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Tying it all Together for Generation X

Tying it all Together for Generation X


Posted By on Jan 14, 2013

This is our final blog in the Generation X Series and will probably be the shortest.  I want to briefly discuss three topics:

  1. Traffic patterns…  As you design the layout of the home, look at each area of your home and envision how family members will get from point A to point B.  Envision each area with a few extra guests.  Is there enough room for everyone to move around without tripping over furniture or each other?  Ask for help with this if you have a hard time looking at a plan and “seeing” the room.
  2. Where’s the grill…  Sounds silly but outdoor living space has become an integral part of our home.  Having easy access to the deck, patio or porch will encourage even more use of the area.
  3. Wash and wear… The latest countertop material may look great, but if you have to use a special cleaning product and use a 30 step process weekly to keep it shiny, is it worth it?  Look for finish materials that are durable and easy to clean.  Same can be said for furniture & decor.

This concludes the Generation X Design Tips blog series.  Check out the previous blogs in the series:

Home Design Tips for Generation X

Home Design Tips for Gen X ~ Organized Storage

Kitchen Design Tips (Kind of) for Generation X

Real Kitchen Design Tips for Generation X

Design Tips for Home Layouts for Gen X

 

Also check out our design series for Baby Boomers:

Home Design Tips for Baby Boomers ~ Exterior of the Home

Home Design Tips for Baby Boomers ~ Interior, Functionality

Home Design Tips for Baby Boomers ~ Interior, Livability

Home Design Tips for Baby Boomers ~ Interior, Longevity

 

Our next few blogs will be focused on the Millennial Generation.

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Home designs that best suit Generation X families have design concepts that promote family interaction but still allows each family member to have their own space.  Logically this would signify that homes are getting larger; however, this is not the case.  In fact, the average square footage of family homes is slowly getting smaller.  The homes that Generation X grew up in typically had a formal living room or parlor and a family room along with an eat in kitchen and a formal dining room.  Generation X is moving away from this division of space and opting for a more functional layout of rooms.  Take a look at these tips to assist you in designing a home that meets your families needs.

 

sittingroomTwo Story homes seem to be the most common for families.  However, traditionally the second floor was reserved for all the bedrooms and the first floor was living space.  This layout has changed.  Many homeowners are keeping the master suite on the first floor and giving the entire second floor space to the children.  Some designs convert the second floor master bedroom area into a family room or play area.  By incorporating a large common area into the floorplan of the second floor, homeowners can design smaller bedroom spaces that have larger closet spaces and more room for multiple children to sleep or lounge.

utilityrmUtility Rooms are extremely popular for Generation X families.  This room is typically close to the kitchen and garage areas with an exterior door.  The laundry space was once a space that was hidden behind closed doors or even better in the basement.  Now, the space has become an integral part of the design.  By adding cabinets, counters, shelves, closets and hooks, the utility room’s use has expanded far beyond laundry.  This room is a catch all for snow covered outdoor gear and muddy paw prints.  It is a great room to store all your craft supplies as well as your bulk purchases.

familyroom-slideup-mBeyond the Kitchen and Utility Rooms, first floor designs for Generation X should be centered around “activity areas.”  Open concept is very popular with this Generation.  Being able to be involved with your children’s activities while being in a separate area is important to today’s parents.  When you review your floorplan consider what activities will happen in each area.  Being able to change the focus of each area easily is key to minimizing unused space.  Having a dedicated formal dining room is impractical, but being able to convert a space for large group dining is convenient.  Designing rooms with adequate storage either in the form of built in cabinetry and/or furniture is essential for these types of transitions.

The bottomline for Gen X families is being efficient.  In this case, using every square foot of your home maximizes efficiency.  Considering the use of each space in your home during the design process, is essential to this goal.

Other previous blogs for Generation X:

Real Kitchen Design Tips for Generation X

Kitchen Design Tips (Kind of) for Generation X

 

Home Design Tips for Gen X ~ Organized Storage

Home Design Tips for Generation X

Check back soon for our final Blog in the Generation X Series: “Tying it All Together.”

