The world is in a state of flux, now more than ever. So, it’s completely illogical to expect our homes to remain the same through the years – and to be perfectly honest, “time warp” is never a good look. Contrary to some people’s resistance to change, embracing it is essential to a well-functioning and great-looking home. As a designer and mother of five, I can attest to this from both personal and professional experience.

Change can happen suddenly, or it can be gradual. Here are some tips for creating a space that grows with you and your family, to meet your needs for many years to come.

Anticipate your future needs.

When designing a space, one of the first things I define with my clients is their needs for the home based on their lifestyle. Part of the process involves looking ahead 10 years, since it’s unlikely they’ll want to renovate or redesign again within that timeframe. We start by examining the family make-up. How many people currently live in the home, and is this expected to change? For example, are you planning to have children, or will they be leaving the nest soon? Do you need to accommodate an older child, a live-in parent or a tenant, who may require privacy and autonomy?

Then, determine what a typical day looks like in the home. If you work from home, or plan to in the future, you’ll need a quiet place to focus and take meetings. Are there multiple chefs in the home? Does the family dine together or on a staggered schedule? Are there enough bedrooms and bathrooms? Of course, your occasional needs should also factor into the plan. If you host parties, where will you entertain and host the occasional overnight guests? Do you generally have a lot of “stuff” and what is your organizational style like? This might seem like a lot of questions (and there will be many more, once we really get into it!) but fleshing out the answers now will ensure a home that meets all your needs later, so be honest and realistic.

Choose multi-function. Each room in the home typically has one primary purpose, but most rooms serve secondary functions as well. This applies to our current needs, and future needs as well. For example, a formal dining room often doubles as a home office and homework area, or a dedicated office might also be a spare bedroom – with the right furnishings, of course. Since most homes have limited space, we need to get creative to ensure all of our needs are being met within the prescribed area.

Beyond the room itself, look for multi-functional furniture to maximize every square inch. These pieces serve double-duty, eliminating the need for many different pieces that eat up floor space and drain your wallet. Smart furniture designs help with organization, too. For example, pieces with integrated storage, such as ottomans with hidden inner compartments for blankets and pillows. With the rise of compact homes, many furniture retailers now offer specialized items as standard, such as hydraulic beds that lift to reveal storage underneath, or coffee tables that rise to dining-table height, when needed.

Choose neutrals. One of the fastest ways to date a home is to follow the trends too closely. The “colour of the year” or that popular geometric pattern you love today will show its age tomorrow. On the other hand, neutral colours and finishes never seem to go out of style. When it comes to big-ticket items, such as flooring, tile, kitchen cabinetry and countertops, you’ll find a little subtlety goes a long way. Then, it’s easy to update simply by adding those trendy pops of colour and pattern in small doses, like pillows and throws, a vibrant rug or artwork.

Life is all about change, so think beyond today, because a home that only meets today’s needs does not a wise investment make. Think strategically when planning your next reno or redesign, and work with a professional designer to save money and headaches down the road.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *