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3Gen Flat - How To Design A Home For All Generations

July 20, 2017
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It’s hard enough for newlyweds to learn to live with each other. So you can imagine the amount of added considerations when it comes to living with both the parents and children! While this living arrangement can be challenging – even with the closest families – there are also many economical and psychological benefits of living in a multi-generational home.

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Interior designer: D5 Studio

The overall look and feel of the home’s interiors should be timeless and calming to stand the test of time, and include functional details that are both kid and senior-friendly. To create a safe and comfortable environment for all members, be sure to incorporate these features...

Living Area

When a home needs to cater to occupants of different age groups, interests, and lifestyles, it is best to incorporate flexibility into the living area.

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Interior designer: United Team Lifestyle

Multipurpose spaces have more mileage per square foot. A reading corner zoned by transparent panels that can be opened up to function as a play zone for toddlers, for example, is a better idea than a built-in study desk. And instead of getting plush sofa sets or dining tables that can fit everyone, opt for space-saving furniture like extendable tables and armchairs with discreet storage. (We like this customised sofa that allow seatings on both front and back)

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Architect: EHKA Studio

Having sufficient storage compartments for toys, books, and other infrequently-used belongings are essential to free up shared spaces for other uses. Built-in storage cupboards are a good solution for this as it also keeps the whole area neat and free of hazards like electrical cables and smaller knick-knacks that can cause trips and falls.

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Interior designer: Urban Habitat Design

To avoid mishaps with seniors and children, avoid glossy flooring such as marble and glazed tiles as they tend to be slippery when wet or greasy. Slip-resistant variants of tile, vinyl, and laminate flooring are more suitable, and carpets can help to cushion falls. If your budget allows for it, install motion-sensor lights along the path from a senior’s bedroom to the bathroom so as to facilitate night trips.

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Interior designer: Studio 20 Concepts

Kitchen

If there’s more than one cook at home, allow for adequate working space in the kitchen so that they don’t get in each other’s way. As the kitchen is often the heart of a Singaporean home, don’t estimate the friction that limited space can cause! Having an island, breakfast counter, or separating the wet and dry areas are popular ways to create a more dynamic kitchen. This enables two or three people to prep for meals together simultaneously, each keeping to his or her preferred way of doing things.

3Gen Flats Design
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3Gen Flats Design
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Interior designer: Boon Siew D'sign

Storing frequently used cookware and condiments in low drawers with soft-close doors and pull-out shelves instead of overhead cabinets also enable seniors to retrieve and stow things away easily. Avoid open-plan kitchens if you have little ones, and opt for sliding doors to close it off. This prevents cooking smells from lingering in the living area as well.

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Interior designer: Icon Interior

Bathrooms

Think ahead and ensure that the bathroom is elderly-friendly, and has ample space for a wheelchair-bound individual. This includes slip-resistant flooring, multiple grab bars with grooves for enhanced grip, adjustable shower heads with a flexible hose, and a built-in seat.

In addition, sliding doors or lever handles instead of door knobs are recommended as they are easier to operate.

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Interior designer: Thomas & Team Creation

Get tips on creating an elder-friendly home here!

Bedrooms

Privacy is precious in a multi-generational home, and as one’s private sanctuary, individuals should be given as much free reign to personalise their bedroom. Allow kids to pick their own wall colours, give teenagers the freedom to be creative with the interior design, and ensure the elderly have everything they need to be comfortable.

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Interior designer: Weiken.com

Both seniors and children can benefit from two-way light switches installed both at the door and at the bedside so that they don’t need to feel their way in the dark back to their beds after turning the lights off, or have difficulty locating the light switch when they need to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.

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Interior designer: Ciseern

Incorporating storage cupboards at a suitable height for the young, old, or mobility-impaired respectively also empowers them to be more independent.


Click here for BCA’s recommendations for an elderly friendly home


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