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Schedules for Generation X families can be extremely busy and chaotic.  In many families, both parents are working and each child has after school/evening activities to attend.  All of this hustle and bustle make family dinners nearly impossible to organize but more important than ever.  Knowing you have about 40 minutes in your evening schedule to prepare, serve and eat dinner can be overwhelming.  However, having a kitchen designed appropriately will help streamline this process and maybe allow your family to sit down more often to enjoy dinner together.

1. Plan ahead for multiple cooks.  As you look at the layout of your kitchen cabinets and counters try to envision, who will be helping to prepare meals.  If Sally is in charge of putting together the salad, where will she chop vegetables and mix ingredients?  Should the counter height be lower in this area, or will your child use a step stool?  If Billy sets the table, are the plates, cups, and utensils at a level he can reach and in an area he can access without being in the way of cooking?  If you often use your slow-cooker to prepare meals, is there adequate space to leave it on the counter?

2. Much like with closet space, there are many accessories that can be used to streamline your kitchen.  Under cabinet cookbook holders, spice racks, wall mounted utensil racks, wall or ceiling mounted pot racks.  Google “kitchen organization” for more ideas about kitchen accessories to match any style.  These accessories can add functionality to your kitchen without taking counter space.  This is especially important in smaller kitchen or in kitchens with multiple cooks.

3. Being able to put a meal on the table quickly comes down to organization…  keep your most used items easily accessible.  Why put your most used pot in the back of the cabinet even if it fits best there?  Leave it on the front burner of the stove, this way it is ready and waiting for you.  Organize a small lazy susan or organizer next to your cooktop with cooking spray, olive oil, salt and pepper, and a small crock filled with your most used cooking utensils.  This same trick can be used in the pantry and kitchen cabinets.  Group like items together so they can be found easily.  Use baskets to help keep items accessible in your cabinets.

Planning ahead and organization are key to streamlining your kitchen to be an efficiently used space.  These three simple tips can help guide you in your kitchen design process, and when combined with the tips from our previous blog, “Kitchen Design Tips (kind of)”, you are sure to design a kitchen that meets all your families needs.  In our next blog, we will move out of the kitchen and discuss design tips for the overall living space and layout of a home for a Generation X family.

Other previous blogs for Generation X:

Home Design Tips for Gen X ~ Organized Storage

Home Design Tips for Generation X

 

Also, check out our Blog Series for the Baby Boomer Generation starting with: Home Design Tips for Baby Boomers ~ Exterior of the Home

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The internet and home design magazines are flooded with picture of gorgeous kitchens that we all look at, fall in love with and dream of having.  But let’s face it, most gen Xer’s (myself included) cannot afford such a kitchen.  Designers are finding that most Generation X families value function over fashion.  Also noted by Designers, easy to clean and maintain are top priorities.

Let’s talk first about non-kitchen design ideas for the kitchen.  In the past this room was closed off from the rest of the home so that “the mess and work” could easily be hidden.  This is not the case anymore.  Lives are busy, and in order to keep up with family and life, it is important to multitask.  This means: cooking dinner, helping with homework, chatting about the upcoming dance, and planning for the weekends schedule all at the same time, in the same room.  This room would be the kitchen.  Kitchens are not just about cooking anymore, they need to be very multi-functional.  Here are some tips to promote this new facet of kitchen use while maintaining the kitchen’s true function.

1. Kitchens for Generation X must have a drop zone/organization center.  This is an area that homework, mail, grocery lists, schedules can be tucked away in order to make room for cooking.  Without this area, counters become cluttered with daily life.  By designing an area to keep paperwork organized, you can save yourself time and stress.  This area could be a desk, or some pockets on the wall, even the inside of the pantry door can be used to organize your life, as shown in the picture.

2. Another key design feature that shouldn’t be overlooked is a charging station!  My children do not have phones yet, and I’m dreading the time when I will be fighting for outlet and counter space to charge my lifeline.  A dedicated area to charge phones and other electronic devices that have become such a huge part of life helps reduce clutter and eliminates the stress of “Where’s my PHONE?!”  Some charging stations also have an area to hang keys…

3. Many Gen Xer’s have included an office area into their kitchen design.  Homework is often completed in the kitchen, and while most homes now have wireless networks, having laptops clutter counter space is not convenient.  Having a space designed into the cabinet layout that matches the style of the kitchen is the perfect solution.  If designed well, this office area can take care of the above two tips as well.

