Family-Centered vs. Regular Home Plans: How They Differ

When building a home, the layout is the most crucial piece of the puzzle. Builders and planners must take into account the natural resources like light, the plot the home is located on, and how to protect it from the elements, but they must also take into consideration what the family needs. One trend gaining in popularity with homeowners and developers is to scrap traditional home layouts with formal single purpose rooms, and to create a family centered home plan. This takes into account the specific needs of a family to make a home that is uniquely tailored to their needs and values while giving them room to grow.

One hallmark of a family centered home plan is versatility and accommodation of multi-generational living. With more families recognizing the economic and social value of living with extended family, the need for more open and larger space becomes essential. Planners must take into account the ages and accessibility needs of the home dwellers to design spaces that all can enjoy.

Traditional or regular home plans built in a different era do not always allow for handicap accessibility or open spaces to accommodate large groups. They often utilize a tighter layout and reserve precious square footage for single use formal rooms like parlors, living rooms or dining rooms which do not often see day to day usage. Traditional or regular home layouts are worth still considering, especially when preserving historical properties, if the homeowners are living in a traditional nuclear family, or if they want delineated spaces. Regular plans have a definite traditional aesthetic appeal and offer more options for variety in decorating possibilities as well as soundproofing options.

Family centered rooms are multi-purpose open spaces designed for all occasions and are designed in open-floor plan style to make use of the space to allow for big groups like birthday parties, as well as intimate breakfasts and family game nights.
Family centered design first began in the mid twentieth century, social changes were afoot and gender and family roles were being radically redefined, which impacted how the home was designed.  The history on mid century home building revolution and how it got started in one state .

Twenty first century family-centered design focuses on practicality and durability of the materials used, with a minimalist twist. For an idea of how homeowners develop their design choices while incorporating multi generational living quarters, that showcases the aesthetic. The article quotes the homeowners and explores their building material and design choices in detail.

Many families are now drifting away from living alone and into living in blended family situations, homes so having a space planned to accommodate everyone living there- from babies and young children to seniors and pets – is vastly important when designing layout.