According to new figures from the Office for National Statistics, a million more millennials are living with their parents than 15 years ago. Out of these, 2.1 million are young men and 1.3 million are young women.
Jason Orme, a property expert for the Homebuilding & Renovating Show, provides his tips on how to adapt your home to be shared with millennial children.
‘Adapting your home for it to be shared with a millennial child requires a conversation about either you want to create individual, compartmentalised, mini flats within the house or want to fully integrate the children into the family. People need to work out whether this is going to be a long term situation, in which case a more compartmentalised flat or a duplex house with separate entrances or even a smaller property with separate kitchen, bathroom and living facilities would be best, as opposed to a more temporary situation in which you could all be living, cooking and eating together.
Assessing the options
The fundamental starting point is figuring out which approach you’re going to take depending on the potential of your house. If you go down the separation route, you’ll embark on a bigger building and remodelling project. However, if you own a large property with spare bedrooms, this can accommodate additional living space and possibly a small en-suite, although this situation is less common.
The next thing you need to consider is the decoration and the more practical elements of storage. The children might own quite a lot of things; accommodating these in the house will be the number one priority for people that can’t commit to larger building works. What helps is making use of storage space on landings or whatever spare bedroom space there is. It certainly isn’t easy, as parents in this scenario are unlikely to give up their own bedroom space or their en-suite if they have one. Putting furniture and belongings in a third party storage facility is another (expensive) option.
What will make or break this arrangement will be the use of living space in the evening and at night. In most cases, the children might be out of work in the early stages of the day so it’s important to figure out how to share the house between 8 pm and 11 pm. The ideal scenario is to have two separate living areas so that each can decide how they spend their spare time and what they watch on TV.
Inevitably, the children’s rooms might be a decade and a half old in terms of decoration. For a design that feels very old fashioned, it will need to be brought up to date based on the needs of the children and who they bring back home with them. For example, they may have a partner or kids of their own. All these things need to be factored in.
Millennials will want to live in a space that feels mature and caters to their growing needs, with a separate TV, enough storage facilities and working areas. The biggest strain is around the lack of space and the lack of freedom. Plan for the long term as the reason they are sharing the home with parents, – high house prices and land shortage – won’t be changing overnight. So prepare yourself for the long haul.’