You don’t have to move house to get a new home: award-winning Wimbledon builder Kisiel Group reveals the secrets of tapping your property’s potential. This month, they show you how to anticipate changing family dynamics as children grow up and priorities change…
Don’t list it – love it! If you’ve watched the programme with Kirstie and Phil, you’ll have seen how homes can be transformed into an effective space for the families featured in the show. If you’re already in the ideal location (if you live in SW19, we reckon you are), and don’t want to move, then planning how you can make best use of extra space in a new basement, extension or loft conversion will mean your home evolves with you and the changing needs of your family. Here are our top tips for future-proofing your family home.
1. Anticipate change and work with it
Did you see the change coming when you proudly attended your son or daughter’s graduation? After a whirlwind tour around the world, a summer stint in casual work, or the offer of an unpaid internship, they are now back ‘home to roost’. Having left home as a young person, they are returning as an adult, and that subtle change in your relationship can cause friction.
One way to maintain harmony in the home might be an annex with a separate entry door – creating some personal space for them (and you!) but allowing them to still be part of the family. When they do decide to move on, you’ll have created a separate space that can easily become a guest bedroom, granny annex, rental accommodation or home office.
2. Play with your space
Come the end of the day, sharing a space with energetic young children or boisterous teenagers when all you want to do is to pour yourself a drink and relax is less than ideal. As the autumn chill arrives, and the nights draw in earlier and earlier, no one wants to be outdoors in the darker evenings: so why not create a basement space for a games area or a den for older children to hang out in with their friends? Or bring that summer feeling back with an indoor pool – the kids can burn off excess energy, and you can have it to yourself for relaxing swims and a little downtime.
3. Don’t forget to have fun
If a pool isn’t a practical option for you, your family den – whether it’s up in the loft or down in the basement – might house a special play area, a snooker table or a mini gym; some computer games and a music system will give older kids the space to enjoy a variety of activities, without interrupting your calm. Get them on board: your kids can have fun helping to design the space with you, making it a real family affair. Whilst doing the building work, incorporate some effective soundproofing and install an integrated sound system, so when the space is no longer needed as a games room, it’s easy to adapt it into a cinema room with the installation of a large screen and some comfy sofas. Then just add popcorn.
4. Up, up and away
Found a new passion for art, music, or a creative hobby? Perhaps now the children are older, you’ve more time to indulge in your interests. Convert your loft to create a space just for you. Plenty of light from the windows, good storage and ensuite bathroom mean you can get lost in the space all day. Or maybe your children can pursue their own hobbies in a dedicated craft or music room. When you’re finished, there’s no packing everything away, you can just close the door. This room can easily be changed into an extra bedroom once you have grandchildren that want to come and stay for a sleepover.
5. Remember: plan, design, create
The only certainty in life is change: our lives don’t stand still. So plan for the changing use of space: thinking about adaptability is a key part of the process, and getting expert advice from an experienced design and build team can uncover opportunities that you may not even have considered.
Design with flexibility in mind, so that you allow for current and future needs. If your lifestyle goals are thought through carefully, you can design a space that will seamlessly transition from one period of your life to another.
And finally, the best bit: creating a fabulous home that will evolve with you. It’s the best investment you can make for your family’s future.
Contributor: Kisiel Group | The Award-Winning Design & Build Practice
Kisiel Group is a multi-award-winning building contractor in London that offers design and build services, home renovations, refurbishments and consultancy. For advice and guidance on your next home-build project, ring +44 (0)20 3984 7410 or email email@example.com