Family Homes Redefined

Family Homes Redefined: How our builders are keeping up with the changing dynamic of family housing needs

It is evident that the term “family” has continued to expand and change over the last several decades to accommodate a wider perspective of what families actually look like. Whether it is a single parent with children, empty nesters, two parents with children, a grandparent or grandparents with their grandchildren or even multiple generations living under one roof, our family housing needs are becoming more and more diverse. In fact, according to an analysis of census data by Pew Research Center, in 2014, 60.6 million people in the U.S. lived in homes with multiple generations under one roof. That is roughly 19% of the populous. Luckily, many builders have heard the call for homes that can accommodate various styles of family living. For example, the days of “mother-in-law suites” – separate structures built outside the normal home floor plan – seem to be going away and integrated multi-generational living is becoming more readily available in builder communities.

What does a multi-generational family floor plan look like? Some key features to successful multi-generational family floor plans often include a suite on the main floor that not only have sleeping accommodations but also a small living area, kitchenette and dining area. This enables whomever is living in the suite to have a space that feels like their own while remaining within the normal foot print of the home making cost of living more affordable for back-from-college young adults, the sandwich generation or elderly. For the latter it also provides the added benefit of making access to care easier. We were lucky enough to partner on such a project with Darling Homes – Houston in 2015. Their model home (Plan #7490) for the Harvest Green community out in Richmond, Texas included a multi-generational suite with all the bells and whistles! With an open concept living/dining/kitchenette area and a separate bedroom area, this suite maximizes both functionality and livability.

The color palette, carried in from the rest of the home, is sophisticated and warm. A horizontal stripe detail was chosen to help connect the adjacent spaces and to draw the eye into the suite so that buyers could identify all the available spaces and amenities with ease.  Dark accents in cabinetry, rugs and art gives this space a sense of continuity, contrast and style. The finishes chosen for flooring, countertops and backsplashes are a well-balanced blend of textures and color to keep the area feeling fresh, elegant and welcoming.


The living spaces themselves are able to accommodate the multi-functional needs of any resident. The deep sofas in the gathering area are perfect for lounging or hosting company. The kitchenette and adjacent bistro dining accommodate daily food preparation needs and a reasonable place to get organized or enjoy as small meal. The bedroom, awarded Best Bedroom by a Volume Builder at Houston’s Best PRISM Awards in 2016, features a queen sized bed with luxurious comfortable bedding, optimal storage and just the right touch of art, accessories and lighting. We know that all the members of the family would be willing to fight over this suite retreat! What do you love most about this multi-generational accommodation – we’d love to hear from you in the comments.