

Storage is always a big issue to keep in mind in a large family. Lots of people usually means lots of stuff to keep track of, so in some cases, you’ll need to find ways to maximize your storage space. Walk-in closets aren’t just a luxury; they offer the opportunity to double as a clothing closet and seasonal storage, when needed. You may also choose to split the upper floor of your home when you are planning the design; part of the upper floor may be a bedroom or office with a vaulted ceiling that follows the lines of the roof, while the rest can be attic storage dedicated for keepsakes and holiday decorations.

Floorplans have plenty of opportunities to sneak in storage — entry hallways, half bathrooms, and under the stairs are all great places to hide away a coat or linen closet. A little planning ahead combined with the right organization can make your new home work perfectly for your large family.