4. We have looked at how our children may use the kitchen, but there is another group of beings using the kitchen space… pets.  Many times the kitchen is not only where we prepare food for our families, but it is where our dogs and cats are fed.  Keeping this in mind, while you are designing your kitchen space will ensure that you are not tripping over Rover during his meal time.

In our next blog, we will discuss design tips for the kitchen (in it’s true function).

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As the years march by, the use of space within a home may change for Generation X.  However, the need for organized, accessible storage is constant.  From kitchens to bedrooms, to garage & basements there are easy ways to add storage without adding square footage to the floorplan or taking away from the room itself.

  1. Invest in closet kits!!!  Think about how each closet in your home will be used and browse the wide area of options for closet kits available at any home good store as well as online.  Closet space can easily be doubled or even tripled by using the right layout of shelves, rods, and drawers.  Once you have decided the best use of space for each closet, get accurate measurements of each closet.  Using graph paper to help you draw the closet layout will help ensure the closet is built to your expectations.
  2. Use the space traditionally used to “catch dust” above the top of standard kitchen cabinets.  Design your kitchen with taller upper cabinets, this will give you an additional shelf in each cabinet.  Now, this shelf is not within convenient reachable height, so reserve this shelf for use for the most seldom used items in your kitchen.  Also, consider incorporated drawer base cabinets instead of the standard.  This will allow you to store pots, pans and covers all within easy reach, with no need for you to sit on the floor to reach all the way to the back of the cabinet!  Browse the internet for other space saving kitchen cabinets such as spice cabinets, cookie sheet racks, sink tip outs, under cabinet wine glass holders…
  3. Mainers are notorious for parking their vehicle at their garage doors, never in the garage.  This is due to a lack of planning and forethought into what you will be putting in your garage.  The minimum parking space in a parking lot will be about 8’x18′, this would be for a compact vehicle.  If you are driving a S.U.V you WILL need more space.  As you plan your garage space, use graph paper to draw out the space.  Make sure you have room to open vehicle doors, get bicycles in and out of the garage with a vehicle parked, and store the snowblower and/or mower.  Then look at the space you have left over on the plan and decide if there is there enough room for the extra stuff you plan to store in the garage.
  4. Basements are another area to look at when you consider storage.  This space is extremely open, and fairly empty, with convenient, easy access.  However, there are some drawbacks to consider.  Basements in Northern New England are notoriously cold, damp and yes, sometimes wet… Use caution when storing items in your basement.  I highly recommend using Rubbermaid (or similar) tubs and shelving systems.  Cardboard boxes offer no protection.  Wood shelving will absorb moisture, metal will rust and deteriorate.  Never, never, never put boxes directly on the concrete floor.

Once you have your closets, cabinets, garage and basement storage properly designed, the key to staying organized is to use the systems you have in place.

In our next blog, “Kitchen Design Tips (kind of) for Generation X”, we will take a close look at design tips to make your kitchen more useful.

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Home Design Tips for Generation X

Home Design Tips for Generation X


Posted By on Sep 21, 2012

Generation Xers are 30 to 45 years old.  Lifestyles for the generation vary greatly from those just settling down and starting a family to those whose children are heading off to college.  Generation X was the first generation to have a majority of families with double income.  Even with the increase of working parents, Generation X pushed to find a work-life balance.  Employers have seen a shift in loyalty.  Generation X has been willing and able to pursue better positions in other companies where previous generations would “climb the ladder” by committing years to the same company.  Many times Gen Xers will change jobs for better hours, more vacation or a better benefits/insurance package, not just for more money.  It has become clear over the years, the number one priority for Gen Xers is family, not providing financially for their family, but providing for the overall well being of their family.  What does this mean when it comex to home design?

Generation X wants to enjoy their family time in and out of their homes.  Gen Xers want homes that are efficiently organized with adequate storage and minimal wasted space and energy efficient.  Buzz words like “cozy” and “inviting” abound in this market, Generation X is looking for informal but not chaotic.  Emphasis is usually placed on kitchen design, and the ease of transition between indoor living space and outdoor living space.

In our next blog “Home Design Tips for Gen X ~ Organized Storage”, we will discuss design tips for an organized home and how to add storage.

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