If you live in a multigenerational household, you aren’t alone. An estimated 64 million Americans report living in multigenerational households.
Experts define a multigenerational household as including two or more adult generations or including grandparents plus grandkids below 25.
When you have such a diversity of age ranges at home, the right furniture ensures everybody’s safety, convenience, and comfort.
This guide gives you the low-down on the best furniture choices for multigenerational living.
Why Multigenerational Living Arrangements Matter
Multigenerational living is good for everybody in the home.
Aging parents or grandparents benefit from the social interaction that comes with living with younger people. Research suggests that socializing helps lower the risk of dementia by as much as 12%.
For children, interacting with older adults can teach empathy, kindness, and gentleness. They also benefit from decades of older adults’ wisdom.
Intelligent design will help these disparate groups successfully share a space. For example, seniors benefit from first-floor bedrooms, which spare them the stress of climbing stairs.
Meanwhile, it’s wise to create “bedroom alternatives” for kids — spaces they can enjoy throughout the house, like a desk nestled in a hallway nook. This discourages young people from always “escaping” to their bedrooms and promotes family interaction.
The furniture you place in these spaces will impact how well your family mixes.
The Benefits of High-Quality Multigenerational Furniture
When you invest in furniture that multiple generations can use, you aren’t just creating a welcoming space for all ages. You also enjoy practical benefits.
- Create memories: Quality-built furniture will last you for generations. Invest in functional and stylish pieces appropriate for different ages, and you will create heirloom furniture that can be passed down. What was once grandma’s sewing chair can become your son’s reading chair.
- Save money: When you have furniture that lasts, you also save money. You can even extend the lifespan of your furniture by getting it reupholstered.
- Reduce waste: When you buy high-quality, multi-purpose furniture, you are also making an eco-conscious choice. Furniture that breaks or isn’t practical will end up at the dump.
The Best Furniture Choices for Multigenerational Living
Here’s an overview of the best furniture choices that work for multigenerational living.
This massive piece of furniture can hold the whole family. Kids can easily play and snuggle with parents or grandparents on an expansive sofa. If older adults like to sit with their feet up, they can easily do so on one arm of the “L.”
The recliner is the ultimate relaxation spot. Elderly individuals who spend a lot of time at home will value having this cozy space in a public area where they can interact with others. Set it up with easy access to their favorite reading material, knitting supplies, tablet, or other amusements.
Family movie nights are more fun when you can all curl up together. A love seat is a snug spot that adults and kids can share, whether they’re watching television or reading a book.
Comfortable Dining Chairs
Breaking bread together is another tradition of many multigenerational homes. Ensure your dining chairs are comfy to accommodate long nights of chatting over food. Get padded chairs with attractive upholstery.
Any family member can use an armoire at any age, for example, for storing clothing or jewelry. It’s also one of those heirloom furniture pieces that can be passed down for generations.
What to Look for in Multigenerational Furniture
There are a few characteristics to keep in mind when buying pieces meant to suit everyone from grandpa to the baby.
As you look for the above items, pay attention to these points:
- Safety: Look for furniture without sharp edges, which can be hazardous to kids and seniors alike. Also, beware of design quirks — like convex table legs that point out at the bottom — which can cause trips and falls, especially for uncoordinated kids or elders using mobility aids.
- Convenience: Every piece of furniture in your multigenerational home should serve a purpose. Whether it’s an armoire for storage or a love seat for movie nights, identify the purpose of each piece in advance to ensure you are getting something you need, not just creating clutter.
- Comfort: Last but not least, comfort is critical! Take the time to test out furniture, for example, by feeling the fabric. Also, make sure that pieces of furniture requiring moving, like dining chairs, aren’t too heavy or unwieldy for weaker kids or seniors to handle.
How to Choose the Right Upholstery for Multigenerational Furniture
When selecting upholstery fabrics, consider durability, comfort, and practicality. Easy-to-clean materials are ideal for busy families. The Luxury Fabrics brand creates covalent-bonded fabric fibers designed to repel stains and spills, for example.
When it comes to color, opt for muted tones. Steer clear of loud statement hues and opt for soothing shades, like beiges, grays, cool blues, and whites. A multigenerational home is busy enough as is, and a calming color palette will help inhabitants feel at ease.
Additionally, lighter colors reflect sunlight, making space feel more open — which can be a benefit if your multigenerational home feels full.
A Final Tip for Making Furniture Choices for Multigenerational Living
This guide to furniture choices for a multigenerational living will help you create the perfect space for your family. Take your time as you select the right furniture to suit your needs. The pieces you choose may be in your family for years, or even decades, to come.
Over the years, furniture reupholstery can give these furniture items a fresh look. Contact D & N Upholstery to help give your furniture a facelift.