Granny Flat

Design ideas and implementations for independent living

We have embarked on an age where its baby boomer time, the generation gap is widening as are the ideas of the older generation with those of the younger generation. As it is, a lot of people who are retired or want to move away from the hustle and grind of life in a house filled with temperamental grandchildren and cranky sons and daughters in law, to spend their days in relative peace and comfort in what are known as “granny flats”. These houses or apartments are specially designed keeping the requirements of the elderly in mind, and every step is taken to ensure their comfort and ease of access to every corner of the house. There can be many cases where the design of the interiors of the house accommodates certain situations like;

  • A woman who is pregnant, and needs to move comfortably and safely while going to the kitchen and toilet, let alone the bedroom.
  • A family just off the blocks with tiny toddlers, for whom safety is of paramount importance. With the kids running around the house all day, you sure don’t want to have sharp edges or glassware around.
  • There might be a complication owing to an accident or illness, which incapacitates the unfortunate person for a period of time, requiring him/her to stay in safe surroundings without being disturbed during the recovery period.
  • The quintessential grannies that genuinely need some peace and space to move around slowly and freely as they are entitled to, by age. Statistics also confirm the fact that the number aged elderly people living independently is increasing at an exponential rate, so it would be good we took cognizance of this matter, especially in countries like Japan, where the percentage of the older generation far outweighs that of the younger generations.
Granny Flat
Granny Flat

Some of the top designing trends customised for independent living incorporate the following;

1. Optimizing the privacy: this might not seem like a big deal, but in the end, it’s what makes your home stand out and blend in at the same time.

2. Setting up an atmosphere akin to home: this is an important factor if you’ve just decided to set up quarters of your own; this makes the transition easier on the nerves and allows you to get adjusted to the surroundings fairly quick.

3. Hospitality concepts: just because you live alone, doesn’t mean the family won’t drop in on the weekend to surprise you with a party. You do not want to be caught unprepared and greet them in a shabby environment. So designers are rolling out umpteen options for independent people, like wall coverings, carpets, dining options as well as concierge services for those who can afford it.

4. Technology usage: This has never been more important than now, with the proliferation of medical gadgets that can monitor an ailing person’s health as well as give reminders for medications and visits to the doctor. Technology has paved the way for these advancements to improve the quality of life of an independent person living alone.

5. Going green: you’ll be surprised at the number of elderly people who prefer green designs, something that we should learn from them. Accordingly, design firms are coming up with sustainable environments that cause minimum pollution.

Important things to check out before going for a granny flat or living independently:

  • Pathways to and from the garage and driveway should be ridges, so as the elderly do not slip.
  • Width of the door which plays an important hand if it’s a wheelchair in question.
  • Comfortable movement between spaces, and seamless transitions between rooms.
  • Easy access to all toilets.
  • Special care for bathrooms, they should have grab rails and be slip free.

I hope the above mentioned points will help you if you are planning to move in granny flats and implement the design idea in its interior.


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