Designs for the Family

When we talk about family and designing a home for the active members it’s important to consider how the family will live. We could go on for days about the multiple needs of a family and plan options that are important, but we don’t have time for that. So, I’ll keep it personal and share with you one of my experiences while living in Daytona Beach, FL.

My wife and I with our 3 kids have traveled the coastline living in many parts of Florida. My wife’s career and active duty in the Air Force has given us a chance to live in multiple homes during this process. While this may seem quite stressful and aggravating (which it has) it also has given us the opportunity to “Test” live these so-called family functional homes that are designed for families. In some cases, they are NOT.


The first home we bought was built in 1978 and was a 3-bedroom 2-bath ranch style home. It gave us over 1,700 sq.ft. of living space and offered what many people didn’t see during the 70’s. Two of the bedrooms measured over 12’ x 10’, and the master at 12’x14’. The closets were of average size and clgs. at 8’. The master bath was small but functional. It was considered a conservative space, but it was designed for 2 people. The spare bathroom offered a double sink vanity, toilet, and tub. However, instead of the typical 5’x8’ bathroom, the designer made it 9’x8’ giving more room between the toilet and tub. Let’s keep those germs away from where we wash! At that time, we only had 1 child, so the double sink wasn’t needed. The home didn’t have what many floorplans offer today like separate laundry room, open concept, or high ceilings. But what I took away from this home was that it gave more space to common areas that are today forgotten about. The spare bathroom could accommodate 2 kids at one time while at the sink. If you have kids, this is HUGE! Less fighting for who’s first and we get things done quicker. Also, the sink, since it was further from the tub, allowed us to bathe our son without feeling like we hugged the porcelain while doing so. Big hooray for mom and dad!!!

Let’s fast forward 6 years later, we currently live in another part of Florida. We purchased a home built in 2016 in a nice community that offers up-to-date floorplans and exterior elevations. The home is beautiful, and the details are very eclectic to this area. What I have found is that the space is used very differently. The plan was designed with 5-bedrooms 4-bathrooms. Although this sounds good, the designer was not considering space for a growing family. More rooms are not always the answer. I would have been more comfortable living in this home having 4 bedrooms i.l.o. 5. Why? Well, with 3 of the bedrooms slightly measuring 10×11, we can barely get 2 children in one room. Also, since we have 3 boys (girl on the way any time now) we could have bunked up the 3 boys in one room if the rooms were larger, allowing us to still have 3 additional bedrooms. The bathroom that our boys use is only 5’x8’. The other two spare bathrooms are comparable in size. It has a single 36” vanity, toilet and tub. The space between the vanity and tub is only 32”.

This would be fine if it was being used as a spare guest bathroom, however, when placed between 2 rooms it’s not a spare bathroom. It’s an active bathroom with potentially 3-4 members using at any time. Anyone who buys a 5-bedroom 4-bath house is most of the time needing the space for family members.

If you have the ability,

· Design your home with a full or partial wall separating the water closet from other amenities.

· Make the room sizes functional. Think about window placement and where the furniture will be placed

· Consider the next potential family that buys the home and what they might need for space. You may not have the need for double sinks in one of the bathrooms, but it will sell to a growing family.

Why do I bring this up and is it important? Because I care. Designing is what I love and I’m passionate about creating space for any size family.

How important it depends on what is critical to you and your family. I’ll just end with this statement. Let’s not forget about who’s using these floorplans when they are built. It’s great to have a home that is large and offers multiple living areas if those living areas are functional.

Watch for new blogs about the homes we have lived in, coming soon.

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