In many ways, the plight of those living in an average sized house but with a very large family can be compared to someone living in a bedsit or a studio apartment. Much thought has to go into making the most of what space is available. That does not mean that the attractiveness of the surroundings should be compromised in any way, it just means that a little more thought has to go into the design.
If you are looking for interior design, furniture, and storage solutions for homes with large families, read on. There are some great tips here, to inspire you create a functional and attractive place to live.
When needing to sleep several people in one room, bunk beds are the obvious choice. Bunk beds have received design makeovers so they are not the plain items they used to be. There are now models that have a single bed above a double bed, two single beds, and a single bed above a double bed settee.
For relatively low cost, fitted beds are easy to construct in any combination that you require. These beds are particularly useful when applying a theme to a room for young children, or for teenagers who wish to isolate themselves in their own little corner of the house. Overcrowding is a big issue for growing kids looking for solitude.
Photo by Evan Jackson
There is likely to be a high footfall throughout the house so carpet may not be the best choice for living rooms and kitchens. Laminate floor coverings are easy to install, durable, and easily cleaned. Until some of your children grow up and leave home, laminate will make your life much easier than carpet would.
Seating is a big problem for large families as sofas are usually inadequate. If you make use of every part of the room by bringing in corner sofas in conjunction with standard ones, the problem will be solved. It is not unusual to see every wall taken up by seating when there is a large family in residence, and it is not nice to force young children to sit on the floor every night.
Kitchen / Dining Room
It is important for a family to sit together for meals. In a family this size, a suitable dining table and chairs may be too big for the room. Instead, fit a large breakfast bar either in the kitchen or dining room where everyone will sit on a stool to squeeze more in for one sitting.
A basic loft conversion is easy to carry out. Insulate the roof before boarding it out and it becomes a very large useable, but not liveable, space. Don’t be tempted to put a bedroom up there without taking advice; it could become a trap in case of fire. This space is perfect to use for storage, wardrobes, or anything else you can think of. Install a safe loft ladder for easy access.
Baths are expensive to fill and tie the bathroom up for too long. Replace the bath with a modern shower cubicle. A double unit will allows washing two small children at once. Anything that saves time is a good idea when you have a large family.
Trying to outfit a house in a standard way with a large family is a waste of time and money. Embrace new ideas and think out of the box. Soon enough your family will grow up and leave. Then the house will feel too big and empty. At least grandchildren are on the horizon; don’t change the house just yet.