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Combining two homes into one is stressful, especially when you are decorating for opposing generations. With a little thought and creativity you can have a beautifully decorated multigenerational home.
One of our challenges as sandwiched homemakers is making a safe, comfortable, home for our family. This is particularly difficult because the needs and desires of the multiple generations in our home differ so greatly.
Think about it. When you go into the home of older people, it is very different than a home with young children. How do you blend these two generations into one nicely decorated but functional home?
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1. Floating Shelves
One of the best ways to display your nice things is by installing floating shelves. Floating shelves are great for books, games, movies, electronic equipment, and knickknacks that you don’t want easily accessible to small hands but available for the grownups.
Not only do houseplants look beautiful but they also have multiple health benefits. They help purify our indoor air naturally. Many of them provide a light fragrance (try lavender in the bathroom). They make great opportunities for agricultural studies for your children as well as a way for your aging parent to be helpful.
3. Seasonal Decorations
One of my favorite way to decorate for my multigenerational home is to put up seasonal decorations. They don’t have to be complicated. Start with using seasonal accessories like hand towels, soap dispensers, and lampshades.
Try creating a changeable banner or “holiday corner” to celebrate random holidays throughout the year. This also works as a bit of a calendar for your children and aging parents that often find traditional monthly calendars confusing and overwhelming.
4. Throw Pillows/Floor Pillows
Confession: I used to really hate pillows in our living spaces. I thought they were tacky and dirty and inconvenient. But, when I had kids, I discovered how amazing pillows can be. My kids love throwing a bunch of pillows on the floor and rolling in them.
What I didn’t know was elderly people also enjoy pillows. My MIL likes to surround herself with pillows when she sits on the sofas. It makes her feel a little more secure and grounded. They also work great to keep her fidgeting from getting out of control and her possibly hurting herself.
5. Creative Storage
Ottomans, end tables with cabinets and drawers, and baskets all make great ways to make a room comfortable but functional. Use a large ottoman to store your blankets and extra pillows. Find a cute basket for remote storage. Having storage in your end tables keep clutter at bay and provide a solid surface in your living spaces.
6. Digital Picture Frames
One of the best decor pieces in our home are our digital picture frames. Everyone loves the slide show of pictures. We enjoy recounting the memories each picture brings. It’s helpful with my MIL to keep the faces of her family and friends continuously running through her mind.
This is a terrific way to blend the generations of your home. The kids will start recounting the memories brought on by the pictures which initiates conversation between them and your aging parent.
7. Colorful Wall Art
Buy some simple frames and fill them with some of the beautiful wall art available online these days. I have some evergreen pieces that stay up all year around and some I change around with the seasons. My MIL likes to wander around the house and having these focal points keep her interested. I use a lot of quotes and scripture art that go a long way in keeping our thoughts positive.
8. Shadow Boxes
For the little knickknacks and curios that tend to be prevalent in the homes of older adults but not wise in a home with young children, pick up a few shadow boxes. Create little panoramas or memory boxes for your parent and put them up throughout your home. Not only do these bring fond memories back for your aging parent but they become wonderful educational moments for your children.
9. Small Decorated Areas
There are several “look with our eyes” places in our home. Most of these are up high like our mantel that require a little extra effort for the kids to get into. Use these spaces for your pretty things that might get broken on an end table.
10. Statement Pieces
I wish I could decorate our home full-tilt and fill it with beautiful things like I see in magazines and show homes. This just isn’t practice for any family regardless of age.
Too much “stuff” just creates opportunities for accidents. Collectibles sitting on end tables just invite themselves to be knocked over by the unsteady hands of the young and the old. Too many furniture pieces and luxurious area rugs only create tripping hazards.
Instead, use larger, colorful statement pieces in your decor. One large flower arrangement or candle display will bring you the finished look you desire for your home without the chaos of excess.
You want your home to be a wam and welcoming space for your family. Don’t let the age gap of your family members keep you from creating the space you desire. With a little thought and creativity you can have a beautifully decorated multigenerational home.
Did you like this post? What ways have you found to decorate your multigenerational home? Let me know in the comments below!
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