Common in many other countries, multigenerational living is just starting to catch on in the United States. Due to the cost of real estate, student loan debt, and considerations such as nursing care for the elderly, we see more and more parents moving in with their children, adult children returning home after college, and so on.
Obviously this lifestyle change will necessitate some alterations to the home. Mother-in-law suites, basement apartments, garage studios are popular additions, and tiny homes have even begun to spring up in backyards. It might not surprise you to learn that landscaping should be, and is, changing as well.
Separate entrances. When installing a mother-in-law suite, it can be important to consider your needs regarding separate entrances. Not only will this afford more privacy and independence; it can make multigenerational living a bit less challenging with regard to visitors, package deliveries, and so on.
Make sure your landscaping reflects your architecture, and use features such as lighting, hardscape, pathways, shrubbery, and garden spaces to subtly cue visitors to the presence of a second entrance. If the family member enjoys gardening, having his or her own space to maintain will afford them greater independence as well.
Consider gathering spaces. Spending more time together is one of the great benefits of multigenerational living. Consider whether an outdoor gathering space would be beneficial to your family, and how exactly you wish for that space to function. Do you want an outdoor kitchen, a recreation space, just a simple porch for relaxing conversation, or something else? Anticipate not only current needs, but future uses for the space as well; will there be grandchildren someday, who need a place to play? For every need, a landscaping option exists!
Pathways and lighting. Aside from helping visitors navigate your yard, smooth pathways and well-placed lighting can help to prevent accidents. This will become especially important if your family member moves into a separate garage apartment or tiny home on the property, and might be coming and going at night.
Landscaping for other reasons. Aside from the practical concerns, you might wish to revamp your landscaping for other reasons related to multigenerational living. A vegetable garden or fruit trees can help to feed the entire family, or a flower garden can provide a hobby for retirees.
No matter what the reason, we can help with your landscaping concerns as you move into this exciting new phase in your life. Give us a call, and we’ll discuss your family’s needs and help you put together a plan to revamp your landscaping to accommodate your new lifestyle.