When we are designing a home that children might grow up in there are one or two things we should bear in mind.
In some ways building a house can be a metaphor for nurturing a child’s development. When you design and build a house you only have one go at laying the foundations and putting up the structure. In the future you can redecorate, maybe knock through some internal walls, or even build an extension. But, the foundations and the structure remain the same throughout the life of the house.
When we design a home that is healthy for children we should design in a way that supports their physical and mental well-being.
Children are closer to the floor particularly young children. So we might pay particular attention to the floor coverings. Carpets are comfortable but are more difficult to keep clean. Let’s think about texture, cleanliness, and the avoidance of toxins.
As always minimise the possibility of VOC (Volatile organic compounds)and toxins in the air. These are often found in paints, furniture, cleaners (ironically), solvents, aerosols and more.
Pay special attention to bedrooms. Children spend much more time sleeping than adults. The air quality in the bedrooms is especially important. Design for easy dusting and lots of storage space.
Swimming Pools: if it possible design your home so you can watch the children in the pool while also socialising. For many of our clients the ideal layout is an open plan living room / kitchen where the family and friends can chat perhaps while preparing the food together. This gives out, perhaps through a glass wall, to a shaded terrace and beyond that the pool and the view. So the adults can watch the children in the pool while preparing the food and socialising.
A fence around the pool is a legal requirement if you intend to let the property and makes sense anyway if you have small children. Search the site for hidden water deposits and make all water deposits and storage tanks child safe.
I thought this was interesting. It’s a Kevin McCloud Grand Designs programme abut a couple who had children with hyper allergies and designed their homes with their children’s health in mind
Finally everything is this series of blog posts on #healthyhousedesign applies to a house where children will grow up only perhaps more so.